Hello people from FPN!
Recently (December 29th to be exact) I was browsing aimlessly online and ended up buying a Lamy Safari in Petrol. And that got me back into fountain pens. I was put off from fountain pens after my Sheaffer Agio was stolen at an Archaeology meeting, at that time I was writing on cheap paper that feathered and bled a lot. Because of that I didn't really enjoy the experience. After I impulsively bought the Safari I started to look for good paper here in Brazil (We can't get the normal fancy papers that everyone talks about) to fix the problem I had with the Agio.
So, after the Safari got here I got all of my paper around the house and started to try it. I Tried copy paper that I had taken from the lab that I work on, a heavy off-set paper that I made a sketchbook out of and still had some, the paper from a very old and very cheap blank notebook that I had around, lay-out paper from a Canson pad and, finally, the lay-out paper by a brand called Spiral that I saw fp people talk about here in Brazil.
Here is a picture of my results.
So, overall I really liked the Spiral paper. It's quite smooth and pretty ink resistant, the lines are really crisp there’s some light shading with this ink and the colors looks really good on it, not too dark and not too light. But there are downsides. It's fairly thin and because of that there's some ghosting, if I really saturate the page with ink it will blead and it is only available in pads (no notebooks).
With the paper thing done I started to think about making a notebook since I couldn't find one with the paper I wanted. I've bound a good amount of books before and since I study 19th century logbooks of whaling ships I kindda know what lasts and what doesn't. My favorite size for notebook is A5 and since I plan on using this one as a journal I wanted it to be pretty and sturdy. To accomplish that I decided on a case bound with a fabric line cover. The book has 240 pages (like the official bullet journal, although I won't be using the bullet journal system because of philosophical reasons) and they are all blank because I like to use guide sheets.
So I'll take you guys through my processes of book binding.
The first step was to take 30 A3 sheets of the Spiral paper and cut them into 60 A4 sheets. I also cut 2 A4 sheets of red heavy paper to use as the end papers of the book. Because of my record of people stealing my stationary I made a contact sheet on Illustrator and printed it to one of the sheets.
The next thing to do was fold all the sheets in half and with the smoother of the two sides facing out. With all the pages folded I stacked them into signatures of five sheets. With all of the 12 signatures ready I stacked them and marked all of them at once for punching the sewing holes. The holes were spaced an inch apart from each other starting on the center.
I kept the signatures in the same order as I marked it when I was punching the holes and make the aligned when the sewing was finished. With the holes punched it was time to kettle stich the signatures with red thread.
Then I glued the spine with two good layers of PVA while the book was held on a book press. After that I glued the end papers on and lined the spine with a sturdy paper. I let the book block dry and trimmed the edge. With the edge trimmed I could add some optional stuff like headbands to match the covering material and a red ribbon.
The next thing I wanted to do is put a pocket on the front end paper to hold my guide sheets and other loose paper. I made a paper pattern and set that aside until I was ready to cut the covering material.
Then I made the case (hard cover) for the book. I cut two pieces of 1.3mm binder's board that is the width of the text block minus 1/4 of an inch plus 1/8 of an inch by the height of the text block plus 1/4 of an inch. I also cut a strip of board the spine that it was the thickness of the book block plus two times the thickness of the boards. With the boards covered I got two types of book cloth that I had prepared earlier. One made out of a thick cotton cloth died black and a thin one that is white and has a black pattern printed on. The boards were glued to the book cloth and the spine strip was spaced from the cover boards by 1/4 of an inch plus the thickness of the board. After it dried the case was ready to receive the book block.
The next step was to glue the pocket to the side of the end paper that would be glued to the cover and then glue the end papers to the case. Let it dry and the book is done.
And then I had to that some pretty pictures with the Petrol Safari and the Pelikan Blue-Black.
So, I don't know how useful this post is to the forum folk in general because all of the paper I used isn't available out of Brazil and the ink isn't available in the US. I hope the sharing my process gives people an insight on book binding and kindda bring people more to the handmade side instead of the compulsive shopping side.