Instructions for the "Davy" Discovery Bookcraft Kit

If you wish to check that you have all the right bits and pieces the full list is available at the foot of this page.

We also have page of commentary on this kit [112555]. It provides background material ~ reasons ~ further explanations ~ and alternatives. The notes will be especially suitable for teachers or craftsfolk who are keen to know more about what? and why?

This kit is designed for complete beginners, and so we have made some preparations for you. Take a folded sheet ~ called a folio ~ lay it flat on your table ~ and check that the fold has been made in the right place, by making sure that all the edges are aligned. If they are not neat enough for you then straighten things up, press down with one hand, and firm down the fold so that the crease is in the best possible place. We have provided thick and strong paper (or thin card). It is difficult to firm the crease down by hand. Bookcrafters use a folder ~ made of ox bone ~ a bone folder ~ although anything similar will work just as well ~ even a blunt kitchen knife ~ or finger nail.

Repeat the process 13 more times. You will be getting good at it!

You will notice that two of the folios have no holes punched in them. Set them to one side for now, they will be the covers.

Your book is going to be sewn in the codex style. This means several folios are gathered together by inserting one V-shape into the V-shape of another. The bundle of folios is called a section ~ or a signature, mainly in the USA). Since you have 12 folios to work with you have the choice ~ six sections of two sheets ~ four of three sheets ~ three of four sheets. Experience will guide you as to which is best for your needs. (One of twelve sheets would be abit chunk ~ and not advised with this thick paper.)

Each section will be sewn separately. Many sheets per section means fewer sections ~ means less sewing. Many sheets per section also has several disadvantages. I suggest six sections, each of two folios. Think of the sewing practice as "good for you". I think it makes for a neater book.

Bookbinders use sewing technques that also bind the sections together. We are going to leave that for another project.

Each section will have five holes that should align. Check this by pushing the needles through each hole. If they are out of alignment ~ wiggle the needle around to make the holes a little larger.

Cut off a length of thread about three times the height of your book. In this kit that will be about 30cm. Thread the needle. Leave a short tail that is sufficiently long not to be pulled out of the needle as work progresses. Experience will tell you how long that should be. It is easy to change your mind and alter it later.

Hold your section so that the pages are slightly open,. From the inside of a fold ~ push the needle through any of the holes except the end ones. Leave another tail on the inside. Some people tape it down so that it will not be pulled through. It is a nuisance if that happens.







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