Friday, April 22, 2011

Tools of the Trade

book binding tools

Pictured above are (clockwise from upper left): five bonefolders and a compass, nipping pliers, tweezers, Japanese marking knife, pen, Dexter blunt nosed knife, paring knife, two home-made lifting knives, hammer, linen thread, needle, brass keys, two scissors, home-made awl, square and small ruler

Craftsmanship results from the mingling of tools, materials and human skill. It's easy to be convinced by pornographic photos of beautiful tools that the most important element in this triad is the tool, but the fact is I've witnessed superior craftsmanship made with the poorest of tools. Putting together a collection of bookbinding tools can be intimidating, as they are sometimes difficult to find and expensive. While some bookbinding tools are absolutely necessary, others can be made from simple materials or other tools can be re-purposed. The key is to start using them, for the magic begins when we learn to make the most of the tools we own.