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Bookbinding Projects

Christopher Swingley


The following document details the bookbinding projects I've attempted. My original interest in bookbinding was to make blank books for journal writing. Many of the commercially available books are poorly made, or the paper inside doesn't take fountain pen ink very well (Moleskine, for example). I figured I could do better.

Major Leauge Baseball Rules

[ signatures ]


My first project is to bind the Major League Baseball rules into a book. I bought a copy a few years ago, and it was "perfect" bound. As a result, the binding has broken and the pages have started falling out. The rule book gets some pretty heavy use, so I figure a true sewn-on-tapes binding may last longer than the copy I bought.

Lucky for me, Major League Baseball publishes the rules on it's web site, so it wasn't too much work to download the text, format it using TeX and print out a small version onto some nice paper and then bind it.

You can read more about it at the MLB Rules Project Page.

First Journal Book

[ journal book ]

journal book

The whole reason I started binding books was to produce journal books with unlined paper that took fountain pen ink without bleeding or feathering. This book was my first attempt. I've written about 30 pages in it so far, and although the spine isn't as flexible as I'd like, it's a nice looking book with great writing characteristics.

I will need to explore different spine structures, perhaps using an account book style of binding to see if I can get a more flexible spine. I also sewed the signatures too tightly, and that contributes to the overly stiff spine.

You can read more about it at the First Journal Project Page.

Journals of Lewis and Clark

My first real book. The first volume of the Journals is 524 pages long, which is a pretty thick book when printed folio on letter sized paper. It'll be a real test of my limited abilities.

As I go along I'll be updating the Journals of Lewis and Clark page.

Quick Coptic Notebook

At work I like to write stuff down in a notebook, rather than scrap paper because I may want or need to look back at something I've written in the past. It's also interesting to look back at the old books and see what I was working on in the past. I need a book that will lie completely flat on the desk, so it's ready to write in whenever something comes up. I also needed one fast because my last commercially produced journal was almost finished. I decided that a coptic journal would be perfect. They're very fast and easy to make because there isn't any glue or paste involved. It's just a series of sections, sewn together and to the boards. Because there's nothing on the spine, they lay completely flat.

You can read more about it at the Quick Coptic Notebook Project Page.

Lifetime Account Book

This isn't a traditional account book, but is a journal book for keeping track of my personal history in a more abbreviated form than a traditional journal. Each page has four months on it, and in 192 pages my account book will take me to age 63. Filling out the earlier pages will be sort of like writing my own biography, but going forward, it should be fairly easy to come up with the six or seven important events in each month. The book will be basically the same as my First Journal book.

Like my other books, you can read more about it at the Lifetime Account Book Page.

Back to the main Bookbinding page

[ Page last updated 12-Aug-2006 ]