Soft Weights for Bookbinding

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.

As usual, the idea came to me at the last possible moment, when the cardboard structure that would make a rounded spine was already cut and glued together — I had to act fast. To make a soft weight I grabbed several packs of rice and buckwheat seeds (yes, we eat buckwheat here in Russia =)), put it into some synthetic fiber bag I found near my work bench, and just stapled it to prevent seeds spilling out.

It worked perfectly! Here are some photos of the fake spine under pressure (I decided to add some dumbbell weight too):

And the resulting structure:

Next day I made another soft weight with an even larger bag and more rice and buckwheat inside. Now I have a 4 kg and an 8 kg soft weights to use on my bookbinding and box making projects.

My only concern is that all these seeds and grains attract those nasty kitchen insects. I don’t think that these soft weight would serve me for a long time. I need to find a replacement soon.

Quick search on the internet showed that the standard fillings for soft weights are lead shots (they use them for diving soft weights) or airsoft pellets (steel with or without copper coating). I understand the later one is better because of the lead’s toxicity.

Looks like my next shopping order would be at the firearms shop!

Do you use soft weights? Have you ever made soft weight for yourself? I would be glad to read about your experience in the comments section below.