Not too long ago I decided to bind some more books, like the ones I made a while back.
If you want to see my original blog entry about DIY book binding, click here. The 3 above took me a few hours to make, but I wanted to make a real nice one for my fiancee for Valentines day. So I looked through my wood bin and found a sheet of 1/4" plywood I could use for the cover.
Next I drew out the shapes of the cover...
...and cut them to size on my table saw.
Since this plywood was rather rough, I first sanded it with medium grit sandpaper with my wired sander.
Then I sanded with fine sandpaper on my cordless sander. The cordless sander is good for finishing, but doesn't have the speed or power to remove more material faster like my corded sander.
For the edges I used some very fine sandpaper. I didn't want to use a power sander and accidentally tear out some wood.
I also cut out a spine, but decided not to use it.
Next I used my 3-hole-punch to, well, punch 3 holes in a piece of printer paper. At the moment I didn't have any loose leaf paper to use.
I then drew the holes onto the pieces of wood.
The binding for this book will go through the front and back cover.
Next I found a drill bit size that fits the hole (15/16").
I set up the fence on my drill press so I can simply place the wood against it, and drill the holes away. Each time the hole will be the same distance from the edge.
Then I sanded around the holes to make them smooth.
For this book I wanted to have a cool looking cover. My fiancee loves the Deathly Hallows from Harry Potter, so I found this real cool design online.
I decided to give this image a border and print it out.
I then flipped the paper over and used a piece of charcoal to color the back.
Then I flipped it over and taped it to the front cover of the book.
The charcoal acts like carbon paper. All I need to do is trace out the design...
...and remove the paper.
To fill in the shapes I decided to use my rarely-used wood burning kit.
This thing is the same thing as a soldering iron, with different tips to choose from. I plugged it in and let it get hot.
While it was warming up I decided to use my stencils to draw in my fiancee's name underneath the design.
Then I began burning the wood.
I first traced the outlines.
Then I filled them in.
Burning everything took about an hour, and it looked awesome.
I specifically wrote "looked" awesome, because I then made a mistake. I decided to stain the wood, and the stain I used was a little too dark.
You can hardly see the burned design.
I tried adding more stain to darken the design...
...but it didn't do much.
So when the stain dried I used some black acrylic paint to fill in the areas that were burned in.
If I can't make the design stand out by making it darker, then I'll make it lighter. I used some silver Rub n' Buff to bring out the design.
This actually worked nicely since the Rub n' Buff was applied lightly and caught a lot of the texture of the burned areas. Once the silver had dried I coated both covers with matte clear coat. First the outsides...
...then the insides.
While that dried I went out and bought some binder rings, and some loose leaf paper - both lined paper and graph paper.
Once the clear coat dried I sanded the covers with super fine sandpaper and cleaned them off.
Next I began assembling the book with loose leaf paper and binder clips.
And it's together!
Looks pretty good...
...but I couldn't fit as much paper as I thought I could.
Because of the size of the binder clips and the thickness of the wood, I could only fit in maybe 50 sheets at most.
So after some thought I came up with something else...
...and that was to use jute (or twine) as the binders.
I cut 3 pieces...
...and weaved them between the covers and a larger stack of paper.
Then I simply tied the jute into knots.
And that worked like a charm!
One book done! But I felt like making a few more.
So I found some other material to use. A few sheets of 1/4" MDF.
I cut the MDF to size on the table saw. I was able to cut 6 pieces which is enough to make 3 more books.
Then I repeated the same process from before.
Since I'm not sure how MDF will work with a wood burner I decided to go a different route. I assembled the 3 books with paper and the binder clips.
For the covers I simply decided to design them in Photoshop, print them out and attach them to the MDF using spray mount. So I took them all apart and brought the covers and print outs into my workshop. The first book had a Game of Thrones design - another favorite of my fiancee's.
The second book (for me) incorporated Darth Vader on the front and Stormtroopers on the back.
The third was just a random design.
Once the paper was stuck onto the boards I used my sander to begin roughing up the edges. This is a look I enjoy and have done it many times to create a vintage, aged look.
Once they were all sanded and cleaned I reassembled all the books.
These 3 books were a lot easier to make. But they are still very cool looking.
In 2 days I made 7 books!
The 2 above will be for my fiancee for Valentines day. I hope she likes them!