My First Attempt at Binding

I picked up all the tools for zine production, so this morning I did a quickie binding project. I found an old pad of graph paper, and my daughter had some green card stock that I swiped. A few rotary cuts, four green-colored staples, and four corner rounding chomps later I ended up with these:

I originally wanted a 3x5 inch booklet in long- and short-side binding. Since the cutter I have only had measuring marks to 9 inches, I went with a slightly smaller size on the short-side binding. The long-side binding is a true 3x5 inch size.

By cutting down 2 pages of graph paper I made 8 pages, which gives 16 writing surfaces if you write with something that doesn't bleed through. Not a bad little notebook to toss in a pocket and make some notes. Or I could fill it with a madman's ramblings and use it as a game prop.

I rough-cut the pages, then stapled them and re-cut the edges to make them as square as possible. It took me 6-8 cuts to get through all the pages cleanly, which took some experimentation to work out.

If I make something like this again, I need smaller graph paper. 4 squares per inch is a little big for this format, and I think 5 squares per inch would work better.

This card stock feels a little light, so next time I need some true cover stock. And yes, I sprang for green staples, even though the colored covering started coming off already. It's in a pack with red and blue, so I need to pick up those colors of cover stock for the next run. Or maybe I can find more brassy-looking staples.

Since each cover only used a half sheet of card stock, I had enough to make 2 more notebooks. The long-side bound notebook on the right has 14 pages (an odd number because apparently I can't measure). That many pages was a little much for the corner chomper to deal with cleanly, even when making 1/2" rounds. I'm guessing 10-12 pages would rock.

Once I knew what I was doing, I cranked out the 3rd and 4th notebooks in less than 5 minutes. Not bad for a first shakedown, if I do say so myself.

For binding tools, I used:
CARL RT_200N 12" Professional Rotary Trimmer
Bostitch B440SB Standard 20-page Booklet Stapler
Crop-A-Dile Corner Chomper (1/2" and 1/4")

For about $100 and Prime shipping you could get the tools to outfit your in-house bindery and start producing your own zines. So if you're interested, it's not a huge pricetag to start. Then again, I remember not so long ago when a $20 purchase was considered a Capital Expense requiring a family meeting to justify the investment, so your circumstances may vary.

And now to generate some content. Mwahaha.

Thanks for reading!

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