Custom leather bound: The Darkness that Comes Before

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Wilshire

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« on: June 24, 2015, 06:46:40 pm »
-- Updated --

The Binding of The Darkness
I wanted to bind TDTCB, and thought the most economical way would be to do it myself. After many hours of research I decided it would cost too much to get the required tools and that not having an expert involved would likely make this turn out miserably. So since that didn't work out, I decided the next best thing was to get lessons. Below are the results of the process.

Beginning at the end, behold:
(click to show/hide)

Full Album: The Binding of The Darkness that Comes Before

Day 0: Its best to begin at the beginning
First edition, first print, mint condition, cover in protective mylar.... It never stood a chance.
http://i.imgur.com/adXLlhK.jpg
http://imgur.com/XryJ2h3
http://imgur.com/f6eFudG

Day 1: Murder
What remains after you cut off the covers and rip out the spine. The heart and the mind remain, to be reborn.
http://i.imgur.com/AUckxRe.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/Sd1jhIx.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/kNsaLGq.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/sRpVN0R.jpg

Day 2: Bored
Boards pre-shaping. basically just flat, dense binder's board. Lots of sanding. Not an exciting day.
http://i.imgur.com/exjlrCK.jpg

We also replaced the spine, made a hinge (the black material on the sides) which will help it open nicely, and glued in the end sheets.
http://i.imgur.com/kmUemmE.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/2foouNA.jpg

Day 3: We Can Rebuild
Boards attached. The all important text block now has some protection against those that would harm it. The cutout is where the label and artwork will end up, it creates a slight divot the thickness of a sheet of paper, hopefully making a very smooth transition from cover leather to label leather.
http://i.imgur.com/pbXQYBQ.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/MANinhL.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/ClX6EpG.jpg

Day 4: Rise and Rise again
Witness, the leather is now in place, the book is almost done. The blind tooling (those squares on the front/back) is where the artwork will be.
http://i.imgur.com/oA0SOBq.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/RYSKjuB.jpg

Day 4.5: To Die For
Got the hot foil stamps, aka dies, made. One for the front, one for the back. These are 11pt magnesium plates that measure about 4''x6''. The last picture is them sitting on the old boards.
http://i.imgur.com/D1b1qo4.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/bpgDot3.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/AfsqB5w.jpg


Day 5: Bound and Glued
Book is nearing completion. Today I affixed the book's hinge, that was previously glued to some pages of the text block, onto the cover, and set in some paper to smooth out the transition from leather to board. Basically another day for cutting and gluing. This can probably now be considered "a book", or pretty damn close. All that is left for the inside is gluing in one final sheet to make it look pretty when you open it.
http://i.imgur.com/RYSKjuB.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/oA0SOBq.jpg

Day 6: Final
Finally found someone to finish this up. Here it is:
http://i.imgur.com/qOCSUE5.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/SHyjJ0v.jpg



I will accept orders for those who think they'd like this done. Originally I thought that I would be able to do it myself, but this may not be the case. However, now that I have a relationship with a local binder, and she has an understanding of exactly what this will take, the price will likely be better than anything you could find on your own.

Quality, materials, and complexity drive up the price, and I used the most premium leather I could find and the artwork for the front/back came at a hefty cost.

For those willing to have me try to attempt one for you, I'll give you a cheaper cost, but I can't promise it'll be the highest quality thing you've ever seen.
For starters, I'd definitely go with more reasonably priced leather. Faux leather is neigh indistinguishable from the real thing, and I found that some binders don't even bother telling you its faux leather unless you specifically ask.

This book, finished, probably cost me upwards of $1200 for time and materials. It should have been closer to $800 but with the change in binders I encountered some additional expenses. It took nearly 5 years from start to finish, and was worth every penny of cost and hour of time spent.
-----

I *should* be able to make 1 person a nearly identical copy of this for ~$1000. PM me if you are curious. It will probably take 6 months to complete. - SOLD - For those curious, it turned out really well with the new binder.

In addition, I am looking into more affordable options closer to the $100 - $200 price range.
New binder said he should be able to do something similar for $400. About half of the price difference from my original is because of using different leather, the other half is this place is just way cheaper than the last place. If $400 is closer to your sensibilities, send me a PM or email.

Still thinking about a $100 option, probably involving faux leather if I can figure out the possibility of laser etching it.

In all cases, interest/orders would provide me with a reason to expedite the process and will yield faster results if you want a book.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 03:58:55 pm by Wilshire »
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Garet Jax

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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2015, 07:06:37 pm »
That is awesome!  Congrats on the progress so far, Wilshire.

I wonder what a brand using that die would look like...  :o

Wilshire

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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2015, 04:02:04 am »
Ok, another day, another upload. Pics of the bound (but not yet finished) book are now up.
The Binding of The Darkness that Comes Before

http://i.imgur.com/RYSKjuB.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/oA0SOBq.jpg
« Last Edit: July 30, 2015, 04:27:58 am by Wilshire »
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Francis Buck

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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2015, 12:44:28 am »
I'm eagerly anticipating the final reveal.

Thing called Sarcellus

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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2015, 02:05:59 am »
take my money

Nil Sertrax

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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2015, 08:58:30 pm »
Wilshire,

Make sure you post a photo of the completed product.  I'm anxiously awaiting the big reveal and want to see what the heat branding looks like.  If it comes out looking good I think I may be placing an order!  Thanks for sharing this!

Madness

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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2015, 09:47:11 pm »
Omnibus edition :)!

Also, I'm surprised that the leather isn't stamped before the book is bound as you have it. What's the next (final?) step?

Also, also, long overdue but looks great. Camlost and I were joking that you have a hidden room to hide out in and obsess upon your craft.
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Garet Jax

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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2015, 01:09:08 pm »
Also, also, long overdue but looks great. Camlost and I were joking that you have a hidden room to hide out in and obsess upon your craft.


"It came to me, my own, my love... my... preciousssss." - said Wilshire, while petting his leather bound treasure.

Wilshire

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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2015, 09:53:17 pm »
Alas, on hold until at least november, as I don't have a free weekend, or a free penny, until then.

Omnibus edition :)!

Also, I'm surprised that the leather isn't stamped before the book is bound as you have it. What's the next (final?) step?

Also, also, long overdue but looks great. Camlost and I were joking that you have a hidden room to hide out in and obsess upon your craft.
Thanks!
It is stamped post binding because it would be difficult - impossible - to line the leather up exactly. If its off by a hair, the design would be tilted and you'd see it. Easier to line it up and stamp it after its all set in place, or at least this is what I was told. Foolish lehmen.

Wilshire,

Make sure you post a photo of the completed product.  I'm anxiously awaiting the big reveal and want to see what the heat branding looks like.  If it comes out looking good I think I may be placing an order!  Thanks for sharing this!
Thanks. I thought it would be fun to post a bit of the process since it was going to take so long to get the final product complete.
For the sake of clarity: Heat branding brings to mind burning a design into the leather, leaving behind a blackened design in the leather. Something like this. While an awesome idea, and something I considered, this is not what I decided on. I'll be doing what essentially amounts to gluing foil onto the leather, like this .

Also, also, long overdue but looks great. Camlost and I were joking that you have a hidden room to hide out in and obsess upon your craft.


"It came to me, my own, my love... my... preciousssss." - said Wilshire, while petting his leather bound treasure.

Its displayed on a wall overlooking my living room. Such treasure are meant to be seen.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Madness

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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2015, 12:52:08 am »
It is stamped post binding because it would be difficult - impossible - to line the leather up exactly. If its off by a hair, the design would be tilted and you'd see it. Easier to line it up and stamp it after its all set in place, or at least this is what I was told. Foolish lehmen.

Damn. I don't know what I expected either way - I think I neglected to imagine the final product at all.

The burnt leather brand looks awesome. I'm sure the foil is going to look amazing too, though, and will probably better capture the intricacy of your efforts to mirror Rankine's piece.
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Nil Sertrax

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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2015, 09:30:55 pm »
I think the foil looks more polished and will do the cover justice.  Thanks again for sharing.

Wilshire

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« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2015, 12:52:42 am »
Yeah I'm with you Nil.

An option I toyed with was getting high quality but low grade leather. Low grade leathers mean it has some scarring, tearing , and even parts of brands (typically from older animals). The leather is still good, but it has blemishes. The added bonus with these is they are cheaper because people don't typically want it, and it would look damn cool if thats the look you are going for.

With something like that I'd imagine something more like the branding from above, or even using a wood burning pen to work in the letters.
It would look like it survived the first holy war ;)
One of the other conditions of possibility.

MrGanondorf

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« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2015, 07:13:36 pm »
Yeah I'm with you Nil.

An option I toyed with was getting high quality but low grade leather. Low grade leathers mean it has some scarring, tearing , and even parts of brands (typically from older animals). The leather is still good, but it has blemishes. The added bonus with these is they are cheaper because people don't typically want it, and it would look damn cool if thats the look you are going for.

With something like that I'd imagine something more like the branding from above, or even using a wood burning pen to work in the letters.
It would look like it survived the first holy war ;)

ITS FROM THE LIBRARY OF THE SAREOTS!  too cool Wilshire

Nil Sertrax

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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2016, 12:02:41 am »
Wilshire,

Did you ever finish this?  I'm still waiting to give you my money!

Wilshire

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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2016, 02:05:39 am »
Had to hold off for a while, but I'm going to try and finish it in June before TGO is released.
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