Inner Hinge Repair when only one hinge is broken.

These instructions are for Inner Hinge Repair when only one hinge is broken on a typical case-binding. (This blog is still being updated. More soon.)

These instructions will apply best to case-bound books with french joints. (Rather than tight joint books which are typically, but not always, leather bound). A French joint is a type of joint that looks like a long depression in the cover.

French Joint

(A case-binding is created when the text-block and case are made separately and then put together. This creates a natural hollow in the spine area.)





  • Materials: archival PVA, Nori Paste,  Muslin or Mull, Archival heavy-text-weight paper (not printer paper and not card stock), Japanese tissue like Sekishu or thicker,
  • Tools: Scraping Knife, Scissors, Lifting Knife, Some sort of Skewer, Rod or Knitting needle, Cutting Mat or board, Utility (exacto) knife, Wax paper or Baking parchment, Waste papers, A piece of Polyester Film (Mylar), Bone or Teflon folder, Weights (like covered bricks) other books or magazines to raise the board up to be worked on,
  1. If the spine isn't completely separated yet, cut the last few threads or paper so the whole spine is exposed.
  2. Remove any of the paper liner that is loose. Only whatever comes off easily. Don't scrape the whole case-spine liner off unless you are prepared to break the other hinge.
  3. Clean the text-spine edge
  4. Clean the case-spine edge
  5. Lift the paste down
  6. Remove the mull?
  7. Make a new hinge from Japanese tissue or Paper
  8. Either lift off (remove) the flyleaf, attach the new hinge to the flyleaf edge and then re-attach it. Do this especially if it is illustrated.
  9. OR: if the flyleaf is too solidly attached then:
  10. Leave the flyleaf in place and attach the new hinge on top of the flyleaf. It shouldn't come down further than the bottom of the shoulder.
  11. Glue muslin (or tissue or mull or paper) as a hinge along the edge of the text-spine. It should extend about an inch onto the text-spine and extend far enough to reach under the paste-down where it has been lifted.
  12. On top of this hinge glue a paper liner. Be sure to maintain the natural hollow space of this typical case-binding.
  13. When you are ready to make the new attachment, weight the text-block so it doesn't move around and prop up the cover so that the hinge is in alignment.
  14. You will need a waste sheet of paper, some wax paper and a rod or skewer.




The un-damaged inner hinge.

The restored inner hinge.