volumes, part of a larger set of New Testament commentaries
from 1734, bound in wooden boards and covered in vellum. Each was
originally fitted with two brass clasps with brass hasps. One needed
a replacement clasp on the top, two clasps/hinges on the bottom. New
hasps were needed for both volumes.
of brass, or possibly bronze were originally attached to the boards
with what looked like headless rusty nails for rivets. The clasps
had a dark patina, possibly intentional, or possibly only due
to age. I used the complete clasps on the other volume as a reference
for modeling the new clasps and hasps. These were large, hefty
volumes, at least 12" X 15" and about 3" thick.
Title page of
used in the original clasps was heavy, about 20 gauge. The hasp
was a lighter gauge, and was not flat but was hammered down its
length to give it a curved, raised look. This was done most likely
provide more stability in the hasp.
old clasps left some verdigris stains, (left), which were
not removed. No other cleaning of the leather was done.
order to get an accurate pattern for the clasp, a rubbing was taken
of one of the remaining clasps on the volume. Twenty gauge (20#)
brass was used to make the new clasps and 22 gauge for the hasps.
The rods used to make the catches on the clasps were quite heavy,
so 12 gauge brass wire was used to make them and also to make the
A jeweler's saw was used to saw the clasps,because
the metal was quite heavy.
Clasps were beveled and decorated to match the
originals, with holes drilled appropriately. Hasps were measured
and hammered to match existing hasps, and then they were hinged
to the bottom clasp parts. Photos show various states of completion.
parts were then given a brushed finish, (upper left pic)
and then scrubbed clean using an abrasive cleaner to remove any
traces of oil
before the patina was applied.
all the parts were colored with a commercial patina solution to
give them a dark finish. Here are two close-up views of one of the
finished replacement clasps.
the clasps could be affixed to the book the paper paste downs were
lifted to provide access the boards. The last vestige of the old
rivets was removed and the old holes which held the rivets was repaired.
Paste downs were repaired with a little thin Japanese paper.
the holes in order to make it possible to rivet the new clasp back
on securely, a drill bit the same size as as a small hardwood dowel
rod was used to drille through the existing hole in the board. The
rod was trimmed to approximately the right length and then glued
into the hole using Elmer's wood glue. When the glue was dry the
rods were carefully sanded flush with the inside board surface.
clasps were matched up with the old marks on the leather. New holes
were drilled into the boards, and the new parts were riveted back
on. Some final adjustments were made to the hasps until everything
clasped properly. Final results are shown above, and on the right.
volume is on the top in the picture above, and on the right in the
photo on the right.