Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bookbinding 101: Basic Tools

We'll be covering a wide range of skills and book structures, for which there is a basic set of tools we recommend. In later posts we'll discuss each tool in detail,  we'll discuss alternatives, and briefly mention fancier tools (which we'll discuss in greater detail in Bookbinding 102), but the following list of tools will enable you to create a wide range of structures.

In fact, you can create (nearly) any book structure there is with just this simple set of tools.

Fancy stuff like sewing frames and presses can be nice to use, but are not required. We make a large part of our living making books, and only sometimes use a sewing frame (for convenience rather than necessity), and never use presses, opting for clamps or weights instead when the need for one arises. 

The following list combines in a single bullet point similar tools or tools that go together.

Again, we'll be discussing these in detail in upcoming posts:


Anything to add to the discussion? Please leave a comment.

4 comments:

ronnie said...

isn't it interesting how different makers would have totally different tools lists? (I've got to say - I think you'll need to caption that picture as I don't recognise some of those things - what for example are those red handled things on the right?

Lizzie said...

My tool list would be pretty much the same as this... nice to know I've got that bit "right" anyway!
I have a large version of the cropadile - it's really useful (though I am wondering how long the spring will hold out, as it does get very regular use...)
I think we all have "favourite" tools or our own version of something, but the basics are quite likely to be very similar, in anyone's toolkit.
Thanks for this post. Looking forward to Bookbinding 101 - It's going to be exciting... I'm sure!

Karleigh Jae said...

You'll see us expand on each tool as we blog about each category. For example, the bone folder shown is just a typical bone folder and both Daniel and I have our favorite bone folders we use for particular projects.

@ Ronnie:
The red handled things on the right of the photo are spring clamps. I know a lot of people use different looking clamps. We have a few different kinds, and other kinds would suffice as well. The photo isn't definitive, more illustrative, and we'll discuss several clamp options in our "clamp post", with photos of each kind. The list is by no means definitive either, and we'd really love to see a list of your basic tool set. We just might decide to revise ours :)

@ Lizzie:
You can rest your mind about the wear that your cropadile is getting :) The cropadile's are meant to last a lifetime and beyond. We have the larger one too and both are built extremely well. They've been through hundreds and hundreds of books -paper, leather and book board - and they are still going strong. The smaller one had a spell of a few months where it must have had something jammed down in the mechanism that made it tough to use. We'd have to pull the handles open after punching, but it cleared up and works fine now.

Lizzie said...

Thanks for that Karleigh! I was considering whether to buy a spare, but now I will happily carry on regardless!