Monday, January 12, 2015

Weekend Recap #2 - All the Natter

Last night's post was pretty sparse on words, so we'll make up for that today.

Ron's rapidly working through the batch of rings we got last weekend at Blue Buddha to make Elfweave bracelets. But we're expecting the rings to make owls to arrive tonight, so he'll have those to work on. 

Got pretty much nothing in the way of leatherworking done this weekend, just trimming some pouch fronts that are drying on the molds.

Last week I got my order of bookbinding supplies and tools: A sturdier awl for making sewing holes (circular cross-section, all our leather sewing awls have a diamond cross-section), linen tape/ribbon for sewing multi-section books onto, reinforcing material for book spines, a couple pieces of black book cloth, a swatch set for one type of book cloth (I figured it was safe to order black without having seen a swatch), and a piece of decorative paper that's red with fancy fish on it in gold and black.  That order came from Ann Arbor, MI; and I also got my sewing frame from California.

Friday night after dinner we stopped at Menard's for sand bags for the back of the newer truck, and I picked up a 3" paint roller and small tray for gluing - a brush works for small areas, but not as well for anything over, say, 2" x 2". The roller was not my idea, I got the recommendation from YouTube video and a book on bookbinding. I also got a small plastic rafter square to keep with the paper cutter. 

Saturday morning I finally got around to cutting the board to size that Ron had reduced to manageable pieces with the Universal Mangler the week before.  I got the square because we've been having trouble making square cuts. I'd assumed the problem was that the (magnetic) fence which goes parallel to the blade was too easy to knock out of square with the backstop which is (supposed to be) perpendicular to the blade, because the fence is relatively narrow. But I started out checking that the backstop is square to the blade.

Fail. Fail fail fail. It also obviously (once you look at/for it) isn't square to the grid on the bed of the cutter, which I'm kicking myself for not noticing. Fortunately, it looks like we should be able to fix the backstop, possibly after enlarging a bolt hole with Comrade Dremel. 

I'm not sure the grid is perfectly square to the blade, but it is pretty close - at least as close as I can come without a fixed and reliably square backstop. So I cut my board using the grid and my eyeballs - I'd laid out all the cutting lines fully across the board, so I could also line them up with the blade mark in the plastic piece the blade comes down into.  And I also discovered that the blade guard/clamp isn't straight, so it isn't a safe/reliable indicator of cut location. This, children, is what comes of buying an inexpensive paper cutter. 

I also cut pages for the red and brown Japanese-style book on Sunday. The results of this weekends cutting were, unsurprisingly, much better than the cutting done using the not-square backstop. Not perfect, but a decided improvement.

Saturday evening I covered the boards for the books I finished yesterday. I thought I was being clever by mitering the corners before I had the boards glued down. Fail. It was OK on the red/brown book, but I'd mis-measured somewhere for the blue book, which ended up effectively having the corners trimmed too close, so there's corners not quite covered. Growf.

OTOH, using the roller made gluing much quicker/easier. It probably results in more waste glue with what's left in the roller and the tray, but that's a trade-off I'm willing to make.  

Sunday morning I did the Illinois sales tax return. As usual, I ended up ranting and swearing in the process. Most of which was over a rounding issue - rounding everything to the nearest dollar and then summing up does not necessarily give the same answer as rounding at the end. The Wisconsin on-line filing system was down all weekend, so I need to do that today or tomorrow, which should be straightforward, particularly as we only did one event in Wisconsin. 

Sunday midday/early afternoon Ron and I did errands, including a stop at Dick Blick, where I got a quart of PVA glue (the 4-ounce-ish bottle I started with is going fast, especially using the roller), Ron decided I should go ahead and get a heavy-duty bookbinding awl, and Ron got a utility/storage box for finished chainmail. After lunch we stopped at Michaels and Ron got a couple black velvet-covered bracelet display bars.  

In the afternoon/evening I sewed the books together, and finished putting a batch of sporrans and belt satchels that I took pictures of last weekend up for sale on Etsy.  And did the previous blog entry.

Last night I ordered paper for book interiors. In the morning I determined that most (if not all) of French Paper Company's products are acid-free, so I stuck with them (I've also bought paper for letterpress printing from French). They're not exactly local to us now, but is to where I grew up. Its a thing. I got Pachtone in "Natural" - cream-colored artificial parchment, slightly mottled; and Dur-O-Tone "Butcher Extra White", which is a slightly glossy white. It was surprisingly hard to pick a white and an off-white. I got a ream of each, a ream doesn't exactly last a long time when making books, and the price/sheet is a lot better for a ream than 50 sheets.  

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