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File 133551786467.png - (3.70MB , 2560x1440 , brony journal proj.png )
37703 No. 37703
I've been doing a bit of practice and research on home made book binding in the past month or so. I've still got quiet a bit of learning to do, but I'm getting better and better at it :)

So I decided to put what knowledge I have of the art to good use and I'll actually be putting together some custom made poni-fied journals. :)

The goal is to make these journals look antique-ish complete with leather-ish covers, engravings and other nice bookish decor.

I'm already threading together the signatures for the first one [pic] and I'll post my progress on the project as it comes together :)
Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 37713
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Finally finished threading the signatures together! (would you believe I've been working on that since 8 pm last night? its 9:15 am now! :O )

each signature (minus the first and last) are 3 folded sheets of computer paper which makes 6 pages per signature. The first and last signatures are only 1 sheet of thick card paper which makes only two pages..

there's 35 signatures total which makes 202 pages (which is actually 404 blank pages)

but actually 2 pages will eventually be glued to the cover board and covered up by some inner cover decorations, so that'll leave 402 sheets of blank pages :P

Oh, and when you try to lift this thing by the top signature the whole thing lifts up like accordion! xD (yeah, I'm THAT easily amused when I lack sleep :P )

meh, anyway, time to put this thing under some weight for a while so it'll be nice and flat by tonight. Totally looking forward to working on the cover boards around that time too :)
>> No. 37716
Hey Misterbull, I actually recognized the coffee table before I saw your name. It is lacking in the drink department. You cutting back on the caffeine?
>> No. 37720
This sounds like a lovely project.
>> No. 37722
nah, just lacking in the caffeine budget. its always towards the end of the month that I run low in $$$ :P


oh trust me... the amount of work I plan on putting into these things, its a worthy project ;)
>> No. 37745
test post :P

cause I seem to be having timeout errors with images or something...
>> No. 37746
File 133561621637.jpg - (88.07KB , 700x788 , bj proj3-2.jpg )
Just a small bit of progress since yesterday...


>fig #1
Still trying to press the signatures down to proper size. Since I dont have a proper press to work with I'm having to rely on some heavy objects that I have laying around my apartment. That, and trying to keep the signatures flush, its not so easy but neither is it so hard. I'll keep this thing under the weight until its flat enough to work with...

on a positive note, I can actually stand it up on the table which is always a good thing when it comes to home made book binding!

>fig #2
I also need to keep the cover boards flush so here I have both the front and back covers clamped together where I can trim and sand them properly, taking care not to trim too much off but just enough where both covers are at a perfect size.
>> No. 37770
File 133566321141.jpg - (295.71KB , 2560x1440 , bj proj4.jpg )

And now I'm sanding the edges of the paper in an attempt to make everything all nice and even. A plus about doing this is that the edges now have a nice feathery-cloth-like feel to them which I think makes it feel more like a book and less like folded printer paper :P

I'm thinking about gold-leafing the edges as well to give it a more ornate look, but I'll need to do a bit more research on how to go about doing that... and maybe a couple of experiments. :P
>> No. 37771
This sounds like a cheap way to do it, but you could always get silver gum wrappers and use the wrapping for silver leafing xD
>> No. 37772
I actually have a bottle of liquid gold leaf which may actually work.

from what I understand, how the pros usually do it is they actually melt gold tin over the edges (there's a proper term for it but I forgot what it was :P ) there's plenty of other methods to go about it, so we'll see :)
>> No. 37777
File 133566961608.jpg - (79.35KB , 700x788 , bj proj5.jpg )
So I went and did the foolish thing and took a risk...

I tried applying some liquid gold-leaf to the paper's edges. The result?


>fig #1

It did its job, in only that it looks a bit rugged. Kinda like its been used before (I could try applying a secnd coat, but I'm kinda liking the rugged look here...)

>fig #2

And here's the con of my experiment. The liquid gold leaf actually sort of bled into the edges. But it kinda gives the paper a somewhat antique distressed look.

But who am I kidding? I need opinions... Is what I did here a bad choice? Does it look like something I can keep working with or should I scrap this and start new, avoiding the gold edging until I have the proper equipment for it?
>> No. 37780
File 133567498933.png - (376.01KB , 575x527 , 133523701613.png )
I like it, now it looks like an older Bible.

You should start a collab to write a Brony Bible xD
>> No. 37783
File 133567543959.png - (140.93KB , 400x400 , 133523227799.png )
I felt I should clarify I was joking. Best not to offend anypony.
>> No. 37784
Nice quads you got there.

Also, you could still use that book for putting a cover/decorations and such on. The only real issue I could see is that some of the pages stick due to the liquid gold leaf, but I feel as if you would have already mentioned it. No reason to stop working on this book in particular, a first try is never perfect, and you learned something from it.

As for my opinion, the gold leaf is a good idea, but the bleeding does take something away from it for me. I think I'd just like it to look a little "cleaner." That's just my opinion.

Great job so far, and I'm looking forward to seeing a finished product.
>> No. 37794
You can always use that first book as a test subject for various risky ideas.
>> No. 37799
File 133574466682.jpg - (134.53KB , 590x481 , sewing_signatures.jpg )

Thanks to the few who left their opinions on the flawed book. :) it was very much appreciated!

I've decided to go with the last reply's opinion and use the flawed book specifically for experiments. That means I'll be starting all over again. :P But there's an upside and a good reason for my decision, and its not only related to the gold leaf error.

I've had another regret about how I sewed the signatures together. I was using a simple method for the sewing that is actually best used for smaller books. In using this method I neglected the use of linen tape (which is supposed to be held tight by the thread on the spinal area which helps to keep the signatures together) because I did not use the linen tape approach, the book has continually had a problem about staying perfectly flush. No matter how much I worked the sand paper along the edges, the more I tampered with it afterwards the more it just kept losing its balance and looking untidy.

I'm hoping to correct that with the next attempt here.

On a note, I did like the sewing method I was using on this book because it did a somewhat good job of binding each signature together. So I'm thinking about using that method with the linen tape somehow to ensure a max strength bind. We shall see how that turns out! :)
>> No. 37809
Combining linen tape and sewing sounds like a good idea. They should last longer that way.
>> No. 37822
that's actually the most common way of doing it, actually. I just did a different method of sewing that didn't require the linen tape :P
>> No. 37823
oh what the hay! Why did Ponychan reset all the input fields?!?

And why is it putting old thread titles in the video embed field? D:

what derped up sorcery is this?!?
>> No. 37874
File 133589478931.jpg - (40.02KB , 700x394 , bj proj6.jpg )
Finally got around to folding and puncturing the signatures last night. This time I'm going for 32 signatures each (front and back signatures have two pages (one from each will be glued to the covers and then covered up by some inner cover decor) and the rest have six pages each. Do the math.)

And now I'm about to cut up the tape needed for sewing.

I cant mess up this time! :P
>> No. 37880
Better luck with this one!
>> No. 37921
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25 sewn signatures later...

its 2 in the morning, maybe I should boil a pot of coffee... o_e

the method I decided to go for in the sewing process does seem to give the book a nice sturdy binding, but its a much longer and much tedious task. You can see where in some ares the thread kinda tangled up on me. That and there were some areas I skipped (not on purpose)

But all in all, its still holding together pretty stongly.

Also, no, that's not linen tape, its black card paper. Its just as effective in my opinion :P

Just seven more signatures to go! I'ma go fix that pot of coffee now :P
>> No. 37925
File 133595929336.jpg - (55.07KB , 700x394 , bj proj8.jpg )
Finished sewing. Applied some backing to the book. Sanded the edges.

I'm exactly where I was at before I screwed up the last project with the gold leafing!

Now I can go and work on the cover. :)

But I'm going to take a break... I've been wanting to play some Skyrim for a while so maybe I'll go do that. c_c

Or heck, I sorta miss working on Spikes Quest, so maybe I should revisit that project again.

So much to do!
>> No. 37940
>> No. 37953
File 133605075138.jpg - (57.53KB , 700x394 , bj proj9.jpg )

Here you see the early stages of putting together the cover. I'm using black card paper here to combine the cover boards.

I'm a bit concerned about my measurements here (as well as some of the badly trimmed bits of the board) but I feel it'll come together well :)

I should note that the black paper is not the final material for the cover, it just helps to bring the boards and the book's spine together (forming the base of an actual book). I'll later apply cut pieces that will act as raised (embossed) edges and then work in the final cover material.

But even then, I still wont be finished with this project.
>> No. 37954
File 133605655858.jpg - (91.24KB , 700x788 , bj proj10.jpg )
Victory! ...

Okay, its not totally perfect, one of the cover boards came out just a tinge off (I'm trying to work that out) but overall, its not bad.


>fig #1

Here you see the cover boards fully assembled. Do I really need to explain more?

>fig #2

And here's what it looks like when you combine it with the book. No, its not glued together just yet as there are some other things I need to do beforehand.

I think I should sand the pages down a bit more, and then start applying the stencils for the raised (embossed) edges of the finished cover material.

But hey, its coming together! :D I'm rather excited!
>> No. 37964
File 133608225504.jpg - (57.22KB , 700x394 , bj proj11.jpg )

I'm on a roll today!

Finished cutting up and piecing together the embossing bits for the front cover! (now I have the back cover and the spine to do, but those should be a bit more easier since I dont have much planned for those areas. :P)

I'm using cardboard from cerial boxes for this portion of the project since its nice and thick (but not too thick). Basically how this will work is that when I start applying the finishing fabric, I can simply go over it with an embossing stylus, pushing the material into the cut regions which in the end will make the book look more interesting.

Some of those cut regions are placeholders for decorative hand made embellishments (For these, I'll be using polymer oven bake clay coated with liquid gold leaf.)

Anyway, time to get back at it! :)
>> No. 37966
Is the placement of the cardboard pieces final? Because it looks a bit off at the bottom edge.

Other than that -- way to go!
>> No. 37968
I noticed that too and a bit too late in...

but the good news is that once the final fabric is applied, I believe that such flaws wont be noticeable. I'm only working in on the inner areas after all.
>> No. 37981
File 133613281931.jpg - (177.46KB , 700x1576 , bj proj12.jpg )


>fig #1

Finished applying the cardboard for embossing. The written numbers are to help in reference to where I'll be applying the embellishments. this image is saved for future references.

>fig #2&3

Here you see the front and back view of what the cover looks like on the book itself. Its still not all put together just yet as I still have much more to do. But these images are just to give you a visual idea.

>fig #4

And also for future reference for working on the embellishments, I've kept a few of the cut pieces to help give me a scale guide to work with.

I have 8 hand made embellishment designs total that I'll need to make for the books outer cover.

Once done with the finished designs I'll make a mold from each of them and use them to make all the needed pieces from polymer oven bake clay.
>> No. 37991
I can't wait to see it finished! (Okay, I can wait, but you know what I mean.)
>> No. 37999
File 133617238591.jpg - (54.46KB , 700x394 , bj proj13.jpg )

So I've started on the next portion of the project: working on the decorative pieces for the inner covers. The piece on the picture is for the inner front cover.

The cut panels are actually spaces for some illustration work that I plan to do. The four corner panels may just be ink drawings of different flowers or wildlife. The large center panel will be a pretty picture of a pony. I'm thinking either Fluttershy tending to some cute wildlife or Twilight Sparkle reading a book.

I also plan on doing some emboss work on the black frame. Right now I'm trying to work out a good design for doing just that.

The inner work for the back cover will be similar but with only one big panel with an antique-ish map of Equestria.

The artwork will be inked and maybe water-colored (or some other coloring medium, I'll have to experiment)

Concerning inner covers in general, most people would simply just glue the very first and very last pages to the cover boards and call it quits.. But here, I'm taking it a few steps further. I really want to make this journal look as ornate as I possibly can. :P
>> No. 38000
Ohhhh! It sounds like it's going to come out great!
>> No. 38033
File 133622524045.jpg - (59.30KB , 700x394 , bj proj14.jpg )
Sweet Celestia, gel pens are fricken' awesome! :O

Facts to be, I'm kinda having second thoughts about the emboss work on this piece and instead just continue doing this sort of design all the way around it. c_c
>> No. 38037
Goodness! That looks so pretty!

Just be very, very careful with those pens. They can smear very easily.

(The projects ruined, they still haunt me.)
>> No. 38038
well noted. ;)

I've experimented with them before so I know how they can be. basically i try to keep my hand away from the most recently worked area until I'm sure its dried just enough to work in again.

Once I'm finished I'll spray a bit of hairspray over it just to be sure that it wont smudge or fade over time (I hear this works with pencil sketches so I'm sure it could work with this as well.)
>> No. 38043
Re: Hairspray. Is that so? I'll keep that in mind for feature pencil drawings. Thanks for the tip!
>> No. 38070
File 133628371818.jpg - (60.53KB , 700x394 , bj proj15.jpg )
I've tried getting a good screenshot of this but the limited light in my living room made it kinda difficult. Oh well, this will do for now :P

The frame design for the inner front cover is almost finished as you may can tell. This is the result of several hours of sketching and then inking with the gel pens. I'm rather proud of how it came out. I just need to fill in those last two blanks. I'm thinking for the top one I'll do a tapestry style illustration of Celestia and Luna on both sides of the sun/moon with a bit of decor around it. For the bottom, I'd like to write some meaningful quote in Equestrian style alphabet.

Anypony got any good ideas for a quote?
>> No. 38072
"Friendship isn't always easy, but there's no doubt it's worth fighting for! "

(Return of Harmony part 2, Twilight to Discord)

Or some of the lesson Twilight writes to Celestia.

If not, you could always put in something like "Dear Princess Celestia..."

Or, or... I don't know. It's kind of late.
>> No. 38075
How about "Legend has it that on the longest day of the thousandth year, the stars will aid in her escape and she will bring about nighttime eternal."

Or maybe, "When the five are present, a spark will cause the sixth element to be revealed."
>> No. 38118

those are all pretty good suggestions and I'll consider them. But let's keep digging. It doesn't have to be entirely show centric.

Anyway, I'm taking a break today, pigging out on junk food and wasting my time watching LP videos. I at least deserve 1 free day a week, dont I? ;)
>> No. 38135

>> No. 38158
File 133640841543.jpg - (79.53KB , 700x394 , bj proj16.jpg )
I seem to have misplaced my silver gel pen, so for Celestia I decided to try using the gold one. Bad choice. She now looks like Alicorn Fluttershy. :P

If ever I find my silver pen before the completion of this project I'll try making corrections. Until then Alicorn Fluttershy dethrones Celestia as the sun goddess.

Oh, did I ever mention my webcam takes damn good closeup images? :D
>> No. 38163
File 133641631461.jpg - (92.73KB , 700x394 , bj proj17.jpg )

The bottom panel is finished! I'll let you guys decipher the writing yourself using this Equestrian letter sheet here:

As an added feature to the journal I'll also include a Tolkien-ish letter sheet on the very last page of the journal. Something like this:
>> No. 38173
File 133642746765.jpg - (43.27KB , 700x394 , bj proj18.jpg )
Feeling somewhat burned out on the inner cover designs I decided to turn my attention back to the main outer cover material.

I measured out and cut the vinyl (yes, that's what I'm using). did some more measurements and a bit more cutting and now I'm working on the embossing.

The tutorial I learned this technique from said to first spread glue over the cover before laying out the fabric. But I'm a bit nervous about the glue drying too quickly on me so I'm just getting the embossing out of the way. When I'm ready to glue it all together I could just rub everything into place when I'm ready :)
>> No. 38178
The letter sheet doesn't show up! (I get a "400 bad request" error message)
>> No. 38181
here, try looking at it in this thread:
>> No. 38182
File 133644168242.jpg - (46.51KB , 700x394 , bj proj19.jpg )

The emboss work is finished and I successfully glued and applied it to the boards (I had to take it off and reapply it a few times which unfortunately cost me just about all my glue, but its done!)

Atm, I'm just doing a bit of antiquing, by applying a bit of gray colored marker and smearing it around with my finger. When its done, I feel it'll start to resemble that of an old book.

Oh, and I should add, when I fold those winged edges over the boards it gives me an idea of the cover's thickness... this cover is darn thick!
>> No. 38183
>>38181 Thanks!

It's all coming together beautifully, sacrilegious portrayals of goddesses, or not.

RE: The thickness of the cover: Excellent! I imagine that it will make putting it together a little more difficult, but it should make the book more resilient.
>> No. 38191
Bad idea with the markers. After feeling I might have overdone the antiquing I found out that all the marker can very easily be wiped away with a damp napkin. The cover is completely spotless of marker as I type this.

Not sure whether or not to feel good about this or not. Sure, its good news in that when I totally mess up I can wipe it away. But its bad news in that the desired effect wont so easily last.

What if the user of the journal got caught in a rain storm and upon getting home they try to dry it up a bit?

Yeah, you get my point... c.c

I'll just have to either figure out another way to go about it or just skip the antiquing bit entirely.

Meh... I'm going back to bed. I'll just sleep on the thought.

No pic, as there's not really anything to show.
>> No. 38199
File 133651498220.jpg - (47.31KB , 700x394 , bj proj20.jpg )
Here you see the book completely glued together. I'm letting the glue dry over night so to avoid completely screwing it all up.

Of course, I'm having doubts on the stability of the project atm. Despite having measured everything to a T I'm discovering a few annoying flaws and one major flaw that could totally make this project go kaput.

The smaller issues are ones that probably can pass as noticeable blemishes. first little flaw that I noticed was that sometimes during the process of gluing the cover material to the boards, it apparently slid a couple of fragments of a centimeter making it slightly out of line which makes folding the winged edges over the cover board a bit crooked and whatnot. the second slight error is that because the cover material is a bit off, one of the books corners has this nasty exposed spot. I may have to purchase some brass book corners to cover that up :P

The one major error was discovered when I started gluing the end pages to the boards. When I try to close the book, the paper's edge wants to slide up the board, and when I try to open it, it wants to slide back down.

This means that I may have made an incorrect measurement on the spine. I'm hoping that by tomorrow when the glue is all good and dried that this wont be such a problem.

But if it is, then... well... this project is as good as ruined. :P

I'd have to start right back at square one, and that will ultimately suck...
>> No. 38201
Well, goodness! I hope it all works out!
>> No. 38202

Actually, I'm just now about to post another update. the glue's dried, so gimme a few secs to scribble up a review of my efforts and put together the imagery :P

In short, I've still got mixed feelings on it. :P
>> No. 38203
File 133652633757.jpg - (155.28KB , 700x1379 , bj proj21.jpg )

Alright, so I got a bit impatient, but the glue has completely dried and now I can have a better look at the book as it is now... coverings and all (minus the decorative bits)

This is the part where I ask everypony for opinions. Should I keep working on this project or scrap it and start fresh and anew?

In my honest opinion, even though some of my earlier fears were proven wrong, I'm still seeing other flaws that can and may have already ruined the project for me.

Please observe the image and read the descriptions I post here to understand why I feel that way...


> #1

Here you see the fully bound book sitting right next to an age old classic. This is somewhat for comparison to another book, but its also my chance to show off a book from my own personal collection. I totally recommend Felix Salten's Bambi as a good bedtime read! :) but I'm getting a bit off topic here... c_c

> #2

okay, first issue. No matter how hard I try, I cant seem to keep the pages nice and flush. this is a shot of the side edge where the paper seems to jut out a bit crookedly. I could try sanding it down, but I fear that if I keep sanding away at this that the book would just become a warped mess...

> #2

And here, for some reason the cover looks a bit fat. I've pressed it between my fingers a few times, but it still retains that random mass... It may be how it was glued or something. Its not warped, in fact the book is pretty solid. Its just this middle part that looks a bit odd...

> #4

And here we can see that the vinyl became wrinkled for some reason. This might have happened while I was working the winged edges around the cover board. Honestly, I dont really know how this can be fixed. :(

> #5

And in the final image, I present the smallest and possibly the most insignificant of errors. The ribbon is too loose. :P Maybe its not such a problem, but the ribbon should probably stay centered. Perhaps I should had did a bit of head banding to fix that before gluing the book together. But I'm not yet any good at doing such thread work. :P (lol, bad excuses)

there are a few other problems that I could not fit into this image without it getting ridiculously too big for my liking. one of those problems has to do with the emboss work becoming a bit smoothed out and faded towards the books spine. The other has to do with the end pages being a bit roughed up from earlier sanding.

From all these things, I think I've learned a few simple lessons that I can certainly use on the next attempt. But for now, I really need to decide just what the heck I need to do with this one.

I certainly don't think its e-bay worthy in its current state (yes, I want to make and sell these things...) . Perhaps if I later added in the finished decorations that maybe it would even out, but I seriously have my doubts.

I'd really like to hear some opinions on this...
>> No. 38206
Hmm. What I would... I say you start over, but before that, use this book as a test subject of personal use!

It might not be in the right state to be sold -I share your observations, as a fellow perfectionist-, but this is your chance to see how sturdy the book is as you built it.

Write, draw, paint on it, flip through the pages, use it to its fullest and see how well it stands to the rough and tumble life of a personal journal.

I think this will be the best way to see if there's something fundamental to be changed in your process that you wouldn't have found out otherwise.
>> No. 38207
*What I would do...

Speaking of perfectionism, oh ho ho.
>> No. 38208
What I'm getting at, is that it's better to find out if there's something important to improve before you start selling these.
>> No. 38209
Okay, I've got to stop hitting "reply" before thinking everything through...

Anyway, I think this way you'll find out what exactly are the weak points in the process, and hopefully that way you'll find out the reasons behind the imperfections that popped out just now.
>> No. 38210

I actually kinda like your idea here. Use the book as a sort of 'Beta' book and also as a kind of personal journal.

that being said, I dont think I'll apply the decorations to this one, but rather save them for a much more complete and perfected final form. I'll still finish work on the inner cover pieces though I may work more patiently at them and finish them over a period of time.

This will also give me some time to save up for some better tools needed for these kinds of journals. A book press, sewing rack, hole puncture rack and a few other things come to mind.

Oh, and I've decided to tackle some much smaller projects until my methods are completely perfected. And by 'smaller' I mean smaller journals half the size of this one. Instead of 30 signatures I'll go with 10 or 15 and I'll trim the pages in half to meet the ideal size.

I'll begin work on this shortly. Perhaps tomorrow. Or whenever I get the chance to go to the store again and purchase some more glue... c_c
>> No. 38211
Sounds like a good plan.

Hey, take your time! I'm honestly surprised by how speedy your updates have been.
>> No. 38212
yeah, perhaps I should slow down a bit. I do have some other projects I should tackle, such as project Spikes Quest, and one hugely amazing illustration piece that I've been neglecting for the past month or so.

I should probably take these multiple projects and divide the time of each week specifically for each of them.

this should help keep me from getting totally burned out.. especially on this bookbinding project.
>> No. 38240
That sounds good. Just make sure to leave enough wiggle room in your schedule to switch around projects if you find yourself feeling constricted by the schedule (it's happened to me! I still don't know the right solution is for my case specifically, but hopefully you will).
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