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I was excited to find a small display of bindery tools at the Roycroft Campus in East Aurora, New York.  Elbert Hubbard started Roycroft, was inspired by William Morris, and promoted the Arts and Crafts ethos in America during the first part of the 20th century. His press produced many books that today look aggressively …

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It may seem odd for someone who conserves and makes things for a living to have a hobby. Mine is making wooden spoons and paddles.  After all, isn’t this pretty much the same activity as my job? Both involve similar craft skills: working precisely, measuring, knowing material properties, and hand tool use. Two years ago, …

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A few years ago, I picked up this roll, and I am still not completely sure what it was for.  I’m pretty sure is for tooling cut out leather thumb tabs, which would then be glued to the book. It contains the letter sequence “A – C – E – G – I – L …

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I’ll be attending the annual AIC (American Institute of Conservation) meeting at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.  If you are interested in taking a look at any of the conservation and bookbinding tools I make, please let me know and I’ll bring some examples.  I will be there May 14 — 18. Some items …

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A few days ago I wondered, what is the oldest thing I made that I still use? After digging through a lot of stuff, I think it is this sheet metal tool box that I made in high school shop class in 1981. At that time, it was one of the standard projects in metal …

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Jeff Peachey by Jeff Peachey - 3M ago

Like many bookbinders and conservators, I’ve used Ace bandages for many years. They are almost essential when rebacking leather bindings (apologies to Bill Minter) since nothing else has the gentle stretch and breathability. I never really wondered about the name, assuming the word “Ace”  meant something like excellent, marvelous, or first-rate. So I was interested …

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Jeff Peachey by Jeff Peachey - 3M ago

A somewhat ironic placement of this DISCARDED stamp.  I suspect every institution has sold, discarded, or recycled books in their collection, often quite quietly, not just the NY Academy of Medicine. I’m amazed how many books I have worked on that were deaccessioned at some point in their lives, then recollected, once again deemed valuable. …

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Jeff Peachey by Jeff Peachey - 4M ago

When sewing books or endbands, it is sometimes helpful to grip the needle with a pliers in order to position it or increase leverage. Standard pliers do not grip a needle securely, and the jaws are the wrong shape for these types of manipulations. Precise needle control is also essential in book conservation, for in-situ …

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Jeff Peachey by Jeff Peachey - 4M ago

Twenty years ago this Tom Sawyer, and other expensive first editions, were often extensively restored. This often involved a lot of conservationally questionable work. Redying or painting abrasions in the cloth, sophisticating the text with better boards from later editions, mixing partial textblocks with better condition plates were all common practice. Anything, really, that would …

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Jeff Peachey by Jeff Peachey - 4M ago
The signatures in this mass market paperback (Weapons of Math Destruction, Cathy O’Neil, a great read, BTW) continue to group together, even though the book is perfect bound, and the spinefolds are cut. Paper memory. Not enough pressing or pressure during or after folding. We could reconstruct the imposition based on this visual evidence, even …

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