Arguably, rebacking is the most difficult task book conservators routinely undertake. Not only is it highly invasive, but with extensive lifting of original material on the spine and boards, there is a risk of damage to the original material. This jig mitigates some of these risks, and makes rebacking a less stressful experience.
This jig to improves on several problematic aspects of traditional rebacking jigs, which are often made of bent sheet metal or plastic. The first version I saw was a metal one that Don Etherington showed me in the 1990’s. To aid exact board alignment, this jig has enough weight to stay in place and keep the board in place. It features an adjustable angle delrin plate to support the lifted leather at any place necessary, so the fragile lifted edge is supported and protected without being stressed. Since the base of the jig is spaced away from the lifted area, the bend of the original leather can be monitored to avoid compression cracking. The delrin shield is easy to clean off when working with adhesives on the new material under it.
This jig is made from brass and has a felt lined base. The arm extends a maximum of 6 inches. It is a sturdy and reliable instrument which fits all books.