The book press is finished!

Finally, I’ve finished fixing up the book press. You may remember her condition from this post back in January.

Here’s what she looked like then:

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And after much experimenting with WD40, citrus based cleaners, rustoleum, and phosphoric acid, here’s what she looks like today, covered in two coats of clear satin polyurethane:

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Seeds of Contemplation: A Restoration (Part IV)

The following is the fourth in a series of posts. Consider viewing Parts 1, 2, and 3.

 

After rebuilding the spine and cover, printing new title labels, and adding new endsheets, this copy of Thomas Merton’s Seeds of Contemplation can one again be enjoyed by anyone who happens to pull it off the shelf.

Seeds of Contemplation: A Restoration (Part I)

In December of 1983 my dad gave his mom, my grandma Peggy, a copy of the book Seeds of Contemplation, a collection of poems by Thomas Merton. By 2011, this book was in dire need of restoration. Over the next several days, I will be posting on the restoration of this book. To start, here’s a photo of the original cover, after I removed it from the text block.

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For the next post in this series, see Seeds of Contemplation: A Restoration (Part II)

First paid letterpress gig

Last week I was offered my first paid gig as a bookmaker. My brother Ben (one of the duo that makes up SheltonFilms) needed a book prop for a shoot last Saturday.

If you ever find yourself needing to do the same, this is my process:

1. Purchase a cheap book from a thrift store, library, or used book store. Using wheat paste to loosen the glue, rip off the cover and end sheets.

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2. Make some new end sheets, and tip these in using PVA. Masking with painters tape before adding glue helps keep things tidy.

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3. Print a new cover on book cloth. This is off of the lockup featured last week.

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4. Wrap book cloth over old cover, glue to end sheets, and press!

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Phosphoric Acid

I’ve been experimenting with phosphoric acid as a rust remover and as a tool for coloring the steel. Here are some photos of the bed of the guillotine after some phosphoric acid treatment.

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I may do some more washing and scraping to see if I can get all the way down to the steel, but I am enjoying the colors that have emerged thus far.

Also, since phosphoric acid is an ingredient in Coca cola, a can of it can come in handy if you need to remove some rusted screws.