Monday, August 2, 2010

Pathfinder RPG Book Repair / Recover

I recently reconnected with an old friend from high school named Byron with whom I used to play role playing games. He is now into playing a game called Pathfinder, that is very similar to Dungeons and Dragons v3.5. He showed me his copy of the rulebook. It was badly damaged at the spine and the outermost signatures. This is a large format book, and it is about 300 or so pages long. It weighs several pounds, so I was amazed to find that the book (a hardback) was made with no mull at all. The only thing holding the text block into the case were the end pages. That's a bad design, even for a small book.
This is not a pic of the book, just an image of the cover art.
I told him that I was into bookbinding and repair and he asked me if there was anything I could do to repair it. He commissioned me to repair the spine, install a mull and case it in properly, recover the boards in a red vinyl lizard skin cloth and to create a resin applique for the front cover. He wanted the applique to match a symbol that he uses on his blog, Blackhand Paint Works.

The original image was red on a black background, but I had to reverse it so that I could see it. I used sulfur free oil based modeling clay to make a sculpture of the design and then I made a silicone rubber mold of the sculpture.I then cast it in black polyurethane plastic resin.
He liked the look of it being rough around the edges, so I only cleaned and sanded it a little, then gave it a coat of flat black.
I also cast a few extra plastic copies of the symbol for him to use on other items. He does commission work painting miniatures, so he can sand and paint those himself. Here is the final book. He was quite please with it. I had to re-do the end papers three times. The first time they got stained by glue seeping through them. The second time, I dropped the end paper while it was wet with glue and had to tear it off again, which damaged it.

I used the original book's boards and just recovered them with the vinyl. They seemed sturdy enough, but somehow they felt more flimsy after I was finished. Maybe the glue from the vinyl softened them somehow. They are serviceable, but I would be happier if they were a little stiffer.

As I was finishing this up, his mother sent him over with an old bible that was in bad need of repair. It has carved olive wood boards from Jerusalem, but the end papers and the leather spine were almost disintegrated. That will be my next project.

1 comment:

  1. Well it is a pleasure to see my book in lights per se!!!! I was really just needing to get this thing fixed and what MRX Designs has done is in my eyes amazing. I am the envy of our play group now as everybody loves my one off book. The book itself is way sturdier than before and holding up well! If you have a book of any sort needing repair or you just need a custom one, do not hesitate to send it here!!! You will be overwhelmed by MRX design's work!!