A little woodworkin' an' bookmakin'...

by Doc Nickel

Not that kind of book making. The publishing kind of bookmaking. happy.gif

As some of you know and might even care happy.gif I've taken up producing my own TWB books, as my previous supplier apparently fell asleep at the switch.

... For seven years.

Anyway, I'm slowly refining my technique and workflow on this stuff, and should be ready to launch here very shortly. One of the last little noodly bits I wasn't happy with was stapling the bodies of the books together.

The stapling goes well enough- I bought some quality Bostitch staplers and Bostitch staples to go in 'em (and scored a crate of some 96,000 staples off eBay, so I'm set for a while happy.gif ) -it's keeping the stack of loose papers in some kind of alignment 'til I can shoot the first staple, that's the problem.

Well, after trying a couple of ideas and techniques, and trying to be really, really careful, I decided it needed a proper fix. I ordered three more staplers, and sat down to design a fancy fixture that would hold the papers in place, and with a single stroke, would drive all four staples at once.

Unfortunately one stapler arrived broken, and the other, bought used, was missing the staple pusher assembly, a minor detail the seller neglected to mention.

And, I'm running low on time for the fancy machined assembly. I have several hundred books to bind, and I hate trashing a set of prints just because I couldn't hold it quite right while I shot a staple, so it was time for a Patented Temporary Make-Do Fix.

First, we take the two good staplers and a junk of scrap plywood, and stare at it until I hallucinate in just the right way.

[linked image]

Formulate a plan, bandsaw out a few chunks of birch plywood (also from the scrap pile) and shoot a couple drywall screws to hold it all together.

[linked image]

The bases of the staplers are tapered, and I made the rear piece tapered to match, which locks them together nicely. I'd prefer the active portions of the staplers to be a little closer together, but that would require invasive surgery, and at this point, that's gonna wait 'til I can do the fancy version.

This is strictly a "get the job done" temporary fix.

That I'll probably keep using for the next thirty-seven years. happy.gif

Now, bandsaw off the excess plywood base, smooth a few corners with a file, mill up a rear fence out of some aluminum angle, and toss a chunk of bandsaw-tapered 2x4 under the front edge to give it a hot-rod rake.

[linked image]

Clear off a bit of space where I'd been doing the book assembly, and give 'er a test.

[linked image]

Worked like a champ. The angle on the handles isn't ideal, but the back edge of the bundle is dead flat and even. That is the edge that gets the binding strip, so the smoother and more even it is, the better the thermoset adhesive holds.

The other three edges of the book get trimmed in the paper cutter, so minor whoopsies there are less important.

I'd considered an end stop, but with just the two staplers, I shoot the middle two first, then slide the bundle left, shoot the rightmost one, then slide it right and do the leftmost one.

If/when I make the fancy version, and have all four staplers mounted to it, I'll definitely have an end stop as well, with the whole mess likely angled both rearward and to the side so the stack can be just dropped in, jogged a bit, and it'll automatically align.

But for the moment this doodad should work, and should help me produce a better product. I have stacks of books to finish still, so Saturday is looking like an all-day staple/bind/trim affair. happy.gif


Posted on Feb 3, 2018, 3:05 AM

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