Nearly Done

I have another batch of books nearly done.

This time I’ve got 2 coptic bound journals about A5 size, 2 minis like the previous ones, and one in between size. The in between one is done, so here’s a photo of it…


This batch have all been varnished, then burnished with steel wool and wax. I really like the look and  the feel of them.

I also made another little cut out accordion things, for fun…

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While I was in the states I picked up a book kit for making a leather bound journal.


I was expecting it to be a little more involved, but once I got around to making it, the instructions just say to glue the text block onto the leather with PVA. The text book was already bound in the kit.

I think it took about ten minutes.

In spite of how simple it was, I kind of like the results. The bone thingie I’m using to close it was my own little addition. I like the feel of the leather. It’s got me thinking about trying out some leather bound books. I just need to find a source of leather. And maybe learn how to use it…


I have several book covers drying after I varnished them, so there’s wasn’t much else I could do on them until the finish dries properly.

Today I experimented with accordion folds. I made a little city scape by cutting out one accordion.


I also made a little “create your own monster” book by drawing several beasties on another accordion so you can match up the halves.

Wax Off

I think the wax test seems to be fine. There’s no marking or discolouration on the paper of the waxed covers. Once I take some photos, I’ll list that book on etsy.

Wax on

I just finished another mini book.

This one is a bit experimental. I varnished the wood (all the wooden books I’ve made so far have a raw wood surface). Once the varnish dried, it looked a bit shiny so I burnished it with steel wool, but it still didn’t look right. So I rubbed it with wax.

I’m a little concerned the wax might stain the paper, so I’m going to let this one sit for a few days. If the paper is ok, then I might start doing more like this. In fact I have the blanks for two slightly larger books (about A5 size) that I think will look great when finished this way.

I make because…

It seems to me that most of the posts I write here are very factual. I haven’t really talked about why I enjoy making books.

Actually, I don’t know. I don’t know why I specifically like making books. I love making stuff, and I’ve found that making books exercises a number of different skills I have. In fact the actual book making part seems to only take a minor part of my time. Most of the preparation takes longer than the binding process.

I think that if I actually worked out how long it takes me to make the books I’m selling, I’d find that I’m selling them for much less than it costs me to make them, at least in terms of my time.

The wooden books I’m making take ages. I cut the stock wood down to size. I split it by hand with and axe or Froe. I match the front and back cover pieces of wood, then hand shape them using a chisel. This all takes a long time, but I really enjoy the process. I love the fact that I can see the book taking shape in my hands. I can just block everything else out and be in the moment of making something. I even love the feel of the wood in my hand. The final book is a very tactile thing to me. it has to feel good in the hand.

Machines would help me make things faster, and maybe one day I’ll get a band saw, and a panel saw, or a buzzer, or linisher, and I’ll be able to make the book parts faster. But for now I just enjoy working with my hand tools.

Maybe I’d enjoy making other things. I know I’d like to make furniture again, but here and now, I don’t have the space to make full sized furniture. Maybe books are a compromise. Its something I can make with a minimum of space and equipment. But there’s more to it than that. I like books in their own right. Maybe I can explore that more in another post.

Books Gone Fast


I only just listed those books and they are sold already. Now I’m out of stock and need to make some more books.

Now such a bad problem to have 😉

Post Holiday Books

It was a while coming, but 3 weeks after getting back from my holiday, I’ve reopened my Etsy shop with 2 new books for sale.


I closed the shop before I went away, so I guess it’s been closed for about 6 weeks now.

I have a new guillotine for cutting paper and that’s definitely improved the quality of the books. I can make even, repeatable cuts now.

Also, I used some of the new thread I bought while I was away. I think the orange colour (the label says “rust”, but I think it’s orange) works well with the colour of the wood.