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Best way to remove old pages from thread-bound journal


CoolBreeze
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I use thread-bound A5 journals for everything - notetaking / to-do lists / meeting notes / etc. However, there comes a time where I want to take some of the pages out - either to consolidate stuff, throw out old pages, etc. Has anyone found a good way to do this where it leaves  clean and consistent edge. I was using one of those envelope openers but its really inconsistent.

 

Please note - I do not want to change notebooks.

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Try to remove pages by "cutting" (it is more an elaborate "ripping"" guided by the edge of a ruler or even a cutting device. Most papers can be torn out easily and surprisingly neat if you just use a hard edge placed firmly onto the paper.

 

The structure of thread-bound journals is easily damaged by completely ripping out pages directly behind/around the thread which then comes loose. If you leave a small strip near the middle of the double page spread where the bindings sits, you avoid this risk. 

 

This is also good for "thinning out" thread-bound notebooks that may have become too stuffed by storing memorabilia inside.

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8 minutes ago, JulieParadise said:

Try to remove pages by "cutting" (it is more an elaborate "ripping"" guided by the edge of a ruler or even a cutting device. Most papers can be torn out easily and surprisingly neat if you just use a hard edge placed firmly onto the paper.

 

The structure of thread-bound journals is easily damaged by completely ripping out pages directly behind/around the thread which then comes loose. If you leave a small strip near the middle of the double page spread where the bindings sits, you avoid this risk. 

 

This is also good for "thinning out" thread-bound notebooks that may have become too stuffed by storing memorabilia inside.

Interesting! I will have to try that.

 

Regarding structure of thread-bound journals - YES! I didn't want to destroy the binding during the process and I often need the other page (of the double page). I was trying to leave a small strip but not sure the best way to do it.  Thank you! I will try your method.

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The question I ask, CoolBreeze, is to WHY you want to delete pages.  Because of the little I understand about sewn bindings is that the notebooks aren't really designed for that function -- and wouldn't that cause structural damage to the binding (especially if you are removing large sections, not just a random page here and there).

As for JulieParadise's suggestion of tearing against something narrow and sharp like a ruler, I concur -- that's more or less how I was taught to tear paper in various art classes in college (the only difference being that we were tearing downwards along the edge of a table or counter, and often creasing the paper first.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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One of these cutters. I discovered these 15 or so years ago. Awesome for what you are wanting to do. Great for newspaper clippings etc. I don't know what they cost anymore. I recall them being fairly reasonable. But its been a while.

16510219016831316035008424013652.jpg

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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6 hours ago, CoolBreeze said:

Has anyone found a good way to do this where it leaves  clean and consistent edge.

  • The way to a clean edge = use a sharp blade
  • The way to a consistent edge, paper stub width on the side of the spine, and/or detached page width = not being selective about which pages or when you want to remove them, but cut them out all at once
6 hours ago, CoolBreeze said:

I was using one of those envelope openers but its really inconsistent.

 

Please note - I do not want to change notebooks.

 

No need to change notebooks. Just recalibrate your expectations as to what is manually achievable.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct, and valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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IN the USA about 10 years ago, Barnes and Noble had a run with an inexpensive, 100% recycled notebook series called Ecosystem. They were delightful. The coolest thing? Microperfs on every page. Sold out long ago, good for them, a successful run, but I still have one or two empties. 

 

www.ecosystemlife.com is totally ghosted. 

 

I ride a recumbent, I play go, I use Macintosh so of course I use a fountain pen.

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Yeah, I was sad when those got discontinued.  They were a nice size, and you could get ones that had blank paper (nice for sketchbooks) as well as ones with lined pages and ones with graph pages.  And the paper was relatively FP friendly as well.

IIRC, it was an independent company, but they got a lot of their funding from Barnes and Noble.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Amazon sells a perforation cutter. You would probably have to use a ruler as a guide. I haven’t tried it but one reviewer said that she uses it to remove pages from coloring books.

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 Thing about cutters, you need two extra accessories, a hard background so you do not cut into the underlying pages (when I did use sewn notebooks I used a hard cardboard from a ring notebook front or back page), and a ruler to ensure the cut is even (i first used scissors but it looked horrible, which is why I went for cutters.

 

OTOH, nice thing abut sewn notebooks is they easily lay flat. If you do not mind a rough (but even) edge, the easiest is to take a ruler, place it firmly over the center so it goes about 0.5-1cm on the page to remove, and just tear the page off. Takes some practice till you can do it right, but once you get the hang, it usually suffices with the ruler.

 

The cutter+hardback+ruler is guaranteed to be almost always neat (it also requires some technique not to deviate the cutter from the rules), the ruler only is faster but less precise, and may go airy more often, but has the advantage that, if things go wrong you can always stop and revert to the cutter for that page.

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13 hours ago, InkyColors said:

Amazon sells a perforation cutter. You would probably have to use a ruler as a guide. I haven’t tried it but one reviewer said that she uses it to remove pages from coloring books.

 

7 hours ago, txomsy said:

 Thing about cutters, you need two extra accessories, a hard background so you do not cut into the underlying pages (when I did use sewn notebooks I used a hard cardboard from a ring notebook front or back page), and a ruler to ensure the cut is even (i first used scissors but it looked horrible, which is why I went for cutters.

 

OTOH, nice thing abut sewn notebooks is they easily lay flat. If you do not mind a rough (but even) edge, the easiest is to take a ruler, place it firmly over the center so it goes about 0.5-1cm on the page to remove, and just tear the page off. Takes some practice till you can do it right, but once you get the hang, it usually suffices with the ruler.

 

The cutter+hardback+ruler is guaranteed to be almost always neat (it also requires some technique not to deviate the cutter from the rules), the ruler only is faster but less precise, and may go airy more often, but has the advantage that, if things go wrong you can always stop and revert to the cutter for that page.

Looks like an interesting option! I wonder how they work in real life. They are relatively inexpensive so it could be fun to try one. @txomsy thank you also for the tips. When I first saw these I did wonder how easy it was to punch multiple pages accidently. Good tips!

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It IS very easy.

 

Also, if you cut too close to the fold/threads, it is easy that the remaining page gets loose, and it is more difficult to ensure the hardback cover used as background for cutting goes to the fold, protecting underlying pages. My advice is to cut about 1cm off the fold/threads, that has worked better for me.

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