Visiting Nautilus Boekbinderij – Bookbinding Studio of Eliane Gomes in Haarlem, the Netherlands

Eliane Gomes is an experienced book restorer and the owner of the Nautilus Boekbinderij in Haarlem, the Netherlands. You may find her texts on our website, and her input to the series of posts about bookish Game of Thrones is invaluable.

I visited her house recently and used that opportunity to see how her workshop is organized. I wasn’t disappointed! There are some ideas I definitely want to use at my working place!

That small building in the back yard is the workshop. 3×4 square meters. Not much, but as you will see, quite enough for Eliane to do her book restoration magic!

Here is the interior:

One of my major concerns is how my colleagues organize their workbenches. From the structure of the table itself to all the shelves, compartments, stuff that is on the surface or the wall in front of the binder. If there is any wall at all, as you all seen, Ben Elbel’s workbench is accessible from all four sides.

But let’s take a closer look at the workbench. That’s the first time I see a bookbinder’s table made with construction site metal scaffolding tubes!

The tricky thing about using construction scaffolding is that the tubes are in fact cheaper than joints. So you may have to do the math first, and plan your table in a way that would demand fewer joints!

Most of the things you see under the table are mounted on roller casters. That’s smart! I have all my boxes just standing on the floor or the shelves of my workbench. It isn’t hard to move them, but with the wheels, it should be so much easier!

At the opposite wall, there’s another working surface mounted atop of the huge A0 cabinet:

Drawers for Smaller Stuff

More drawers for stuff in the sink cabinet:

Board Shear

If you missed it before, across from the sink there’s a board shear!


Instruments on the Wall

Heat-Resistant Stand for the Ironing Tool

More Drawers

Bookish Objects on the Shelf

The small book in a Plexiglas encasement was taking part in the International Miniature Book Competition held by Museum Meermanno and Stichting Handboekbinden in 2017.

Other Stuff

You will find more about Eliane and Nautilus Boekbinderij at the bindery’s website and Facebook page.

If you’d like to share photos of your workbench or your workshop on and join #iBB_workshop_tour, just leave a comment below, or send us an email!

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