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Hand Bookbinding: A Manual of Instruction Hardcover – Feb 1987


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan USA (Feb. 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0026244306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0026244305
  • Product Dimensions: 28.2 x 21.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,222,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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97 of 98 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 July 1998
Format: Paperback
The author covers the basic skills of hand bookbinding using clear, concise language and illustrations. He shows you how to build your own equipment using elementary woodworking skills for a small fraction of the cost of commercially made equipment. I have built all of my own equipment based on his plans and have successfully used it to bind books. Several example bookbinding projects are covered step by step. I found the chapter on binding manuscripts particularly useful for binding some academic work. The headbanding chapter is quite interesting as it explains how to add to the aesthetic appeal of your book as well as its structural integrity. I think that this is one of the best how-to manuals that I have read on any subject. I highly recommend this book for those wanting to get started in bookbinding with a small investment. Building your own equipment and binding books with it is quite a rewarding experience.
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84 of 85 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
Excellent, one of the best 'how-to' books I have ever read, and certainly the best bookbinding instruction book. Clear, detailed instructions that all make sense; it is easy to understand and illustrated with precise, unambiguous diagrams. All the instructions work, and I have gone from being a complete novice to a fairly accomplished bookbinder, always returning to this book alone for help and advice. Beats the other bookbinding manuals out there hands down.
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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Mr AI on 24 May 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a great how-to book. It steps through the process of producing a hard-back book binding, assuming nothing about what you know or your skill level.
The start of the book introduces the techniques and tools. The main part of the book steps through each stage in detail. The book is written to assume that you are going to take unlimited care of the book. The writer asks you to have lots of extra paper, waxed paper, and so on to make sure glue doesn't transfer to the wrong bit of the book and everything stays neat. I worked through with a little less care and got very good results.
The penultimate part of the book suggests projects to get you into binding. They start of simple and work up to full books. The how-to section at the start actually covers the most complex book project, so if you find the main bit of the book too complex you can skip forward and try something easier.
The final part of the book shows you how to create your own bookbinding equipment. This is a great section, and with a little bit of woodworking skill, you can save lots of money and avoid the difficult job of tracking down specialist tools.
I enjoyed this book, and would recommend it wholeheartedly. It helped me get good results with no prior experience and only a minimum of tools. My only concern is that it shows only one binding style, and could have done with a good section on the vast variety of different bindings that can be created. But that is just nitpicking when there's so much good content here!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Whippetgal2 on 2 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good book if you're just starting to learn bookbinding, like I am. Sometimes American textbooks can be a nightmare for we Brits, but this one is an exception. Good, straightforward information and instructions combine with very clear diagrams. I would highly recommend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul G. Brewer on 26 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
A very clear and thorough explanation not only of the craft of book binding but detailed drawings of the simple tools used. Enough in this book to enable me to start bookbinding.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking for information on how to rebind a paperback book which was badly falling apart, with many pages completely detached. This manual was well reviewed so I bought it. It has very little on repairing paperback books, especially the "perfect bound" type that is now so common (where there is no stitching to hold parts together, but every page is simply held by a common glue backbone); in fact it said paperbacks like this were not really repairable. But after reading what there was, I decided it was worth a go on my ancient but well-loved paperback. I realised I needed a glue that would dry or set in a flexible state, so bought some Copydex - it worked a treat. I completely dismantled the paperback, separated all the pages, and cleaned off remaining old backing glue, including from the inside of the cover. Then after carefully stacking the pages square and tight I clamped them in a "workmate" so that the spine of the pages was a few mm above the clamping edges, and spread a layer of Copydex, worked it in, and let it dry overnight. I added a second good layer the next day. After that was dry I took it out, and all looked well. So I added a third layer of Copydex and inserted the pages into the cover, pressed it all very firmly down, and reclamped it up. Next day - good as new - nearly. Book opens flat and easily, pages are secure, and I have my book back. Happy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dyl. on 22 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author explains in detail how book binding by hand works, and even has information on how one may create the tools used in this art. As I have been trying to restore books, it was great to read how they are put together, so that one could change a badly worn hard cover. Once you understand the principles and methods used, you can adapt it to your own tools at hand.
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