April 24, 2012 Book binding

Westchester Book binding Class

Today we started with a 3 hole Pamphlet Stitch Book. All our books will be 5 1/2″x 8 1/2″.  We learned how to fold and cut accurately using a special workboard created by Dick Pio. Starting with paper that is 8.5 x 11″ folded in half.
We used paper that is card stock and folded it in half, watching to see if the direction of the grain is running in the same direction as the spine fold. For this “model” book that we’re making it is not critical that it’s “with” the grain, but when you buy paper, you’ll need to cut it so the spine will go in the direction with the grain. This will be the cover of your book.

Cut the “text-block” paper slightly smaller so it will have 1/8″th all the way around. This means you need to cut 1/4″ from both the top and side of the 8.5×11″ paper. You can make 3 sheets for the text and one for the fly leaf or fly sheet. Cut this the same size as the text paper. Look at the Material List for papers appropriate for these papers.

We made a template from mat board that measured 4″x 8.5″ with a score down the middle, long way, and needle holes at 3/4″ from the top and bottom and the 3rd hole in the center at 4.25″. To score the board so it will bend, use a very sharp new blade in your cutting knife, and cut partially through the mat board on the center line.

Place the cover and the text papers into a book cradle and straighten them all then punch the holes in all the papers at once using your needle or use a sharp stylus or awl.

Now sew the pages with sewing thread, linen or embroidery thread (these benefit from a little bit of wax on the thread). Start by measuring 2 1/2 times the length of the spine for the thread. Thread the needle and use just one strand. Go down through the center hole, up through one end hole, skip over the center and down through the other end hole, come up through the center and place the thread in the middle of your 2 ends. Take out the needle, pull the ends tight (in the direction that they go and not in the direction from which they came)and tie a square knot. (Right over left, left over right.) Then leave at least 1/4″ and cut any excess off. I know this sounds complicated without watching a demonstration but maybe there is a demo on UTube. Otherwise, you have to come to class to watch me do it.
Next week we will make an accordion book with inclusions of pamphlet stitch signatures in some of the folds.  Be sure to bring the equipment on the materials list as well as decorative paper for the hard cover. Heavier paper such as Canson MiTientes is good for the accordion part of the book. Text wove is also good. I’ll bring some text wove, Elmer’s glue all, brushes. Be sure to bring cutting knife, cutting boards, ruler, bone folder, and if you have some newspaper to use for paste guards. You’ll need thread and some paper for the pamphlet inclusions. I’ll see you next week!