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Medieval on the Go: The Girdle Book with Karen Hanmer – Day 2

I realized that I forgot to show you a picture of Karen’s awesome resource booklet for the girdle book workshop. It’s actually rather insane – check this out:

Girdle book workshop resource booklet

28 pages of girdle-y goodness!

We started the day off by sewing primary endbands on our textblocks. We stiffened up the core cord with PVA to make it easier to work with. It took a few stitches for me to get the hang of the sewing process, but I really enjoyed it. I could do more of these!

Primary endband sewing

Primary endband sewing

Primary endband sewing

Don’t be fooled by the images – this was not a quick process. It took 2+ hours to complete.

The next step was to add a second spine lining. We used more of the suede that we used yesterday for the first spine lining. This time, we filled in the spaces that had not yet been covered. After the suede was glued down, we rubbed in a layer of paste over the top.

Glued down spine lining

Board shaping came next. We’re using poplar boards for our covers and there were a few areas that needed work:

  1. The inside spine edge of each board needed to be shaped to match the shoulder of the text block.
  2. The outside spine edge of each board needed to be shaped to create a continuous round moving from the spine onto the boards.
  3. On the inside of the boards, the head, tail, and fore-edge needed to be shaped at a 45 degree angle, through half the thickness of the boards.

In a nutshell, there was a whole lotta bezeling going on. Most of the material removal was done with a rasp and finer work was completed with sandpaper.

Elbow grease + dust mask + back pain = completed boards.

Shaped cover boards and text block

The last bit of wood work involved preparing the back cover for the strap closure. We used a Dremel to drill a small series of holes in a row – this created a slot through which we’ll feed our leather straps. Next, we used a 1/4″ chisel to carve out a recess where the end of the strap will rest.

Wood book cover with carved recess

We finished off the day by sizing our cover boards – this is done to help minimize absorption of adhesive in future work. To accomplish this, we applied a layer of diluted paste to all surfaces.

It was a full and fun day – I look forward to tomorrow!

I leave you with today’s gem from Karen:

We are not slaves to the tyranny of the ruler.

3 Responses to “Medieval on the Go: The Girdle Book with Karen Hanmer – Day 2”

By Anonymous - 27 June 2015 Reply

Elissa this is aweome!

By Karen Krieger - 27 June 2015 Reply

Love watching and reading about this Elissa; I don’t think I’d ever want to make one but it’s wonderful to understand how it’s made. Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

By Jeff Zemsky - 27 June 2015 Reply

Fantastic seeing this process. Amazing to see this come together.

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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