It feels good.
Anyway. I’ve made some progress on the bookbinding front. So far I have cut and folded (and am pressing) all the pages for the test book. I went on an outing this past weekend to purchase leather for the cover and silk for the endbands. Unfortunately, Tandy only had cheap pig skin (they had lots of other leathers, yes, but the key word here is cheap), so I bought some to use until I’m confident with the technique. I imagine that it’s probably not terribly correct to bind an Islamic-style codex in pigskin. So when I do the actual one, it will be in nice leather, probably a goat or sheepskin. In case you’d like to keep up with this process, here’s the list of things done so far:
1. Shopped for supplies. The full list for this book is: nice sketch paper, thick davey board (4-ply), linen thread, beeswax, bookbinder’s needles, a book press (or something heavy and flat to use instead; other books work well), Sobo glue (the period equivalent is rabbit gum or wheat paste, but I’m not okay with roaches eating the wheat paste and I’m not at a point where I can afford to mess with rabbit gum), a ruler, a cutting mat, thick twine (I use hemp for this), thin leather (1-1.5 oz, preferably not pig, though it was used in European bindings), some leather thong (for the endbands), scrap paper (for the binding), and I think that’s it.
2. Cut (tore) folios and grouped them into quires of 4 folios each. I have 12 quires. According to the Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding, books were between 72 and 150 folios apiece, but I don’t have paper that’s that thin at the moment. Actually, I haven’t researched the paper yet. I’m concentrating on the mechanics.
3. Put folios in the book press until I cut the cover boards.
4. Compiled a list of period sources of technique to supplement the book mentioned above. So far, most of them are in Europe (the available copies, that is). One was at UGA, but it has since mysteriously vanished from my WorldCat list. I will have to locate it again.
Next up is to cut the boards, then sew the folios together. I’m not certain how this goes, and when to attach the endbands. I will have to research it a bit more. The book I’ve got is very thorough; I’m sure it’s in there somewhere.
No knitting was done last night. I worked on another project instead, and occasionally looked at the knitting bag wistfully. If all goes well this weekend and I do the cleaning and straightening I need to do in good time, I’ll get some more rows in.
Actually, I’ll probably do that anyway, regardless.