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Essential Home Bookbinding Equipment

Jan 12 2015

Whether bookbinding is your hobby or a way for you to make a little extra money, it is essential that you have the correct equipment for the job. While it is necessary to leave large binding jobs to the professionals, such as ourselves, there is nothing wrong with taking an interest in the timeless craft yourself. We have compiled a list of the essential equipment needed for home bookbinding projects.

Bookbinding

As any avid bookbinder will know there are various methods of bookbinding depending on the application. For the novice bookbinders we will provide a brief description of the two main methods. The first method is the stationery, or vellum, method which is used to create books intended to be written in. If you are hoping to create beautiful notebooks for your friends and family, this is the method to focus on. Secondly, the method of letterpress binding, which can be broken down into subcategories, is used to create and assemble books which are intended to be read.

Clamp

This is a general term for the largest piece of equipment required. Clamps, or presses, come in many forms, shapes and sizes depending on the application and the scale of the project. For example, a company producing thousands of books each day would require extremely different equipment to an individual creating the occasional scrapbook in their home office. Many novices begin with simple presses and clamps made from bits of wood, simply to keep the pages in place while the adhesive sets. Once your skills become more advanced you could invest in a larger press to cope with larger and more frequent projects.

Glue

As with the presses, there are many options when it comes to adhesives, depending on the application. There are loads of specialist glues on the craft market which are ideal for bookbinding. The best way to find the perfect one for your project is to do as much research as possible and source the glue which is most suitable. Once you have the glue, make sure you do even more research to discover the best way in which to apply it for your particular project. If you’re still learning there are bound to be many mistakes, frustrations and Frankenstein creations, but you’ll get there eventually!

Paper

Last, but by no means least, where would your book be without paper? Whether you’re assembling a the full pages of a novel or the plain pages of a future notebook you will need to make sure that the paper being used is in the correct condition and form. Ensure that the pages are all the same size and that, if they aren’t plain, they are in order. Similarly, you will also need to invest in covers and a spine for your creations; however, while you are learning, it may be a good idea to focus on the most basic processes at first.