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Book restoration for beginners

21 October 2017
Stephen Cook
£140 including materials & home-made lunch, biscuits & cakes
9.30 - 5
2 / 6

Do you have any old books that you would love to have mended?  Here is an opportunity to learn how to repair them yourself on a one-day course.  We will consider running a two-day course next year if this is popular.  The tutor will be Stephen Cook.  Click on his name to see more about him.

Course outline:

This one-day session is aimed at the novice bookbinder.  No previous experience will be assumed.  The day will cover simple repair projects: replacing endpapers, rebacking books (where the original spine has separated from the book),  repairing worn corners, recasing books in new cloth covered boards, simple gilt decoration. Students should bring a selection of repair projects with them. These can be discussed with the tutor who will advise which project(s) are suitable for the day's work. It will not be possible to work with leather in this short time.  Everyone should complete 1 or 2 projects in the time allowed.

Hand tools and most materials are included, though a small additional charge may be required if more expensive 'specialist' materials are used. It is strongly advised that notebooks and digital cameras are used to record the different stages of work.  This is particularly important, bearing in mind that all students work on their own different individual projects so providing "course notes" is not practical.

Please note: bookbinding involves the use of extremely sharp blades and sometimes very hot equipment. Students are responsible for working safely. 

Because you will need careful attention, there are only six places available, so do book early.

Comments from past participants:

I did learn what I wanted to know, but I would like to know more.

Stephen Cook is an absolute star!  A wonderful day in every way.  Charles N.

Really enjoyable course.  Good fun and sense of achievement using one’s own books.  Good pace and length of course.  Would be interested in a two-day version and working with leather.  James H.

General printed notes to accompany the course would be very helpful as the course is very practical and there is not much time to make ones own notes [Sorry just not possible, would require a whole book.  SC.].  Very clear explanation of the tasks involved.  Very good number of course members.  Food lovely as always.  Charles W.

Excellent tuition – down to earth and bending over backwards to facilitate each participant’s project and pace – Stephen didn’t stand still for a moment.  Some detailed handouts are needed if basic techniques learned are to be remembered for future independent use – some old brains can’t manage to make adequate notes during such a practical session.  A list of suppliers would also be useful.  Setting, food and facilities excellent as always.

Lovely environment, superb catering, very friendly and informative.  Excellent day out and delighted with the results.

Very relaxed and very informative.  Well paced one-to-one instruction – perfect!  I learned all I wanted to know and more.  Five-star venue, excellent organisation and very, very happy with the catering.

I really enjoyed the course and was delighted with the outcome – my two restored books are a real joy to me. The tutor, Stephen was extremely helpful and energetic, positive and thoughtful, but some printed notes about the basic processes would have resulted in less time waiting for his attention, and, for me, fewer mistakes with my second book. It may have been over-optimistic to think I could complete a second restoration but he was very encouraging, and as he was involved with another student I ploughed on, wrongly as it turned out, whereas if I’d been able to look at some words and diagrams I would have been reminded what to do.  [Sorry just not possible, would require a whole book.  SC.].



There may be a charge according to the cost of the materials you use.

All materials will be provided by the tutor.

What to Bring

A digital camera is essential.

All other materials and equipment will be provided by the tutor.


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Alternative Dates
Date Time Bookings / Places
Book restoration for beginners 21 October 2017 9.30 - 5 2 / 6