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2016.08.26 - 07 - Building a False Rounded Spine for a Box

Couple of weeks ago I have shared with you my experience with soft weights. I needed them during construction of false rounded spines for a box project. Today I would like to share my thoughts on making those false spines.

By initial impulse, I thought to carve wooden pieces to form rounded spines. However, the boxes had to be 13 cm high (customer changed the order to 7 cm high boxes later), and these false spines would have been too heavy. At least I think they would.

The other option was to round a light board or a heavy paper with forming tool like those I am selling at my Etsy store.

I do not see any problem making the grooves wide enough with my router to accommodate for the needed box height. However, with any lightweight cardboard I would definitely need to reinforce the curved spine somehow.

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2016.08.19 - 13 - Making Leather Kippot - A Side Job for a Bookbininder

Several days ago I was repairing a Siddur (a book of prayers) for a friend. I came to his office to offer him a choice of leather to pick a piece for the new cover. He intrigued me with a question then: “Why wouldn’t you try to make a leather kippah?”

Really, why not? I am not a religious person (at all), but I’m interested in tradition passed within my wife’s family. We gather with her parents and some friends every major Jewish holiday. And, of course, wear kippot on these occasions.

Quick Google search lead me to this sewing pattern (I do not know the origin, because all the sources are offline now):



I’ve printed it and tried to cut and sew leather pieces together to get something one can call a kippah. The result was a bit disappointing – the structure didn’t appear to take a domed shape like it should.

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20160725 - 02 - Soft Weights for Bookbinding and Box Making

Oh, that feeling, when you plan to make or do something for a long time and save it for later just because you don’t really need it? That was the case with soft weights for me.

Soft weights are very useful for some bookbinding processes, but you need flat weights more often (bricks, metal or wood blocks, etc.). That’s exactly my case. I’ve been using different types of presses. I also use dumbbell weights dumbbells themselves (placed over a plank or something like that). However, until recent time I had almost no use for soft weights.

This time I had to craft some fake rounded spines for two boxes I’m working on now. As you can imagine, it is pretty hard to use flat weights on the rounded structures and I finally had my chance to make myself some soft weights.

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2016.08.04 - 06 - The Pisano Library of San Vidal - Libreria Pisani di San Vidal

Every time I travel I look for some book or bookbinding-related locations in almost every city or town I visit. Past trip to Italy was no exception. Unfortunately, this time we had a very tight schedule (3500 kilometers just in 11 days) and almost no time for museums. However, we had a full day in Venice and I hoped to find something interesting there.

When you buy a ticket to one of the main attractions of Venice — Doge’s Palace — it also allows entry to some of the other museums of the St.Mark’s square. This includes Archaeological Museum and Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Marciana (you have to enter through the Archaeological Museum). The library holds a great collection of manuscripts — you can check its web site or look through the Wikipedia article.

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