I wanted the book to have a somewhat flexible yet rigid cover, but nothing fragile, though it should not be able to bend in half easily. The usual backboard for sketchbooks seemed like the best idea, as opposed to wood, which was my first thought. The decorations and lock should be in wood, however, because I wanted these to be more rigid and have a different colour from the cover boards. Any additional and smaller decorations could be in a thick cardstock, so as to not have each layer be so thick---it would not be ideal to have the parts on the cover sit half an inch above the surface. 1/8" thick parts is already pushing it, but this book could always just be a display piece, as the addition of the decorations make it a bit impractical.
I decided to start with making the book block---with binding the pages together---so that I could then determine the dimensions of everything that I would need to make in Solidworks.
After researching a little on different methods and aspects of bookbinding, I found that a sort of coptic stitch would work best according to my established criterion. Combining that with some improvisation, I created a few sketches on how I wanted the book to look and how each part fits together.
Unlike the professionals, I do not have a bookbinding press, awl, rectangular weights. Though I do have a clothes-drying rack, serrated knife, and a lot of textbooks. I found that using something like an awl would have taken too much time---especially with thicker paper---though a saw or serrated blade has been used by professionals, so it was not like it was unheard of to use such tools in lieu of an awl. In retrospect, the rack was actually a little unnecessary, as this could just as well have been done by hand, although using the rack means less items for me to hold and keep track of at once.
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