Board Slotting

The Manual Peachey Board Slotting Machine is a new affordable alternative for individuals, regional centers, smaller institutional labs and even larger labs with space limitations. This smaller machine can be moved out of the way when not in use, freeing up valuable bench space. It is also simpler to operate.

The Manual Peachey Board Slotting Machine features stops that automatically guide the positioning of the blade when starting and stopping a cut. In order to make this machine more affordable, three aspects are limited as compared with the original machine: the maximum length that can be slotted is 15″, the board needs to be manually pulled, and the angles for slotting are not infinitely adjustable, but can be set at 11, 13, and 15 degrees. These are the most common angles used. In fact, I use 13 degrees about 95% of the time, 11 for very thin boards, and 15 for thick ones.

This machine is less intimidating when compared to the original. The orientation makes it easier to sight the height of the blade. The carriage can be quickly pulled back into starting position after the end of a previous cut. This also makes partial (or biscut) slotting of a board very fast and easy. Overall, the slotting operation seems to be quicker. Many bookbinding and conservation students, such as those from North Bennett Street School, have been trained in the fundamentals of board slotting.  The machine ships unassembled, and a one day on-site visit is necessary to assemble and align it. A one to three day workshop on machine operation, basic slotting technique and structures is recommended, though.



-Width of the machine -12″, Height- 19″, Length- 22″

-Weight 30 lbs. Easy to move and store when not needed.

-Fast and intuitive operation.

-The sliding board carriage can be quickly moved to the starting position at the end of a slot, or between biscuit slots.

-Maximum height of board that can be slotted: 15″

-Dust collector hooks up to a standard vacuum cleaner.

-Thick and thin solid carbide blades included for long cutting life.

-Automatic blade positioning for starting and stopping a cut.

-Boards are slotted by pulling the “Y” handle and can be fine tuned by cranking a little one direction or the other.

-Safety guards (not pictured) keep hands away from the blade in use.

-No electrical transformer needed for international operation, just plug adaptors.

-One day on-site assembly and alignment required, one-three day workshop recommended.

PRICE: about $6,000.00/ please inquire for a current quote.


In board slotting, an angled slot is cut into the spine edge of a board to the precise thickness of the hinging material–often laminated linen or cotton and tissue. The slot does not disturb the turn-ins, the pastedown or the covering material. When the hinging material is inserted, the thickness of the board is maintained, eliminating unsightly creases that can arise with traditional rebacking. It is also much faster than traditional rebacking. It is an extremely useful machine for a wide variety of book structures.


The scale on the ruler in in millimeters, the width of the saw blade was .010″.  I guess I was cheating a little, since the matboard is fairly soft and it was a lot easier to keep the blade from deflecting than if you were slotting binders board.  The matboard measured about .045″ so I slotted it without any angle. Perhaps there is some kind of matting or mount making application for board slotting?




One thought on “Board Slotting

  1. Femke Coevert

    Dear mr. Peachey,

    How interesting to read about this Blog on the Conservation Distlist. I’ve looked into board-slotting when I did my thesis at the ICN in Amsterdam, in 2003. Currently I’m a bookconservator and as such I am very much interested in your machine. Could you please send me an introduction-DVD?

    Thank you in advance, kind regards, Femke Coevert

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