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Stab binding (was Japanese stab binding)

           See The Exhibition Online, And Order Your Catalog.

Please notice I have changed the subject of this thread because, in
authentic Japanese binding, an awl is the only instrument used to make the
holes.  Let me quote Sam Lanham, eminent authority on Oriental bindings:

>Betty---I'm not sure how to reply to the Book Arts list anymore---it's been
>so long since I did anything but read a few of the postings.  I didn't see
>the original posting on Japanese stab binding but all this discussion of
>drills and punches certainly doesn't apply to the original technique.
>Japanese bindings are punched with an awl which does NOT remove any paper.
>Then, after making the inner binding it is tapped gently and this closes the
>paper around the sewing material securing it against coming apart down the
>line.  If you remove the paper with a punch or a drill you lose this

I would suspect not many of those making "Japanese" bindings construct the
book with the important inner binding of which Sam speaks. Kojiro Ikegami
illustrates the technique in his "Japanese Bookbinding." I learned to make
Japanese bindings by following Ikegami's instructions step by step, making
the inner binding and using an awl  to make holes but drawing the line at
trimming the book with a cleaver while standing with my bare foot holding
the book down.

Those who use drills or punches and eliminating the inner binding are
making a westernized version of an oriental binding. We should probably
refer to it as a plain "stab binding."

Of course, in making pages for post and screw or ring binders, you do want
to use a punch or drill to make a smooth hole. I also use a drill when I
have to side-sew a single sheet book. The last time I used my C.S. Osborne
punch was when I had to make a new hole in my husband's heavy leather belt.

Betty Storz
PO Box 542
Mendocino, CA  95460

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