Around a year ago, I had a couple of really large boxes to make — around 22 x 30 inches — and quickly grew tired of holding my folder when smoothing the cloth. I tried using a printmakers baren, but the round shape felt awkward for bookbinding. Then a few weeks ago, while poking around an antique mall, I picked up an antique chalkboard eraser, found the ergonomics of it appealing, and realized with a Delrin sole and wood handle, a similar tool could be great for smoothing and adhering large pieces of paper and cloth to bookboard. The rectangular baren was born.
The size is comfortable to hold with one hand or two, and it is thick enough to hold without running your fingers into the work. Perfect for big projects, edition binding, paper conservation, or for anyone who finds gripping small folders difficult. The Delrin sole is non-marking, .75” thick, has rounded edges, and there is a recessed finger gripping area. The tool has a pleasing heft. This first batch has apple wood handles, which are silky smooth. Approximately 6.5 x 2.5 x 1.75”.