Bible Project – Part 2

The Teardown

The Materials

First thing was to gather all my materials. Here’s a pic.

So materials list: xacto knife (Hobby Lobby), calfskin leather (Hobby Lobby), Leather Punch (Hobby Lobby), Book Headbands (Amazon), Supercloth (Amazon), Bookbinder’s Needles (Amazon), Bookbinder’s linen thread (Amazon),  Books by Hand PH Neutral PVA Adhesive (Amazon), Moleskines (Barnes & Noble), Thinline 2011 NIV Reference bible (Barnes & Noble)

Moleskine\Bible Teardown

Sometimes you have to tear something down in order to build it up bigger and better. So, in order to insert a blank Moleskine page between every two bible pages I needed to cut apart both the Moleskines and the bible.

Moleskine Teardown

Having never done this, I started with examining the hinge of the Moleskine.

Next, I cut the cover off of each Moleskine so all I had left was a group of paper.

From here you can see the signatures that make up the Moleskine. Signatures are basically the “little books” that make up the big book. They’re pages that are stacked and folded over, then all of them are sewn together to form a larger book.

Signatures aren’t only sewn, they’re also glued. First remove the bookmark ribbon by simply pulling it off. The next part is to begin SLOWLY pulling them apart. (You have to be careful so that the glue pulling doesn’t tear apart the paper.)

The other thing that needs to happen to get the signatures apart is removing the sewing. To do this, you find the middle of each signature and CAREFULLY cut the thread to free it.

Once you have one signature free, you just repeat the process until all Moleskine signatures are separated.

Now repeat that process until all Moleskines are fully apart.

Afterwards, in order to keep the paper together I re-purposed the Moleskine covers to hold the separated signatures until I began the insertion process.

Bible Teardown

For some reason, the Bible teardown made me a bit more nervous. So I started the same way. I examined the hinge of the Bible.

Next I did the same thing as with the Moleskines and cut off the cover.

Next I removed the Headbands (that striped cloth at the top and bottom of a book’s spine).

From here you can see the parts of a spine glued over the sewn spine. Mainly the paper and the super-cloth (that mesh stuff). Super-cloth is anything but “super”. 🙂

Then it was to separating all the signatures. Here’s the bible with the signatures separated and stacked.

Finally here’s all the things broken down and stuck back in their covers for safe keeping.

Bible Project – Part 1

All ideas start somewhere.

This one started years ago with a random conversation (yeah…I know…where all ideas start). That’s how I found out about Jonathan Edward’s ‘blank bible’. A bible where every other page was blank for notes. A bible with bank pages for notes would be great! So I looked online to find one to buy. To my dismay, no one was making that. What?!?! Right.

The Search

Zondervan’s Noteworthy
I was a youth pastor at the time and I wanted to use the NIV due to the readability it provided most of the high school students. Then I found Zondervan made a “noteworthy” bible where the back of each page was blank achieve the affect. The reviews were terrible. Because they left one side of the paper blank so the notes were on the same thin paper as the bible text. The bleed through made for a bad experience. So I opted for no.
KJV Version
I found a really well done 3 volume KJV set. Despite the use of the word unicorns in the translation, it’s not my go to version and it’s 3 volumes. So no taker there.
ESV Version
While researching I discovered someone who had made their own using an ESV study bible. You can see the result and find a link to his how to here. It turned out well and is a great idea. Again three volumes while I wanted 1 to carry.
No Goldilocks Version
So nothing really fit my idea of what I wanted. There was no product that was “just right”. No one had a single volume, leatherbound, NIV version bible with interleaved blank pages for notes.  No one was making something like that. So how do?

Learning to Bind Books

I took matters into my own hands.
I did a lot of research. About 3 years worth. The biggest part of that was for paper. I have a huge list of sites that I frequented. Some of the most helpful were:
I also bought this book. Biggest help there was learning how to sow the binding.
Most of the research was learning the parts of a book and how thick books are bound. Then I got stuck figuring out where to find paper for this.


The Paper
Do you know what type of paper is in bibles? Yeah, me either. Or at least I didn’t. Now I do. It’s a weight. 33gsm (grams per square meter). Do you know how hard it is to find? Well, I guess it’s easy to find by the ton. But in small quantities? In the quantities I needed of about 700 Sheets? That took a year of googling off and on, to discover that only 2 stores globally sell it in that quantity and both happened to be in London, England. Problem was I discovered it after having arrived back from London months earlier. Paying shipping on it would have tripled the cost of the bible. 🙁
Then I realized that my Moleskine happened to be roughly the same cut as my bible. Yay! Albeit not the same thickness. Oh well. It was going to work. Finally, I had a solution to the paper.
Except for the thickness. If I’d interleaved between every page I would have made my thin line bible 5 times the thickness rather than double. Too big to function. So I opted to use a blank page between every 2 text pages, rather than every text page. That would end up making it 3 times the size, which is roughly the thickness of a small ESV study bible.
Finally, I was ready to start.