Step 5: Rounding and backing

We are now ready to back the text block, that is, to put the little raised shoulders on it, one at each edge of the spine. If necessary, the text block is squared up at the top and bottom ends, then it is placed in the job backer, which is masked with waxed paper (the heavier the better) to prevent our work from sticking to the tool. The job backer is a made-for-the-purpose vise, and one of its most essential functional features is that the jaws are slanted away from the work at a steep angle. Of course, not everyone has one of these, but a makeshift version can easily be made, as illustrated in the next image.