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Stab binding

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First off, I'd like to say that I'll defer to Sam when it comes to Asian
bindings; he does beautiful work, and his knowledge is second to none.  I
use a drill, but I feel it's essential to make the inner binding.  First,
it just makes it easier to sew the covers and outer binding when the text
block is secure.  Second, the inner binding acts as a backup in case the
outer binding were to ever come undone.  And third, it just adds to the
strength of the overall binding.  Sam will take one of his finished books,
and as a demonstration of its binding strength, will fling the open book
across the room just to show how well it can hold up.  When I demonstrate
making these books, I emphasis the importance of the inner binding.  I also
usually call them Japanese-style bindings, because I'll often use
decorative papers from around the world, not just Japan, and I'll use
Western paper in the textblock.  Again, though, I make sure during
demonstrations to point this out.  The point of my demonstrations is to
show that it's relatively easy and inexpensive to bind your own books,
using easy to find materials, and still have something "exotic".

Alan Van Dyke
Austin, TX

>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
> >advantage.
> >
> >Sam
>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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