Date: 19 December 2014. Bookbinding for
read the title of this article no doubt and thought "What on earth or at sea has
this to do with boating life?" However, if you consider the size of
Chapman Piloting and Seamanship you'll know
exactly why having bookbinding skills is almost essential, at least for me.
editions are weighty tomes. Really it's too large to easily handle
on my lap. However with a bit of effort I turned one large volume into three
smaller ones. It's not hard, and you can do it too.
As you can
probably surmise, this is an earlier effort. None are perfect,
however the three volumes are now eminently readable. (The locker
these are in gets some use. That's why the dust jacket is scruffy.)
where to divide a thick tome:
Looking at the
Chapman Piloting & Seamanship book was a bit overwhelming. At
over 900 pages, it's not the type of book you'd relax with
unless you're Superman. I decided on three sections, each
approximately 300 pages and one inch thick. Give or take.
First I took a look at the
Table of Contents. Fortunately the third section on Safety began
on page 369. That's the page on the right side and would make
dividing simple. Obviously splitting a chapter seemed stupid --
who wants to retrieve the next book for the rest of a
Further scanning showed Chapter 18 starting on
Page 631. That made another logical stopping point.
I made notes on the Table of Contents so I'll know
part to pull when I'm seeking specific information.
A sharp knife allowed me to
divide (cut) the book into three sections. Then I bound it.
Several years later, it's still intact and working well for me.
Because I did this so long ago, there are no pictures of the
I did rebind a book for a Christmas
present, and here's how I did it:
started last summer when I went shopping with Sticky-Fingers. [See
Deal Breaker (galley gear in thrift store)
article about *that* fiasco.]
However in one of the small shops I found the remnants of an old
book with a rubber band holding the pages together.
like old stuff I gave the pages a look-see. The contents
so I bought the carcass of what was once a book.
For instance, what's not to like about a book that tells you how
to prevent milk fever in cows and how to cure hog cholera?! The
folksy and specific instructions for medicine using vinegar
and turpentine(?!?) make for a fun afternoon of reading.
record, I do read normal stuff too
and far more frequently than the
However, if I ever want to know how many bricks it
takes to make a wall
The Circle of Useful Knowledge has the answer. And soon the recipient
will know too.
But first I needed to reinforce this book for the
fellow I want to give it to. Basically I had some pages, with a sewn binding
still relatively intact but no cover, nor any end pages. I had most
of the guts, and a plan.
Using a pair of C-clamps I
squeezed the book together. Next I took out some
E6000 glue that I'd
bought at the Dollar General store. The packaging says it's good for
gluing paper and I thought "wonderful". Well, it's okay for this
I gave the
E6000 a day to dry,
then proceeded to the next step. I wanted thicker pages to cover the
guts and had a bag from the local ACE Hardware store on hand. It
said "Please Recycle This Bag" and so I did.
I cut the bag just slightly larger
than the book pages. Additionally I had a piece of very thin teak in
ship's stores. I wrapped the bag around the teak, then glued the
paper to the wood. I used
GE silicone to stick
these pieces together as I wanted flexibility.
I used the teak to give a bit of
additional support to the spine. [From my experience with the
Chapman's this step is not necessary.]
It should be noted that the front
part (shown above) of the paper bag was covered in the final product.
I used a part of a brochure with a photograph of the Carrabelle
River for the "real" end page. To cover the rest of the bag at
the front and give me a place to write a dedication, a plain
piece of copier paper was used.
Liberal use of
glue allowed me to stick everything together. The C-clamps were a
big help in holding everything steady. Silicone is
your optimal choice because it is flexible.
And I'd specifically not recommend
DAP brand of silicone. Sometimes it pays to opt for a better quality
product. This is one of those times. Use GE brand -- it's better.
Each year it seems one gift piques my interest. This time it
was Sam's book. I hope this to be something he'll want to
keep. A lot of effort that went into little things that will
most likely go unnoticed such as:
The cover is a chart with
the Carrabelle River at the top. Since I was on the
Carrabelle River and Sam had a boat there quite some time
ago, I hope it will bring happy memories for him.
[You "met" Sam in the
Shooting Star article. He owned the Mainship.]
The pretty End Page, glued after the
teak/paper bag part was finished shows the Carrabelle River
too. If Sam looks carefully he can even see the dock where
his boat was. Mine too, for that matter.
End page showing the Carrabelle River:
The chart (book cover) had a
plastic liner on both sides. I didn't know what would adhere to the
plastic on the inside and wanted to make sure the pages stuck to the
cover. Therefore with a steady hand I carefully cut through the
inner layer of plastic and removed
You can see my results in this picture:
E6000 to glue it all together
and in retrospect should have used
GE silicone. The E6000 is too
fluid. It seeped through and shows on the outside.
The book is fascinating. I
wonder if Professor Hermstadt's recipe will actually make gold and
silver. If so, I'd like a charm bracelet, necklace and perhaps some
silver clips for my hair.
If this works, y'all don't forget
Janice aboard Seaweed...
As for Sam's gift, I took a piece of the
paper sack and burnt the edges with my lantern. The goal was for it
to look rustic. And also, I gave him the history of the book and why
it's now his. This is the dedication I wrote:
I had a great deal of fun making
the book for Sam. But even more fun perusing the pages. Charles
Kingsley published this gem 1 January 1885 and it truly is a step
back in time. In just a couple weeks it will be 130 years old. How
cool is that?!?
The book even includes recipes.
There's a section on booze, including cordials, bitters, and various
liquors. One of these days I'll have to try the sangria. I used to
enjoy a spot of that on occasion and haven't made it for decades.
To bind a
book you'll need
GE silicone glue, stiff paper for the end pages and
a cover. I used a plastic reinforced chart this time, but have used
paper folders, wood, and even the cover of an old book. Of course
the easiest method is to take your pages to a store and have it done
stores (office supply variety) along with copy places have the machinery
necessary to spiral bind books. Some also do other types of binding.
The prices are reasonable so if you have a book that needs some
attention you have options.
Seaweed I work with what I have. Because I don't own a car often I
make do. This time I believe the results are okay and hopefully Sam
will keep and enjoy
The Circle of Useful Knowledge.
Time will tell...
If you make gifts do you worry/wonder if the recipient
will keep the item?
And, have you ever made over books such as I did with this one?
© 2014, 2020
Night Crossing ~
Previous Post ...
... Next Post
Electrical Field versus Compass (Captain