Single Section


From Scratch

So, it's become a bit of a ritual. Before I start a new project I make a notebook for it. The cover of this one is based on a song.

Same text as the balloon book below. I need to say here to my future self - **You want to use the AW Lewis method for single sections** Lots of mistakes along the way.

1. Cut the endpaper to the book width not height, leaving me with a piece too small to use :-(.

2. Sewed it wrong (how does one even do that? I don't remember).

3. Messed up the original cloud tooling design because I didn't try out this cloth with that foil. I saved that by doing an inlay *after* the cover was complete. This is the bit I cut out.

Then, I was reading the instructions for casing in. 'Learn to hold onto your text while casing in so it doesn't move". We'll it's never moved but sure. And, of course, it moved and I had to pull up the back paper and relay it. And in the end the book wasn't square and the covers are misaligned, and the spine does not sit snugly in the case. (AW Lewis method would have ensured square covers and snug fit - also, could I do his method for the spine section only and add the covers like a simplified binding?)

But it will do! I like the cover design!

Another single section (see below for where I gave up on single section. Ha ha). 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.

A notebook, made from a bought text (remaindered with flimsy cardboard cover). I had to remove the original machine stitching - which I hadn't intended to do - because taking off the cover cut the stitches. But just as well, because I don't think I would have been able to stitch through the holes with the original thread there.

Text paper is nice and organic looking, The cover paper is from Shepherds in London, one of (far too) many I bought there. The endpapers and back detail are a matching paper from the same series (Dandelion Basket Green).

The cloth (Talas) picks up glue like nobody's business and stains badly, even using half glue, half paste. Next time I'll try paste only.

I thought I was finished once the cover with paper inset went on, but when I looked at it, it was too rigid and boring. Overnight I realised what it needed - tooled trees.

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.

I have a hoard of paper. I keep meaning to just use it. But I look at some of them and

think, 'if I use it now I won't have it later', which I guess is what hoarding is about.

My neighbour asked if I had a notebook already made that she could give as a gift, and I didn't. She asked again a week later, for a different gift, and I still didn't. So made two for her, the green one above and this one:

The red one was made first, no problems. then I made the green one. I've had the paper for a few years, but only discovered when the paste brush hit the surface that the dye is not fast. Green everywhere. Even once it was dry it kept shedding. I've emptied half a can of artists hairspray onto it, and it is holding for now, but I'm not game to let anyone have it.

So, I decided to make four more. Turns out making four takes only slightly longer than making two. I experimented with printing lines on cartridge and printer paper, and just using exercise books as text. These are the single section books that I once said I was never going to make again. Now I like them, I guess they get easier with practice. I didn't even have to trim the endpapers this time, they came out mostly square.

More Notebooks

I wanted to make something for someone who helped my parents a lot during my Dad's illness. The photo doesn't show well, but it is quarter bound with a faux leather bookcloth. The cloth was thick and spongy, which made it hard to work with. But the contrast between the different textures of black worked well.

I use A4 cartridge paper, cut down slightly because one edge was dodgy, then folded to make approximately A5. I really had too much for one section and too little for several. I settle on a single very thick section. I ended up cutting off the bulge at the foredge of the text just with a stanley knife. I intended to sand it flat, but the edge was pretty clean.

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.

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

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 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.