Case Bound

Single Section

First single section stitched notebook, made as an exercise in class. Black paper was wrinkled when wet. I am not fond of the cover technique or the look of the spine of these books.

A birthday present for J. My second (and probably last) single section notebook.

Fan Glued

Section Stitched

The second bookbinding course was rebinding pre 1950s hardbacks. I found two books in a second hand bookstore.

This is part way through rebinding a 1920's novel. The glue on this book was very difficult to get off, and involved covering the spine in paste and leaving it to soften the glue before scraping off. I like the way the stitching looks when it's done, my teacher called it French pickup (which we decided was better than French put down). It's almost a pity to cover it over.

The Phantom Tollbooth, an exercise in class in rebinding a paperback. I read it to pieces as a kid. I love the way this book turned out, especially the relief on the covers.

I was very happy with the cover detail, but you have to look at it under the right light.

As well as section stitching, backing and rounding the spine, I also spent one session on decorative foil work.

Despite saying the single section book above was my last, I made an A6 one for myself using some of the beautiful Japanese paper K gave me for Christmas.

I cased it in upside down, so the wings became the front. My teacher warned us everyone does it once. In this photo the book is the way up it was suppose to be, but if you looked inside the text would be upside down.

This is a novel I wrote, AfterZoe. I love the endpapers on this. More experiments in cover relief. G chose this one as his copy.

As it was the last session I chose to case in the books beforehand, meaning any slip on the covers would have been permanent. It was a little daunting.

This was my project for the Stage 3 course at Amazing Paper. It's an old Complete Shakespeare. Not an heirloom, bought to take apart and put back together. I had the worst cold of my life during this course and it went for the entire six weeks. I had trouble motivating myself to leave home at 6pm for two and a half hours of bookbinding every Thursday.

I made another almost identical copy (but with different end papers, just visible in the banner) cased in the right way.

But to the actual book. I didn't restitch, so the tapes and the endpapers were stitched into the existing book. The endpapers were 'made', two sheets laminated together. The headbands are hand stitched double core using embroidery thread split in half. I must push the stitches tighter together next time. The cores were made using extra long cigarette paper around book thread. The woman at the corner store looks at me differently now.

I mixed the paint on the edge decoration to match the endpapers, and speckled a darker green over the top. Next time, I must unfold all the corners before doing decoration. The colour is darker than I planned as the paper didn't take the colour evenly.

The boards are laced-in, and then laminated with cartridge paper and sanded to remove the unevenness of the tape, as is the spine to hide the thread.

I never used leather before, so this was my biggest learning curve, dying and paring kangaroo leather to complement the other colours. As usual I used recessing under the bookcloth for decoration, and laser printed a label for the front. I would have liked to make a leather/gold foil label for the spine but I ran out of time, even though Rosemarie graciously allowed us an extra week of her time. Oh well, I may add it at some later stage.

I made it to go with the green side stitched notebook shown here. I tried a more elaborate cover design. The circles are all cut by hand and took a long time and a bit of practice (on plain white paper) to get right.

I followed the instructions from 'Basic Bookbinding' by A.W. Lewis, which I also got for Christmas. He uses three layers of endpaper (four but I omitted the innermost white one), and pastes the coverboard to the outermost one (a plain white one) before adding the bookcloth. So, the white endpaper and calico is held on by the bookcloth, and then the coloured endpaper pasted on as usual. I prefer that technique, although I'm still not good at getting the spine right, so I'm not going to be making many of these. No more saying never.

Another single section. Sometimes they are the right solution. This one is A5, text printed on inkjet A4 paper.

For K's birthday I wanted to bind the short stories he had written into a book. At around sixty pages, I didn't think there would be enough for multiple sections, and I wanted it to look like a traditional book, so side stitched was out.

Since he enjoys circle maths so much, I was looking for a geometric design that was in that area. What I ended up with is based on the Japanese Theorem for Cyclic Polygons. It uses the Japanese papers he gave me for Christmas, plus one extra red one (right circle). The red one is also the end papers.

There are two layers of decoration, meaning the cover is made up of three layers of box board. It is easier to see this on the back cover. The large circle is recessed two thicknesses, and the triangles and smaller circles are recessed one or flush with the cover. The writing, in particular, is at the limit of detail I can achieve with bookcloth.

I used the A.W. Lewis technique again, and again I prefer it. However, the book is not really cased in as the boards are attached to the text, and then the whole is covered in bookcloth. I recently came across a book that my mother said my Grandfather had rebound. I wonder if he taught himself from the same book. That's the kind of thing he would do.

My son's tutor of the last six years, Mr L. left last week. The students and parents wrote about what he meant to them and I bound their words and photos in to this book. It's the first of my books that's going away.

When I renovated my house, the builders grumbled that for all their hard work, it only looked good once it was painted, and so the painter (in that case me) got all the credit. I think covers are like that. For all the effort that went in to binding, the cover makes or breaks it. However, if the underlying structure isn't sound, no amount of cosmetics will hide that.

In this case, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted it to look, but as always, it took a while for what I wanted to meld with what was practical. My son did the printed inserts, and they make the book work. This is the first book I printed on a laser printer. The printing doesn't run, in fact it seems to be a little water resistant.

As with the last 'case bound' book, although the end result is pretty much indistinguishable (by me anyway) from the case bound technique I was taught, this is not actually case bound. I find the spine naturally comes out square. The downside is that the book is already attached when the book cloth is put on, so there is only one chance to get the cover decoration right.

Another copy of AfterZoe, this one for M. The text is inkjet printed on A5 paper. The title is embossed and wraps around from the back across the spine and to the front.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I have used the books for at least decades even after they broke into pieces many years ago. The thickness of the books made it difficult to get the spine straight. Not cased in as well as I would like.

Detail in the bottom right corner of the covers. Again, it's easier to see this in life than in the photos.

Two cookbooks rebound for my Mum for Christmas.

This is how they looked before binding:

I was trying to retain as much of the original cover as possible. I couldn't get the spine off in one piece, so I scanned and laser printed the spine insert.

This is the first book I used my home made finishing press for, it was a dream. Sanding the edges for the edge decoration would have been difficult with my old boards and clamps. As it was, I got them billiard ball smooth. But there was something odd about the foredge, and I had great difficulty getting the colour to take. I used acrylics for the base colour and gold ink for the splatters. I'm going to try ink for the base colour next time. I finished it with beeswax, although the wax was quite hard to spread.

Note to self, don't use cotton balls to spread the colour, the cotton fibres get embedded and pull off the colour when you separate the pages.

I pieced bookcloth on the cover to make the three regions which echo the original covers. I scanned the original covers and bound in laser printed copies as the original covers would be too stiff. The endpapers I bought on spec in Berrima about a year ago. I didn't want to deviate too much from the original look of the book, and although I wasn't sure about the different shades of blue, I'm very happy with the outcome.

I used thinner coverboard than usual. I needed to laminate the cover in order to recess the queen and the card back, however, we carry the book in a games box, so I couldn't afford to make it much thicker. The smallest boxboard I could get was .6mm, thicker than I would usually use for cover decoration. I used one layer for the cover and one for the decoration. It ended up about as thick as the board I usually use (without decoration), with easily as much strength. The Queen of Spades is a reference to Hearts, but I prefer Oh Hell.

My Mum read this book last year and loved it, so my sister bought her a second hand copy for her birthday. On the day she said 'Oh, you could have bound it!' So I bound it for Mum's Christmas present.

Rebind of Hoyles 'Rules of Games'. We have had this book forever and use it all the time. I think this is the second copy we've worn out. I used an old pack of cards for the cover decoration.