The Book Hut Shop

Introducing The Book Hut Shop – handmade books, tools and supplies for conservation and bookbinding.

Alongside services in book and paper conservation and bookbinding, The Book Hut has long been a supplier of handmade tools and bookbinding equipment, and handbound books. Previously we have used a separate selling platform, but we are pleased to announce that thebookhut.co.uk now has its own online store. Please do have a look, and keep in touch for new items regularly added.

We have some beautiful handmade books and tools that you will not find anywhere else and some practical supplies and materials created with use, efficiency and aesthetic in mind.

The new corner cutter in action

This week at The Book Hut

This week has been a hive of activity and productivity at the book hut, with lots of new projects coming in and a substantial amount of tools and other treats completed and ready for the Etsy store.

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The projects coming in have been a selection of spine removals, tape removal, rehousing, rebacking and a full fine binding for an author based locally, which is going to be a great project get going on – so good stuff all around!

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These lifting tools have been made from old hacksaw blades and are extremely useful for getting under spine pieces, end papers and for tape removal. At the moment, I am investigating the limitations of listing knives (or prison shanks, as one of the other hutters renamed them…) on Etsy, as I suspect there are numerous restrictions on selling weapons online! If you would like one before I have sorted this out, please email me – they are £15.00 each, plus P&P.

Also on the agenda were tin can organisers made from coca cola cans and the like – If you haven’t seen them before, they are the same size as mini Filofaxes and can be refilled. All available on Etsy!

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I also finally managed to get my little pamphlet bindings folded and in the press, they’ll be ready for trimming and sewing next week – watch this space for completed ones!

Phew! Busy week – don’t mention the map, it’s my nemesis.

Making a Tool Roll – Instructions

Like many a crafts person, I have several tool rolls, all of which I have made myself – for tools, paintbrushes, knitting needles – you name it, I have it in a tool roll! So I thought I would impart my knowledge and practice in the art of the tool roll so that one and all can have a go. You don’t need much fabric, but if you don’t have any – I have put together some kits which are available on my Etsy page, which are hopefully wonderfully tempting!

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The lovely Helen from work has kindly tested these instructions for me and they have been adjusted as suggested!

You will need…

1 x patterned fabric – dimensions below
3 x plain fabric – dimensions below
1 x ribbon – 75cm long x 5mm wide (can be longer and wider if you’d prefer)
Sewing machine OR needle and thread (the latter will obviously take longer)
Scissors
Pins
Iron
Dressmakers pencil (optional)

Fabric Dimensions:

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Finished Tool Roll:

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Instructions:

tools3– Firstly we are going to work on the tool side, so put the patterned fabric to one side.
– Iron a 2cm hem onto the long edge of both fabric 3 and 4, then put fabric 4 to one side for the moment.
– Line up fabric 3 with the bottom of fabric 2, ensuring both are front facing and the ironed hem is at the top of fabric 3.
– Pin these two pieces together

toolstips1TIPS – Pin the fabric with the pins perpendicular to the edge of the fabric, this will allow you to run your machine over the pins without misplacing them, it will also prevent the fabric from moving sideways against each other.

tools4 a yes– Sew along the red dashed edge, keeping the sewing as close to the edge as possible – 1cm if possible. Don’t worry about rough edges, these will be covered up when we sew the whole thing together.

– The next step is to divide this new pocket up for the tools. I have made the partitions 2cm each, but you can make them whatever widths work well for your tools. Keep in mind that the divisions at the edges shrink when we sew the whole thing together, so it may be worth starting 3cm in and finishing about 3cm from the other end to allow for sewing round the edge.

tools5 a yes– Pin fabrics 2 and 3 at the hem to stop it flapping about and then mark every point where you want to make a tool division – you could do this with pins, a dressmakers pencil, chalk or you could do it by eye.

– Starting from the base of the fabric, sew up in a straight line, perpendicular to the base of the fabric, to meet your first marker. You will need to remove the pin as you get there as the machine will not sew over it.

 

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– Repeat this for each of your pin markers until you have made all of your tool partitions.

 

 

 

 

 

Your tool roll should now look a bit like this:

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– We are now going to attach fabric 4 and form the lower pocket. This will be on the outside of the tool divisions we have just made.
– Firstly we must sew over the hem we ironed onto fabric 4 at the beginning – this is to stop it flapping about.

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– Once hemmed, sew fabric 4 into place the same way we did for fabric 3. The new hem should be facing inwards.

tools10a– Sew along the dashed edge, keeping the sewing as close to the edge as possible – 1cm if possible. The same as we did for fabric 3.

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– Next we are going to divide this pocket into two, as one large pocket will probably be less useful.

 

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– Do this simply by sewing up the middle of of the fabric in line with one of the central tool partitions. If you have a variety of tool division widths – make sure you sew in line with one of them, otherwise you will sew up one of your tool divisions and it will be unusable.

– Nearly there! Next we are going to sew on our backing fabric – fabric 1 – and our ribbon tie all in one go.

 

– Fold your ribbon in half and pin it onto fabric 2 as shown in the picture – the long ends should be on top of your fabric and the little folded bit should be sticking out the edge.

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tools13 a yes– Once your ribbon is in place, match up fabric 1 with fabric 2 (and 3 & 4) and pin them together – ensuring that the good sides are facing each other.

– Sew along the edges of your fabric bundle, ensuring you leave an open space at the top to turn it inside out, about 12cm. The sewing edge can be up to 2.5cm due to the initial fabric pieces we cut, but try and keep the edges relatively small or your outer tool divisions won’t be much use.
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– Turn it inside out and iron it nice and flat – at this point your ribbon should be nicely hanging on the right edge.

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TIPS – Once you are definitely happy with the result, you can cut off the excess edges and corners on the inside of your tool roll, which should make it nice and neat on the outside – this is not essential to the finishing of the roll.

 

– FINALLY – sew up the open edge and fill with tools – TA DA!!

Start with this...
Start with this…...fold it over...…fold it over…...roll it up and tie it together!           …roll it up and tie it together!

Don’t forget you can get ready prepared kits on my Etsy page to make these tool rolls, all made up from lovely fabrics from my stash and my local fabric shop – they are all very nice!

Once your all done – photograph your lovely tool roll and upload you picture to our maudie.made Facebook page and let me see all your hard work! Here’s Helen’s fabulous tool roll!

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TIPS – If you found any of the tips useful, there is a tips jar in the sidebar!

 

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.

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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!

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There’s nothing like new tools!

I have been remiss in my writing and musings and am ashamed! However, after a lovely weekend seeing lots of friends and visiting Dorset and Devon, I have returned with a new boost of energy and am determined to get back on track!

Whilst in Dorset, The Man and I had a peruse through a great little market in Bridport, which I think is there every Saturday. It was the sort of place that has excellent tool stands – stands that sell all the tools you will never find anywhere else, and indeed I bought three items that I haven’t found in any other tool shops – amazing! So here they are and the contact details for everyone else who also can’t find them!

Architects ink pen - £3.00

Head of architects pen

A friend told me this was an architects ink pen, which sounds about right, as I knew it was an architects tool. I will be using it for paper repairs – when dipped in water the nib will hold the water and it can be dragged across the tissue to make an accurate water line to tear across. Up until now I have been using a japanese water pen, which is good though not so accurate. I’ll need practice using this though! This was £3.00 from Topper Antiques, unfortunately his website does not seem to work, but he can be found on 07779534170.

Archimedes Drill - £2.50

This is something that I know all my colleagues will want as it was a tool used by our board attachment instructor to bore holes into the shoulders of books to form joint tackets. I think hers was from Italy, so great to find them here – it’s called an archimedes drill and I will be using it with the micros drill set below. Both of which came from Andy’s Tool Shed, Andy doesn’t have a website, but does have an email address and is now expecting lots of calls!

Micro drill set - £3.00

A Method in Knife Sharpening

Over the last couple of weeks, we have had a team of expert craftsmen from the British Library come in and teach us knife sharpening and leather pairing – it has been FANTASTIC!! I’ve never done either and have been thoroughly enjoying myself! Leather, as many of you will know, is an amazing medium to work in and gives and extremely satisfying result! It also seems to work sooo much better with a nice sharp knife, so the two have been going very well together.

Sharpening my knife

Sharp and covered

As you’ll know from my tools post, I’m very fond of my kit, and there is nothing quite like having a tool that you can mould exactly to the form you want to, so I have been slowly sharpening and  honing my pairing knife, which is used to take off the edge of the leather before you pair/thin the rest of the leather (edge pairing!). I have also been given a spokeshave by my wonderful father – a tool which is used to thin down the rest pf the leather. This particular tool was designed for woodworking and needs a bit of manipulation before it can be used for leather pairing – which is going to take me a few weeks… Anyway, here is a video of Mary sharpening her pairing knife:

Having tried out pairing and knife sharpening, I decided to give a case binding a go in leather, as my sister is after a book for her PhD for her acknowledgments. Unfotunately I ripped the spine piece after two hours of pairing, but I suppose that is what practice is for. I decidied to still use the leather due to a lack of dark green and plans for the cover, but its a bit sad!

Ripped spine piece

Though all in all not as sad as missing out the N in ‘acknowledgments’ on the spine itself, after my VERY first attempt at blind tooling. Neither of which are remotely as disappointing as it was to find out I after speaking to my sister that I also had too many E’s – HOPELESS!

My first attempt at blind tooling

acknowledgemets.

Anywho – bit of a long post today as its been a while and lots has been happeneing – will update quicker next time and will put the finished acknoweledgemets up soon!

PS – I now have a ‘page’ on facebook so I can put up events and spread the love so come and have a look if you’re keen.