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Bindery in a Box

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The postings on this so far have made many good points, and I am in complete
agreement with Don Rash about priorities in equipment.

The one other piece that you really need is something to trim the book. If you
follow Don't advice and make your own lying press, you can buy a plough and make
tracks for it on one side of the lying press.

If you don't have a plough, a small guillotine for trimming edges will work very
well. You can sometimes find used 14" tabletop models in office equipment

Remember if you make your own backing boards from wood (as I do) that you want
the edge you hammer against to be endgrain rather than side grain, or it will
chip very quickly.

If you really need professional equipment and don't have room for it, you can do
as many others have done and start your business by becoming a monthly renter at
The Center for Book Arts (or  MCBA, CCCCBPA, SFCB, etc. if they have such a
program near you). That way you can do your work and, if it brings in enough
cash flow and you decide to buy your own equipment, you can set up your own shop
at home or in a nice storefront.

I've gotten most of my equipment either from binders' estates or at auction. If
you read the commercial auction notices in your nearest big-city paper (like the
Sunday NY Times) you often find equipment suitable to a hand bindery. Look for
shoe machinery, wallet or handbag manufacturers' auctions to get leather paring
machines; picture framers auctions for board shears; printer's auctions for
guillotines; etc. You also can get used equipment from dealers like American
Graphic Arts
< http://www.agamachinery.com/ >
or look at the bulletin board at the Center for Book Arts (or MCBA, CCCCBPA,
SFCB, etc.).

You can get some nice presses at Rougier & Plé and Relma in Paris, and there are
several good suppliers in London.

I had a bindery on my boat for many years, and simply had a headbanding press
that I used as a lying press, backing boards, a small nipping press and a sewing
frame. There was a binder not far from me who had a Jacques, and I went to her
studio to cut boards.

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