Why are you so fast with this style of thesis binding while other
binders take weeks or months?
We give our top priority to thesis binding. Other binders consider thesis
customers as one-time difficult transactions. We have been binding theses
for fifty years and often bind Senior, Masters and Ph.D. degrees for
the same person and their spouse as well. At Smith-Shattuck Bookbinding,
the thesis customer is as highly regarded as a commercial one. Plus
we have always enjoyed the personal interaction with our customers and
the expressions of appreciation for the finished books.
How does your binding differ from that offered by copy shops?
The hard cover binding offered by the copy shops generally fall into
two categories: Velobind or clamp binding. It is important to
note that neither of these methods is permanent or archival. Velobind
consists of a binding created with plastic fingers. Your pages are held
in the vinyl cover with adhesive foam tape. With clamp binding, the
pages are pushed into a U-shaped spring steel form that is glued into
the book cover.
My university has different stamping requirements can you meet them?
Over the years we have bound dissertations and theses for almost every
major American and British University and College. Just tell us what
you need from your school and we'll make it to match the proper specifications.
That includes matching material color, spine stamping requirements,
stamping color and size as well as meeting archival requirements.
Does my book have to look like the ones shown on your site?
No, our bindery can basically change almost every aspect of the final
binding: the color of cover materials, placement, color, size and type
of stamping, as well as size of binding. (A4, 11x17, 11x14, 6x9, 51/2
x 81/2 or any size in between).
Is laser printing my pages ok?
Yes, laser printing is ok. Please make sure your paper is laser compatible. This will help your paper from curling or coming out very wavy.
What is the best type of paper to use?
The best results are achieved with a 25% cotton; this type of paper
sews well and has good flexibility and copying qualities. Heavy paper
such as 28lb. 32lb. are too stiff and not well suited to oversewing
but can be used if necessary. Our favorite brands are Permalife, Permadur,
Strathmore, Fox River, Southworth, Neenah and Crane's except
Crane's Thesis paper.
Are there other covering materials available?
We offer other fabrics, particularly with a linen finish as well as
pigskin and cowhide leathers. To view these covering materials either
stop by the shop, we can mail you samples or we could scan the materials
and email the samples to you.
What is machine oversewing?
Machine oversewing is a technique in which books are divided into small
sections of individual pages. The needles pass obliquely through pre-punched
holes in the section itself, forming a lock stitch with each separate
section and independent lock stitches all along the back. This strong
and flexible binding process is unequaled by any other binding process.
What is buckram?
This is a poly-cotton covering material with an environmentally conscious
8.5pH level, dyed without heavy metals and an aqueous acrylic clear
top coating. The result is an exceptionally durable archival grade material.
What is binder board?
It is a heavy archival board made from 100% post-consumer waste paper
including newspaper and office paper. This board is manufactured using
a "wet laid process, which builds up and presses wet fibers
to form a solid sheet. This is what we use to create the covers of our
Does binding with archival materials make a difference?
Yes, it makes a huge difference. Have you ever picked up an old copy
of a newspaper or an old family bible? The paper is often brittle, yellow
and tears or crumbles when you turn the pages. Newspaper and old books
were often made with non-archival paper and materials. The same sort
of crumbling, yellowing and tearing will happen over time to almost
all paper products created with a low pH level (high acidity) or a
non-archival process. Our cloth, board, string and even glue meet the
best archival standards available. That means that in fifty years your
book will still be intact, easily read and handled without worry for
many generations to come.
Besides Universities, who else do you do bookbinding for?
We have worked or continue to currently work for the following companies
and schools as well as many others: Institute for Advanced Study, The
Hillier Group, Educational Testing Service, Chemical Heritage Foundation,
Print Mail Systems, Matrix Development Systems, Medical Center at Princeton,
McCarter Theater, George Street Playhouse, Michael Graves Architects,
Taylor Photo, Presbytery of New Brunswick, The Peddie School, Princeton
Alumni Weekly, University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ, Hermitage
Press, The Lawrenceville School and Nassau Presbyterian Church.