Introduction: Make a Book Binding Cradle

Coptic book binding is a traditional form of book binding that has been around for thousands of years.  Although it is fairly simple, there are some specialized tools you might find incredibly handy when binding your own books.

In this Instructable I will show you a simple and easy way to make your own book binding cradle which only took me around 15 mins to make thanks to the tools at TechShop San Jose.

You will need:

a 24"x12" piece of wood or other material to cut your cradle out of
blue painter's tape
wood glue (or another type of glue depending on what you make your cradle out of)
Laser cutter or wood working tools

Step 1:

First, you need to cut out your pieces.  

You could use any 1/4" thick material for this project (acrylic, cardboard, metal, etc...).  I have chosen to use 1/4" plywood because of its durability and how easy it is to work with.

If you chose wood or acrylic, you could cut all your pieces out by hand using wood working tools, but since I have access to TechShop's laser cutters, I chose to build a file and cut my pieces out that way.

Step 2:

Now you have to mark where to glue your support pieces (the 3"x1/4" rectangles) on your 2 side pieces.

Take a straight edge and place it from one corner to the one diagonally opposite and draw a line about 1/2 way down, then do the same thing for the other 2 corners so you are left with a V.

Repeat on the front and back of both side pieces.

Step 3:

next, glue 2 of the small rectangles, one on each line of the V on both the front and back of each side, leaving around 1/2" between the 2 pieces at the bottom, repeat on the other side piece.

Step 4:

While that dries, take your two long sides and put them side by side as shown in the picture.  Tape the two seems together with blue painter's tape.

Step 5:

Now fold the two halves together and tape the back together with blue tape as well.

Although you could potentially put the sides together with a hinge, I found that the blue tape is very forgiving when you're punching holes in the paper you are about to bind, and is also cheap and easy to replace once your tape is too chewed up to use anymore.

Step 6:

Now you can assemble your cradle!

The beauty of this design is that it can pack flat and travels really well if you're going to a craft night somewhere, or just don't have the space to have a book binding cradle on your work area all the time.