Binding Bill’s Family Journey

Recently, I had the pleasure of binding a copy of Bill’s family story. Being interested in binding, Bill had already completed a copy for himself, but this time was after something a little more special.  Here is a quick look at the steps involved.
Bill’s text was printed on single pages, so Cleat Sewn Double Fan Adhesive Binding was required, to give it maximum strength.  This needed leaving for a few nights, as our chilly start to the Spring season left me wanting to be very sure it was all completely dry.
Gold edgework was the go with this one, and after initially being reluctant to attempt it in ink, as opposed to true gilding, Bill encouraged me to have a crack.  Nice one, Bill – it turned out just fine 🙂 You can see the patient sanding and polishing preparation gives the edge a lovely shine.
Sky blue endpapers, spine lining and reinforcement, and a dark blue organza place ribbon (Bill’s personal colour choices – a nice combination with the gold). Now to prepare the boards.
I generally use a solid 3mm board for covers, but as these required inset labels, I first laminated a 2mm board with a 1mm cut out board (careful to keep the cutouts for shaping later on), including on the spine.
..sizing up the boards in the finishing press, just to be absolutely sure it all sits beautifully.
 The inset boards have been covered in dark blue Arbelave Buckram, now using the cutouts to place back in the recess for pressing, including in the spine. This results in very shmick, clean recess lines – nice.
The textblock is inserted (I used non-stick sheets inside the covers to be sure no naughty glue stuck were it ought not) and the whole thing left overnight under pressure in the standing press. Notice the brass edge boards, which will crease in the hinge area beautifully. Usual brass edge boards are about 10mm thick, but I had these made – 30mm, with a heavy brass. That kind of weight is great in the big press to spread the pressure across the whole book.

..and here is the completed book..
Flatback, Cleat sewn, full cloth hard case with recessed labels and gold edging.
 One final step is to make a sturdy slipcase for it.
3mm board, pre-lined in the same sky blue, matching buckram covering
(pictured with Bill’s previously bound volume)
Bill was so happy with the result, he brought me a bonus orange potted rose called ‘Brandy’.
Aaaw, that’s so sweet, Bill. You really shouldn’t have (but I’m glad you did – its’ Bonza!)
See you all again soon at the workbench.   x

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