Monday, February 18, 2008

mitered corners

When I learned how to make mitered corners we learned a really involved and contorted way to do it. The corners were perfect, but it was very process intensive. I won't try to describe it. It finally occurred to me that there was a much easier way to do it with identical results. If anything the results are better considering how much less the book has to be handled. Less handling, less mess, fewer accidents. I since ran across this method in print but can't remember where. The sequence of photos are fairly clear. The only critical consideration is to use davey board that is the same thickness as what's being cover. The angle doesn't even have to be a perfect 45 degree angle, and the edges will still meet straight and flush.

Using mitered corners is not a necessity. Folded corners leave more cloth in the corners for wearability. The mitered corner is smoother and less bulky when that matters. The mitered corner is more durable than it may look, because the glue has a chance to impregnate the ends of the cloth fibers locking the edges together, and the end pages have a smooth, flush surface to adhere.

fund-raiser starts today

The Bookbinding Etsy Street Team (BESTbooks) starts an online fund-raiser today. The charity recipient is H.E.L.P. International. Follow and assist the event through the team blog that is linked here. I'll be there along with other book artists you'll want to meet.

Friday, February 15, 2008

sanded edges

Sanding the sides of a book block can be done with as little as a sanding block. For more precision clamping the book block between two boards help to keep the sanding block square and level. The following is how I do it.

The tools (from top to bottom): wood blocks, micro plane, shims, and sanding block. The wood blocks I use are scraps from a canvas stretcher. The micro plane for removing larger amounts of book. Shims for evenly raising wood blocks. Sanding block for sanding edges.

I have several sets of shims of various thicknesses depending on how much paper needs to be removed.

Blocks clamped then inverted in vise of work bench.

Before and after.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

center finding ruler

I love rulers, but this one holds a special place in my warm little heart. About one half day of heavy use, and my brain was noticeably mushier. It doesn't take much to figure out how to use it. An example if it isn't readily apparent. Say I have two dots four inches apart and want to find the half way point between them. Place the ruler next to the dots so that one dot is left of the zero and the other dot is to the right. Using a bit of intuition move the ruler in the direction that balances the measurements on either side of the zero. In this example the left dot will be on the left 2" line, and the right dot will be on the right 2" line. The zero is the center point! Plus without doing any math the ruler shows that the center is two inches from either dot!! The ruler really earns its keep when it's 0200 in the morning, and the dots are 4 13/73" apart.

This is another one of my tools from the print studio. I used it mostly when setting the registration marks on paper before printing multiple runs. Paper didn't have to be the exact same size, but I always had a perfect center. Now it is stored with the book tools.