original challenge was to create clasps which could also be made
easily by those with minimal jewelry or metal working skills.
This necessitated using a limited range of easily available tools.
In my research
I found an article by J. Franklin Mowery."Clasps, Schliessen,
Clauseren: A guide to the manufacture and the literature of clasps."Guild
of Bookworkers Journal, Voxlume XXIX, No 2, Fall 1991. Copies
available from the Guild of Bookworkers, 521 5th Ave., New York,
as an initial guide, and drawing from my 25 years experience as
a metalsmith, I proceeded to make some model clasps.
first clasp was made using a small piece of 22 gauge brass strip.
Metal files were used for shaping this pattern. Various metal stamps
were used to decorate the top of the clasp.
Then a nibbling tool was used to make a parrallel slot and
the knuckles for the hinge and catch mechanism were rolled around
a pair of round nosed pliers.
escutcheon pins were modified and used for the rod which spans
the clasp catch and for riveting clasps tothe boards. Escutcheon
pins were also used to attach and secure hinge mechanism.
clasps were attached to the book boards, the hasp length was estimated
and trimmed. Proper final fit of the catch mechanism was determined
by trial and error. Then the strap, or hasp,
made of 22 gauge brass, was curled very slightly until it just
clipped over the bar on the top catch plate.
correctly made and fitted, the swell of the book creates enough
tension to hold it closed, and simply pressing on the top of the
book board will release the clasp.