Instructables

Simple Leather Book Binding using power tools! BSG Edition.

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Picture of Simple Leather Book Binding using power tools! BSG Edition.
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This is my Monday -ible, as part of my 5 ible 5 days bet with fungus amungus - Ive published it a day early just in time to sneak it into the craft contest!

Ok, so i decided i was going to make a replica book like out of the new Battlestar Galactica.
Firstly, i knew absolutely nothing about book binding, i vaguely remember seeing an ible on it before.

All i remember from it, was that it involved poking lots of little holes in paper, i wanted quick and easy, so heres my method (i completed the entire book in the space of one day, with about 6 hours work, not bad for my first book bind?)

Secondly, it had to have two corners missing just like in BSG, this actually made it easier to cover the item in leather.

Materials used
  • About 50 sheets of 250gsm vanilla coloured paper (size SRA4 - 225 x 320mm)
  • Pva glue, (elemers glue/wood glue)
  • Some thick mounting board, or dense card (the gmjhowe special)
  • One large piece of leather
  • Some white thread
  • Some off cuts of fabric
  • a couple of sheets of wrapping paper, or parchment paper (normal paper can be used.)

Tools used
  • A dremal, or drill (the higher speed of the dremal makes for an easier job)
  • A couple of clamps, and/or a desk clamp(vice) - You can manage with a stack of hefty books.
  • A needle
  • some scraps of card
  • A stanley knife
  • Metal rule
  • set square
  • your finger (the best glue spreader you can get)
On with the show!
 
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Step 1: Folding

Picture of Folding
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Here were going to make the actual pages for the book.
As usual, due to the complexity, im gonna run by the pictures.

Picture 1 - Take your paper (pick which ever size you want) i used SRA4. Now, fold every sheet in half, the more perfect the fold, the better your book will look

Picture 2 - Crease the paper by running a Round Object down one edge, Here it shows a battery, but that quickly started to fall apart, so i ended up using my Apple remote.

Picture 3 - Place the paper in a Vice, or under some books. Just to flatten those creases some more.

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:0 This is the coolest thing in the WHOLE world. I wish I could do this but I don't have all of the leather materials... :/

legamin8 months ago

I very pondered the outer covering for my own rebound books. I like your result.

Congratulations friend nice work! Brazilian greeting :)
Really enjoyed this tutorial, gmjhowe.
I've lots of leather and wanted to start making books eons ago. ;)
Clear, concise and understandable to other novices. Appreciated!

~Hugs, Tanya
If you use stiffer paper for your inside cover plates it will look cleaner. You can cut out and mount a logo under your leather for a embossed look
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I really like the seams on the cover. Did you do that or did the leather come like that? Very cool work to the OP and to you too, Blackdog Barker ^_^
did you just cut the card out to make the hook ? like is there no card in there ? or am i seeing things ?
spaceman8742 years ago
thank you, i was looking for a way to make pocket editions of the skyrim books.
I technecally don't have to cut the corners off do I?
imrobot5 years ago
mmmmmm cake!!!!!! i *heart* cake i think i'll go eat some! yum!
the cake is a lie...
coppernikle2 years ago
I'm a far cry from professional, but I work with leather and I work with books. Your project is great in a number of ways, but finishing the spine ends the way you did gave me pause; I'm wondering if there isn't a way to eliminate the...clutter? of the corner strips... Going back to your LeatherTime! pics and rather than first gluing the leather to the pages' spine, how about building the cover by itself first? gluing the leather to all parts of the cover board, including the parchment-or-whatever inside-cover paper, being careful *not* to glue *between* the long/thin board pieces that make up the spine grouping just yet, and folding all edges smoothly around the board pieces. At this point, you'd have a pack of sewn pages and the essentially finished cover separate from each other. Then bring together the pack of pages with the cover, *thoroughly* gluing the pages' spine to the board-and-parchment spine and gluing inbetween the narrower long pieces. Also, while wood glue is okay if the only at-hand option, it does crack under use-flexing and is eventually more susceptible to humidity/moisture than, say, a good leather glue. Nice project, nice delivery--Kudos :)
diy_bloke3 years ago
I found that in order to glue leather, starch is actually a much better product than wood glue. Just whip up some starch ('wall paper glue') like you would do for heavy wallpaper. Apply lavishly on the leather and then put th eleather on yr book
overblast3 years ago
This is so sweet! I was wondering if a drill press would do, so now I don't need to buy a piercing cradle ($20) nor a sewing frame ($20).

You've helped me come under budget, thank you!!

Making some books for daughter & her husband, on a special church trip this weekend, so I've got TOMORROW ONLY to get this done.

Thanks again!
flio1913 years ago
Did they ever explain why in bsg the papers are made that way? Is that just how... space materials... work? haha.... hmm...
Ockham flio1913 years ago
Starting in the first season of BGS the production team had a motto to describe the care they took to make sure everything was thought through, "We don't cut corners!" The papers were a spoof the prop guys did to make the production team aware of how much they used that phrase...production liked the concept and used the cut corner document thing for the whole series.
vincent75203 years ago
great job

practise mkes perfect
DerekH6 years ago
Very nice. How well is it holding up?
gmjhowe (author)  DerekH6 years ago
Really well actually, i gave it some 'product testing' and you can push it open pretty far, its not going anywhere. I do think i could have used some thinner papers though.
this is a beautiful book! Great instructions. I just have one question--can the book lie flat when open?

PaisleyCat
rommel5434 years ago
Love the work, I am definitely going to try this out.
muyo194 years ago
Great method of binding. I'll try this for sure!
TabbyDeAnne4 years ago
Hey there! This is one of my fav's!! I LOVE POWER TOOLS and if I can do a kick butt project using them then yay!! Keep it up!
Tabatha
rredmon4 years ago
The Cake Is A LIE!!

Sorry couldn't resist


Great ible  btw...I may have to use this one day :D
jvodak4 years ago
 Wow, Very nice,  to bad you had to cut the corners of the paper yourself.  Would be neat if we could convince the mills to "cut corners" so to speak.  Very nice, and its okay to impress yourself sometimes!
ferrari4844 years ago
 Sometimes i  skipped along you instructable, but now i really got a good look at it. Well great job. Making a book from scratch. Nice.
caltemus4 years ago
Could this be used to repair an old book? I have a copy of the complete Bone graphic novel and it has fallen apart. It is fairly large though...
hinata00974 years ago
thanks! this help a lot im writing my own book and i needed to know how to bind it!
Do you have to fold the page in half before sewing them, or could you just use smaller single sheets in the same way ?
By the looks of things single sheets would work just as well, with the possible problem being that pulling one sheet out (if you need it) could loosen the rest of the pages, making them more prone to falling out. However, from the number of pages I've seen fall out of old/beat-up books, and from the fact that gmjhowe does this sort of thing for a living (the binding, not the instructable-ing), It's safe to assume that either way works fine.
lmuli35 years ago
i'de prolly help to also tie a thin piece of cardboard in with the spine on the backs of the pages
lmuli35 years ago
no advice needed it is an awesome design well done i gotta try it. i think you should sell these for a quite a bit of money
gmjhowe (author)  lmuli35 years ago
Thanks, when i get a bit more room, i intend to batch produce these.
JellyWoo5 years ago
Cool! I will be doing this for a poetry book in school.
wenpherd5 years ago
what is that?!?!?!?!?
Kurogaru5 years ago
Nice, very simple and very well done, I must try it someday.
gmjhowe (author)  Kurogaru5 years ago
Thanks!
wenpherd5 years ago
this is cool, hey you like my new profile image?
gmjhowe (author)  wenpherd5 years ago
Im glad you like, ive left you a message on your orangeboard regarding my avatar.
hammer98765 years ago
Very classy.
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