[GBW] Cloth Clamshell with Pressure Lid

Huttner, Sidney F sid-huttner at uiowa.edu
Sun Nov 8 18:30:53 EST 2015

Henry and all,

I made several of these a good many years ago: I can't recall now who came up with the concept -- Clarkson? late 1970s? 1980s?  Anyway, they seemed quite successful in doing what they were designed to do (provide a simple countervailing force to control vellum bindings.  But I had the same problem you suggest in finding a way to attach the inner board (flap) neatly. I seem not to have kept them, so I probably made them for items in the UChicago collection.

It is asking a lot of my memory, but I think I tried two methods. One was to cut the pieces for the lower tray by cutting the base piece and three side pieces to size (cutting the side pieces one board-thickness wider than the object), then cutting the "flap" one board-thickness narrower than the base piece and two board-thickness shorter than the top and bottom tray pieces.

All these could then be laid out on cloth, with one board-thickness spacing at each fold and allowing a turn-in for the bottom of the tray and the amount of cloth needed to cover the interior of the sides plus a turn-in.  To cover the inside of the "flap," you need to allow a turn-in top and bottom and width of base plus turn-in. (You could, I suppose, also provide "wings" for the flap that would permit them to come together more or less seamlessly at the middle of inside of the flap).  Then glue the whole thing up. As I recall, this was successful but generated a fair amount of scrap cloth.

To minimize waste I think I tried to construct the bottom tray first. Then covered the flap with allowance for three turn-ins and enough cloth on the foreedge to cover the side piece and leave a turn-in to go under the tray (and which "rose" along the fold-line of the corners where fore-edge piece met top and bottom pieces).  A hinge was then needed for the interior fore-edge fold.  That left a space on the inside of the flap that could be covered with cloth or paper (which could either extend to the edge of the flap or form a neat rectangle in its middle).

If I'm recalling correctly, both methods worked functionally, and neither was unattractive, but the edges, turn-ins, etc. were a bit neater on the first method. Still, the trade off on wastage probably tipped the scales toward the second when, as in libraries, function and economy are valued over perfect appearance.

Sidney F. Huttner . Senior Librarian Emeritus
Special Collections & University Archives
The University of Iowa Libraries
sid-huttner at uiowa.edu<mailto:sid-huttner at uiowa.edu> . The Lucile  Project<http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/lucile> . http://works.bepress.com/shuttner/<http://works.bepress.coms/huttner.>
<mailto:shuttner at uchicago.edu>
From: GBW <gbw-bounces at list.guildofbookworkers.org> on behalf of Henry Hebert <henry.j.hebert at gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, November 6, 2015 8:54 AM
To: gbw at list.guildofbookworkers.org; BOOK_ARTS-L at listserv.syr.edu
Subject: [GBW] Cloth Clamshell with Pressure Lid

Over the last couple of years, I've learned probably 4 different methods for covering the trays of a typical clamshell box. Some methods are faster, some end up looking a little more refined.

I was recently thinking about clamshell enclosures with a "pressure lid", often used for books covered in parchment at risk for changing dimension with environmental conditions. Maybe there is a better name for this enclosure. Regardless, I'm wondering if there are different methods for covering and attaching the internal lid.

What is your method?
Has it evolved over time?
Do you use particular materials for strength, flexibility of the lid joint, etc?
Do you absolutely hate pressure lids and use another method (like straps with snaps or velcro) for keeping the box closed? If so, what and why?

Hoping to start a discussion. I'm happy to compile the results and send them back to the list.

-Henry Hebert

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