Making a Hole Punching Cradle

Making a hole punching cradle is made easy with this little template, which I hope will be useful. Designed especially to aid punching holes in signatures for bookbinding, this little cradle will help get the holes evenly placed. Please download the PDF below and follow the directions to put it together. The directions are printed onto the template for ease as well.

You will need:

  • Glue
  • 2mm card, A4, long grain
  • Cutting mat
  • Craft knife or stanley knife
  • Metal ruler
  • An awl (aka bradawl / pricker)
  • Gaffa tape


  • Stick the template to some card, approx 2mm thick.
  • Using an awl/bradawl, pierce the 8 black dots.
  • Cut all the dotted lines using a craft knife.
  • Assemble all the bits.
  • Tape along the middle gap from the back with strong tape, e.g gaffa tape
  • Please do not share this template, instead share your creations and tag @thebookhutter.

I will be going over this design as part of my #teatimetutorials on instagram, please do come and have a look and join in with your own cradles if you make them.

Making a Book Support

This has taken me all of half an hour to make, and I really should have done it about a year ago – why is it the simplest things take the longest to get around to doing?!

A book support is an extremely useful part of a book conservators kit, without one there is a permanent struggle to support the book cover and text block using anything to hand (other books, boards, rolls of felt, the cat… ). They can be bought from PEL, but come at £46.50 plus postage – though they are extremely nice! However, the beans I bought were from Wilko’s for £6.50, and the pillow case was an old one, so all in all a cheaper version.



Prior to filling up the pillow case, I sewed up the open edge most of the way along, leaving a small gap to fill the beans with. Once I had filled it, I tested it with a few books and found that I needed to take out some of the beans to get the support just right. Once happy, I then sewed up the open edge and TA DA!


The pH of Filofax Paper

Well today I sidetracked a little from my Essay book, to do some pH testing on Filofax paper. I had discussed this briefly with Steve from Philofaxy, and decided to try both the cotton cream paper and white paper. For accurate testing, I sampled five sheets of each and am showing my results below.


Cotton Cream
1: 7.6
2: 8.1
3: 7.9
4: 7.7
5: 8.1
Average: 7.9

White Paper
1: 7.2
2: 7.5
3: 7.2
4: 7.0
5: 7.3
Average: 7.2

So in conclusion, both papers are very close to pH neutral which is encouraging. The Cotton Cream is a little more alkali at 7.9 than the white paper.

Neither of them are verging on the acidic side which is good, and the white paper I have used is from 2003, so it has kept acid free for a substantial amount of time.

All in all – very encouraging!