Bookbinding - the process of relieving the swell and creating an even book block. This step can be performed on any sewn binding, except one intended for a rigid concave spine construction. It occurs after sewing the signatures (on tapes, cords, or just using kettlestitches). If the fore edges are to be trimmed, this must happen before rounding.

A sewn book block is thicker at the spine end than at the fore, due to the swell. This doesn't make a very good book shape, particularly if boards are to be added. To ease the swell, the back of the book should be formed into a "C" shape, with the outer signatures will moving toward the fore edge.

Note that the fore edge goes concave as the spine goes convex. You will often see this effect on well-bound books.

How to Round a Back

All directions are for right handers. If you are left-handed reverse them. Unfair? Discrimatory? Yep. Sorry.

Before rounding, the book will look like this.

 ____________________________
(____________________________
(____________________________
(____________________________
(____________________________
(____________________________
(____________________________

Here's what you do next:

  1. Coat the spine in a flexible adhesive such as PVA. Wait until it is just past tacky.

  2. Now lay the book on a table, spine away from you. Lay the fingers of your left hand on surface of the book and press your thumb against the fore edge. This allows you to apply a slight pull to the top signature.

    Take a hammer in your right hand and begin tapping the spine edge of the top signatures. Go up and down the spine, from the head to the tail and back again, moving the topmost signatures gradually forward.

    When you're done with this step, the book looks like this:

       ____________________________
      (____________________________
     (____________________________
    (____________________________
    (____________________________
    (____________________________
    (____________________________
    
    
  3. Obviously, the next thing to do is to turn it over and do the same on the other side. Then your book will look like this, and you will be done rounding:

       ____________________________
      (____________________________
     (____________________________
    (____________________________
    (____________________________
     (____________________________
      (____________________________
    
    

If you're planning on trimming the head and tail edges of your book, do it now. Otherwise, go on to backing your book.

Round"ing, a.

Round or nearly round; becoming round; roundish.

 

© Webster 1913.


Round"ing, n.

1. Naut.

Small rope, or strands of rope, or spun yarn, wound round a rope to keep it from chafing; -- called also service.

2. Phonetics

Modifying a speech sound by contraction of the lip opening; labializing; labialization. See Guide to Pronunciation, § 11.

 

© Webster 1913.

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