Images and text by Garry
Head, Circulating Collections Conservation,
University Libraries Preservation Department
This is used in the closures
of phase boxes. It is pre-cut to length, using a cutting template. To
begin, the thread is simply wound around the template many times. Shown
here is an earlier version of this simple and ingenious template, which
was itself the full length of the phase box threads. This required that
the thread be cut at both ends, and as one might imagine, the second of
those cuts was sometimes troublesome. So we made a few improvements, as
First of all, here's a shot of
the old full-length template.
First, the template was
reduced to exactly half the length of the phase box ties. Second, a small
slit was cut in the template, into which the thread fits very snugly. A
knot is tied in the end of the thread and it is worked into the slit and
pulled until the knot is against the board (red arrow). This serves as a
third hand in getting the winding started. And finally, the template was
ensured a long life by the addition of a piece of self-healing cutting
mat on one side.
A straight edge is situated
anywhere on the cutting mat (it doesn't have to be square across). The
threads are cut with a razor knife.
As can be seen, only one cut
needs to be made instead of two.
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