Three Case Styles for Three Book­bind­ings with Priscilla Spitler – Day 2

Today we started off by creating headbands for our flatback books. A 7/8″ piece of bookcloth was folded off-center and a piece of 12/3 cord was used for the core. Make sure that the bookcloth is grain long so that the headband curves around the spine more easily.

Use a piece of paper to measure the width of the spine and transfer this measurement to a divider. Use the divider to mark off pieces of headband for cutting. Apply glue to the end of the spine, then add the piece of headband.


Next, you apply a paper lining to the spine to add stability. It should be slightly shorter than the text block and the same width as the spine. When attaching the liner, apply glue to the spine lining, not the spine.


We started on the cases for our flatback bindings. We only got as far as applying the bookcloth on the quarter binding. Using a joint jig of a 7 mm thickness, we glued cover boards (59 pt Eskaboard) and spine pieces (20 pt Bristol board) to the bookcloth. The cloth was 5/8″ wider on all sides for the turn-ins.


The full cloth flatback case was finished to completion. Just as we did with the quarter binding, we glued out the bookcloth, then placed the spine board first. This was followed by placement of the two cover boards using the joint jig. We then glued our turn-ins, starting with the head and tail flaps.


The next step was counter-filling the inside covers – this evens out the pull and helps to keep the boards flat. The fill sits between the turn-ins and shouldn’t creep up the cloth. Priscilla said, “Don’t microfit your infill.” A little bit of board showing was just fine.


The last step to complete the full cloth book was to case in the text block. This freaked me out because at this point, you can easily screw up everything you’ve done up until then. You put waste paper underneath the front paper and glue it out. Remove the waste paper quickly.


Pick up the text block and flip it so that the glued endpaper is face down towards the cover, keeping your squares even. The spine of the book should be a hair’s width away from the edge of the spine board. Place the text block on the inside of the case, but don’t push down.

Open up the book slightly to check on the placement. You should have the ability to make small adjustments, if necessary. Rub down on the endpaper with your thumb – don’t use a bone folder or you risk tearing the paper.

Glue out the other endpaper, then pull up the case board and drop it over the endpaper. Try to line up the corners of both covers, but don’t push down on the cover. As was done with the first cover, check on the position of the endpaper and make any needed adjustments. Rub down the endpaper with your thumb.

Use the rounded back end of your bone folder in the spine grooves to set the joints. We put our books into the press using press boards with metal edges.


Priscilla had special press boards made for her that said, “With Love – Thanks Priscilla”.


Priscilla has a lot of experience in creating editions of work and she’s all about speed and efficiency. Here’s one of her great quotes:

The more time you take, the more time you have to make mistakes.

2 Responses to “Three Case Styles for Three Book­bind­ings with Priscilla Spitler – Day 2”

By Amy - 3 June 2014 Reply

Ha – I like that quote 🙂 Thanks again for the glimpse into PBI!

By Elissa - 5 June 2014 Reply

Amy –

The quote was so simple, but brilliant. I know that the more I think about stuff, the worse it’s likely to get. With the case binding, I had to just say, “I’m not ready, but I’m doing it anyway.”


So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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