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Title: Paring knife
Original Title: Couteau à parer
Volume and Page: Vol. 4 (1754), p. 408
Author: Unknown
Translator: Abigail Wendler Bainbridge [West Dean College, bainbridge.abigail@gmail.com]
Subject terms:
Bookbinding
Original Version (ARTFL): Link
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. To use this work in a way not covered by the license, please see http://quod.lib.umich.edu/d/did/terms.html .

URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0002.653
Citation (MLA): "Paring knife." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Abigail Wendler Bainbridge. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2011. Web. [fill in today's date in the form 18 Apr. 2009 and remove square brackets]. <http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0002.653>. Trans. of "Couteau à parer," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, vol. 4. Paris, 1754.
Citation (Chicago): "Paring knife." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Abigail Wendler Bainbridge. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2011. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0002.653 (accessed [fill in today's date in the form April 18, 2009 and remove square brackets]). Originally published as "Couteau à parer," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, 4:408 (Paris, 1754).

A paring knife is a tool which the Bookbinders use to thin the edges of the cover [1] that they prepared to cover a volume, so that it will glue better to the board, and the thickness of the skin isn’t an obstacle to the neatness of the work; see Covering. This knife is a large piece of steel, very thin at the cutting edge, and the other side inserted in a piece of wood that serves as the handle. Plate I of Bookbinding, fig. Q. [2]

When the leather is thick, one also pares the place of the spine; it is necessary to take this step for morocco.

Translator's Notes

1. The author(s) consistently use couverture, or covering, to refer specifically to leather of one sort or another; remember cloth bindings were yet to come, and paper bindings used in France only for very small, inexpensive volumes (see Brocher, Volume 2, page 431); for what would be considered a proper binding the covering at this time would almost always be leather, or sometimes parchment.

2. See Plate III, figure 23 instead. See also the article Dague (Volume 4, page 611), which addresses the knife used to initially scrape the leather.