Friday, September 23, 2016

Girdle Books

I was offered a barter arrangement which is generally the way I "sell" my stuff.  Somebody asked me to make a girdle book in exchange for some homemade cheese.  Cheese was super tastey and well worth the trade.    The second book I made just asked me to make it.  I found a period book with the text which was perfectly appropriate for a friend.  When I saw the book, I knew it must be made and it must be made for this individual.  The following are some of the process pictures.

Finished the book and added a sort of knot at the top.  I have seen these types of knots before but never tried one.  I found a couple tutorials online but this was the best I could do.  Not perfect but looked OK.

I put a light coat of oil on the leather.  I liked the color of the binding without any additional dye so chose only to oil the leather for protection.


Close up of the rough cut of brass to use for the clasp for the smaller book.

Here are the boards I used.  I had split some logs recently.  I now have a power planer so making my own book boards from scraps of firewood is far cheaper than buying quarter sawn boards.


Glued and tied into the press.  I used a wheat paste which sets slowly.  Let dry for a couple days.

The requester wanted a book with pages from a particular year and language.  I downloaded the pages of the book and cleaned them up a bit.  I had to use a photo editor to combine a consistent color of the pages and sharpen some of the poorly photographed pages.

 Rough cut out of brass pieces.

Template used for the brass.  Cut out and a very small amount of hammering required.


Brass corners.  One book had corners, the other didn't.  Based on the persona of the recipients I chose not to embellish one book.  It is a simple book of rules for a simple Catholic Monk.  Only a clasp was included.  This book was bigger and would likely get bumped around a bit more so I added some basic corners as protection.


Stack of quires.  Printed and stacked in groups of 4 sheets per quire.

Ready for gluing.  I covered the pages with waxed paper and some painters blue tape to protect them.'

This is the Salvation Army brass plate I used for all of the hardware.

The finished girdle books.


Books all stitched up and bound to boards.  Ready for covering.


This book had a double binding.  The first layer was a very thin lamb skin with the flesh side out.  Once covered and dried I then Covered it again with the nicer quality calf skin.


Slightly more decorative hardware for the thicker of the two books.


Sewing up the books using a custom made sewing frame.


The two books finished and oiled up all ready for the happy couple.