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  • James Bergman December 29, 2016 @ 4:15 pm Reply

    I’m really glad that fixing a broken hinge is so easy to do. I thought that I was going to need to get a whole new binding for my book. I even considered just trying to put a coil binding on it. I still think I might for some of my kid’s favorite picture books.

    • John Ison John Ison December 30, 2016 @ 2:08 pm Reply


      I’m glad you found the information in the blog useful. Thanks for your comments.


  • Paul DeLucchi January 2, 2017 @ 6:15 pm Reply

    Hello Mr. Ison — thanks for the nice clear instructions. I’m going to read further now. We’ve got a 9-volume set of Ridpath’s History of the World here. Outer layer of spine is in sorry shape on most, but innards are generally sound and clean. No retail value to speak of. I thought to use them — along with your instructions — to get some practical experience with book repair. I have Helmar acid-free glue. Wondering next about what substance to use to revitalize the old “leather” i.e. paper covers — maybe a clean-drying oil like danish? Thinned polyurethane? Then, where paper is actually missing, what material do I slide in there to fill the gaps? Anyhow, THANK YOU for the hinge repair tutorial.

  • John Ison John Ison January 13, 2017 @ 1:07 pm Reply

    A note to readers of this blog: As I wasn’t able to visualize the damage to Paul’s books, I asked him to send photos directly to me. The spines of some his books were in relatively good condition while others were missing large sections.

    Thank you so much for sending the photos. They were a tremendous help. Since this blog was developed primarily to help librarians repair damaged books so they can be returned to circulation, I would have recommended rebacking these books as outlined in the The Book Doctor is In: Repairing Damaged Covers.

    Since that procedure would drastically change the appearance of the books and you are hoping to keep them looking much as they did originally, I contacted a manager at Gaylord Archival, a sister company of Demco. She, in turn, contacted an experienced book conservator who offered the following comments:

    Most of the books don’t look so bad in terms of damage.

    * Danish oil is a kind of a varnish and I wouldn’t use it. Rather go for Cellugel.

    * For repairs, I would use Japanese papers like Moriki (or similar), 80# acid free paper, 10pt card stock. Unless you do a complete reback, you won’t need cloth.

    * Don Etherington’s Japanese paper hinge repair method has become the standard treatment for these kinds of repairs.

    “All this being said, I would recommend looking into some local guidance, such as a hands-on class/workshop.”

    Paul, this may not give you as much information as you had hoped, but without going for a complete (and expensive) conservation job, I think this is the best you can do.

    Most of the materials suggested for repair can be found at

    Good luck,

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