Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Journal is finished!

Stayed home from work with a blazing headache today (you'd think I'd have enough asprin in me to dose a horse) but at least that gave me lots of time to finish my current bookbinding project. It's not that I needed that much time anyway, I was halfway finished sewing last night. This open spine method goes a lot quicker than the traditional method, probably because you don't have the drying time between several steps that you do in the other. Also, since this was a journal I didn't have to paint a cover, I just used a loud fabric instead. Sometimes I had to pull out a signature and resew it differently, but it worked out fairly well in the end. The only thing I couldn't figure out was how to go from one signature to the next. Here is a picture of the finished product!
The book block is very sturdy, which I'm proud of. When I first started they were quite loose, but got tighter the more books I made. If you look closely at the braids on either end, you can see the errant string loops between the signature. At the end of a signature (a folded group of pages) the string is inside, but it also has to start on the inside of the next signature, so I simply pushed the needle through a few millimeters away from the braid and stuck it back in the next one. It doesn't look very good, but I didn't feel like figuring it out this round since I had no idea how it would turn out to begin with.

This is partway through the sewing. Notice how I use the big paper clamp things, they really work wonders for keeping the book block together while you are sewing it. There's this loom thing you are supposed to make for traditional bookbinding and you can make one out of a chair, but I always just sewed "in hand" and used clips all over the block. This also lets you clamp the string down if you want to stop so it doesn't start to lose tension and unravel itself. It's sturdy to travel too, I could just throw it in my bag and go.

This is just a picture of the cover boards, but I wanted you to be able to see the pretty fabric.  I finally bought aerosol glue (I don't know I waited so long, it's like four bucks) and it is SO MUCH EASIER! Not to mention, I can immediately go to the next step, and I don't have to wait overnight for the cover to dry with weights on it to ensure the boards don't warp, since the cardboard doesn't absorb any moisture from the glue.
Behold, my finished journal! Like I said before, someday I will post instruction and step by step pictures. I'll do the traditional method first, even though this was easier, it was only easy because I went through the learning curve already. The sewing is much simpler in the traditional binding.

It was a bummer I didn't get to use my new chisel and trim the edges, but having to cut the cover boards before sewing the book blocks, they would have ended up way to big once I trimmed them. I'll probably make a copy of The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson next, so that will be my test for the chisel. Though maybe not that book, because if I fucked it up I'd be pissed. I guess I can just fold some scrap paper and give it a go first.

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