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Thread: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

  1. #1

    Default Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    I'm looking at the Mel Bay Master Anthology of Mandolin Solos, a thick book of transcriptions my wife gave me a couple years ago. Excellent material, but that freakin' glued "perfect binding" gets in the way - that's why I never have opened this book much.

    You have to push the pages open to make them lay flat, cracking the binding, making funny creases near the center, and in general making a mess of things. Guess I gotta take a utility knife and remove all the pages, three-hole punch them, and make this book into something I can use. Anyone do this before, or have a better idea?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    If you can get access to an office binding machine, it would be more suitable. Three ring binders are a bit clumsy for music. Comb binders are better.

    Something like this:
    https://www.amazon.com/Fellowes-Bind...binder+machine

  3. #3
    Learning by error!
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    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book


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    Registered User meado's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    You can go to almost any office supply store, UPS store, etc., and they will grind off the backbone and comb bind it for you. Only costs a few dollars.

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    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    I wish publishers of music books would think about how their books are actually going to be used and bind them in some way that lets them lie flat in the first place.
    Thanks for the suggestion on getting books re bound. I have a few that I may take to have that done.
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    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    Staples put spiral binding on my Mandolin For Dummy's book. Was suggested right here on the cafe

  9. #7

    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    Agree spiral binding is inexpensive and works great.

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    Registered User CelticDude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    Mel Bay and others used to bind with the comb binding. Most of my older music books are this way. I have to assume it's cheaper to use the glue? Nice to know that office stores and others will do this relatively cheaply.

  11. #9

    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    comb binding if you can get it

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    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    Be careful when they cut the binding. You might be missing some content on the edge. I cut my own now to avoid that problem.
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    formerly Philphool Phil Goodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    Staples sliced off my binding and added wire spiral binding while I waited and charged about $8-9. NFI
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    Spiral binding - all the way. Three ring binders are cumbersome. Comb bindings break so easily.

    I take every tune book or method book of any width to the office store and have the binding cut off and a spiral binding put it. Makes all the difference.
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticDude View Post
    Mel Bay and others used to bind with the comb binding. Most of my older music books are this way. I have to assume it's cheaper to use the glue? Nice to know that office stores and others will do this relatively cheaply.
    My experience of comb binding is that it lasts about a year. Less if you even once fold the book back. The Fiddlers Fake Book was comb bound and so many folks have that book as a stack of pages held with a binder clip. I went through two of them before I got the paper bound version and had it cut off and a spiral put in.
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    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    Heh, yeah. The comb binding on my FFB got smashed and I lost a few comb teeth. It sorta still works.

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    Registered User Russ Donahue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    This is what I love about the Cafe. Such a simple insight that will make my learning so much easier. Thanks for sharing, everyone.
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    Notary Sojac Paul Kotapish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    I've had several books modified at a local copy shop. Works great for thick songbooks or reference tomes with perfect binding.

    Just have them chop the narrowest slice from the bound side and then drill and bind with coil/spiral binding. Much more durable than comb binding at about the same modest price.
    Just one guy's opinion
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  21. #17

    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Busman View Post
    I wish publishers of music books would think about how their books are actually going to be used and bind them in some way that lets them lie flat in the first place. . . .
    Yeah, a few years ago I switched to the spiral version of "Rise Up Singing." What a difference!

  22. #18

    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    Quote Originally Posted by Philphool View Post
    Staples sliced off my binding and added wire spiral binding while I waited and charged about $8-9. NFI

    I'll do that with my fiddle tune book. I like spirals better than combs. Glad you mentioned it!

  23. #19

    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    And by the way, "perfect binding" is far from perfect. If you're old enough or read enough old books, you'll know that books used to be bound so that no matter what page they were opened to, they'd lie flat and stay open.

    That started to change mid-century. Some books are still bound that way, but they're the exceptions.

  24. #20
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    Hmmm, this whole discussion dates us.

    My kids used to ask me, "Did you have actual paper books when you went to school?"

    I don't think I've seen one of my kids reading a paper book since they were in elementary school.

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    Default Re: Removing a "perfect binding" from a music book

    Some of you ( banjoholics) may recall a player and author who severely chastised anyone from altering his books that were made (every book he has authored for Mel Bay) with the perfect binding which should according to him, should remain that way. He implied that any skilled player should be able to use the book as is and it would be a personal affront to him to have one of hi9s books destroyed by having it spiral bound.

    I do not buy books that are not spiral bound. Absurd. The book is intended to be used. A perfect binding is useless.

    If the book can be had only with perfect binding ,and the author is not a self aggrandizing, self absorbed donkey, I'll take it down and have it spiral bound. If the author is a ..see above>.. I simply won't buy the book.

    Any author of a teaching book or reference book should have some respect for the reader/user. Not evident with the exhalted banjo player/author.

    I contacted Mel Bay and gave them my opinion of perfect binding, spiral binding and the banjo luminary.

    If I buy a book, I own it. I can do anything I want with it.


    T-E-F.. go get yours spiral bound.
    Last edited by Jeff Hildreth; May-23-2017 at 7:30pm.

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