The Hare-brained Bindery
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The Hare-brained Bindery

Bookbinding

The Hare-brained Bindery

When I started this blog, I mentioned how maker videos are like porn to me.  I shared one of these videos in a previous post, but what I didn’t mention is the impact they have on me.

When I see a video of a craftsman making something by hand, I immediately think, “I want to do that!”.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the years of experience and skill nor the incredible patience that these experts do, but that doesn’t always stop me.  Sometimes, I just can’t resist the urge to try my hand at some new project.  This often ends in something that is less “fine craftsmanship” than it is “kindergarten arts and crafts”, but it’s still very rewarding.

One such inspiring video, that was sent to me by a friend, showcased bookbinding (see the actual video at the bottom of this post).  I was so impressed by the skill and technique that went into something as seemingly simple as making a book, that I decided I had to bind one myself.

…and that’s where the rabbit hole began.

After researching it a bit, I decided that I had to make the equipment needed to bind books.  Now, to be very clear, I did not HAVE to make this equipment.  There are work-arounds that eliminate the need to use specialized equipment.  Regardless, I decided that I HAD to make a book cradle, a book press, and a sewing frame.  This lead to a whole other project in my woodshop.

Bookbinding Equipment

I really enjoyed making these items even though it was ridiculous to undertake for the purpose of binding one book.  And then I decided that they had to look really nice.  No one ever said I was the sharpest tool in the shed.

Hare-brained Bindery Book CradleThen, of course, I decided that I had to have a name and logo for my one-book bindery.  You can’t be expected to bind a single book without an entire company behind you.

After some thought, I landed on the name “Hare-brained Bindery”.  I felt that captured the way this whole thing was headed.  I then spent some time playing around with various logo designs until I had one that I thought was fun.

Hare-brained Bindery Logo Full

So to recap, at this point I had built several pieces of specialized equipment in my woodshop, finished them nicely, and gone through a graphic design branding project, and I hadn’t even folded one piece of paper yet.

Eventually, though, I got everything set up and bought some simple tools and materials using a gift card I got at Christmas from my mother-in-law, and I was off and running.

I bound one book.Book 1

 

…and then another and another and another.  So far I have bound 9 books and have given them all away to friends.  I have to admit that I’m getting better and better with each book, and I’m even employing more advanced techniques and designs.  The last one I did was over-sized and I think of pretty good quality.

 

So here’s the video that started it all.  Watch it with caution.  If you’re like me this might keep you busy for a month or 2!

 

 

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steve@offthekitchen.com
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