Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Special Book for the Bride and Groom, Part Two.

This is the second installment in a two part series.  The book itself is covered in the first part, this part will concern itself with the cases.  

Since the book itself is used to determine fit and size of "clamshell" tray, I was concerned about exposing it to excess glue in the process, which invariably happens.  Glue gets squeezed out, rolled out, bone-folded out, there is always some excess popping up somewhere. Not wanting to mess up a nice cover, I made a temporary slip cover for the book.  

It's a simple cover, really, sporting the same cover print as the book itself.  In fact we liked the slip cover enough to keep it on the book up to the actual delivery of this project.

Making the Clam Shell Case.
This will not be necessarily a step by step installment.  It will be, however, a show and tell showing some aspects as I went through the building process. I will attempt to describe the process best I can.  

The first thing I did was to cut two sections of  the same board I used for the book itself, in my case 2.5mm pulp board.  Davey Board, which is binding board, might be used instead.  Binding board is a bit more condensed and somewhat less hydrogesic, which means it acts less as an atmospheric sponge. Remember that the cut pieces of this board will be literally smothered with glue, and as glue dries, tensions on the boards will vary, which is why a book, or nipping press is essential, or at least some nice, heavy books to serve in the absence of such a press.  In fact, some binders use only book weights!  But a press makes things so convenient. <grin>

 Ok, binding board cut, using the book to size with.  I measured the sides of the book and left room equal the that measure, in my case about an inch, on three sides.  One side is trimmed right to the book edge because it will be the open side when the "clam shell" trays are closed.  For the top part of the clam shell I also added twice the thickness of the binding board, or 5mm.

Can you see the pencil lines?  I score these lines half way through, and cut off the squares in the corners.  These will be folded to form the sides, top and bottom.

 Here you can see the sides folded and the corners cut.  I use that caliper to measure thicknesses.  That cutting mat is amazing!  Got it at Hobby Lobby.  Super investment, because not only does it somehow resist the blade without dulling it, but also provides squaring angles which helps for straight hand score cuts!

I use the box halves to determine the cutting sizes on the book cloth directly.  Right now I am going to wrap the sides, so I left one inch on either side of the one inch folded side, a total of three inches.  Keep your bone folder handy.

Glue pot and brushes are handy too.  I am about to brush the glue on the folded board sides. I want to make sure I have even coverage.  I will be gluing one side at a time.

Here we go!  Starting at the right side, I glue and roll in a counter clockwise rotation, spreading the glue on each side as I go.

I leave not only an inch top and bottom, but also on the ends as well.  I need enough to do a good wrap. A good wrap is a wrap that gives me enough material to pull the cloth nice and taught (not too taught) and even over the edges.

Glue, spread rotate, press, rub the excess glue, repeat.  I did this on all three sides. It takes a bit of carefulness to make sure the box is rotating such that the one inch margin top and bottom is maintained.

And . . . I complete the wrap.  Now, I had to use both hands, so taking pictures of each step was impossible but I can describe what I did after this: I cut the corners of the margins such that I could fold them over evenly.  The open side (the edge with no side) required two cuts, one at an angle so that when I folded the cloth over, there wasn't a bunch of already-folded-over cloth layers to glue over. At the ends, the bottom cut folds up and around the bottom of the tray, the side folds around.  In that order. (the top has already been folded.)

After the sides are folded and dried, a piece of cloth is cut to fit into inside, with about two inches of cloth going beyond the open edge, so it can wrap and be glued to the bottom side, which will, in turn, be covered by the case itself.  At this point, I close the top tray over the bottom to make sure it covers well.  And . . . it does!

Here is shown the boards in gluing position, laid out on the bookcloth itself.  I need to leave about an inch and a half  for margins all the way around.  The space between the spine and cover boards are two board thicknesses, or about 5mm.  After this, the cut book cloth is glued.

All pasted up and ready to go!

Here is where I did not take photos because I didn't want to get glue on the camera (it pays to have a damp rag nearby to quickly wipe glue off hands and fingers!)  The boards are glued to the book cloth, the edges are folded over just as it is with a case bound book.  Then another piece of book cloth is cut square, almost the size of the open case, coming within about one sixteenth of an inch of the edge.  This means that both sides of the case, front and back, are thoroughly covered.  The trays are then glued to the inside of the case, open sides to the hinges as shown in the picture above.  The bone folder is used to crease down the spaces between boards and spine to form the creased hinge.

And here she is, the presentation book case complete with book.  The case was dried under the nipping press, under pressure, in a closed position with the book inside. Needless to say, the case covering dried well to the trays, and a Clam-shell Case is born!

Now, what to do with the original letters?  I made a simple "cache" to hold them all together.  That cache would be larger than the clam shell case because the letters were all written on 8.5 by 11 inch letter stock. 

Here is the book, slip cover removed to show off the quarter linen spining and awesome faux vellum, hand printed cover . . .

. . . and here is the book and cache, one atop the other. Pretty vintage looking, no?  Being iridescent, no two angles of the camera or the books render the same colour!  It's an amazing type of book cloth.  As mentioned in the prior post, it's vintage stock, the book cloth may go back to the 1940s or so.  Possibly earlier.

And so, that's the project right there.  The process took altogether about three months with about 40 hours involved in the making of the actual book and covers.

The bride and groom were thrilled.  So were we.  I wish I could record the thank you message I got from Jason, who did the presentation of the book during the couple's rehearsal dinner.  That message made the whole project worthwhile!

-gary, printer
Paper Wren Press.

PS: those who wish a more detailed, step by step instruction on how to make a clam shell presentation book cover like this, click here!

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