Covers and Content

Bookbinding, writings, general creativity

Making of The Seventeenth Step

After I copied the whole body of text into Word and printed it on nice paper (after some hours of editing, such as replacis soft returns with hard returns in the entire document), I stitched the book with flax thread. When I thought about if I should wax the thread or not, then I remembered Sussex and the bees, so beeswax it was.

After stitching it, I glued the spine and… argh, I really don’t know what it’s called in English, but well, I shaped the spine. With a hammer. Then French headbands. I used silk thread, grey and blue for Holmes and Watson. There is a third thread that is just for tying the knots around, that you never see, and I made that red for hidden love, because I’m silly like that.

After gluing on the cover boards I measured the leather for spine and corners. The lovely green machine is a Shärf-fix, you use it to thin out the edges of the leather. I glued on false raised binds (direct translation from Swedish, I really need to learn some English terms), then pasted on the leather.

Then time for the paper. This, too, is silver and blue for Holmes and Watson, I made it especially for this book. (The paper on the box, which I forgot to take a good picture of before cutting it up, is made especially for this book to, with the London fog of the 1880’s as inspiration.)

Then box-making, a french box with a hollow spine. Last, I printed the title with “gold” foil.



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8 thoughts on “Making of The Seventeenth Step

  1. Beautiful and detailed! What do you do with the ends of the 3 cords? Are they attached to the inside of the cover?

  2. This is gorgeous! Thanks for the detailed description of what you did. Can I ask why you used sunken cords rather than raised ones? By the way, shaping the spine is called rounding in English, and adding the shoulders is called backing 🙂

    • Thank you!
      I almost never use raised cords (adding that word too to my English bookbinding vocabulary…). That would mean having to have the back pasted directly to the spine, wouldn’t it? I always use a loose back (on this type of books).

  3. Very nice… Love the photos. If you want to get into binding eBooks, look up Project Gutenberg for free downloads, and TeX for a brilliant (if arcane) typesetting engine.

    • Thank you! I already love Project Gutenberg, but I’ve never heard of TeX so I’m definitely going to check it out.

      • Good luck… there is a bit of a learning curve with TeX! Also, so you don’t have to do everything by hand: look up Regular Expressions for searching and replacing text. All those line breaks could possible have been a simple Regular Expression. I’m not sure Word understands REs, but many other text editors do. REs have a slight learning curve too. Bon chance!

  4. Oops… Stuffed up my Italics! Sorry!

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