Reverse Engineering Historical and Modern Binding Structures, Part Two with Karen Hanmer – Day 2
On the second day of Karen’s workshop, we completed three bindings, starting with the Simplified Binding.
This binding is sewn on tapes – we used ramieband. I never used this material before. It reminded me of Tyvek, but it frayed really easily.
We converted our super cute sewing frames into mini presses for the work that followed. This thing is like a bookbinding MacGyver.
We used bookcloth for our spine wrapper and lined it with paper to stiffen it. I got the most vibrant orange bookcloth for my book. Love.
We sanded our boards so that they had a slight bevel. When we covered our boards, the turn-ins were glued on to the side with the bevel. The wrapped boards were attached to the spine wrapper, which was super easy.
The spines were glued up and rounded. I rounded my spine using a bone folder and got inconsistent results. We added a number of spine linings to fill in the spaces between the stitches and tapes. After the linings dried, we sanded them down with 220 grit sandpaper to create an even surface.
Lastly, the text block was added, with the end sheets acting as the board attachment. I loved this binding and can totally see doing it again.
It was a straightforward process and the resulting book is wonderful to hold. To learn more about this binding, Karen recommended that you check out Laura Wait’s article in The Bonefolder, The Simplified Binding Examined.
The next binding was the Scaleboard Binding.
It’s a Colonial American binding style that was basically developed as a response to lack of resources – they made do with what they had and poof came the Scaleboard. Karen told us that the cover boards usually had a horizontal grain, but she didn’t know why.
To me, this binding is a bit like a stab binding, but not really. You use a 1/4” chisel to cut 2 slits through the entire stack of signatures. You then take 2 thin alum tawed strips and lace them through the slits. The ends of the alum tawed strips are then glued to the front of your boards.
The last binding was the Non-Adhesive Paper Case, which is sewn with a butterfly stitch.
No supports are used. End sheets are made with two folios, which are wrapped in a cloth guard to add strength. Slits are cut into the head and tail of the end sheet signatures, which help them lock the text block into the case.
We used elephant hide paper to create our paper case.
[insert lots of folds here]
Then our case was done!
We cut out some paper from the interior of the case spine to facilitate the locking of the text block and the case. I had to do a bit of finagling before I got it right. The case is a pretty impressive structure, but I’m not sure that it’s something I could do on my own. I’m just not a good folder.
Don’t ever ask me to do origami. Really.
And the day’s quotes from Karen:
“Go, go, go!”
“We’re doing so many things in this class that I don’t like.”
I’m so happy that I now have 5 more cutaway models to add to the 6 that I made at the last FOBA. Karen is a great teacher and I highly recommend that you take a class with her if you can. She’s an extremely talented smarty pants.