How to bind your own books at home
Start off by building your binding jig
You are going to build a very simple binding jig that will allow you to press your book pages together and glue the binding. You can acquire all these materials at your local hardware or home improvement center. You will need a hand drill. You may be able to borrow one from a neighbor. You will need a 1/4" inch bit and a 5/16" bit to drill holes in your jig boards. see the illustration to see the materials needed for your jig.
Materials needed to build your binding jig
Binding Jig Diagram
Instructions to build and use your binding jig
I suggest you purchase a dimensional piece of lumber 1" x 6" x 48" which will give you enough lumber for two jigs. Hardware needed is as follows: 4 - 1/4" x 3" carriage bolts. 4 - 1/4" wing nuts. 4- 1/4" hex nuts 4 - 1" x 1/4" washers.
This jig will allow you to bind a half page 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" book up to 300 pages.
Cut boards to 12" lengths. Sand and smooth edges for safe handling. Label each board top and bottom. Measure a point 1" inside each board as shown in the illustration to determine your drill holes. Clamp both boards together and drill through both at the same time. Use the 1/4" drill bit. After you drill the 1/4" holes. Drill wider holes in the top board with the 5/16" bit to allow bolts to slide more easily as you guide the top down over the bolts. The bolts should slide up through the holes.
Take the carriage bolts and slide them into the bottom board so that they face upward and use hex nuts to secure the carriage bolts to the bottom board.
When you are ready to bind a book, you will place the unbound book on the bottom board and let the gutter edge protrude about 1/8th of an inch out from the bottom board.
Note: Before you lay the book in the jig, hold the paperbook pages and drop them on an even surface to make sure the pages are flat and even for application of the binding glue.
After the book is placed in the jig, carefully slide the top board down allowing the bolts to come through the holes and let the top board rest on the book pages. Be careful not to move the loose pages of the book.
Grab the big one inch washers. Drop them over the bolts and the use the wing nuts to tighten the top board over the paper book and tighten each wing nut a bit at a time until the paper book is tightly secure between the two boards. (see illustration below )
The next step is to lift the jig upright along the narrow edge so that the binding side of the book faces upward. Apply the glue to the exposed edge of the book pages protruding from the jig with a small brush.(see illustration below) You can purchase this glue at any art supply or office supply store where you purchase your book paper. Ask for Lineco neutral pH adhesive. An 8 oz bottle will offer enough glue to produces nearly a hundred books or more if you are careful. An 8 oz bottle costs only about 8 dollars.
You will apply the glue with a small brush in thin layers. The first layer will dry very quickly. Be careful not to use too much glue on the first coats or the paper will swell outward. You should let each layer dry before applying another. You should apply about 6 separate coats, building up the glue to a thickness of about a 1/16th of an inch to have the pages secured together.
After you have finished the gluing process, (adding layers may take a day or two as each one must dry). When the glue layer is dry to the touch, it will feel like a strip of rubber. You may unscrew the wing nuts and lift the binding jig top and remove your bound book.
There will be a separate hub under the subject of creating and attaching a cover to your book. All these book craft Hubs will fall under the group of Home Book Publishing Workshops
Binding Jig with book enclosed
Applying glue to the create the binding
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