Saturday, September 6, 2014

Saving Your Oldhammer Rulebooks From Certain Ruin - Part One

My Oldhammer rulebook collection is growing.  However, like many of you, I have a problem with pages falling out.  The binding method that Games Workshop used in the late 80's seems to have cut a few corners.

Say want you want about the soulless corporate rulebooks of today, at least they're build for the long haul.  The 80's rulebooks certainly were not.  Of course, you can still find WFFB3rd or Rouge Trader rulebooks on eBay for less than the $50 going rate of a modern codex.  So, they're quite a bargain actually.  However, some restoration seems to be in order.

My Rogue Trader rulebook only had two loose pages.  My WHFB3rd had about a dozen loose pages.  Below is a photographic journey throughout the magical restoration process for Rogue Trader.  I will show the WHFB3rd process in a following post.  
Required Materials:  Rulebook.  White Glue.  Plastic Wrap (or wax paper).  Beer (preferably Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA).  Also, a paintbrush will be helpful.

Two pages have fallen out of Rogue Trader. 
I used a flat, wide bristle brush to spread the white glue along the edge of the loose pages.
The loose pages now have a thin bead of white glue running all along the inside edge.  I then lined up the edge as close as possible to the binding.
I then inserted plastic wrap between the pages so they wouldn't get stuck together by the glue.
I pulled the plastic wrap tight against the binding.  In retrospect, using thin cuts of wax paper would have been easier, as the plastic wrap bunched up a bit.
While the glue sets overnight, you need to apply even pressure to the book, while not damaging it with clamps or small weights.  I placed the book under a footlocker (is it me, or does the footlocker look like an Eldar Harlequin edition?).  You could also use two smooth boards and place weights on top.
Here are the (formerly falling out) pages, once the glue dried.  
However, once the loose pages were glued back into place, it became apparent the binding had split in a different section of the book.
So, another round of glue.  This time, a fairly healthy application along the inside binding . . . 
. . . smoothed out with a brush and . . .

I licked my finger and ran it along the inside edges of the pages to wipe off excess glue (so the pages wouldn't stick together).   
Since the binding had separated from the hardback cover, I dripped copious amounts of glue behind the binding.  Then, the rulebook went back underneath the Eldar Harlequin footlocker for another overnight session.
Once the glue had dried overnight, the back of the book was tightly glued against the spine.  Good as new.  I couldn't even find where the split had occurred.
The most difficult part of the process is realigning the loose pages into the book.  The two pages wound up a bit out of alignment.  Not anything worth worrying about (and certainly less problematic than pages falling all over the floor or, worse, getting lost).  I am resisting the idea of trimming them a bit, as I'd probably just make a mess of things.

If your Oldhammer books are starting to fall apart, I recommend you do a little preventative work with some white glue, especially on the back of the spine.  It has worked wonders for my books.  Next up, fixing a larger section of pages that had fallen out of the WHFB3rd rulebook.