One thing that is very important to have in a Preservation Lab is weights. Whether you are using them for constructing a clamshell box, help in tissue mending, flattening an adhesive bind, or weighing down a book you need some kind of weight that is versatile and portable besides a book press. I have below the different varieties we have in our lab from sizes, heaviness, and purpose. First I have several common ones we use in Preservation. In the back left is an old brick covered in book cloth and next to it is an acrylic “brick.”
The rest are all filled with either 4.5 mm BBs or mini BBs. On the right is another acrylic “block” with mini BBs in it and to its left shows a BB box, one covered in binder’s board, and the middle one covered with book cloth. In front are 2 oz. bottles filled with both mini and 4.5 mm BBs. The mini BB bottle weights much more than the 4.5 mm BBs. The little flat top 2 oz. bottle are the latest additional to our weights. We like these as they are small for little jobs yet we can stack them for more added weight. What we don’t like is when an acrylic block is dropped to the floor, it shatters, and BBs roll everywhere in the lab and you find them for months afterwards!
Next we have cloth covered BBs, metal washers, and flexible metal strings for more sensitive work and holding down pages in a book.
Then we have heavy metal plates with handles that remind me of a bacon press, nickel-plated steel bars that are small and extremely heavy, and glass blocks with safe edges which you can see your work through.
Lastly is my collection of weights filled with 4.5 mm BBs. Something as simple as a Beanie Baby toy can be gutted and filled, a plastic Minion toy, and even my duck needle holder has BBs in it to help hold it upright but also can be used in a very small area needing weight. I like using the Beanie Babies when I am sewing the folios of a book back together. This also gives you something fun to look at on your lab table and also for entertainment when guests come for a tour and I tell them to pick up a Beanie and they are surprised by the heavy weight. And of course I must have a Baby Cy weight too!