A website about constructing metal book clasps, bosses and other types of book hardware, showing examples of book clasp repair and restoration and information on workshops offered by Joycelyn Merchant on the design and construction of metal bookclasps.

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Caterpillar Sewn Book with Copper Wrap Clasp

Book in wooden boards with hand crafted copper book clasp. Sewn with caterpillar stitch using waxed lined thread. Oak boards.
This book, in oak boards, sewn with the caterpillar stitch, was constructed using the instructions found in Volume III Non-Adhesive Binding: Exposed Spine Sewings, written by Keith Smith and available on his website.

The clasp is copper, roller printed to give the texture, annealed to make folding easier, and finished and patinaed using a liver of sulfur (potassium sulfide) solution. Metal clasps wrap around the fore edges of the top and bottom boards

The clasp strap is recessed into the board and extends through a slot cut into the edges of the copper wrap on the bottom board. It hooks into a similar slot cut into the clasp on the top board.


Rust Book

I was prompted to make this book when I found some interesting paper samples in my dumpster.

The paper appears to be some type of phenolic paper which was treated with a chemical to make it look like it was rusted.

Then I serendipitously also found a piece of metal strapping in the gutter which was bent and rusted, and it seemed perfect to use to make a clasp for a book covered with the rust paper sample.

Paper used for the book block is of unknown type, leftover from another use.

The spine is suede from a thrift store garment. Brass rivets hold the metal strap to the poplar book boards. It is sewn with linen thread using 6 needles using a Coptic style link stitch


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