SUPPLIES, TOOLS,MATERIALS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM


This page is a work in progress.

Below you will find a few different sections, including a list of tools that I use regularly and find necessary for bookbinding, a list of supplies or consumables, and a list of stores where you can find bookbinding supplies.

Many of the items listed below may be found at local art stores, hardware stores, or even floating around your house. If you click on the photos of the tools, you will be directed to the Amazon page for that item. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

IN MY TOOLBOX


Bone Folder

Genuine Bone Folder on Amazon

These are made of cow bone and can be gently shaped using sand paper.


Teflon Folder

Finest Quality Teflon Bone Folder on Amazon

Look for the current best buy, or a shape that looks like it will feel good in your hand. I have not experienced a difference in quality based on the price of teflon folders.


Pin Vise

Starrett 166B Pin Vise With Octagonal Handle on Amazon

I use a Starrett 166B Pin Vise. In classes, I provide a less expensive pin vise that you can also find on Amazon, which does require extra elbow grease to tighten, but your needle should stay in place after your initial efforts. Another option, is to use an awl or stylus with a very narrow shaft. I really like this one from Colophon Book Arts Supply.


Dividers

Kinex Toolmaker’s 12” Spring Dividers on Amazon

Spring dividers with a split nut, or quick speed nut and nice points is what to look for in a set of dividers. The pair pictured is economically priced and fits the bill. I use Starrett No. 77 spring nut, flat leg dividers. Starrett is a great brand that lasts and lasts, so this is a good item to keep an eye out for at estate sales and antique shops.


Ruler

eBoot Stainless Steel Ruler 12” & 6” on Amazon

You’ll want a ruler that is thick, doesn’t flex too much and has the measurement marks engraved right into the metal. The eBoot set has a bonus metric to inch conversion chart on the back of both lengths. I use a metric Starrett No. C635.



Olfa Cutting Knife

Olfa Silver 9mm Stainless Steel Slide Lock Knife on Amazon

I love the feel of this slender Olfa blade and it is so easy to snap of old blades with the removable clip. I recommend buying a pack of replacement blades when you buy your knife so you never have to hesitate to use a sharp blade.


Needle

Lineco Stainless Steel Bookbinding Needles on Amazon

I use needles that are at least two inches long and have an eye that is just large enough for the linen thread we use. For many sewing structures it is helpful to sew with a needle that is slightly curved or bent. I don’t buy special curved needles, I just gently bend a straight needle.




Mechanical Pencil

Mechanical Pencil on Amazon

It’s handy to use a mechanical pencil since the tip is ever sharp. This is especially helpful for precise work, measured in millimeters!


Weight

Vinyl Coated Kettlebell on Amazon

Anything heavy will do the trick for a weight. Bricks covered in paper or bookcloth are commonly used. I use heavy antique sad irons that I’ve found at antique shops and rummage sales, as well as 5 lb and 10 lb hand weights. I thought this 10 lb kettle bell with it’s handle and flat bottom could be just right if you want to purchase something new.


Glue Brush

Lineco Bookbinding Glue Brush on Amazon

I like round glue brushes for everyday bookbinding. I enjoy using Anza, which is a Swedish paint brush brand. You can get them from Colophon here, and from Northport Company here. They have a clever little piece that extends out where the brush meets the handle that allows you to either hang the brush bristle down on the edge of your glue pot, or set it down flat on a table without getting glue on the table.





ON MY SUPPLY SHELF


Beeswax

Organic Beeswax on Amazon

Beeswax is used to thinly coat thread before sewing.

Replacement Snap-off Blades

9mm Olfa Replacement Blades on Amazon

Linen Tape

Artist Tape

Tissue

Heat’n’Bond Lite

Super

 

Paper

Leather

If you just buy one spool, go for the 25/3, which is a good all purpose thread. It happens to come in lots of great colors, too. 18/3 (thicker than 25/3) is nice for coptic bindings to showcase the thread pattern on the spine. Thinner 35/3 is great for books that need less swell, and is what I use in miniature books.

 

GET STARTED WITH THE BASICS

I’ve shared a lot of tools and materials in the sections above, and if you’re just getting started that might seem like a daunting list! Below are the most basic tools that you’ll need to get started.

Bone Folder
Glue Brush
Scissors
Awl or Pin Vise
 
 
Olfa Blade
Needles
 

STORES

BLICK & Local Art Stores
Look for the Lineco Brand (glue, board, bookcloth). Also a great source for endsheet and decorative papers.

Colophon Book Arts
One stop online or phone shopping for all of your bookbinding needs. Gorgeous bookcloth, unwaxed linen thread in a variety of colors, marbling equipment. Friendly service and reasonable shipping.  Owned by Mary Uthuppuru based in Indiana. 

Hollander's
One stop online shopping for all of your bookbinding needs, online or in Michigan. Nice variety of smaller sizes.

Ernest Schaefer
I have purchased binders board and PVA from them. Foil stamping machines and accessories, including capabilities for making dies. Based in New Jersey.

Talas                               One stop shopping for all of your bookbinding needs, online or in New York.

 

Northport Binding Co.     My very favorite glue brushes (Anza) as well as bench weights.

Pergamena
Leather and parchment, based in New York.

Harmatan                Leather for fine binding, based in England.

J Hewit & Sons           Leather and Bookbinding Supplies, including leather dye, and 19th & 20th century reproduction endsheets that are great for miniature books! Based in Scotland.

Owosso
Magnesium and brass dies for stamping with a kwikprint.

L.A. Goldleaf
Genuine gold and imitation metal leaf for gold tooling. I buy it by the roll on a thin paper backing.

The Augustine Company
Magnesium and brass dies for stamping with a kwikprint.

Starrett
Rulers, pin vises, squares, high quality precision instruments.

 

Kelly Paper                 Great variety of sizes and brands including Mohawk. Can make custom orders and they have a great sale section if you visit a local store.

Limited Papers          Online Source for text block papers

Mohawk
Direct from the source!     My favorite text paper is Mohawk Superfine Softwhite Eggshell 80lb text.

Paper Source               Parent sheets and smaller of lovely colors of text weight paper, decorative paper, and some bookbinding supplies.

The Paper Studio         Paper Mojo
Whimsy Press
Creative Papers Online
Various online sources for decorative papers.



 

 

 

 

Board Cutters
I use a Kutrimmer 1080. For more extensive info that I have written about board cutters, click here.

Hardware Stores
Great places for press boards cut to size, decorative painting tools for paste papers, and bricks for weights.

Fabric Stores
Heat'n'Bond Lite for making bookcloth, silk thread for endband sewing, ribbon for bookmarks.

Amazon
What can't you get on Amazon? This can be a test!


Do you know of a source that I'm missing? Please let me know, and I will add it to the list!