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MAKING A SOFT-BOUND BOOK

Updated on January 17, 2010

Binding a paperback is much easier and cheaper compared to a hardbound one. It only need little time in cutting, binding and putting of glue. All papers can be consolidated into one material, more convenient, easy, compiled and attractive. All important documents are secured into one place. It can be displayed in the bookshelves for reading references and information.

How it is being done? Prepare stacks of loose papers. You have to format the pages putting the margin on the inner edge and wider than the outer margin. The purpose is for the text to be easily readable. Prepare for clamping. Temporary clamp the edge of the stack of papers away from the spine side. You can use a bulldog clip to hold and secure the loose papers in preparation for sewing and gluing. During the clamping, in order to avoid the end of the clip to leave markings to the upper portion of the papers, you need to cover the clip with a piece of paper.

Check the spine edge of the stack of papers if it is completely flat and flush. Cut the grooves into the spine edge of the stack. Use a hacksaw to cut the shallow grooves into the spine edge of the stack 2-3mm. deep. Be sure to position the clamp close to the spine in order for the pages to hold together tightly. You can do the sawing by putting it over the edge of the table pressing down the pages by putting additional weight to the stack of papers with heavy piece of wood.

The grooves allow the glue more surface area to stick holding the book together. Cut the grooves along the spine edge. Check if the spine is flush. Apply the glue. To hold the pages firmly, get a small amount of glue in between the edges of each sheet. Use a glue that is sticker and can hold firmly.

Apply glue as the stack is curled first in one direction then to the other. The pages will spread out revealing a small strip of the inside surface. Bend or curl the sheets over. Apply glue all across the spine. Apply it all the way to the edges. Apply enough glue for the pages to easily slide back in other direction. Repeat the process with the pages curled in opposite direction. Flatten the pages out again. Run your fingers on either side of the spine. Give up a little as the glue squeezes back out from between the pages. Be sure not to over-squeeze smooth the remaining glue across the spine. Let it dry. Once the glue dried, apply another layer of glue to the spine to give an extra strength and firm support.

After the spine has dried sufficiently, attach the cover. Measure the cover from card stock, a size of the 2 book pages. Include the width of the spine in your measurement. Make the cover oversize and trim it down once the cover is attach to the text block. It should be perfectly fit. Score four folds on the cover. The 2 folds should be placed where the cover is fold around the edges of the spine. The other two place 5 mm out from the first two folds. The cover will bend away from the book pages on the second folds.

Use piece of scrap paper as a mask. Apply glue from one of the outer scores in to post the center. Turn around the cover and repeat. The area between the 2 outer scores is to  be covered with glue. Only a thin layer of glue is required between the inner and outer scores. Apply a heavier layer of glue between the inner two scores where the cover will actually attach to the spine of the book.

Fit the pages into the cover. Press the spine firmly into the heavier strip of glue at the center of the cover. Fold the cover around the pages. Run your fingers down the side of the spine to make the book stronger. The cover makes a good seal to the spine as the card will give support to it. Drying time of the glue is 14 hours.

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