Anonymous

DIY, New Item

Some of the items that I really enjoy to make are notebooks with wooden covers, bound with Coptic-stitching. The front cover often have an image cut with a scroll saw. In this post I make notebooks with the image of the Guy-Fawkes mask, currently associated with the hacktivist group Anonymous:

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Completed notebooks – 3 different colors

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There are three parts to making these books. The first is making the covers, the second is making the signatures and last part is binding everything together. I start making the covers. For this book I use A6 sized pine covers.

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Blank A6 covers and pattern

I use tape three blank covers together, to make a stack to be cut at the same time, and stick the pattern on. I add clear tape over the cover to kelp with lubricating the blade while cutting and also not to smudge the printed image (I need a better quality printer…). The next step is to drill the entry holes.

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Drilling the entry holes

After the holes are drilled, I can begin with cutting the image. I use a #5 reverse tooth scroll saw blade for this image. This image is quite easy to cut since it is reasonably big and it takes approximately 40 minutes (at some stage I hope to be a faster).

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Scrolling

Before I remove the pattern I add the back covers to the stack and tape them in place. I drill the holes for binding through all 6 covers before removing the pattern and all the tape. Using masking tape (painters tape), before sticking on the pattern makes removal easy. The next step is sanding. I sand the covers to 400 grit and use several small strips and emery boards on the inside of the image.

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Sanding – one constant in woodwork

I made three notebooks and decided to make each one slightly different in color. The first I kept natural pine cover. The second I painted with a diluted, water based, acrylic paint to give a slightly white wash appearance. The third cover was stained with a home made stain of vinegar, steel wool and coffee. This gives the wood a grayish aged look. After the stain and paint dried, I added 4 layers of glossy lacquer.

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Painting with diluted white paint

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Drying after staining

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Painted, stained and lacquered – from left – White wash, Natural, Stained

After the covers are done I make the signatures. For each book I make 9 signatures with 12 pages – 108 pages per book. To make each signature I take three A4 pages and fold in half 2 times. I stack the 9 signatures together and place between 2 pieces of sacrificial wood. I tape the wood together and cut approximately 5mm from three outside sides on the scroll saw using a #9 blade. While bound I also cut the slits in the back of the signatures through which they are bound (see here for more information).

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Cutting the pages to size

I roughly paint the first page of the first signature black. This is to give a nice contrast to the image when the book is closed.

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Painting the first page – note the slits for binding

The last item to prepare is the thread. I use black thread that I pull through beeswax to make my own waxed thread.

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All the items ready for binding

The final step is to bind the book. I use Coptic stitching since it makes a nice pattern on the spine. It also allows for the notebook to open completely. Currently it takes approximately 50 minutes to bind each book (if no mistakes are made).

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Hand stitching

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Halfway done

The completed books turned out very close to the image I had in mind when starting this project.

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Front cover

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Inside front cover

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Spines with Coptic stitching

I currently have several notebooks and will continue to make more with different designs (I also take requests for custom covers). These three notebooks are however the only “Anonymous cover notebooks” I have and are available here.

I have tried other binding methods and plan to try a few more in the future. I am however working on several other projects that are not notebooks and I will write about these soon…

Robroy

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