Shackleton Bookcraft Kit

A Discovery Kit to make a leather covered album

The Shackleton Kit is one of several bookcraft kits prepared by BusyBusyDotCo. It provides instructions and materials to make a horizontal-style ~ landscape booklet ~ album ~ journal. The binding is a non-traditional codex style, with sections sewn in a variation of the longstitch style. The page size of the album in the kit is 140mm by 100mm, which is about 6"x4" ~ slightly smaller than A6H. This style of album can be made to any other size without any changes in technique. The number of sections is five ~ each of four folio sheets ~ making 20 leaves ~ or 40 pages if they are numbered in the usual manner. The paper is a fairly thick ~ 140gsm ~ cartridge paper which has been treated to accept 'all media'. The covers are fine quality coloured sheepskin ~ with decorative panels lining the insides. The covers are slightly larger than the book block ~ they might be called Yapp binding.

An interesting feature of this style of binding is that ~ with a little effort ~ and hardly any skill ~ pages can be removed or changed. Also the thickness ~ number of pages ~ or style of paper ~ can readily be changed. Our chosen name has no relevance other than that Sir Ernest Shackleeton ~ and also our kit ~ have to do with discovery.

The aim of the kit is to demonstrate one method of making a good album ~ journal ~ or whatever. Consequently the Main Kit does not allow for a choice of materials ~ their cost can vary enormously. Once one book ~ as supplied in the Main Kit ~ has been mastered then personal choices ~ of leather ~ internal decoration ~ paper type ~ quantity of folios ~ is up to the maker. Many materials can be sourced locally, or even from the craftsperson's own supply of come-in-handy stuff.

Specifications of Main Kit Contents

All pieces are supplied to a slightly larger size than that required to follow the instructions. They will require squaring and trimming. Basic tools ~ steel rule ~ craft knife ~ adhesive ~ right angle ~ awl ~ are not included in the Main Kit. Versions of the kit are available with tools and exact size pieces ~ at greater cost. Links for separate purchase are given, below.

~ Fully illustrated and detailed instructions
~ Suitably sized piece of leather ~ colour not specified ~ chosen at random
~ Sufficient card for two inside covers
~ Sufficient decorative paper
~ 24 folios of 140gsm white cartridge paper cut to size
~ Needles and sufficient linen bookbinders' thread to make dozens of books

Variations on the kit

This type of binding lends itself to numerous variations. Every item ~ listed above ~ can be chosen to meet personal needs. Thicker internal sheets make for an album that can hold bulky artwork or embellishments. The spine width ~ or page size ~ can be made larger, or hold fewer or more pages. The leather cover can be trimmed flush. The threads can be thicker (to allow for embellishments) ~ or multi-coloured. The internal covers can be decorated appropriately to the intended use of the booklet.


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