I’ve come up with a bookbinding tool list, all of which I should be able to make myself. These are:
a folder (traditionally made from bone but wood is OK too),
a sewing frame,
a press and tub,
various boards to allow the piercing of the sewing holes and the support of the book at various stages of construction.
My list has been complied from a marvelous, comprehensive and succinct book by Aldren A.Watson “Hand Bookbinding: A Manual of Instruction”.
It seems appropriate to the spirit of the craft not to buy the tools. It is also right to my mind to use recycled wood as far as possible. The more I consider the whole notion of artistic creation, the more important the consistency of the whole approach seems to be. To make hand-crafted books with mass-produced tools seems to me to dilute the vitality of the enterprise. The same applies, I now realise to photography – the self-made camera seems to carry at least some of the love and passion,which the making of the instrument demands, into the final work.