Handbound Book

Handbound Book

Handbound Book

Your book should now look like a book. The last remaining step is to cover the unsightly interior of the front and back cover. In addition to finishing off the book and making it look more attractive, pasting endsheets also increases the strength of your book, because it acts as a final reinforcement to draw the cover to the spine. If you were making a blank book, using the first and last pages of the book as your endsheets (and perhaps then covering them with a nice decorative paper to finish them off) would add the most additional strength, since those pages are actually stitched and glued to the spine.

But since your first and last pages actually contain content (including the important TOC on the first page), you’ll want to use paper specific to this task. I decided to use MAKE’s original wraparound cover as my endsheet for the front cover board. Its thick stock works well for extra support and looks quite nice. I simply trimmed it to fit (leaving a the same distance to the each edge of the book and pasted the back of the wraparound cover to the front cover board. Allow glue to run into the spine of the wraparound cover, because you’ll want to use that area to cover the point where the cover meets the spine and extend into the front page by about 1/4". This grips the endsheet to the book block to add reinforcement to the spine.

You’ll need to cover the back cover board in the same way. Since I’d already stripped the cover from MAKE: Volume 2 (my next bookbinding project), I went ahead and used that for my back cover (guess I’ll need to be more creative with picking my endsheets when I bind Volume 2), trimming off the unwanted back cover ad, but leaving enough room to allow the 1/4" spine area to cover the gutter and connect the endsheet to the final page.

Put fresh pieces of wax paper between the covers and the book block, and set under heavy weights to dry overnight. You’ll wake up to a copy of MAKE that will last forever, as well as look unique and serve you well.

As you can see, as promised, the finished book lies flat, perfect for following an article’s instructions while working on a project like this one.

Well, since I sewn through the glued edge anyway, the pages are held in with thread more than glue. Even if the glue fails, they still stitched securely. Really, the glue is more for support of the stitching process than anything else. I agree that it a clumsy process and less than ideal, but I not sure of a better way. Certainly, if you begin with a saddle stitched magazine, you already way ahead of the game and are better off avoiding the whole signature creation process.

If I understand you correctly, you suggesting it would be better to sew directly through the spine of the original magazine? The point of the exercise is to make the project last longer, and pages fall out of perfect binding easily, so I not sure what would be gained by that process. But perhaps I misunderstanding you?

You can certainly bind a small magazine (or book) in a single bundle, but once the number of pages gets beyond 16 or so, you run into problems. Also, you have a larger bulk problem (the spine will be much, much thicker than the fore edge).

As for working with books, the process is the same. Actually, if you remove the cover of a book that already separated into signatures (most hardcover books, but no perfect bound books), you saved all steps having to do with signature creation. In fact, I originally learned this method for books and later had to add the signature creation bit to make it work with a perfect bound magazine.

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