We now have 26 leather-bound copies of “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker” available for sale that will be individually lettered, signed by both Joel Moskowitz and myself and include the DVD in a sleeve that can be affixed to the book.
The leather-bound edition is $165 plus $8.50 for priority mail shipping anywhere in the United States. (Foreign orders will cost more for shipping. Contact Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote.)
This edition is quite special. I picked up the 26 copies on Wednesday from the bindery, which is located in the basement of the Ohio Book Store, a Cincinnati institution since 1940. The two brothers who work there, Jim and Michael Fallon, have been binding books using traditional methods and materials for more than 20 years. (Their father owns Ohio Book Store.)
When I picked up the books Michael gave us a tour of the bindery and the processes he used to take our unbound copies of “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker” and add marbled end sheets, stout boards, a hand-aged leather cover and the gold lettering on the cover and spine.
The process uses many 19th- and early 20th-century machines (one machine was clearly once attached to a line shaft), plus many traditional tools and materials, such as hide glue and simple knives, and modern ones, such as PVA.
The 26 unbound editions had to be trimmed slightly to tidy up the edges, some of which were damaged in shipment. The books were trimmed with the guillotine. Then the books were taken to the rounder machine to have the spines rounded. This curved shape on the spine is a traditional touch and is done by pressing the spine against bar that squeezes the book, allowing the operator to shape the book to the desired shape.
A second machine squeezes the spine again to create a lip for the boards. Then the leather is trimmed to size and thickness (a tricky process that involves skilled handwork at the corners). Then the book is assembled and pressed overnight.
The foil lettering is added to the spine and cover by first creating a stamp using a Ludlow machine, which casts the stamp from lead – much like an old Linotype machine. The slug is then chucked into an arbor press. The press first debosses the leather (which simply creates an impression). Then the foil is inserted and the book is stamped again.
The work the Fallons do is very nice – I looked at a lot of their volumes before selecting them to bind these copies of “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker.” And if you have binding needs of your own, I highly recommend them. The prices are reasonable – I shopped around – they are fast, easy to work with and do jobs for people all over the country.
For those of you who can afford a leather-bound edition of this book, I can promise you that you will be impressed by the craftsmanship – you’ll find that the same care that we put into writing the book is also in the binding job.
— Christopher Schwarz