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″ (rather than 17.75″), 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 90% 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.  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.

-The motor, and other operations are similar to the original machine.

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

-This machine can be shipped without me coming on-site, but still needs assembly.

PRICE: $5,900.00



The Peachey Board Slotting Machine



-Two solid carbide blades than can be resharpened

-Dual position clamping arms

-Attractive black tabletop

Board slotting is the least invasive, and possibly the strongest way of rehinging detached boards, the most common failure of book structures.Christopher Clarkson invented the technique in the late 70’s, and until now there was no affordable, ready to use machine available.The Peachey Board Slotting Machine is the first machine made in the USA available for sales worldwide.It is also the only board slotting machine to have an automatic feed, which dramatically reduces tedium and operator errors.

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 Peachey Board Slotting Machine comes complete with a variety of saw blades, safety guards, an integrated dust collection slot, automatic feed, and detailed instructions. The automatic feed keeps hands at a safe distance from the blade and allows for extremely precise placement.

For additional specifications and a free instructional DVD showing the machine in action, please contact me.



WORLDWIDE: $10,500

One day on site assembly and installation is required. Two to three day workshops are highly recommended. Workshops up to one week on use, structures, and board attachment in general are available. Please email for current costs.


-Powerful 1/3 HP blade motor, 100-240V AC, 50-60 Hz.

-Auto feed eliminates hand cranking, is variable speed and reversible.

-Carriage speeds from .150” to 37” a minute, 90-130V AC, 50-60 Hz.

-Takes around 3 minutes to slot an average size octavo board.

-A removable safety guard keeps hands at a safe distance from blade.

-Saw blades range from .010-.050”thick, to fit a variety of hinging materials.

-Angle of cut is adjustable from 0-20 degrees by a simple cam clamp.

-Boards clamp with 2 simple knobs.

-Cuts slots to a maximum depth of 7/16”.

-Approximately 55 lbs, uses a table space of 22” x 32”.

-Integrated dust collector that hooks up to a standard vacuum cleaner.

-Slots boards up to 17.75” in height

-Written instructions and a DVD included.

-Carriage constructed of 6061-T6 Aluminum, carriage bed is covered with Formica.

-Base 1.5” Birch plywood covered with Formica.

-Motor column and carriage support made from dovetailed steel.

-Adjustment wheels calibrated to .001”.

-An assortment of saw blades, insertion tool and blunt needle syringes included.


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?


This large board is the maximum, about 17.75 inches or 45 cm.  As you can see from the inserted hinge, the machine cannot cut the slot all the way to the edges, there is about a .75″ gap.  But with such a large amount of the hinge stuck to the board and spine, I feel it it plenty strong.  The hinge was also cut in two pieces, because it is difficult to insert such a long piece before your adhesive starts to dry.


I have also been experimenting using the board slotting machine to repair wood boards.  A fairly thick blade is used, and a blind spline is inserted to rejoin a cracked board.  The slot is cut straight across, and in this case the blade was 3/32″ thick.  Since the machine is precisely jigged, each side of the wood matches up for exact alignment.  Since the blade is consistent in thickness, a stock of slightly oversized 3/32″ cross grain spline material could be made up ahead of time and carefully scraped or sanded to exact size as necessary.

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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