~ Damp Cloth Method vs. Scraping for Cleaning a Book Cover

I thought this video was going to be about scraping and color touch up again but turns out the damp cloth method worked very well. There are just a few notes on pens vs pencils to round it out.

~ Don’t Do This! Scraping a book spine towards yourself

Sebastian is trying to take a shortcut that I feel is too dangerous. I mean really, the very first rule of any bindery is don’t bleed on the books!



~ Book Box Repair: Don’t use tape

Book Box Repair:

This is a very short video looking at some of the problems of a book box from 1904. This box has been previously repaired with what is most likely document repair tape which is an archival solution that is limited in it’s appeal. For one thing it just looks like white tape has been applied. It doesn’t blend in. Also, it is not easily reversible. If it had been applied with paste and tissue it could easily be re-done. Another problem with the box is that the seller taped directly onto some printing in the inner lid and this caused damage that is hard to repair and was easy to avoid.

To see more in-depth videos on book box repair become a Save Your Books member.

~ Strengthen Inner Book Hinge

How to Strengthen an Inner Book Hinge

Strengthening the inner hinge of a book is something to do if the hinge is weak but not fully broken. First, if the end-sheets are illustrated you would want to use paste to put any pieces in place that are loose. After that, cut a strip of a thin Japanese tissue that is the same height and only slightly wider than the hinge are. Use an archival paste to put it in place and attach it thoroughly by rubbing it down with a folder. Kizukishi is only one example of a Japanese tissue that will work for this. There are others that are fine as well. The important thing is that it is so thin that you can see the illustration fairly well when you are done.

The page repair kit that we sell includes two different kinds of Japanese tissue that will work for a variety of repairs.

This is the YouTube video:

page repair kit

The materials and tools needed for archival page repair to repair the inner hinge of a book and more.



~ How to Remove a Library Pocket

How to Remove a Library Pocket

If you have the DIY Basic Book Repair Kit you will already have most of these tools and materials to remove a library pocket. Here is what you need:

  1. Book Repair Knife
  2. Waxed Paper
  3. Baking Parchment Paper
  4. Bone Folder
  5. Spray Bottle
  6. Iron (Make sure water won’t pour out of it.)
  7. Optional: props to keep cover level
  8. Optional: Paper towel or clean damp rag in a bowl for keeping fingers clean.

To start, Assess the situation. If the pocket is on the cover rather than the text-block page you may need to prop up the cover so you don’t strain the hinge. Now check how much of the pocket is actually attached. Use the knife to carefully remove the loose parts but only work on the parts that are easy. Don’t force anything. When tearing a piece off keep the angle low and pull slowly. If you get into trouble pulling in one direction then try the other way. Once the loose paper is removed then assess the glued area that is leftover. In the case of the video it appears the glue is still tacky. This is a good sign that it may be able to be removed using heat. If it is yellow and crunchy then water is your best bet.

In the video I am using a tacking iron (used commonly in model airplane building) I apply the iron through the baking parchment because the iron might be dirty and you don’t want to transfer that dirt to the page. Also it will help keep you from burning the area you are working on. As you heat up a small area go along with the repair knife or the micro-spatula and scrape the paper off.

The sticky residue left in the instance of this video can be removed with a crepe eraser or more scraping with the knife. If that doesn’t work you can cover the sticky areas with a thin Japanese tissue called Kizukishi applied with paste. This could be colored to match before hand but Kizukishi is so thin that it is mostly see-through. The only other option is to scrape off the offending areas and re-color them which would be a lot of work.


    Use this book repair kit to help you remove a library pocket from a book.

~ How to Remove ex-Library Marks

How to Remove ex-Library Marks

Sometimes using an eraser is not going to remove the whole mark and then we turn to more drastic measures. The repair knife that is included in the DIY Basic Book Repair Kit is designed to scrape rather than cut and lift rather than stab. It is the perfect tool to try to remove just the fibers of the paper that have ink on them.