Last week I’ve tried to use a makeshift plough to trim several books. It took me more than three hours to create that plough from a chisel with sandpaper. Several days ago, I had to visit a hardware store, and found there a cheap Chinese bench grinder (like $20 cheap). After a moment of hesitation, I bought it along with several different chisels to experiment with.
With only 120W of power, there was a chance that the bench grinder would be only a waste of money. There were other grinders in the store: 300W and more. They were also much more expensive. But it proved to be quite adequate to my project.
With the same cheap chisel I had to grind with sandpaper for more than three hours a week ago, I’ve spent less than five minutes on the bench grinder. It had to be finished with sandpaper, but it took only a couple of minutes more. Unfortunately the cheap steal was easily chipped by the grinder itself as well as any other aggressive actions.
Luckily, I had another, ten times more expensive chisel to continue my experiments. It took almost ten minutes to give it a nice curved shape. Once again, I had to finish it with sandpaper and strop it to make the edge nice and sharp. Anyway, instead of 3 hours just after 15 minutes the new makeshift bookbinding plough was ready.
Trimming went well. Even better than the first time. Once again the cut was smooth and even. Of course, I’d rather use a guillotine – it would have saved me a lot of time. But if you don’t have that sort of expensive (and bulky) equipment, this makeshift plough could be a real saver!
The last thing I’ve done was upgrading my wooden lying press with metal plates to be sure that the cut is straight. I’ll write a report on that a bit later =)