A little woodworkin' an' bookmakin'...

A little woodworkin' an' bookmakin'...

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

February 3rd, 2018, 12:05 pm #1

Not that kind of book making. The publishing kind of bookmaking.

As some of you know and might even care I've taken up producing my own TWB books, as my previous supplier apparently fell asleep at the switch.

... For seven years.

Anyway, I'm slowly refining my technique and workflow on this stuff, and should be ready to launch here very shortly. One of the last little noodly bits I wasn't happy with was stapling the bodies of the books together.

The stapling goes well enough- I bought some quality Bostitch staplers and Bostitch staples to go in 'em (and scored a crate of some 96,000 staples off eBay, so I'm set for a while ) -it's keeping the stack of loose papers in some kind of alignment 'til I can shoot the first staple, that's the problem.

Well, after trying a couple of ideas and techniques, and trying to be really, really careful, I decided it needed a proper fix. I ordered three more staplers, and sat down to design a fancy fixture that would hold the papers in place, and with a single stroke, would drive all four staples at once.

Unfortunately one stapler arrived broken, and the other, bought used, was missing the staple pusher assembly, a minor detail the seller neglected to mention.

And, I'm running low on time for the fancy machined assembly. I have several hundred books to bind, and I hate trashing a set of prints just because I couldn't hold it quite right while I shot a staple, so it was time for a Patented Temporary Make-Do Fix.

First, we take the two good staplers and a junk of scrap plywood, and stare at it until I hallucinate in just the right way.



Formulate a plan, bandsaw out a few chunks of birch plywood (also from the scrap pile) and shoot a couple drywall screws to hold it all together.



The bases of the staplers are tapered, and I made the rear piece tapered to match, which locks them together nicely. I'd prefer the active portions of the staplers to be a little closer together, but that would require invasive surgery, and at this point, that's gonna wait 'til I can do the fancy version.

This is strictly a "get the job done" temporary fix.

That I'll probably keep using for the next thirty-seven years.

Now, bandsaw off the excess plywood base, smooth a few corners with a file, mill up a rear fence out of some aluminum angle, and toss a chunk of bandsaw-tapered 2x4 under the front edge to give it a hot-rod rake.



Clear off a bit of space where I'd been doing the book assembly, and give 'er a test.



Worked like a champ. The angle on the handles isn't ideal, but the back edge of the bundle is dead flat and even. That is the edge that gets the binding strip, so the smoother and more even it is, the better the thermoset adhesive holds.

The other three edges of the book get trimmed in the paper cutter, so minor whoopsies there are less important.

I'd considered an end stop, but with just the two staplers, I shoot the middle two first, then slide the bundle left, shoot the rightmost one, then slide it right and do the leftmost one.

If/when I make the fancy version, and have all four staplers mounted to it, I'll definitely have an end stop as well, with the whole mess likely angled both rearward and to the side so the stack can be just dropped in, jogged a bit, and it'll automatically align.

But for the moment this doodad should work, and should help me produce a better product. I have stacks of books to finish still, so Saturday is looking like an all-day staple/bind/trim affair.

Doc.
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Joined: March 8th, 2004, 11:48 pm

February 3rd, 2018, 5:39 pm #2

Of course you need pneumatic rams to do the actual stapling but that can be added later.
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Joined: October 8th, 2014, 2:05 pm

February 3rd, 2018, 6:12 pm #3

A vibrator motor mounted underneath to jog the paper into position against the stops.
If it ain't broke, I'll fix it!
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Joined: February 2nd, 2017, 2:27 pm

February 3rd, 2018, 8:21 pm #4

Lady redacted did bindery work for a few years. She seconds the notion of vibration for aligning paper. They jog stacks before putting them into the feeder, there is an art-science to getting a full stack aligned and perfect before it hits the fed cogs.

Shouldn't be too hard to rig up honestly.
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Joined: February 3rd, 2018, 8:48 pm

February 3rd, 2018, 9:00 pm #5

Hello,
I worked in the printing industry for 15 years.
The place I worked at mostly printed direct mail advertisements.
We used an angled shaker table similar to this.
To help line up the sheets in the shaker table we would blow compressed air at the edges of the sheets to float them into place while the shaker was running.

Mark S
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

February 4th, 2018, 10:28 am #6

Of course you need pneumatic rams to do the actual stapling but that can be added later.
... Don't think I hadn't through of that.

Not sure I want to get that carried away, though. And really, for... well, for almost a grand, I can get an electric multi-station stapler that'd do basically the same thing. I haven't checked to see if they can do books this thick, or what the closest center-to-center spacing is, but that'd be the way to go.

Drop it in, shuffle a bit, stomp the foot pedal, call it good.

Yeah, I could build myself something, but I already have more projects than I'll ever live to see completed. I hate to admit it, but there does occasionally come the time when I'd rather just USE the tools, than spend all my time making or fixing the tools.

Doc.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

February 4th, 2018, 10:35 am #7

A vibrator motor mounted underneath to jog the paper into position against the stops.


Yeah, I'd considered that, too. I could throw a small motor with an eccentric weight on the thing that'd do the job easy-peasy.

However, one of the big drawbacks is if you get too much of an angle to the platen, especially in two axes, the force of pushing on the levers can start making the thing skid across the bench.

So now you're looking at having to clamp it down, add controls for the vibrator, run the stapler handles at awkward angles, etc.

Really, this quick-and-dirty setup worked incredibly well this afternoon, and I was able, with minimal care, to get nearly perfectly-straight backs to each bundle, which resulted in more solid and consistent binding strip application. I'm very happy with the current quality of the setup right now- barring some artist's-eye nitpicks, the new books are as good, if not in some cases better, than the old "pro shop" product.

Doc.
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Joined: January 4th, 2015, 12:41 pm

February 5th, 2018, 7:17 pm #8

Hello,
I worked in the printing industry for 15 years.
The place I worked at mostly printed direct mail advertisements.
We used an angled shaker table similar to this.
To help line up the sheets in the shaker table we would blow compressed air at the edges of the sheets to float them into place while the shaker was running.

Mark S
. . . but when I hear "Shaker table," I think of plain-but-elegant wooden furniture made by celibate bearded men. "'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free . . . . "
"Vox populi, vox humbug!"
- William Tecumseh Sherman
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Joined: February 2nd, 2015, 4:36 pm

February 5th, 2018, 7:24 pm #9

"But it's cash on the table, If you want to buy from me. . . ."
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