The meeting held at the bindery saw about 20 people turn up. Although many of us had been there before, it was good to get the full guided tour from Bernie. The facility is used to teach apprentices primarily in the printing trades, although they also see a small part of bookbinding as part of their apprenticeships.
There is a substantial amount of equipment there that is used in the modern book bindery. Machines for collating and stapling magazines, folders, staplers and guilloties. However there are also a couple of automated binders, both doing a form of Perfect Binding. These use a holt melt glue, and after squaring and preparing the spine, then apply hot glue to the spine and up the side about 5mm. The pre-printed cover is then brought into contact and pressed, with the completed book dropping out of the hopper after about 10 seconds. The only step left is to trim the edges.
Also available was the standard marbling and foiling facilities, and shortly to be commissioned, a couple of old time letterpress machines. The Instiitute will soon be offering courses in these. There was quite a selection of fonts, including some beatifully made wooden letters about 100mm in height.
The photo shows a fish eye view of the main room, with a number of more recent Heidleberg presses, and plenty of smaller machines for use in the printing industry. The bookbinding section is off to the left.
A big thanks to Bernie for not only showing us around, but letting us see the machines in action and use the facilities as well.