If you love DIY projects as I do, you must have tried repairing a lot of things. But have you tried to repair torn book pages?
My latest project was repairing one of my dad’s old diaries that I wanted to keep due to its content.
One of the challenges I experienced during the project was finding the best glue for the job.
There are numerous types of glues in the market, but each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Without the right glue, you will fail on the task or also ruin the book.
On the other hand, the right type of glue will help you bind the papers effectively and make it easier.
The glue should be flexible, strong, easy to apply and dry quickly. This article is a guide on the best type of glues for bookbinding.
PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate)
I have tried PVA glue several times, and the results were satisfactory.
This glue is strong and easy to work with, plus it the most versatile and forgiving among the glues I have used so far.
PVA glue is a regular white glue that you can easily brush onto the book’s spine and wait for it to dry.
Due to its acid-free nature, PVA is mainly used to repair books in libraries.
The only disadvantage of using this glue type is its slow drying time.
You must keep the pages clamped together as you wait for it to dry.
Contact cement is another of my favourite glues when it comes to repairing torn books.
This glue is thicker than PVA glue, but you can still brush it on the spine with ease.
You should apply the glue to both the cover and the spine and wait for about thirty minutes before pressing the two parts.
Drying only takes a few minutes.
A friend recommended this glue, which I loved due to its extremely strong bonds.
Epoxy comes into arts which you must mix before applying on the surfaces.
You should mix enough glue for the project because any excess glue will harden into a rock.
Since the mixing process can be tedious, I would only recommend this glue for someone doing minor repairs or binding one or two books.
Ethylene Vinyl Acetate Hot Glue
This is the best glue to use if you are looking for fast drying times.
However, I would not recommend this glue to beginners as it is hard to work with and requires special tools like glue guns and a source of heat.
People who use this glue for big projects use professional bookbinding machines with a heated glue pot that evenly deposits the glue across the spine.
From my experience, it is advisable to continue using cold glues like PVA glues and contact cement if you don’t have the right tools for the job.
Using EVA hot glues without professional tools is time-consuming, plus the results may not be satisfactory.
PolyUrethane Reactive Adhesive
Since these glues react with moisture when curing, they appear to be soaking into the paper and produce a strong spine which can also expand to form lumpy spines when drying.
You should ensure that the application is thick to ensure good results.
Since the drying time for PUR is similar to that of PVA glues, you have to keep the pages clamped together to allow bonding before drying.