Category Archives: BookCraver

‘Old Book Binding’ By Hand (Step by Step with Pics)

There was a time when book binding was done by hand and with great care. These days most of our books are done by Print on Demand with a ‘perfect binding’ technique that takes the entire process out of our hands entirely.  However, some people are still interested to know how this is done so that they may try it on their own.  Therefore, I have found a vintage, step by step process of doing it all by hand in a 1960 Encyclopedia Britannica set.

Of course, there are some tools involved that may not be so readily available to you today.  However, that shouldn’t keep you from accomplishing this task if you are passionate about doing it. So, don’t be afraid to improvise! It just takes a little creativity and time (just like in the old days)!

Step 1

Sew large hemp cords to the book with a thread that passes through the center of all the folded sections (signatures) and also around each cord. (In this photo, the hemp cords appear to be held tight by stationary hooks located at the top).

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Step 2

When you’re done with the sewing, you can fray the ends of the hemp cord to soften them.  Then apply glue to the folded section backs to create a solid unit (binding).

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Step 3

The backbone of the book (spine) is made convex by light hammer tapping while book is placed in a press for backing. A shoulder is created at both sides of the backbone with the claw end of the hammer.

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Step 4

Trim the top edge of the book with a plough (a chisel-like knife held in a wooden frame).

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Step 5

Punch two holes near the backbone edge of each cover board opposite the sewing cord.  Grooves are forced in the boards to accommodate the cords.

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Step 6

The frayed ends of the cords are pasted tight together (looks like a single cord now) and laced through the holes.

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Step 7

Headbands (silk threads woven around a strip of leather) are sewn to the top and bottom edges of the backbone and anchored to the sewing thread in the folded pages (signatures).

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Step 8

Thin the leather (cover) slightly before applying it to the book. (I am assuming that this will be glued).

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Step 9

Wrap cord around the book to hold the leather between the band (raised portions over the sewing cords) in place until it dries. Protective strips of wood are placed on the fore-edge to keep the cords from indenting the wet leather.

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Step 10

Cutting gold leaf to an economical size before applying it to binding with a wad of cotton. The gold is only 1/250,000 of an inch thick.

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Step 11

Decoration and lettering can be tooled ‘in blind’ or gold.  Pictured below is a heated brass hand tool to create ‘blind’ decoration by pressing it into the wet leather.  Gold tooling requires the depressions to be painted with egg albumin and then gold leaf laid over the area with the heated tool pressed into the depressions again. Any surplus gold leaf is then removed with a ball of crude rubber.

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A Unique Way To Display Old Books

I picked up this old chest at a yard sale in the mountains of Northern California. Inside the lid was this amazing print of a child and some flowers. If I had to guess,  this is from the 1800s. It’s made of solid wood and is fairly heavy. It was also pretty messy and needed some cleaning. The picture inside was brittle and in danger of crumbling away. I sprayed it with some Mod Podge Spray to help keep it intact.




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Pretty soon, I’m topping it off with some book displays and now I can’t stop looking at it when I walk by. Also, I love the fact that I can easily get to these books because they are out in the open and not hiding on a dark shelf somewhere. However,  I can also close it up and us it as a tabletop. This really made my day!

Why An Occupation Is More Than Just A Job

These words were re-created from an old book:

The Royal Path Of Life

PrintFromVintageTheRoyalPathOfLife

We all have employments to pay our obligations in this life, however, this happens to be my occupation (that which occupies my time).  Without it, a poor man constantly wants more and a rich man is relentlessly tormented with boredom.  That is, men and women with no business in this world (nothing to do) are absolute pests to society.  They look at hundreds of things and see nothing. I have worked as well as wished, labored as well as prayed to be in a position to perform all duties of my occupation.

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The world is full of those who are disgusted with their vocations, getting their living by their weakness instead of their strength.  The are doomed to hopeless inferiority. The only true method is to adopt a natural progression. Otherwise, when the crisis comes, this artificial character will break down, failing at the very time when it is most wanted.

However, when one steals midnight moments to practice music and another copies whole books of studies by moonlight, not spurred on by the paychecks so worshipped in our society, then we become what nature intended and therefore, we are a success. To be anything else, you will be ten thousand times worse than nothing.

An unoccupied man cannot be happy, nor can one who is improperly occupied. They are examples of dishonest living; hypocrites, shining in stolen and false colors; vampires, eating out the life of the community. Frown upon them and learn in your heart to despise their course in life. They have no trade, no object before them, nothing to do and yet have a great desire to do something worthy of themselves. They waste their time, energies and great earnings in endless changes and wanderings. They have not the stimulus of a fixed object to fasten their attention and awaken their energies. They grasp at random at a hundred things and catch nothing.

Purpose must be followed by action. However, the choosing of an occupation is not a small thing. Therefore, CHOOSE WISELY!

San Francisco Earthquake – Palace Hotel – 1906


The San Francisco Earthquake took place on April 18, 1906 and ignited massive fires with electrical dangers, causing many deaths during the first hour until the power to the city was finally shut off.  Afterwards, the fires raged for three days and destroyed nearly 500 city blocks.

This earthquake did not discriminate. It leveled brothels and luxury hotels.  One, in particular, which was designed to withstand such a natural attack, didn’t stand a chance.

The Palace Hotel was built to withstand an earthquake.

PrintFromVintageCompleteStoryOfTheSanFranciscoEarthquakePalaceHotelBefore

Designed to withstand both earthquakes and fires, the Palace Hotel was built on massive pillar foundations dug twelve feet deep. The outside walls were made of brick two feet thick and reinforced every four feet with double strips of iron bolted together to form continuous bands. Ultimately, thousands of tons of iron had been add to the walls. To prevent fire, in addition to the basement tank, seven more tanks were added on the roof with 130,000 gallons of water to help fight fires on its own if the city’s reserves ran dry.  Five miles of piping had been built in the walls of this hotel to help disperse this water through three hundred and fifty outlets, each containing twenty thousand feet of fire hose. For this reason, this hotel was one of the most formidable buildings in the city as it has been said that if the Palace Hotel ever burned down the whole city would also be gutted!

View of Market Street before the disaster:

PrintFromVintagePalaceHotelBefore

 

Despite a quick response from San Francisco’s large military population, the city was devastated. The earthquake and fires killed an estimated 3,000 people and left half of the city’s 400,000 residents homeless.

Aid poured in from around the country and the world, but those who survived faced weeks of difficulty and hardship.

PrintFromVingeRichAndPoorSFEarthquake

The survivors slept in tents in city parks and the Presidio, stood in long lines for food, and were required to do their cooking in the street to minimize the threat of additional fires. The San Francisco earthquake is considered one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history.

Congress responded to the disaster in several ways. The House and the Senate Appropriations Committees enacted emergency appropriations for the city to pay for food, water, tents, blankets, and medical supplies in the weeks following the earthquake and fire.

They also appropriated funds to reconstruct many of the public buildings that were damaged or destroyed.

PrintFromVintagePalaceHotelAFter

Purchase .pdf – $1.99

The Picture Story Of The San Francisco Earthquake!

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Signed Book – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Famous Poet From 1800s Writes in THIS book that I got on ebay!

To begin with, I purchased an antique book copyrighted in 1845 about Elocution Philosophy (for $10) and I was intrigued when I found this handwritten poem on a back page with the title of it reading,

Mountain & Squirrel
PrintFromVintageEmersonPoem

Copyright 2016 JazminMae/ConStancEMae/PrintFromVintage

The Fastest Way To Lose Weight – Old Book Remedy!

“The weight will be reduced from one-half pound to two pounds daily, and with marked improvement in all the physical functions.” – Dr. Frank McCoy

Of course, we all know that our diet is bad, but what can we do to fix it fast?  That’s what this book “The Fastest Way To Health by Dr. Frank McCoy” is all about.  What I like most is that it gets right to the point with a contents page that lists numerous conditions such as: Acne, Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Headache, Kidney Stone, Varicose Veins and of course, Obesity plus many, many more.

This article will give you the treatment to one of those conditions and that is, Obesity (at the end of this post is a link to download this chapter for yourself). The reason that I picked this particular topic is that I find it helpful, easy and quite simply, it works!  I’ve given this information to people that I know and when followed, the results were dramatic and fast.  Even if I don’t personally struggle with Obesity in the same way that another might, that is, “having difficulty breathing and freedom of movement”, I do have binges of eating (Christmas, Buffets) and afterwards, I take to this treatment and get myself back on track fast! “Your age can never be a handicap to you, for you may develop a beautiful body at any age,”  Says Dr. Frank McCoy and it’s true!

 So, without further ado, lets discuss this easy-to-do remedy to get back on track with whatever weight problems that we may have in our lives at this time.  It will interest anyone who may be:

“Conscious of carrying around too much weight – who are stuffy, short of breath, sleepy, and uncomfortable.”

Regardless of where you fit in the treatment is simple:  Water and citrus juice.

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Easy, right?  According to this chapter, “The quickest and most infallible method of reducing the weight to the normal is the use of the fasting cure in some form.  Fasting with small amounts of water and the juice of citrus fruit is perhaps the best procedure for the average case.  The weight will be reduced from one-half pound to two pounds daily, and with marked improvement in all the physical functions.”

I have taken this information and developed my own method using my high powered mixer at home.

Now that you’ve discovered that all it takes is citrus and water, here is the method that I have adopted in 8 simple steps:

1. Begin with peeling an orange.
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2. Put it in your blending cup and add some ice.  I use two cubes.

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3. Add some water to the mixing cup.

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