NASB NT Rebound by McSpadden Book Bindery

Back in October of 2006, I received an e-mail from Alan Cornett asking for advice on having a NASB New Testament rebound. The text block was separating from the cover, but the pages still adhered the binding. I mentioned Mechling as a possiblity, and also threw out McSpadden Bookbindery in Oklahoma. I hadn’t used them, but I was intrigued by the videos they’d posted of the rebinding process. Alan went ahead and sent the NT to them, and has been using it for the past eighteen months or so. Recently he sent me photos of the work along with his thoughts on the process and results. Let’s take a look.

McSpadden NT 5
Above: The problem. The text block is separating from the cover.
Below: The solution. A caramel calfskin cover from McSpadden Book Bindery.

McSpadden NT 2

Here’s what Alan has to say:

“The Testament I had was a black bonded leather NASB coatpocket published by World. I used this regularly in the pulpit, but the Bible just wasn’t built to stand up to it. I ended up getting a second copy to replace the one I had (pictured) as the cover had separated from the page block. I decided to have the newer one rebound, thinking I might get the older one rebound later. I chose to go with McSpadden for the job and I specifically wanted this leather:

McSpadden NT 9

“They didn’t have an exact match, so I got their current ‘caramel’ leather. I specified semi-yapp edges, raised bands and three ribbons. When I got the Testament back I confess my immediate reaction was disappointment. Living with it over the past 18 mos has lessened a lot of that, and reading your realistic expectations post was also helpful. The reality is that there was only so much they could do with a glue bound book with no sewn signatures. When it came back it was fairly tight, not really laying flat at all. Use has opened it up considerably. The real knock isn’t really with McSpadden but rather the cheap way the book was made in the first place.

McSpadden NT 10
Above: If you start with a glued binding, don’t expect the rebound edition to open flat. Instead, the spine will hold together tightly as illustrated, though in time the text block will open a bit more fully.
Below: The same problem from another angle. The text block and the cover don’t blend organically. Instead, the cover is supple but the text remains stiff. For best results, start with a sewn binding.

McSpadden NT 1

McSpadden NT 3

“McSpadden’s work was a little rougher than I thought it should be, however. The ‘New Testament’ stamping on the spine wasn’t quite centered, the tooling not as crisp. It was, as you mention in your post, a bit ‘rustic’. Time has lessened my disappointment with that as well. It’s a handmade product that will show irregularities. I would still be open to using McSpadden in the future, but I would try other options before I did.

McSpadden NT 6
Above: The “New Testament” stamp is a little off.
Below: The inside cover.

McSpadden NT 7

“The good news is I think it’s a beautiful book and it feels wonderful to the touch. It is also now bound solidly enough that I think it could withstand decades of pulpit use without the binding being compromised. It proved to be a learning experience, one that was not terribly expensive and that produced a useful, beautiful edition.

“Thanks for your help and for the addictive blog.”

McSpadden NT 8
Above: A nice view of the cover’s grain.
Below: Another look at the grain. I like it.

McSpadden NT 4

This is the first project I’ve seen from McSpadden, and to my eye it looks comparable to what we see from the other rebinders: not as polished as the high-end “factory” editions, but full of character. Alan’s initial disappointment will be familiar to most of us here who’ve gone through the process. Until you open that box, it’s always possible that perfection will be waiting inside. But then reality sets in. The big lesson, of course — one that I’ve learned myself the hard way — is that the better the Bible is that you start with, the better your results will be. No rebinder can turn a cheap, glued binding into a superior sewn one.

Thanks, Alan, for sharing the results of your project!

10 Comments on “NASB NT Rebound by McSpadden Book Bindery

  1. The color and the grain seem attractive, but the overall look is a bit rustic. Not that rustic is bad. The little details though, do make it stand out. The line around the cover as well as the indentations at the spine hubs are really nice.
    The cover seems pretty flexible, is it leather lined? Were boards used in the cover?
    Nice NT, Alan.

  2. Jesus, thanks for the kind words. I don’t believe it is leather lined, and I’m pretty sure there is no interior lining or boards on the cover. If there is it’s very thin.
    Thanks for posting the the rebinding report, Mark.

  3. I don’t understand the inside cover. Did they only replace half of it?

  4. I am also wondering about the inside cover. I am contemplating sending my NET Bible to McSpadden for a rebind, so I am definately interested to know. I am assuming that was to repair the unsewn binding that came apart. Also, how long did the process take?

  5. The inside cover overlies the sewing. I just had my Hebrew-Greek NIV done by McSpadden in crimson goatskin. I’m in the process of sending Mark the pictures

  6. Where can I find a NT like this? I can’t seem to find one anywhere!

  7. good question. This one (ISBN: 978-1885217875) appears smaller and comments infer it’s 2-columns.
    Amazon has inexpensive paperback versions of it if you want to give it a try. (And report back!) If you like the layout, you could pay for a rebind later.

  8. I have a Dickson New Analytical Study Bible that I had rebound at McSpadden. Many years ago I had the same Bible rebound in Little Rock. I was very disappointed then. I am very pleased now. The Bible is literally not available new now. They are no longer printed. The Bible has been with me most of my preaching years. I started preaching in 1966. I plan to use this Bible as long as I am able to preach and then some. Since I was so pleased with the work, I sent them a New Testament to have it rebound. I am as pleased with it as I am with the Bible. I highly recommend McSpadden Book Bindery.

  9. I purchased a copy of The New Century Version Bible some years back.This Bible quickly became my favorite Bible.It was not the best quality,had a faux leather cover that quickly became tattered and unsightly.I wanted to preserve it,found McSpadden Book Bindery through a search on the internet.Decided to use them,the process from beginning to completion was flawless.These people did exactly what they said they would do.I am more than pleased.I have nothing but good things to say about the company and the entire process.Beautiful work,speedy process,kept me informed,price was very fair.Great job,highly recommend!

  10. In 2007, I had a KJV study Bible that was falling apart after just a year of hard use. The glued pages had separated at the back of the Bible and had actually pulled away from the cover. The cover itself was a thin bonded or simulated leather. This is a bigger study Bible, too. I sent the Bible to McSpadden and actually had a quick turnaround on the Bible. They were very friendly and communicated well throughout the process.

    When I received my Bible back and opened the box, I had to admit I was not really ready for what process they had to go through with a glued Bible. I loved the leather tan cover, the additional ribbons added, etc. As others have noted, the Bible seemed a little stiff from the stich process they had to perform. I also was not a fan of when you opened the cover and could see the flap for stiches and a stiff board like appearance that wrapped the spine.

    I now understand why this had to be done. I absolutely love my Bible. I study with it most every day and this has been since 2007 and it is perfect. It now lays more flat, as others have noted also. The leather cover is amazing and strong. This Bible travels with me a lot and has been dropped, etc., a lot! Not a scratch. I do certainly recommend McSpadden. They were honest, friendly, upfront with me about the process of reconditioning a glued Bible.

    Now, I have recently sent another study Bible to a *different* Bible book binder in the same area of Oklahoma. I sent the Bible in August. It is December, I’ve not received my Bible back. Seems a little long and the price was about $100 more than I saw on their website. I’ve not asked for *extras* to be added to the binding. Since they already had the Bible that I mailed to them, I’ve told them to go ahead, once they called me a gave me the price. I’m not sure why the price suddenly went up so much ? It was a glued average sized study Bible with all pages intact. They have been friendly and returned my calls. I feel I probably should have returned to McSpadden for this binding also. In retrospect, they did a great job. I hope I will be able to say the same about this experience.

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