Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Process of Making a Book, pt. 2

Most of my friends make big purchases that are exactly what you would expect big purchases to be. They buy televisions, or sound systems, or parts for cars that never quite seem to function well.

My big purchase this year, aside from the gas valve in the furnace, was a hand-binding press.

(Using it does not result in hands being bound together, in case you were wondering.)

There's not much to the idea of a hand-binding press; it's just a way of clamping pages together so that they stay nice and even while you work on putting them together. But, oh, look at that beauty. Aluminum bar to flatten the sheets, a clear, solid acrylic back that allows me to see if anything has shifted before I make the binding permanent -- it is easily the nicest piece of non-computer-related equipment I own. Heck, it might actually be nicer than my computer.

This wonderful press was made by Chet at I hear rumors that the original title of Queen's "I'm in Love with My Car" was actually "I'm in Love with My Fancy Hand-binding Press," inspired by quality tools such as this, but that the record company guys made them change it because it was too niche.

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