It started life as a cypress fence post, and it became a stack of potential book covers.


That should keep me busy for a while. The wood has to dry before I can do much with it, so it might be a while before I get to do anything with these.

Selecting timber is tricky. I want wood with a bit of character, but since I’m hand splitting these, “character” translates to “won’t split straight”.


Some of these might not make it into books, but they sure make for a pretty stack of wood.



I just tried working with some bone so I can make myself a bone folding tool.

I’ll probably pick up a commercially made one soon, when I find a shop that sells them, but in the mean time I thought I’d try making my own. I found this article on cleaning bone, and I’m about half way through the process.

I bought two kind of bone from the market: lamb bones, and beef marrow bones. It turns out the lamb bones aren’t much use as they are very thin, but I might be able to make some buttons or other decorative things from them. I boiled them all in plain water for 2-3 hours (saving the broth for soup), then scraped all the remaining flesh and gristle off them. Then I let them dry. They’ve been in the shed for about 2 weeks now.

I just got through rough cutting the bone into blanks. It’s not so easy to cut because the irregular shape makes it hard to clamp.

Next step is to soak them in refined petrol to degrease them. The article I linked to above calls it “white gas”. I assume this is the same stuff sold here in Australia as Shellite, which is refined petrol.

Once I’ve let them soak for a bit, I’ll look at shaping them into tools.

more mini coptic

Well, I sharpened my tools and bought more wood for wooden book covers, so that’s two items off the to-do list.

For this long weekends making, I have 4 little saddle bound books, 2 stab bound books, 2 coptic bound wooden books, and 2 folded books.


The folded books were a bit of an experiment, but I’m pretty happy with them. They are folded from a single piece of A4 paper. I found the instructions in Alisa Goldens book Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms


I had originally thought of the books I was making as things that would only reach their fulfilment once somebody else had used them;  a tabula rasa waiting to be filled in. But Goldens book introduced me to the idea of Book Arts where the book itself is the finished product.

I’m also quite happy with the two coptic bound books I made. These are two of the most finished books I’ve made so far. All the faces and edges of the covers have been cleaned up so there’s no splinters, although I’ve tried to keep the raw split faces as natural as possible.


Todo List

  • Sharpen tools
  • Make more blanks for wooden book covers
  • Find a good paper supplier
  • Find a supplier for thread for binding
  • Learn how to make my own bone folders