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  1. Greetings all, Does anyone have a recommendation for an A4 journal with a good binding/cover? Whilst good paper is important (fountain pen, unlined), I am finding that the binding of my Rhodia journals is a bit poor. This has been true for the webbies and the A4. The paper is great, but even before the journal is half-finished the cover starts to fray. This is for a journal for my young daughter, so I'd like it to look good 30 years from now. At the rate the Rhodia is going, the cover will have disintegrated in a few more years. Other desirable characteristics are: lay flat and smooth paper. Anything come to mind?
  2. After seeing some of the cool journals that people made in the classifieds section that they were selling I really wanted one.. But I don't have much cash and I'm not really the type of person to pay for something without trying to do it myself first. I knew that mine wouldn't be nearly as nice as the ones on here but I would be happy if it was at least "ok" for my first try. I went out and got some supplies and started binge watching YouTube tutorials lol. I decided to use a cereal box for my cover as I didn't have any chipboard and didn't want to spend any more money than I already had. So the cover was made from a cereal box and the pages are HP Premium Laser jet 32lb paper that I made a template for on the computer and printed out onto each page to put lines and the data on it. If I was to do this again (which I will someday) I would pay more attention to the grain of the paper as my cover warped some. I would also try to be neater and I'm sure with practice they would turn out better the more I made. I've never made anything like this before, I'm pretty much the opposite of someone that would make a journal. But I've started looking at life differently since battling my demons years back and I've expanded my hobbies and interests quite a bit. (Which is also how I got into fountain pens) This is also the first time I've ever kept or used a journal so it's been interesting and I like having somewhere to keep a record of my day.
  3. Hello there fellow fountain pen friends. I'm newer to the fountain pen scene and already quite addicted. I recently became very intrigued with handmade journals after seeing some of the ones people from these forums have made. So after binge watching journal and bookbinding videos I went on a quest to buy supplies (which was harder than I thought it would be as most the local craft places didn't have what I was looking for) and so far I have been able to collect the basics I need to make my first journal other than the chipboard. (Technically the waxed thread I have is too thick and I think it's really for leather but I'll make do) I wasn't able to afford any chipboard yet though so I was wondering what Ideas or things people have had success with that I can use in place of chipboard for the cover? So far I've heard of using cereal boxes which is what I think I might try first. Also when I go to buy chipboard which thickness is good to go with? I was thinking of buying some off of eBay when I can afford some since I figure that might be the cheapest place? I would like something pretty sturdy. Also if you don't mind is there a specific thread I should buy so I can make my own waxed thread? Buying already waxed thread seems a little expensive. But I'm not sure what thread to buy to make my own, there are so many different types of thread lol. I really appreciate any info. I'm usually handy with my hands but my experience is limited to automotive work, engines, and carpentry, I've never really done much on the crafty side of things.
  4. Well me and the girl friend just finished up for the night on our handmade hardback journal. It utilizes coptic binding so that no matter what page you are writing on it lays flat, which has always bugged me about most journals and books I have purchased in the past. I have had a blast making this and look forward to making many more! *thanks to the tutorial in the DYI section!* So with out further adieu, The book block with 12 signatures and caramel colored flyleafs coming out to 192 pages http://i.imgur.com/RWYsEShh.jpg Here is the cover getting worked on http://i.imgur.com/Ffwjarwh.jpg The front cover http://i.imgur.com/fCTy6LGh.jpg The back cover http://i.imgur.com/fkjtBXFh.jpg Finally, the book open with matching bookmark ribbon http://i.imgur.com/2QmpE15h.jpg Still have to finish the spine up with black leather and black leather corners, then attach the book block to the cover and all done. For one night I think its looking pretty good!
  5. So, partially inspired by the price of a good 8.5x5.5 journaling journal, and partially by TMLee's amazing thread and seeing how his journals went from where they started to what they are now...and since I've got a TON of paper my work gave me for free...I've decided to start a thread of my own cataloging my journal making adventures! Don't expect anything as epic or as helpful as the thread TMLee has going, I don't know how long this will even hold my interest. I have a bad habit of obsessing over new hobbies for short stints and them dropping them when a new one catches my interest. I'm also new to fountainpens, and journaling, so this is a big one for me since there are soooo many aspects to master and explore. It might hold me for a long time to come. So far I've been assessing my materials at hand, and figuring out what I need. The paper I have in a massive quantity is 23x35 inches, 148gsm Matte Reply Card. Its light for cardstock, heavy for regular journal pages. It takes FP inking well, no bleed or feathering, pretty nearly opaque. If I had a complaint it would be that it tends toward a fatter line than on some papers I've used. (I'm finding that line thickness has much to do with paper used as it does the nib.) Also, there are sometimes "spots" on the paper that seem kinda waxy. I know its treated to resist humidity, so that's probably got something to do with it. My lady has a ton of fabric, I've only ever seen her sew like 3 or 4 things since we've been together (5.5 years) but she's long resisted getting rid of it all. In fact she got a brand new sewing machine and a surger for her birthday 2 years ago and has never used either one. Anyway, I'm glad she was hoarding it all now, cause I raided it for stuff that might make suitable journal cover materials and I found a nice stack of stuff I think would look nice. Most of them I had myself in mind, but I might make some as gifts for various ladies in my life too, so I grabbed a few out I thought they'd like. She has some ribbons too but they're all too fru-fru for anything I'd want, and most are too wide. I thought she had a rotary cutter too, but I can't find it. Our kids have raided our craft supplies a lot over the years and stuff is a jumbled mess. I did find some thick crocheting thread in "natural", and some really thick crocheting thread in orange. I am not sure if the latter is too thick, and the former too thin but I'll experiment. I ran to the store and got some needles, to attempt to do the 2-needle coptic stitch, with all 6 needles since TMLee said it creates a tighter bind, and I'm definitely looking for that. I also grabbed an awl to punch my pages, and some white elmers glue (which IS PVA glue, in case you didn't know) I cut down 3 or 4 sheets of the 23/35 paper (man what a pain that is) by folding it a few times and trimming off the excess using a wooden ruler with a metal edge, and hobby knife. I have no type of "square" to check, or bone folder so I folded them all by hand, compressed with some heavy stuff for a bit and then marked and punched the holes. Once I had heavy stuff piled on that to squash it flat, I took an extra signature I had and cut the plastic hobby board down to size. Trying to eyeball for squareness via the lines on the self healing matt. I've identified some challenges I'm having. My craft area is cluttered and dusty. Causing me to get the paper pretty dirty. I'm sweating and leaning on the paper, causing my skin oils to get on it, which will suck when writing on it later. I don't have a bone folder so have been using my thumbnail to crease, which will exacerbate the skin oils issue. Also, sweat plus dust = dirty paper. Can't find the rotary cutter anywhere and not sure I'll ever find it, so might have to put that on a shopping list with bone folder and more appropriate stitching chord. I tried making a pocket flyleaf and glueing that together was nearly a disaster. Not sure how TMLee does that, but I definitely need to iron out that process. I'd like an elastic, but I'm nowhere near ready for that level of complexity, not to mention I don't actually have any and my "project" budget is still needing to recover from the "I'm gonna repaint my bicycle flat black" endeavors. Still haven't figured out how to get those cables back on right... I'm pretty much dead in the water until I find the rotary cutter.
  6. I'm a incoming college student who in between preparing for move in at the end of this month and sorting out the finances of college is trying to find a quality but economical way to continue using the pens I've grown so fond of. Before I would buy Staples Sustainable Earth notebooks by the cartload when on ridiculous sales but recently the quality of their notebooks have been unforgivable, even the Egypt made ones, and I'm looking for a change that would still work within the reem/10ish dollar budget. Digging around the garage I found an old binding machine, the Ibico EB-19, and thats meant a day full of bookbinding research. My needs are a flat lying, 360 folding, folder pocket sporting, and most importantly hardcover notebook that is forgiving of even the wettest writers like my Lamys. The binding system that covers all of those requirements and is compatible with the EB-19 is spiral-o wire binding. Looking on Ebay, I've found a lot of 100+ wire spines for super cheap and now am looking for a paper that would be suitable for the task of making a notebook between 90-100 sheets, writes both sides, and maintains an acceptable weight to carry sacks full of them. Some candidates include: Staples Sustainable Earth copy paper that seem to be the pick of the month, HP Laserjet paper 24lb, Double A 22lb, and any other cheap, no bleedthrough or feathering paper you've had good experiences with. Tips and tricks for self binding and recommendations for alternatives like prebound books are welcome. Just trying to stay afloat and continue using my longtime companions. Also, finding affordable hard covers for 19 hole notebooks is impossible. Looking into diy solutions for that and pocket folders, editable systems like zipbinding seem tempting for a modular notebook. Staples Arc, I find to be just too fragile for throwing into a backpack and the paper punch alone is so steep.
  7. Leuchtturm1917 Major notebook. Love the features and design. The paper is a complete disaster. A4-size notebooks with plain paper are few and far between. Clairefontaine apparently made/makes a good one but I can't find one for sale. I've ruled out the A4 Rhodia Webbie. I'm in love with Tomoe River paper and would like to put together a notebook from it. The perfect-bound A4 pads with the binding on top are in the right direction. Anybody want to make any suggestions? A custom notebook would be OK if it didn't cost and arm and a leg for fancy leather work. Has anybody had any experience with perfect binding at Kinko's, Sir Speedy or other copy shops that will do one-offs for cheap?

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