Yesterday I started an article listing my most used bookbinding tools and equipment and what each tool does. It got a bit long for a single post, so here is the rest of the article and also some links to suppliers.
Case bound Books
If you wish to add board covers to your books you will need the following items in addition to earlier products.
PVA: To add board covers to your books you will need an adhesive. I use Hobbycraft Craft PVA. PVA dries fast and is easy to clean up. Don’t leave a brush covered in PVA to dry - or you will need to buy a new brush! If you can’t clean the brush straight away, place it in a pot of water, until you can clean it properly. I use a Pritt Stick for handmade papers as it isn’t so wet. If you wish to use Bookbinding glue it is still PVA but has Methyl Cellulose added which makes it a little slower to dry. If you wish to use book cloth, you will want to use Wheat paste, PVA would show through bookcloth and leave shiny marks on the surface.
Blank Newsprint: When you are gluing, it is essential that you are working on a clean dry surface. If you work on a pile of blank newsprint, if one sheet gets glue on it , it is easy to fold that sheet up and still have a clean surface ready and waiting. I got a huge pile of A3 blank newsprint from a removals company for just £12! Storage companies also sell this. I cut my paper down as I only make small books, so this pile of paper will last me a very long time. I don’t glue onto magazines or other printed surfaces, as when the wet glue gets on it, the ink can run and ruin your project.
Wax Paper; When you cover bookboard with decorative papers, it is a good idea to leave the boards under weight to dry. To stop glue transferring from your project to your press and also to stop any dirt from your press, transferring to your project, wrap the project in wax paper. You also use wax paper to protect your bookblock from a newly attached cover, while the glue is still wet and the project is under weight drying. I buy my waxed paper by the roll from Lakeland Limited
Paintbrush: I use a no6 flat hog hair brush for applying glue. Don’t leave glue on the brush unless you are still using it. If you can’t wash your brush out straight away, stand the brush in a pot of water. PVA dries fast. If you let PVA dry on your brush - you’ll need to buy a new brush.
Bookboard: People struggle with this as it is know by different names in different countries. Bookboard is also know as Grey board, Davy Board, Matte board and Chip board. It is a dense grey cardboard and is available in a variety of thicknesses. If you have dexterity issues like me (RSI) then for small books you could use mount board as an alternative. Mount board is the card stock used by picture framers. It is thinner and more flexible so not suitable for larger books but if you dexterity doesn’t allow you to cut Grey board it is an alternative – if you work small. In the UK you can get Grey Board from art stores.
Measuring Gaps; From B&Q (DIY store) I bought three square section steel rods, 6mm,8mm and 10mm. My husband cut these down to managable lengths and I use these as placement guides between the spine piece and the outer covers for case bound books. Its far easier than a lot of measuring.
Post Bound Albums
If you have seen commercially available scrapbooks they are post bound albums. If you wish to create them I recommend buying a Crop A Dile, this is a very strong hand held punch and will easily bite through chip boards and is much quicker and easier than using a hand punch and hammer!!!!
Posts:The metal posts themselves are another one of those products that go by different names in different countries. They go by the names; Screw Posts, Inter Screws, and Chicago Screws. The posts are usually available in Aluminum, Nickel and Brass. One tip! Whichever tool you use to create the holes for your posts..buy the screws from a country that does the same dimensions! I used a Crop A Dile to make my holes…perfect but when I bought the screw posts from the UK they were cut to metric sizes, because the Crop A Dile is an American made product it cuts holes in imperial sizes DOH!!!!!!
The best advice I can give a new bookbinder is to have a good look around the Internet and books and find a kind of style that you like, this will help you decide what equipment you need to get. Blogsare a good place to start, there are often tutorials on them and if you like someones style they often have links to blogsthat they follow, which are likely to be of a similar style. You Tube is also a great place to look for tutorials, not all of the films on there are great, such is the nature of the site, but there are some real gems on there. I learnt my coptic stitching from videos on there, so if you are miles from anywhere and getting tuition locally isn’t an option the internet can be a real friend. Next month my Featured Artist for September will be Jackie Poutasse who runs a superb forum for bookbinders, the forum is called The Book Arts Forum and is a wealth of information and a perfect place to find others with the same interest and also links to lots of tutorials.
Here’s the part you have been waiting for, do have a look at my Bookbinding Tabat the top of this blog, there are Far more links in there than would be sensible to link to in a single post. There are links to suppliers, books and tutorials in that section so do have a good look round those pages.
Falkiners ( now Shepherd’s)
Paper Mill ShopAll kinds of papers and scrapbooking tools
Lakeland Limited Kitchen store but they stock wax paper ;)
J. Hewit & Sons Bookbinding tools and leather for bookbinding
Talas Bookbinding Supplies
Paper Studio Decorative Papers and tools
Boektotal Bookbinding tools and supplies
Papier Royaal; Paper, Journals and Bookbinding supplies
I hope you have found these articles useful, it has taken me a number of years to accumulate these links and one of the reasons I started this blog was to bring them together to make it easier for others to find related sites. Do visit The Book Arts Forum as it is not only a wonderful and friendly community of bookbinders but also another great source for research and inspiration.
Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon