I wish I could say that it would cost around $100 and I would stick some book tape on it, but this or any tape will eventually destroy the Bible, and I don't restore any books in this way.

An Under-Back repair requires me to first repair the text block which are the pages, my quoted price usually includes the repair of the first and last half dozen pages, no matter what condition, as these are usually the ones that are damaged the most, as well as the Family Record Pages, any other pages requiring repair will cost extra.

The text block spine has all the old linings scraped away so that the sewing of the spine can be inspected, then the linings are replaced with new ones, which is cheese cloth and other cotton/paper based materials that finish with a open back craft paper backing which adds to the strength of the Bible when complete.

Once the text block has been restored it is thicker, and if your original cover is in one piece it cannot be used with the newly restoration of the text block, usually the cover will be showing stress at the joints or hinges on the cover, or the covers have already come apart, so I remove and separate the front and back cover and spine, the spine is gently scraped and thinned out till it is only around half a millimeter thick.

The front and back covers, I peel back the leather where the spine meets around 25 millimeters, then I place the front and back covers back on and then I paste in a new piece of leather in a similar colour under the peeled back parts of the originals, and then on the back cover, then I paste down the original leather piece I peeled back over the top of the new leather, this gives your Bible a new Leather spine.

Once this is done the text block is then pasted back into the cover, then the original spine is pasted back onto and over the new spine, so it still looks like your old Bible, but its all in one piece, and with new strong hinges of leather that will stand the test of time, then the inside of the back and front cover is completed with a book-cloth hinge on the inside to add strength to the binding, and depending on the condition of the end papers ( what covers the inside covers) most of the time the originals are used, especially if there is writing or items stuck on, like some families do.

So now you have a book that will last the next few generations if looked after, and maybe longer.

Extra pages that are damaged, I cannot give you a firm quote viewing emailed pictures so the quote will be adjusted if more than the first and last half dozen are required once I hold it in my hands and inspect it in person. Page repairs can vary in price for repairing from around 20 cents to several dollars a page, it just depends on the damage and what I have to do to repair it, I have had some Bibles that have nearly every second page that needs to be repaired, like in the pictures to the right, only a small percentage of Bible arrive in this sort of condition. And as you can see, can still be restored back to its formal glory.

If you have family register pages, these are ether in the front or after the Old Testament, these pages are often the worse, damage wise, some customers ask if I can add in extra pages so that they can write in more of the family history, this I can do, and it is the only time you can do it, while its being restored as it adds thickness to the book again.

So what I do is not just put any page in, I actually scan on the computer the page you want extras of and then put the original back into your Bible, then I edit the names off the page of the copy and print two sheets, so you get four more pages to fill in, and they end up with the same fancy artwork or border around the page, this costs $75.00 per scan and includes the 2 sheets printed double size and tipped back into the Bible, most people have two sheets of Births, Marriages & Deaths done this way.

Using all the above methods that will give you a fully restored Bible that will last a very long time, and one that will now look the part, and will be treasured by your family for decades to come, don't delay in getting it done, as time goes by more and more old timer Bookbinders are retiring and that leaves even fewer of us, Bookbinders, and the price will become higher to restore these majestic old books to the way they should look. If you want it restored, no payment is required until I receive your Bible in the post and inspect it, once I confirm a price to you that is the price, as it is then a firm quote, even if I find more damage later on, its up to me then.

Once we confirm the price I usually ask for a 50% deposit, this can be paid via credit card over the phone as I have full eftpos facilities here, or you can deposit the money straight into my bank account, the balance to be paid once I complete the restoration,I can sms or email you some final few pics of the restored Bible before I pack it and get ready to send to you.

Please view the pics on the right and below to see the many variety of Family Bibles that have come in over the years, some dating back the early 1600's, but most commonly around the late 1800's.

So email me the pictures of your Bible, don't leave it any longer. Email me at

LargeFamilyBibleRestopics11 LargeFamilyBibleRestopics9

Welcome to

Milton Watkins, Bookbinder


Formally known as Ballarat Bookbinding & Specialist Printing Est.1998