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Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 - 17:00
Sundays & Bank Holidays: 12:00 - 17:00

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Well-seasoned, quarter-sawn oak boards were cut and shaped to fit the resewn manuscript snugly.  The inner sides of the spine edges were bevelled to accept the swell produced by the sewing thread and encourage the textblock to form a gently rounded shape when the boards are laced on.  The outer faces were then gently bevelled to the familiar cushion shape associated with original manuscript bindings of this type.  This gives a lighter appearance whilst allowing substantial boards to be used to keep the parchment leaves flat during changes in the relative humidity of the surrounding air.  Quarter-sawn boards, although a less efficient way of producing planks than the now more common plain-sawing of timber, are chosen for their ability to resist warping. 

 

Diagram showing the parts of a tree trunk and the cutting patterns for quarter- and plain-sawn timber.

 

A comparison of different cuts of oak.  Note how the plain-sawn timber has warped and the quarter-sawn board has stayed flat.



The boards are shaped with a plane.
The boards are shaped with a plane.

 



Bevels along the inside of the spine edge of each board accommodate the swell from the sewing thread and encourage the textblock to form a natural round shape – without the need for any hammering.
 



The shaped, drilled and channelled boards ready for lacing on to the manuscript textblock.
The shaped, drilled and channelled boards ready for lacing on to the manuscript textblock.