Spent last month printing, now I have to get into the binding. One of the secret weapons in the studio is the acrylic (i.e. plastic) sheet. There’s a supplier nearby that will cut them to any dimension. I have 13 x 18" sheets for damping and drying sheets of paper while printing, and also just shuffling around stacks of sheets or leaving them under light weight while waiting to be collated. But it’s especially useful for making a jig when you have to trim a bunch of sheets or boards to exact dimensions with square edges. I always get 1/4" because the 1/8" has some flex that isn’t helpful when you’re wanting to press folded sheets flat.
For the current book, for reasons that will be obvious later, all three edges will be trimmed, with the final size being 6 x 9 inches. Sections are collated and then trimmed, with the fold flush to a straight edge (I use long pieces of old metal furniture), the acrylic jig is laid over and the section is trimmed, one at a time. (I don’t have a guillotine because they aren’t precise enough.) No rulers or measuring required, which is good for me because I couldn’t measure & cut two things to the same size if my life depended on it.
I have another jig for the boards, which are trimmed the same way (but slightly different dimensions). My board supplier won’t trim to dimensions below 1/8" (even then a batch won’t be consistent), and my boards usually end up having a 16th inch at least one direction, so I order them slightly over-sized and then trim down.
So after I finish painting 160 sheets (both sides) for endsections, I’ll start collating and trimming sections, then get to work on the boards. Hopefully I’ll have a copy to show by the start of next year. Till then, be nice to everyone, especially the people who don’t make it easy.
Heavenly Monkey is the private press of Rollin Milroy (above) and a revolving cast of friends. While the history of books and printing are particular interests, we submit to no specific publishing program, other than books that we would want to own. Editions range in size from 25 to 50 copies, depending on the amount of handwork required to complete each copy. We publish an average of two new titles each year. Collaboration is by invitation; no submissions or inquiries please. Contact us at HM [at] heavenlymonkey.com