Monthly Archives: February 2014

Finishing the Four Books That Were Started So Long Ago!

It usually doesn’t take me this long to finish my books. Really!  The story of these books started with the tiger blog. I’ve had many interruptions that have interfered with the flow, including one very exciting development that will be ready to be unveiled, uh,  soon.  I also gave myself a present of some super bookbinding equipment that you’ll see in the photos. I bought a finishing press and a plough from Jim at Affordable Binding Equipment.  For non-book people, a plough is a tool with a very sharp blade that is used to trim the edges of the textblock, giving an almost polished edges to the text.  They are very expensive and most non-professional binders don’t have them, instead using hand-torn, deckle or other rough edges. I rather like the rough edges as they give a hand-made feeling to the book. You can get perfect edges at your local office supply store!  That said, I enjoy having the ability now to do either with ease. Both the press and the plough are beautifully made and a joy to use.  I’m almost reluctant to use them for fear of scratches and dents.

First step was to try out the plough and cut some edges.

Ploughs usually have a straight, not circular, blade, but I found this design works well and is very comfortable to hold.  I was a bit concerned since my hands are small.  The person who recommended it to me was well over 6′ tall so I would guess that anyone would find this easy to use. Texts should be ploughed before the covers are measured to ensure an accurate fit.  I had already made the covers before I bought the plough, but I just couldn’t resist trying it out.

Next steps are to finished off the text block spine with ribbon marker (register), endbands, and mull or muslin. Then line out with paper and add a hollow tube.  With books as thin as mine usually are, some of these steps could be left out, but I usually add them all to ensure ultra-strong joints.

Now the textblock is finally finished and just needs to be married to the cover.

The textblock is carefully aligned with the cover and a piece of scrap paper is placed under the endpaper to protect the book. The endpaper is pasted out with PVA (No, it’s not Elmer’s although it looks like it!).  The waste paper is discarded, replaced with wax paper and the cover is gently closed. At this point everyone wants to open the cover to see what it looks like.  Do not do it! It’s a guaranteed way to wrinkle the endpaper. A piece of blotting paper is slipped under the cover, the book is flipped over and the other endpaper pasted down. The books is then put under weight and left to dry. It should not be opened until everything is totally dry. I usually leave my books overnight.

Finished books

If you still want to see more, please go to my page on Designing a Book and follow the links.

I will probably be putting these books up for sale on Etsy within the next few weeks.

Losing Her Marbles on Etsy

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