Most bookbindings function as protection for the text contained within. This, however, is a bookbinding that also functions as a strop. I rebound Ron Hock’s The Perfect Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Sharpening for Woodworkers in reverse calf in order to make it work as a not-so-fine binding/ strop. This book is one of the best on sharpening, containing an excellent overall assortment of information. It is loaded with practical advice, overviews of the various sharpening systems and informative photos. I recommend it as a textbook to accompany the sharpening workshops I teach.
Anyway, this was the first time I constructed a reverse calf binding– the paring took a bit more time since most of the strength of the leather (hair side) was cut away, and the caps were a bit tricky to form. The book was sewn on 5 quarter inch linen tapes, the edges decorated with Golden Fluid Acrylics chromium oxide green mixed with airbrush medium and Staedtler Karat water-soluble pencils, and the endbands simply sewn in purple silk over a cord core. The front cover was coated with a .5 micron chromium oxide honing compound, for preliminary stropping, the back left bare for a final polish. It will be interesting to see how it looks in a couple of months when the metal particles start to build up.
5 Replies to “Sharpening on a Book on Sharpening”
As Minsky would say, this is an expression of material as metaphor. I love it!
Did you pare the skin side or the flesh side for the turn ins, etc.?? In contemplating my upcoming reverse binding, I was thinking that I could pare everything on the flesh side as usual to reduce thickness where necessary.
I actually pared everything from the hair side, which was the hard way to do it! I was worried that paring everything from the flesh side would result in the characteristic color changes in the thickness of the leather, which I often use to visually gauge the thickness of my paring, and that it would radically affect the nap of the leather. In the end, though, I don’t think it would really matter, since you can rough up the nap a bit, and the board edges, turn-ins and spine reflect light quite differently. Next time, I will stick to the flesh side!