Big Jump Press

I guess I’ll just fold some things.

Ink Spot Press, (where I am printing my book,) is hopping this week with letterpress summer school. (I am teaching bookbinding summer school in a couple of weeks, see here for details.) Since I must keep away until Monday, I am taking this opportunity to do things wildly out of order. In other words, I am going to start binding before all the printing is done. Really, this simply means I am going to fold a bunch of things.

I walked to the studio yesterday, waved hello to all the summer school, and picked up the stacks of folios that I knew were one hundred percent finished. I put them all in a backpack and got on the bus, terrified that I would get struck by lightning, or that some crazy person would throw a drink on me, or that the bus would careen off the road. But against all odds, I got them home safe and sound. Let the folding begin.

Of course I could just fold all of those pages without all of these tools, but it goes so much more quickly with a jig. So I set up a right angle, taped it all down and checked it, and started in on the job.

You can see here that the sheet is sitting in the jig upside down. I am folding against the tail end of the sheets because the head (or the top) will be trimmed off later. The pages are not all perfectly square, so I want to make sure that if there is a wiggly, not-square edge of the folded sheet, it is the one I am going to trim off. Hence folding the bottom against a perfect square angle. kapish?

Here I go!

When using a jig you don’t have to get in close and agonize about lining up the corner, you can just bump both edges against an angle you can trust, working by touch rather than by eye.

And look how perfectly it folds with minimal time and effort:

Repeat and repeat and look how nice:

Look how nice times a million:

I am leaving the folded sheets under weights and will trim them tomorrow. I am about to head into London to get some book cloth and meet up with Simon Goode, the force behind the imminent London Centre for Book Arts. If you are interested in supporting this open access book arts centre, watch that site.

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