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Writing Slope Restoration

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9 hours ago, Graywolf503 said:

JayHomeBody, when I'm able, I will start a second thread on the new writing slope and we'll link to it from here.

Thanks dude! I'm looking forward to it! 💛

I am the tarot reading, bookworm, whiskey drinking, witchcraft practicing, old fashioned writing, aunt Beasty in my family and I love it. Tarot readings for sale or trade, especially ink as I've lost all of my pen stuff from a bad burglary last year. And I need penpals! Anyone interested, please PM me!

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Further developments. I removed the velvet from one of the leafs. The first picture shows the leaf without the velvet writing surface. At the top is where the reinforcing strip was glued (grayish color).  The leaf itself is made of three wooden parts with wood veneer outlining the area where the writing surface goes. There is a large wood panel and 2 smaller side panels that are glued to it. In the photo you can see to upper toothpicks which define the border for the wood side panels. The lower right-hand toothpick points to an area where the veneer was broken on the bottom. It appears to be well glued in place and so I think it was repaired at some time in the past. If you look closely where the bottom toothpick on the left is located there is a large number 4 written in pencil. I'm not sure what this was for.

The second photo is the backside of the actual writing surface. Here you can see the number 4 (in reverse) much better than on the wooden leaf. You can also see the reinforcing fabric much better as well. These photos are of the bottom leaf, the upper leaf had one of the side panel separate as shown in my last postings. It is being held on by a piece of veneer and the writing surface. I'm currently going to procure some hide glue and glue this into place better prior to removing the writing surface.

Had a minor setback with the bookbinder. He relates that he has recently moved his office from my hometown to Louisiana. He is willing to do the work however I'm concerned about shipping the writing slope to him and having it shipped back. He states that he does have a velvet material that could be used as a writing surface and that he can do embossing or imprinting on it. He is also willing to do some gluing of wooden pieces as well, should I decide to have him work on the box.  I may consider purchasing a writing surface from him and gluing it down myself. I would procure some scrap pieces from him as well so that I can practice gluing prior to doing this.

More later as I am able.  Thanks for reading.



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Graywolf503 I hesitated to reply, As it happens I know the answer to your number question but I do not want to come over as a know it all. I have been working on writing slopes for many years and have done extensive research.

The number 4 is quite interesting my understanding of the use is not only because it is the fourth corner, A number one could be confused as a line. numbers 2 and 3 have curves a simple no 4 can be made with a line crossing an L shape. Simple to make easy to read it really is that simple the man who put that number there may not even have known what it meant.

At least that is what I was told. :)

I hope that you are going to invest in a better tape measure :) 

If you send the slope to the bookbinder is really your decision but if you want the velvet done the way you want it then find or make a sturdy box for it to travel in. If it were me I would make a wooden packing case for it.


For more details on my current projects please visit my blog.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Greetings all. Sorry I have not been posting but we had a terrible storm here which knocked out electricity and Internet for eight days. Had to work on a generator and keeping the house from freezing and so didn't leave a lot of time to work on the writing slope.  My family and I are doing well at this time, the power's back on, we didn't lose any food, and also the Internet is back on.
MY63 - thank you for your information. I always appreciate your extensive knowledge and your willingness to share. I have elected not to utilize the bookbinder as he is in Louisiana and I live in Oregon. I really don't want to ship the writing slope that far, and I agree it would need to have a wooden box built to ship it.
I had ordered some Titebond liquid hide glue and plan to use this to glue up some loose wooden joints. The storm slowed shipping down, and I have to prepare an area to glue it up as I don't wanted to work in my garage as I feel it would be too cold for the glue. One of the leafs has a loose joint and I just discovered some of the veneer around the leaf is loose. Once I've glued these up and allow them to sit for several days, I'll be ready to begin putting a new writing surface on the box. I have ordered some velvet and have included a photo to show how it seems to match the original velvet. I removed the old velvet from one of the leafs and now must do the same on the other leaf.
I have been experimenting with flour glue as I felt this may be what they used to glue the velvet down. I have some scrap velvet available and have been utilizing both flour and cornstarch as glues. Surprisingly, it doesn't soak through the fabric as I thought it might. My recipe is 3 tablespoons of either flour or cornstarch per 1 cup of water. I mix the 3 tablespoons into the water small amounts of the time with stirring while the water is cold. Once I have this mixed in again heated slowly on the stove until it just thickens. I think either the flour or the cornstarch would work as a glue as they both seem to give good adherence and it's difficult but not impossible to remove my test velvet from a wood piece.  It does seem to remove quite easily with a small amount of water and allowing it to soak. I think I prefer the cornstarch as it makes a white paste, the flour seems to be slightly off-white.
There is a pattern that is embossed into the old velvet around the edges. I've investigated this and found that it's very easy to do the embossing. You just need an appropriate rubberstamp, spray it with water, place the velvet good side down on the wet stamp, use some aluminum foil on the back of the velvet and iron on the wool setting with your iron.  I have not tried this but have obtained a couple of stamps to work with my scrap velvet to see how this does. I would then have to find an appropriate stamp and see if I can make a border around the velvet.
I will also need to cut a template for cutting out the velvet to apply to the writing slope. Will continue to update as I have information and time


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