Finishing Up – well sort of – Down the Rabbit Hole

book on board shear

This blog is just a wrap up of how the book was put together.

After printing ten books worth of pages, twenty sheets per book and all but the three return sides of the covers and colophon required going through the printer.  Everything was laid out and saved in Microsoft Publisher so it was just a matter of bringing them up, making sure to check the right paper type and best photo options. Each page had to be loaded separately as most printers do not like being asked to do multiples of heavier paper and can get a bit off which is not a good thing.

My board shear was a tremendous help in the constant trimming of pages to the size of approximately 8.5 x 7 inches. The back cover is cut longer as it has to be the spine wrap as well.

using a straight edge

With twenty separate sheets per book there needed to be nineteen hinges made. I used a cotton office paper (white) cut into 7″ by 1/2″ strips and then carefully folded in the center. The book pages are stacked in the order they are to be pieced together in front of a metal yard stick that is weighted so as not to move. This allows me to align the sheets. A small glue plunger is the best for the very little amount of glue needed on each side of the folded hinge.

They will be glued by doing all foredges first. That means the mountain fold of the hinge is placed up and the left side is glued to the edge of the sheet to be on the left side. Here is the back cover and last piece to be paired and glued on the foredge.

foredge hinge

When gluing the right to the left on the hinge I brought them as close together as possible without overlapping them. Each pair of sheets is checked on both sides to make sure they are properly glued down.  Paper cuts along the edges of the sheets and hinges can easily happen. Just the smallest amount of blood can not be wiped away on the good papers that I used and once a sheet needed to be pulled away and a new one printed. After that I kept a paper towel between finger and paper edge.

paper towel handy

After the stack of ten double sheets are glued together it is time to adjoin them together using the hinge valley side up for the spine edge of the book. Here I did not butt them up close but left enough space for the pages to fold against each other without buckling the edges.

spine glueing valley fold hinge

I kept them aligned along the straight edge and folded the book together as each hinge is dried in place.

lining up pages for glueing

I used a bone folder with a thin edge to crease the cover in two places where it wraps around to become the spine of the book and glue to the underside of the cover.

spine gap before filler

To reinforce the spine I covered a piece of book board with lokta paper that fills the gap between the spine hinged pages and the creased cover spine.

spine filler being madespine filler glued down

Here is the finished book.

finished book open

As of right now there are only five books completely finished and five more printed. I am very happy that there will only be an edition of twenty of these. Now I am wondering what to do with all the cut offs from the pages. I might try to print on them using my etching press. Christmas cards is a possibility.

book page waste

It seems a waste not to use these somehow. There will be close to 400 when I get this edition finished. Next week I am taking a break and going to a friends in Asheville just to get out of the studio and have a good visit over a bit of single malt.