Aluminum 1 piece @ $12.29/piece Cut to: 4.5" x 7"
Aluminum 1 piece @ $2.63/piece Cut to: 1.5" x 4.5"
Aluminum 1 piece @ $9.65/piece Cut to: 5.5" x 4.5"
Leather binding: ~ $4.00
Brass screw posts (bag of 6 but using only 3): ~ $2.50
Paint: ~ $3.00
Graph Paper Pad (for qty 2): ~ $2.25
16 brass slot screws ~ $2.00
Total cost: approx $38.75
(Many of the items I use here are left over from my Flipbook projects here and here.)
Step 1: Components - Aluminum
Here are price comparisons:
Sheet 1 - 4.5 x 7
Sheet 2 - 1.5 x 4.5 Lot Charge $146.51
Sheet 3 - 5.5 x 4.5
Sheet 1 - 4.5 x 7
Sheet 2 - 1.5 x 4.5 Lot Charge $24.57 at onlinemetals.com
Sheet 3 - 5.5 x 4.5
(I bought a smaller set for a smaller version to be made shortly:)
1 piece @ $6.83/piece Cut to: 3.5" x 5"
1 piece @ $1.37/piece Cut to: 1" x 3.5" Lot Charge $13.80 at onlinemetals.com
1 piece @ $5.46/piece Cut to: 3.5" x 4"
Step 2: Components - Screws, Leather, Hinges
I have some strips of leather I purchased from Tandy leather company (locally) for my Flipbook projects - natural (tan) and black. I chose to use black for this project so the brass Chicago screws (screw posts) would really stand out. Tandy sells online from their website at tandyleatherfactory.com
I found the small hinges as a pack of 4 at Hobby Lobby for under $2.00.
Step 3: Components - Graph Paper Pads and Paint
Finally, paint was a single can of Krylon Fusion Hammered Finish dark copper. I laid it on extra thick over a few days and the aluminum has a nice (and unique) visual and tactile surface. I was worried about painting aluminum but this stuff sticks and sticks good - it'll probably chip off if dropped from a height, but I've tested it by making a few scratches and it's a solid coating as you can see.
Graph Paper Pad - 4.3" x 6.7" (ALG14)
Step 4: Paint Aluminum
I could have painted only the external sides of the pieces, but because I wasn't sure which side I'd choose as external (and to give myself choices) I painted all sides of the pieces.
The final result looks a little different in photos than when you're holding it, but it turned out great - sort of a metallic copper leather look but with a very interesting surface feel.
Step 5: Test Assembly
Step 6: Drilling the Cover Plates and Graph Paper Stack
After the plates were drilled, I used one as a template to drill the stack of graph paper. I placed the aluminum plate on top, marked the paper with a sharp point, placed scrap wood on top and bottom, and drilled.
Step 7: Assemble Main Body (minus Hinged Cover)
As you can see the screw posts don't extend beyond the surface of the top plate - this is where the 1/4" brass extensions come in. I inserted 3 of them and then folded the leather over and pressed down hard. The extensions made little indentations and I used a sharp awl to make the points easier to see.
I then drilled those holes, wrapped around the leather and screwed them down with the screw post ends.
One of the images shows the completed journal minus the hinges... that's the next step.
Step 8: Attach Cover
I used Gorilla Glue for the hinges... the glue expands (I wish they'd solve that problem) but I used my Dremel again to grind down the glue overflow.
After the hinges were secured, I covered them and repainted the pieces with one last touch up. Then I assembled the journal - weighs about 3-4 pounds... (best guess).
Step 9: The Journal
Total time spent on project: ~4 hours (not counting paint and glue drying times)
1. Always use eye protection - while grinding off the screw heads with my Dremel, one of the heads "got away" and smacked against my eye shields - if I hadn't been wearing them...
2. Let the paint dry good - take the extra few days to coat the aluminum thick and let the paint harden.
3. Looking back I know I should have drilled the aluminum first before painting... argh. But all those re-touch coats I kept putting on just kept adding to the nice look and feel of the covers.
4. I'm going to try and make a mini-journal next using the smaller set of aluminum plates, but I need a break... and then it's on to the next project.