Phase Boxes – Instructions

Rare, fragile or damaged books may be protected by placing in phase boxes

The following instructions detail how to make phase boxes using “Exact-Fit Rare Book Boxes” which come in perforated heavy card stock sheets of different widths. Two boards and one or two Velcro buttons are needed for each book.

Phase Box Steps

1 Measure

  1. Use the Conserphase “Jog Box” – write down width, length, [thickness*See Note below]
  2. If total length of a horizontal piece is needed, add widthX2 + thicknessX2 + overlap 2-4”
  3. If total length of a vertical piece is needed, add lengthX2 + thicknessX2 + overlap 2-4”

2 Choose pieces

  1. Select phase box boards to match the length and width measurements or the nearest larger size.
  2. If there are 2 lengths of a size, be sure the one chosen is long enough, using measuring formula above.

3 Mark and trim pieces

  1. If pieces need trimming, use corresponding measurements to mark a pencil line and cut off excess amount along the full edge.

4 Fold pieces

  1. One side of the board will fold on the perf and the other side will not.
  2. Use the book to fold at the correct perforations. Fold the vertical piece first. Lightly bone in the folds.
  3. Lay the horizontal piece on top of the vertical. Use the book to fold at the correct perforations. Lightly bone in the folds.
  4. Repeat folding to get the thickness folds, using the book as a guide
    1. Usually you can use the exact same number of perforations (counting from the first fold) on all 4 sides.
  5. For thin items, a bone folder is helpful to get folds started in the right place.
  6. If you can’t get a close fit, you may need to adjust the thickness folds to be sure both pieces will close.
  7. Put the book in a safe place to await its box!

5 Trim boards for length

  1. If board ends are too long to fold over, or you wish to shorten the overlap (needs to be at least a couple of inches in order to fasten)
  2. Trimming can be done on the cutter.

6 Glue pieces together

  1. Spread glue on center section of vertical board, using brush to spread to edge
  2. Place horizontal piece crosswise on the glue and move into place, being sure all ends will be able to fold.
  3. Wipe away excess glue if needed and place on waxed paper. Cover with waxed paper.
  4. Weigh down the entire glued area using two bricks or heavy card boxes. Allow to dry overnight.
  5. If making several phase boxes at once they can be stacked after gluing with waxed paper between each layer.

7 Attach Velcro buttons

  1. Place book on phase box and fold up the flaps in this order: vertical flaps first, then horizontal flaps. Lightweight books only need to be fastened in one place, but 2 Velcro buttons can be used for heavier materials, one on the vertical, one on the horizontal flaps.
  2. Remove Velcro buttons from backing plastic, keeping both sides together
  3. Place on right/left flap. Fold left/right flap over and press down.
  4. A weight can be placed on top to be sure Velcro buttons are well stuck down.
  5. Note that most instructions call for putting the horizontal piece under the vertical piece and folding in the opposite way to the above instructions. We are doing it this way because it has a more natural, book-like closure

Processing the finished box – see Cataloging: Phase Boxes

*Note: The thickness measurement is only needed for certain sizes of boards that may be too short to function as vertical pieces. Ex.: 9”x21” board can’t be used for a 9”x12”x2” book – minimum length needed would be 30”. To calculate minimum length, use steps 1-b) and 1-c)