BIG book- maybe

I’m working on a potential custom order. I am trying to decide if the leather will support the journal the girl/lady/woman wants.

She’s looking at a fat tome for writing. We’re talking a 600 to 700-page journal. I have no doubt that I can bind such a journal inthe proper sizes the question is if the leather can support that many pages and if I can bind such a journal without the spine warping all over the place. I know that it will take serious support under the leather and backing paper, with perhaps a spine “sheet”; a piece of heavy paper sewn between the cover and the book block. Usually when I use these it’s to hold an envelope in the back of the book or as an accordion folded pleat to hide the rough edges of the eyelets or to provide protection for the paper. I always forget that they have a real purpose that isn’t just decorative and that’s to support the spine and help to keep it from warping.

There are a few things to think about while making a book of this size:

Spine warp

Leather tearing

Awl versus punch: what to use

What style of sewing?

And I’m sure there are a hundred other things I’m not thinking of.

I called my roommate at work to see if they had any old magazines that I could do a test bind with. I plan on making a 700-page book with magazine pages. It will be pretty interesting. Magazine paper isn’t the same weight as the paper I would be using for the journal but it will give me a feel for the biding process for something so large.

The last time I bound something with magazine paper I hated it. The paper is very slick and tends to slip all over the place, as I’m sewing. I’ll figure out a method. I’m cutting and folding the signatures tonight.