Reinforce

REINFORCING YOUR TROUBLEWIT

Repeated bending can create “feathered edges” on the outside ends of the linen Troublewit. This is normal and merely the outer layer of the paper cracking. It is not structural and is not noticeable to audiences a few feet away. In order to increase the life of your Troublewit, I highly recommend that you reinforce the INSIDES of the four long folds with Scotch® 845 Book Tape (although any clear 2″ packing cellophane tape will do). To do this, gently open your Troublewit out flat on a large table. Apply the tape ONLY TO THE INSIDE (the “valley folds”) of the entire 40″ length of the paper straddling the fold (there are two long “valley” folds on each side). Make sure that the ends of the tape go to the edge of the Troublewit. If necessary, tape beyond the edges and cut the excess tape off (or wrap around). See the photographs below for an example.

Once you tape the inside of the long folds, you will want to take a folding bone (or curved edge of a spoon) to smooth all the air bubbles out and the work the adhesive into the paper. Once you’ve reinforced the insides of all four long folds (again, only *one* side), you will want to break in the Troublewit slowly by running through all the folds using a “walking fold” approach where you use the fingers of one hand to push down each ninety degree fold while pulling the perpendicular edge away from the fold with your other hand.

Take your time when you do this the first time and after six to ten cycles you should start to note that the folding becomes easier. It will take a couple dozen folds before the folds really start to develop a “memory” for the folds. Be patient and work through each fold one at a time. It will be more stiff than if it were not reinforced, but it should make the Troublewit last ten times longer (or more) than if it was not reinforced…

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Notice that there is only tape along the “valley folds” (of which there are two, and only two, on each side of the paper).