Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Piercing signatures

I have found a bit of an alternative way to pierce signatures. I read about sawing the holes from the outside in one of Kevin Smith's books. This method vs. the inside piercing works out well for me. It has greatly improved my accuracy. No more wonky piercing stations!

Kevin Smith's instructions involved using a hack saw... seriously... a Hack saw! This seemed a bit extreme to me. This is like cutting a sapling with a chain saw... can you say overkill! I scaled it back a tad. I use a jeweler's saw. I happen to have several from my goldsmithing days. Even if you are not a jeweler these are very handy things to have around. I have used mine for all types of projects including , in a pinch, cutting down a Christmas tree.
The trick is to use the saw to "mark" the piercing hole. You don't need to go all the way through. If you do cut through all of the signature the hole will be elongated and will rip easily when you are sewing the book. Use a traditional awl to finish the hole from the outside of the signature.

Saw Frame Jewelers Adjustable Metalsmith Wood Hand Tool
Jeweler's adjustable saw frame


Lizzie said...

Hey Eric, I followed your link from the BEST Group. Love your blog and thanks for sharing some great time-saving ideas!!

bloubell said...

Thanks for sharing. Looks like a winner to me.

Laurie said...

Okay. Totally love your blog. You've been added to my idea farm. You're doing a lot of stuff that I've been thinking about, but not doing yet. Maybe reading about your recycled materials will give me the kick in the butt that I need. Awesome books. Thanks!

Carol said...

I like that you're using a jeweller's saw; anything heavier is too damaging to the signatures, as you said. Interesting blog, I'll be subscribing.

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