I was recently in the position that I needed to bind a book. There are many good Instructables on how to make a book. Unfortunately, none quite met my needs (namely to bind single 8.5"x11" printouts/pages). So I developed this method which seems to work well. This technique seems to work best with at least 50 pages (about 1/4" thickness) I'm guessing the maximum is around 500 pages.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
1. Something worth making into a book (I would recommend a stack of papers)
2. RTV or PVA glue (something that will bind to paper and not shrink)
3. Sewing thread
4. Rubber cement
5. Duct tape
6. Two sheets of paper twice as wide as your stack of papers
7. 2-3 pieces of non-corrugated cardboard the same size as your stack of papers
8. contact paper/ laminating sheets (self adhesive is easiest)
Dremel with a cut-off wheel
4-5 black binder clips big enough to hold your stack of paper (for thicker stacks, try C-clamps with some wood to protect the paper)
X-acto/ razor/ box knife
Step 2: Align and Clamp Your Papers
Step 3: Cut Some Grooves
Step 4: Trim the Cover Boards
Step 5: Bind With Thread and Add Some Glue
Grab some thread. Use the Binder clip at one end of the spine to hold the end of the thread. Starting at the end, draw the thread through the grooves you just cut and around the tabs formed by the cuts. Start at the second cut from the end. Draw the thread through the groove then back down to the first groove and back across to form a loop around the tab of paper. Hold the loop of thread tight around the paper and move up to the next empty groove. Repeat the sequence in a loop-de-loop fashion until you reach the end of the spine (The diagram is a much better guide to see how this is done) Turn around and repeat the sequence going the opposite way to return to the starting point. Cut the thread long and slide it under the edge of the binder clip that holds the other end of the thread.
Apply the RTV or PVA glue to the spine. It is critical to push the glue into the pages. This is the key step and will really make a good binding with pages that won't fall out. Let me say it again. PUSH THE GLUE INTO THE PAGES. Use your fingers and work the glue in.
Now that your fingers are sticky, apply a thin layer of glue to the threads showing on sides of the spine and spread a smoothing layer of glue to the spine to accept the backing board from step 4. Make sure the backing board and spine are straight when gluing them together.
Let the glue dry COMPLETELY before attempting to remove the binder clips.
Step 6: Glue the Covers to the Leaf Pages
Step 7: Glue the Leaf Pages to the Body
Step 8: Apply Contact Paper and Duct Tape
A few tips on applying the Contact paper:
Use your fingernail or a spoon to smooth the contact paper and provide the best adhesion.
Center the Contact paper on the cover with a bit hanging off the top, bottom and open side.
Trim the corners to prevent overlap when folding the edges of the contact paper to the inside of the cover.
Apply a strip of duct tape down the spine to protect it. If the book is thick, use a couple of strips to provide coverage out to the contact paper on the cover. Press the duct tape down in a similar fashion to the contact paper to provide the best adhesion. Use an X-acto knife to trim the top and bottom of the tape to be flush with the spine.
Step 9: Use Your Book
Refer to it in lively conversation!
Burn it! (if you happen to be a fascist dictator)
I hope you found this Instructable to be a worthy one. This method is still fairly immature and I am sure improvements can be made. I would be interested in hearing what the Instructables community can do with this type of binding.
For the shopbot contest:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
If i win a shopbot,
I'll build something for you.
And it will probably have something to do with astronomy!