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Re: Streamlining Editions



Kevin,

This is in response to your request for hints to ease the process of edition
making.

We have found the secret is to set up assembly style and make lots of jigs to
facilitate every chore. Whether you are measuring, bone folding, cutting
stock,  sewing, gluing, etc., isolate each step and see what you can figure
out to do in rapid succession. Each book requires different types of jigs.
Sometimes we brainstorm until we arrive at the best solution.

For example, some of the jigs we've made:

For a house shaped book, we cut aluminum to size and shape, including windows
and doors. We then had the pattern to mark the stock. We knew immediately
where to cut and/or score, and trace the lines surrounding the shapes that
will be removed. It relieves the guesswork.

If there are popups, these are painted, marked and cut in assembly line
fashion, ready to insert.

For soft-cover portfolios, we mark all portfolio folds (sometimes using a
sharp pencil, but more often, the tip of an Exacto knife, which leaves no
marks). We lay each portfolio on a pre-marked grid and bone fold and/or cut
on each cutting line as pre-designated.

For boxes, we cut all the boards (of each measurement) at one time, and mark
them with a letter or number. This assures that all parts are ready for
assembly, and are on the proper grain. We do the same with the bookcloth.

For sewing, we use a sewing cradle, place the signature, and lay a V shaped
strip of card stock with pre-marked sewing holes.

We don't yet have a sewing frame, but now that Tim Ely is marketing his
design, which I used and liked, we'll soon be saving time on sewing!

We have found that it goes faster (which isn't to say 'fast' at all! :-) to
group all like steps and do them in succession. We set a doable quota per day
and try to pace the work, interspersing the edition with other non-edition
activities.

We have found this a meditative way to work. New solutions are required for
each project and each stage of each project, but soon you will have a
vocabulary of techniques to draw from, as well as personal preferences.

There may be some stages that are simply too complicated. You can either
simplify the design or subcontract those. This category might include such
things as dye cutting, photoengraving, or perhaps dealing with a medium with
which you may not be familiar, etc.

Remember that the simplest design requires several steps. Double or triple
the time you think it will take. I can almost guarantee the first few
editions you do will more likely quadruple the time you have allotted. In
time, you learn to avoid changes midstream, no matter how great the idea,
because even the simplest change requires several additional steps per book

Hope this helps point you in the right direction. Above all, enjoy the
process!

Mary Crest
Los Angeles, CA

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