Original state on left side and rebound on right.
Where a worn-out hardcover becomes a Bison Leather Bound Classic.
Every Bible I rebind has a story. Some are brand new Bibles about to enter decades of service. Others, like this one, have seen a great deal of use already. This Bible belonged to my customer’s father. It had a glue-only binding that wasn’t able to keep up with this lover of God’s Word. He read through the Bible many, many times – wearing out several! This one he read cover to cover more than 20 times. It is filled with his highlights, notes and underlines. The page edges show the paths his fingers took in finding each Bible passage. It was filled with dozens and dozens of pages from four Bible study booklets he studied each day. This is a family and faith treasure. It was an honr to rebind it!
The binding broke in several places. About 30 pages were completely detached. The spine had a backwards curve that caused more breakage and page-edge damage. The paper was very delicate in places with many rips near the edges. The cover was split, crumbling, chipping and partially detached. The owner, however, was full of God’s Word and Truth!
To restore it I first ironed all the pages. Many pages needed repair for tears and chipping. Then the loose pages were reattached. The remaining text block was in two pieces so those had to be rejoined. Once rebuilt, the text block was reinforced by laying cords into the spine. Finally, this family treasure received a new cover of black classic bison leather. And this is not just a decorative item – it has been reinfoced so it can be read through another 20 times and more! Now his son plans to read it – all the while hearing his Dad’s faith written into the pages of God’s Word.
My customer writes: “When I was 16 and unsaved, I left my Bible on top of my car as I drove away from church one night. It slid off and got mangled when it hit the pavement. The janitor found it and kept it for me until the next Sunday. I was so ashamed when my parents saw it. But eventually I got saved and realy started using it. The yapp broke off piece by piece. I stopped preaching out of it because it looked so rough.”
I was privileged to rebind this Bible in dark brown classic bison. As soon as I began work I could see this Bible has a legacy of faith, love and dedication to God’s Word. It needed quite a bit of work: I sanded the edges, stained them gold and treated them to help preserve the paper. Next I reinforced the glue-only spine with inlaid cord. Then the text block recived the normal rebuild I do for all my rebinds including new ribbons and head bands. The old cover had served its purpose and was discarded. A new leather-lined bison leather cover was custom fitted for this Bible. The cover was hand stitched both for reinforcement and beauty. Finally the new cover was fitting tot he restored Bible. Though it looks like a new Bible it retains all of the dates, notes and history of faith and love that have been added to it over the years.
My customer continues: “Brother, you just don’t know what this means to me. I am so glad to have it rebound. And your work is going to make me proud to carry it tot he pulpit for everyone to see. This is now one of the most beautiful things I own.
I like the way old Bibles have character and a story. I’m so proud to have you as a part of this Bible’s story. One of these days I will be able to pass this down to my son. I’m so glad that when I do, it will look great and still be beautil.”
This Bible was just short of being completely disbound. It was ready for a rescue! First the pages were ironed. The text block spent a night or two in a book press. Next, the text block was re-sewn using heavy duty thread. The spine was reinforced to ensure no more splitting. The page edges were dressed up with gold ink; a fine coat of beeswax added some protection. Finally, it was bound in tobacco brown classic bison leather. It is ready to go back to work!
It is such a privilege to restore Bibles for believers. Obviously, this man has spent quite a bit of time in God’s Word! Now his notes, highlights and memories are preserved. I am honored to have been trusted with this precious Bible. May God be praised for giving us His Word!
Rebound in Black Bison Leather, Edges Rounded and Dyed Blue.
This Bible had loose signatures, completely loos pages (broken signatures), ripped and chipped pages, and a hundred or so sticky notes.
Fixing it required that I remove all the sticky notes, rebuild the broken signatures, re-sew all the signatures, fix tears, reinforce the text block, build and attach a new cover and finally replace all the sticky notes. We decided not to sand/stain the edges as this would lose too many marginal notes.
This Bible has family sentimental value, represents decades of ministry, and was used for hundreds of sermons, lessons and studies. It is important, as a rebinder, that I work carefully with the customer to achieve the right amount of restoration and preservation. I feel very privileged to have worked on this treasure!