Binding Books II

Lani binds her first book [Weekend Challenge].

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The westernmost tip of Kalea, Wind Reach is home to an amazing group of people and their giant eagle mounts. [Lore]

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Binding Books II

Postby Lani Stranger on December 17th, 2018, 7:10 am

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22nd of Winter, 518AV
Continued from this thread


Hirro set his book down, and pulled another interesting contraption from the end of the table, although this she could more easily recognize. Two flat boards were held into two vices, and Lani recognized it as a press. She took the second one, of which there were four, and she fitted her book into it, exposing it’s spine, and began twisting the clamps down. Hirro nodded at her accurate assumption of the next step and pressed his into the device as well. Whereas Hirro could simply press his book block into the device, Lani had to adjust the seams so that it was somewhat even before clamping the vices down. Once they were done, she could see the threading on the spine was loose now that it was held in place by the vice, and thought it was worth mentioning now, in case it messed up the next step.

”Hirro?” She asked, turning her spine towards him and showing him her work. He frowned at it, and then waved his hand.

”Don’t worry about it. We are about to apply resin which will hold it in place. This time, it is okay, but the book will wear down and tear apart quickly if you do it too loose, so for next time make sure your stitching is tight.” The red-haired Inarta peered closer and Lani saw some streaks of grey in his hair while he examined her work. ”Also, if you do a chain stitch it will be easier.” He noticed, and her cheeks warmed at the thought of him thinking her stupid, but she hadn’t known what he said.

”What is a ‘chain stitch’?” She asked for the unfamiliar name, and Hirro simply turned his device to show his spine, and she could see the looped pattern of the stick on either end of the spine where the holes had not attached to chords but to themselves. Realization dawned on her, and she understood, making a mental note of that for the next time she bound a book. ”Ah, chain stitch.”

”Now, we have to protect the stitching of the spine so that it does not fall apart. We will do so with resin and cloth.” Hirro moved on, and it was clear that today was a work day, not a lesson day, and if the purpose was to produce books, so they would. Glancing at the air vents that ringed down from the ceiling; Lani realized it must have been a couple bells already. Not too long into the work day, but if this part had taken this long, than the book binding job would be an all-day affair. As a scribe she had always simply delivered her finished sheets to Hirro to bind, but now she realized how much work that took. If it took her two to three days to properly copy a book, it took him half a day to bind it, and the whole affair was a long process.
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Binding Books II

Postby Lani Stranger on December 17th, 2018, 7:11 am

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Turning her attention back to the task at hand, she watched as he mixed the two parts of resin with a stick and then began brushing it onto the spine of his book with a throwaway rag. It was not the glue that the scribes used for the scrolls, and she could immediately tell it was a much stronger resin, and so the cloth he used to apply it would not be used for anything else. Once it was evenly applied, he laid a length of cotton over the spine, using his bone knife to press it into the chords so that it formed to the path of the spine, securing the fast-drying resin in place and protecting the stitches. Hirro then passed the resin mixture to her, and she dipped a scrap cloth, coating her spine with the resin as well. She had to used the cloth to wipe away drips, and by the time she applied the cotton, pressing it into the curves of the spine with her knife, the first part had dried, so she had to dab a little more in with the cloth before pressing the cotton strip into it. Her bind looked sloppier than his own, but it seemed effective enough. Hirro watched her work and shrugged, not commenting on the aesthetic of her book.

It was becoming clear to her that she had signed up to help, but this book would not be used for real copying work and might be sold as a quick journal instead, or simply as tinder. Lani tried not to think about the latter. Hirro seemed patient with her, and that was what was important.

”Now we move from sewing to carpentry.” He said, shuffling over to the side of the table where the thin planks of wood lay, along with a carving saw and a thicker carpenter’s awl, as well and angle measure. There were not enough tools here for two, and Lani realized they would both be working in tandem. She picked up the charcoal and ruler and handed it to him so that he could make marks.

”We are going to measure a quarter inch larger than the paper, and make two planks the same size.” Hirro instructed and it seemed simple enough. He seemed happy to let her keep the charcoal and ruler and do the measuring herself, and so she began, marking out an eleven-and-a-half by eight-and-a-half square on the board. She looked up at him when she was done and he nodded.

”We have four books.” Lani sighed and nodded, marking out seven more squares, using nearly two planks of the wood to do it. Once she was done, she picked up the saw, expecting to have to do it as well. Hirro helped her steady the plank on the side of the table, and the mixed book awkwardly began yanking the serrated edge through the wood. She had lined up the planks so she could take two off at a time, and then go back and saw the rest off. It was basic carpentry and even without her skill she was able to do it, although it was tedious and hard. She was not the most muscled person so by the time she was cutting the last squares out of the wood, she was tired.
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Binding Books II

Postby Lani Stranger on December 17th, 2018, 7:12 am

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Only a few planks in, Hirro had replaced his steadying hands with vices to clamp the wood to the table and returned to folding and sewing up his other two books while she finished. By the time Lani had cut each of the boards out, he now had three book blocks waiting beside her one, and she delivered a neat stack of correctly measured wood planks. He chuckled as she jokingly wipes sweat from her forehead and faked panting. It hadn’t been nearly as taxing, but it was quite a bit of work, at least to the scribe. Hirro slid the stack towards himself and silently pressed his book block against one on the planks, marking where each chord lay on the wood, and then measuring it against the edge.

Lani watched the little ‘x’s form on the firs plank. ”Quarter inch in.” He said simply and then handed off the work to her, in favor of taking vices and setting up a structure on the edge of the table near the carpentry tools again. Lani took the ruler and one of the book blocks and began measuring out the holes, drawing little ‘x’s on each plank until they all lined up with the chords on their respective book blocks. As she was doing it, Lani realized it was for the chords to string through, but immediately wondered how they would do so without seeing knots or bumps from the looping of the twin through the wood. She glanced back over at the book that Hirro had showed her as an example. She could see the ridges of the chords underneath the leather in the spine, but no sign of how they were secured or tied off.

”What are you looking for?” Hirro noticed Lani assessing the finished book. She turned to him and fiddled with the long chord ends that hung from her book block.

”What to do with that.” She showed him, and he waved her request away.

”We will get to that, in the meantime focus on this.” Hirro said, and Lani found herself thinking too far ahead without answers again, and she reigned herself in, watching his work. He had clamped one wood between two vices so it stood up, and was balancing the angle measure over the end, pointing an awl at the ‘x’ she had marked out. Lani watched as he began twisting the awl into the wood at the angle until it broke through. The wood was hard, but at the angle and with the sharp edge of the awl it didn’t look too hard. Once he had gotten it in far enough, he let the angle measure relax and finished drilling in the hole.

”See? Easy.” Again with too much confidence in her, Hirro handed Lani the tools, remaining next to her to help her set it up. ”You want to go in at a forty-five degree angle.” He spoke, pointing out that the angle measure was already set to that angle and all she had to do was hook the end on the wood and hold it still until she got the awl in far enough. Once she completed it just as he did, Hirro nodded at her work, motioning for her to complete the rest, and then returning to his other two books to prepare more resin and cloth to secure the bindings.
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Binding Books II

Postby Lani Stranger on December 17th, 2018, 7:12 am

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Lani worked on putting the holes into the wood, now realizing that it answered her unasked question from earlier. If the chords went in at an angle, they would not cause bumps like she had thought they would. Lani grinned at the ingenuity, and was glad that Hirro was her instructor. Even though he was not the most used to teaching, the man was good at what she was doing. The mixed blood was keeping track of her pieces that made her book, and realized that she was essentially doing the work with his pointers, making his job easier but also allowing her to completely create the book herself, the thought thrilled her a little bit.

While she was still twisting the sharp awl through the wood to create the holes, Hirro had finished his work and wandered back to her end of the work table, selecting one of the finished pieces of wood and picking up a sanding stone. Lani was so focused on her work that she did not pause to pay particular attention to what he was doing, and by the time she had finished creating the holes in the wood, a few chimes later, her arms and wrists were aching again. Had she gotten soft? Or was this simply a new group of muscles she had to work? Lani paused after her awling, stretching out her arms and fingers. She pressed into her knuckles and heard them pop before turning to see what Hirro was doing.

”What are you doing?” She chirped the familiar Nari phrase, her accent still coming out thick.

”You’ve got to sand the edges so that they do not cut at the chords,” He explained, and she saw how he detailing the sanding stone inside the angled holes to smooth them out. They didn’t look perfect, even in his hands, but Lani supposed they would be covered up so it didn’t matter. He had gotten through three of the eight, so Lani picked up an extra sanding stone and began to copy him. She worked the rough stone through the wood a few times, finding the hard wood gave way to the stone with ease, falling to the shape she wanted in no time. She was able to work through all the holes nearly as fast as Hirro, although she only got through two before he had finished three more, and then all eight were done. She didn’t stack her two with his, liking the idea that she could create a book completely by herself beside this master, and he didn’t seem to notice the move.

”Now, we string the binding chords through, coming in through the outside.” He instructed, picking up one of his perfect book blocks, all of which were now prepared to be attached to the wood. He threaded each thick chord into the wood from the outside so they lay on the inside. When he finished Lani could now clearly see the familiar shape of the book, and realization set in. When he set the book down, however, it laid open, the thick chords keeping the wood from touching the paper. She tried not to ask about it, copying his moves instead. She strung her chords through the now sanded and angled holes in the wood and turned them in. The chords fit pretty snuggly in the holes, so she had to yank them through but once they were in they caught on the course wood and stayed where they were supposed to. Once she was finished she let her book rest, and watched his next move, happily following along with the instruction for the day.
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Binding Books II

Postby Lani Stranger on December 17th, 2018, 7:13 am

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”See how it keeps the book open even when it is closed?” He asked, addressing the question she had refrained from asking, and Lani nodded, watching his answer closely. He pulled one of the razors from the counter and removed the leather protector, slicing the excess chord from each one so they were relatively the same height. Lani picked up the other razor to do the same to hers. Once it was done, she looked at him, sure there was another step coming.

”Now, you want to fray the ends so that they flatten against the parts you sanded down and disappear.” He said, as if it was common sense, and Lani grinned at his genius. She had never really paid attention to the binding of books before, but as she had grown used to surrounding herself with the journals and field notes that filled the Enclave, she could appreciate that this method allowed for the binding of the book to not interrupt the flatness of it, allowing those who read it to let it fall flat on the table when it was open and not at an angle.

”Genius.” She spoke in common, not knowing the Nari word for it, but unable to let his mastery slide. The Avora looked at her, trying to register what she was saying, but already grinning at the tone. Lani simply nodded to him, glad that he understood it was a compliment, and not really thinking about if he understood the actual word or not. He was already picking at the ends of the twine chord with his razor and then teasing them with his fingers. Lani did the same with hers, cutting at the braids until they loosened and then teasing the twine out. She kept petting it down with her fingers so that it fit into the hole, and realized she had cut her chords too long. So while they were frayed and loose she trimmed the edges so that all of the threads fell into the sanded area, and would therefore be flat. It took her a little longer, since she was not used to the process, and by the time she finished her one, Hirro was only halfway through his last one.

Again Lani began thinking ahead and realized that they might plaster down these threads with the resin again, and so she shuffled over to where the resin solution lay, beginning to mix it together. Hirro looked up at her and when he realized what she was doing nodded at her forward action. He set back into his work, and Lani grabbed a scrap cloth to begin brushing it over the frayed ends of the chord, securing them into place on the inside of the book. While she blew on it to let it dry, she felt Hirro take the resin mixture from her and do his own, returning it to her once his sides were done. She tested the resin with her finger and when it showed to be dry, flipped the book over, doing the same with the frayed ends of the binding chords on the other side, before handing the mixture back to Hirro. She blew on it and let it dry while she waited for the Avora to finish his work and give her further instruction.

She was admiring her work, it was taking much longer than she thought it would, but even with her inexperienced hand it looked good. It was definitely too loose and a little lopsided, but she still liked it. So Lani flipped through the stiff parchment of her book and admired it. All it needed now was the leather binding, and surely it would be done.


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Lani Stranger
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Binding Books II

Postby Ssezzkero on December 26th, 2018, 11:00 pm

Bookbinding +5, Sewing +1, Philtering +1, Mathematics +2, Carpentry +3, Endurance +1, Acting +1, Planning +1, Bookbinding: Vice press, Vice: Used to hold things in place, Bookbinding: Spine stitching must be tight, Bookbinding: Use of resin, Bookbinding: How to protect the spine, Sewing: Chain stitch, Bookbinding: Time consuming, Philtering: Mixing resin, Bookbinding: Use of wood, Acting for entertainment, Planning: Thinking ahead, Mathematics: Angles, Carpentry: Using an awl at an angle, Carpentry: Sanding, Bookbinding: How to create invisible holes, Carpentry: Use of sanding stones, Bookbinding: How to make the chords disappear, Bookbinding: Use of resin, Bookbinding: Attaching the wood to the paper
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