Obligatory Finished product first! My wife has been writing a book for the last 2 years, She finally finished it and and self published online. However nothing feels quite like having pages between your fingers. It took me about 2 weeks of sneaking around and doing bits at a time so she wouldn't catch on. For those interested you can find the (not as cool) eBook version on:
Amazon Kindle – amzn.com/B01MG457PU
Amazon Kindle – amzn.com/B01MG457PU
Barnes & Noble Nook -http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1125006991?ean=2940157135898
Apple iBooks – itunes.apple.com/us/book/dagr/id1168495332?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Kobo – store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/dagr-1
Finding the right paper was difficult. I started with a linen resume paper but it was only textured on one side. Ultimately I found this at Staples and it worked out perfectly!
It's got a nice feel and the ivory color isn't as harsh on the eyes when reading.
Rather than just fold the pages in half by hand I wanted to make sure it was done right. I used the bone folder and the straight edge to score a line down the middle to make for a better fold
I spent an extensive amount of time in Microsoft Word figuring out how to print the book into 6 page booklets called signatures.
Using a couple pieces of wood from another project (cut to the right length) and a few clamps, was able to get a good press on the signatures.
Another view of the signature clamp assembly.
Marking where the holes would go
I used an ice pick looking tool called an awl and punch holes through the markings in the paper, with a thick piece of foam to press into.
Tools for the next phase, stitching the signatures:
Coat the thread with bee's wax. This prevents tangling and also helps keep things tight while stitching
Cut a couple pieces of cheesecloth to reinforce the spine.
The stitching begins.
Finally done! Only had 2 inches of thread left. This website was invaluable! joychen.info/bookbinding.html
I chose this PVA glue specifically because it was acid free, flexible when dry, and came at a decent price
I always wondered what these were called turns out they're "Headbands"
I used my makeshift clamp assembly and a few bricks, while I liberally glued the spine. I let it set until the glue dried clear.
Close up of the headband glued on.
Tools to cut out the front, back, and spine. I used a thicker chipboard for these pieces.
Outlining for the cover
Cutting through while keeping the lines straight proved challenging. After cutting I used a fine sandpaper to smooth the edges and corners.
I cut the hardcover material about .5-.75 inches larger than the cover. I didn't need straight lines for this as it would ask ultimately be covered.
Cutting this shape in the corner ensured that when glued, the underlying chipboard wouldn't show through.
Here's how the cut looks during assembly.
Front view of the completed cover piece.
I decided to make my book two tone, with the front and back covers being blue (her favorite color) and the spine a dark grey material.
Finally to the moment of gluing the text block to the cover!
I got some patterned paper that would go well with the overall color scheme
My previous clamp assembly only pressed half the book. For this part I needed an even press on the entire book. Unfortunately I didn't think ahead and cut more board to the right length, so I had to use full length boards with a few more clamps before the glue dried.
Another shot of clamp assembly 2.0
Time to add some words. I wanted to do foil like most hard bound books, but time became an issue, her birthday was coming up quick
Using public domain images I formatted a cover for the eBook version!