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Just a quick shot of the night’s work drying. More and better images to come. And better images they are. Here we see the soaking (in water just off the boil, ended up a whole 6 hours soaking) paper/cotton shreds just before blending.


Texture of a freshly laid sheet. In the end, I did not soak the wood dust before adding it to the pulp. Testing showed soaking drew out the pigment from the wood (bad) while softening the harder wood particles (ultimately irrelevant to this project). I shook it into pulp while stirring, much like powdered garlic into a sauce.


The material you saw here, plus the wood dust you saw here, turned into these. The darker sheet, rightmost, was poured out to be twice as thick as the others.

Next project is to print on these sheets.


Papermaking is one of the useful arts insofar as I can use up all those offcuts that have been piling up over the past few, um, years. Nice paper is too expensive to throw away, athough I sometimes will put some in the recycling bin as my way of improving the overall quality of paper in the industrial workpath. Small steps, people.

Here we see the “before” stack. The cloth on the left is an old cotton thing; definitely a rag by now.

…and here we see the results of the first shredding. I will further shred these before they go into the blender.


Here is an 1-hour old test soak of some paper, some cotton, and some of the wood dust. The main goal here is to observe the changes in the wood dust; the paper and cotton will swell up some, but their physical characteristics won’t really change. That should come with the fine shredding and soaking process.


Some small finishing cleanup and these books are done!

Given the ribbon placement, I’m thinking these boards were made for a portfolio project. But I still can’t figure what I was thinking when I punched and cut up the spine side. Anyway, the cloth covers up most of those sins now.


Detail, turnover at head of the book. Note the poor adhesion on the left.

Most of the work is done – I drilled the rest of the holes and covered the spine with both mull and cloth.  All’ s left is to trim the skewed top edge of the cloth and turn in the bottom edge.  That third column of holes on the right? Total mistake.

The extra cloth is really noticable  there on the left.

A better look at the cords through the cloth.

Another reason I was hesitant to work on the corded book is that I had to improvise an alternative to a sewing frame. Sewing a book on tapes off-frame I’m used to; cord not so much.

The cord runs below the ruler and signatures. The cord’s stiffness helps them stand somewhat upright; I fixed them to the ruler and gave them a hard 90 degree twist up. If the job were bigger, this likely wouldn’t’ve worked.

Book, boards attached by cord only. My most recent plan was to cover the spine with cloth but the book’s looks and handling with the spine exposed are so pleasing, I’m hesitant to cover that up.

Gratuitous neato shot.

I no longer remember what my plan was for the boards I scavenged; those slits puzzle the hell out of me.

Figuring these would work best with a textblock sewn on cords, and seeing as how I don’t do that often, I worked on the other book first.

This was formerly the bottom right leg of my favorite linen loose pants.

The thread ran short sewing in the penultimate signature.

After pasting in the endsheets, I pressed the book for a long afternoon with a fan on to help drying.

And I’ll get right on that next book, the one sewn on cords. Right on it.

Scavenging the workbench for blank book materials turned up an old set of cover boards not yet attached to anything, a few sketchbooks I don’t use much anymore, and two matching mat board offcuts. I also have an old pair of linen pants I’ve been planning to turn into paper for some time; that supplied the book cloth.