Personalized From Start to Finish

The Binding Process

A step-by-step process of making your ideas, memories, and values a creative reality.

Step 1

I begin with a full sized sheet of acid-free paper, so your memories and photos will be preserved on fine quality pages.

Step 2

The paper is folded in half, or to a desired page width.

Step 3

The pages are now ready to be cut to size.

Step 4

Each folded sheet is cut to the desired page height.

Step 5

I now have a loose stack of properly sized pages.

Step 6

The pages are placed in a clamp. Shallow grooves are cut along the spine creating a small hole in each page. These holes will line up with the binding cords and act as guides for handsewing with needle and thread.

Step 7

Pages are now stacked inside one another a few at a time. Each stacking is called a Signature. If the book is to be a Scrapbook or an Album, spacers are inserted into each signature at this time. These spacers will provide extra space along the spine so photos can be placed in the book.

Step 8

The signatures are now stacked and ready for binding.

Step 9

Each signature is sewn around leather (or sometimes fiber) cords.

Step 10

This continues until all signatures are sew snugly together around the cords.

Step 11

The book is now bound together and ready to be glued.

Step 12

The book is placed again in the clamp with a slight rounding to the spine.

Step 13

Archival glue is brushed onto the spine. It is glue made specifically for bookbinding so the spine will remain flexible and never crack.

Step 14

I then hammer the spine starting at the center and working to the edges. This will tighten and round the spine.

Step 15

Headbands are now hand stitched onto the spine ends. These will serve to protect the spine edges.

Step 16

The headbands consist of a leather cord that is wrapped in two thread colors.

Step 17

The threads are sewn directly into the binding for strength and protection of the spine edges.

Step 18

Thread colors used for the headbands are selected to coordinate with the leather exterior and final design.

Step 19

Next is to finish off the book’s paper edge. The traditional method is to shave each page down. I do this with a straight edge razor blade while the book is clamped.

Step 20

I have developed my own method of edge finishing as well. To achieve a sculpted deckled edge on some books, I hand rip each page to form a particular shape complimentary to the book’s intended cover composition.

Step 21

To achieve a thick durable cover, two or more layers of cover board are glued together and pressed beneath foam condensed under heavy pressure.

Step 22

A 3-dimensional cover design is created by cutting and carving. In the custom design shown here, it is a requested name and carved Rose, as well as a border which will frame a Harley-Davidson belt buckle. The book will next be affixed to the coverboards with the leather binding cords. The cover hinges will also be reinforced with two layers of 55 pound tensile strength fabric for added durability and heirloom quality.

Step 23

The leather is glued to the cover with archival flexible glue. This glue is applied to a one inch sized section at a time while the leather is situated into each groove with small tools and until dry. This continues in tiny increments until the entire cover design is tightly covered under the leather hide.

Step 24

Sheet metal is hand cut into desired shapes for certain designs. The finish is sanded and prepped for attachment to the cover.

Step 25

The edges of the copper are smoothed and finishing details are attended to.

Step 26

The copper has been wired through the cover for permanent attachment. The Harley-Davidson belt buckle has also been attached. Orange handmade paper was placed into the book as coversheets directly inside the covers.

Step 27

The rose was covered to achieve a 3-dimensional leather sculpture.

Step 28

The cover is now complete.

Step 29

A 100th Anniversary Harley -Davidson emblem was made into a leather page marker to complete the theme of this custom ordered album. The final task was to place the completed book in a press for 48 hours to assure final flat covers.

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