Bernie's Bookbinding Course

Week 2 of the course sees you make a professionally sewn hardback

The bookbinding and box making course offered by Central Institute of Technology, and run by Bernie Houlton is approximately 9 weeks and addresses the basics of bookbinding through to sophisticated work. After only two weeks I have already picked up a number of valuable tips, and will attempt to articulate these with a new Tips and Techniques section on the web site (coming soon).

For anyone that is not completely comfortable with all the bookbinding that they do, I can highly recommend the course, although Central Institute are not the most efficient or organised administration. They do not advertise course dates, and you simply have to guess or keep ringing them. Once past the paperwork though, it is all good.

The picture shows two books made inside three hours, although some of the material was already cut to size. The books are strong and durable, with sewn sections, although not onto cords or tapes, and a patterned edge. Whilst it could be argued that the three hours does not allow too much drying time for the number of gluing steps, it appears to have been sufficient, although I was careful not to open the books too much until after 24 hours.

The very effective way of using waste paper to pull the edges of the book cloth over the board was an excellent method for ensuring that a good smooth edge was achieved quickly and easily. Likewise, the process of gluing just the hinge portion onto the book block first means that the block can be positioned easily without worrying about a large gluing surface. Once that was in place, gluing the end papers down became a trivial exercise as they could not move out of line.

A big thanks to Bernie, and there will be more to come as I progress through the course.