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  #1  
Old 14th April 2022, 04:58 PM
GaryJarvis GaryJarvis is offline
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Default Home made photo album

I have managed to acquire a small collection of 6x4 proof prints (on 7x5 paper) of my street photography which have been left to rest in an old Ilford paper box. I normally use these to scan for Instagram.

It occurred to me that it would be good to make some of these more accessible, so I set about making my own photo album.

I wondered whether fellow darkroom enthusiasts would be interested in my endeavour.

I made the album from black A3 acid free paper (250gsm) which I folded and cut to form roughly A5 landscape format pages.

There are 8 pages per signature and 7 signatures resulting in a book block of 56 pages. I hand stitched the signatures to form the basic book block. I then made a case from greyboard and covered with bookcloth. This was then glued to the book block via the red end papers.

There are some other components such as spine lining / spine stiffener, mull and the endbands.

In order to accommodate the thickness of my photos the album had to be thinned (called guarding). Essentially I had to cut every other page out leaving a 10mm tab in place (only slightly heartbreaking).

So now complete the album takes a total of 28 photos.

I was actually surprised how well this turned out as its the first time I've ever attempted any sort of bookbinding.

There are issues, but none that that make me wish I hadn't bothered, I may try a version 2 and try and improve now I have some experience.

The only thing I haven't attempted is ploughing the edges which requires a book plough (and money!), but I'm not too bothered by the ragged fore and bottom edge.

If I've whet your appetite for your own self creations, the two key references I used for this are linked here:

Shepherds Bookbinders

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHjwofHql68

Sage Reynolds

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9PvRSnGUCo&t=769s

Pictures attached. Hope this is useful.
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Old 14th April 2022, 05:16 PM
Michael Michael is offline
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You can plough the book before shaping the spine (if you do that) and binding it, using a carpenter's plane with ply boards for support.

Otherwise, that looks a good job.
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Old 14th April 2022, 05:47 PM
GaryJarvis GaryJarvis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
You can plough the book before shaping the spine (if you do that) and binding it, using a carpenter's plane with ply boards for support.

Otherwise, that looks a good job.
Thanks for the tip, might try that on V2!
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Old 14th April 2022, 06:15 PM
Alan Clark Alan Clark is offline
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Looks good Gary.
I am a big fan of photo books and have quite a pile of them. I bound a couple myself but most of them are based round ready-made sketch books. I like watercolour sketch books and the Pink Pig company do some good ones in various sizes up to A3, in portrait and landscape format. These have 300gsm paper which is stiff enough to support photographs. They have ring binders, so expand to accommodate the thickness of the photos.
I recently discovered a better option - the Seawhite of Brighton Travel Journal watercolour notebook. This is a properly bound book with 60 pages of 200 gsm paper and a very nice black cover with rounded corners. I took some sheets out to make room for the photographs and the result is a very smart looking book.
Unfortunately it is only available up to A4 size.

Alan
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Old 14th April 2022, 06:31 PM
GaryJarvis GaryJarvis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Clark View Post
Looks good Gary.
I am a big fan of photo books and have quite a pile of them. I bound a couple myself but most of them are based round ready-made sketch books. I like watercolour sketch books and the Pink Pig company do some good ones in various sizes up to A3, in portrait and landscape format. These have 300gsm paper which is stiff enough to support photographs. They have ring binders, so expand to accommodate the thickness of the photos.
I recently discovered a better option - the Seawhite of Brighton Travel Journal watercolour notebook. This is a properly bound book with 60 pages of 200 gsm paper and a very nice black cover with rounded corners. I took some sheets out to make room for the photographs and the result is a very smart looking book.
Unfortunately it is only available up to A4 size.

Alan
Thanks Alan,

I'll have a look at those sketchbooks you mentioned. I've actually done just this for some 7x5 LF contact prints. These looked good on the cream paper in the ready made sketchbooks. The problem I had for my 6x4 prints was that the white border I thought looked better on black paper. Despite a lot of searching I couldn't find sketchbooks of the right size and format, with acid free black paper. Hence I resorted to making my own!

I actually quite enjoyed the process so might persevere with v2, the danger being I 'll be spending more time making albums than taking photos!

If you ever find an A5 landscape black paper, acid free sketchbook with medium weight paper, let me know and I might be rescued from my new addiction!
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Old 14th April 2022, 06:49 PM
Alan Clark Alan Clark is offline
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Hi Gary, Pink Pig actually do books with black 270gsm acid free pages. They call them Display Books. You will see them on their website.
But as you enjoy making your own books you should continue to do so. The big advantage of making your own is that you can do them whatever size you want.

Alan
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  #7  
Old 14th April 2022, 07:05 PM
GaryJarvis GaryJarvis is offline
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Thanks Alan,

I remember looking at Pink Pig at some point, I think it may have been the ring binding that put me off, or I might not have realized it was acid free paper. Thanks for pointing them out, its good to know a ready made option with black paper is out there.

Like you say, making your own, you've got all the options available.

It's probably just another fad of mine, but there's something quite rewarding about taking, developing, printing and presenting all using old school techniques!

So I'll persevere at least to version 2 with Pink Pig to the rescue if the fad wanes!
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Old 14th April 2022, 07:11 PM
alexmuir alexmuir is offline
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Thanks for sharing your experience of this project, Gary. The result, from your photographs certainly looks to be worth the effort. I have also enjoyed the specialist terms associated with bookbinding.
Alex


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  #9  
Old 14th April 2022, 08:14 PM
GaryJarvis GaryJarvis is offline
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Cheers Alex!
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Old 14th April 2022, 11:45 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Yes I had a look at the first of your links Gary and from that my observations are that it is both more difficult to do well and more time consuming than most people might think.


If photography and bookbinding were to become hobbies in a real sense then you'd need to retire but could save money on golf club or fitness club memberships

Mike
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