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Limited edition tools 1 - Dimitri's bookbinding corner

You love tools… I know you do. Yes, You the craftsman who is reading this post, it doesn’t matter if you’re a bookbinder or not. I know you spend hours browsing fancy tools on pinterest, taking sneak peaks at other peoples’ equipment at their FB page and occasionally drool over vintage pieces. You love their colors, their texture, so much potential… You even betray your loving craft on occasion and stare at tools belonging to other crafts… But I’m not the one to blame you, no, no. In fact I’m exactly like you…

The idea for a special limited edition of tools with hardwood handles has been in the works for some time now. In modern times we constantly strive to create everything from a practical point of view, function over form. But function alone does not suffice, life is not just function. It seems as if we have forgotten how to imbue the objects surrounding us with beauty. I quote what is written at a wonderful tool museum (do visit it if you find yourself) in Athens;

“Because they want the tools they make, to be beautiful besides useful. They want them to say who made them and who used them”

Limited edition tools 2b - Dimitri's bookbinding corner
Being a craftsman means spending a lifetime among tools. Their purpose is to aid the artisan in his work, but who said there’s only one way to do so… Our tools, our companions in the crafting journey, should be unique, not only as a result of the connection we create with them but also because they have their own personality. As said by the anonymous writer “they want them to say who made them and who used them”. Isn’t that for a tool as close to being alive as it can get?

The tools presented are a limited edition, meaning there’s only one of each kind with the exception of the Padauk stylus sets. The handles have been crafted skillfully by Antonis the woodworker using the much appraised designs me and him came up with. A high polish has been performed without the addition of luster or polishes.

Wenge typeholder - Dimitri's Bookbinding corner
Versatile Typeholder with Black Palmwood handle.

Antonis the woodturner actually said about working for this piece and I quote “it felt as if turning iron!”. Later on he also commented “whoever buys this will actually be creating a heirloom”. And I’d like to think so; brass is a timeless material that ages well and resists corrosion superbly and Palmwood is noted for its endurance and beauty. The combination of the two has given a tool that will last you a lifetime, and a couple more for sure!

The Versatile Typeholder is ideal for tooling single letters whenever needed. Check out the original entry for the Typeholder to learn more about its use.

Padauk BFM - Dimitri's bookbinding corner
Bookbinding Finishing Multitool (BFM) with Padauk handle.
Padauk is a hardwood originating from central and tropical west Africa but can also be found in Myanmar and Thailand. The wood database mentions that it “has excellent decay resistance and is rated durable to very durable”. Its vivid red color (Padauk is sometimes called Vermillion because of it) gradually turns to a deeper reddish-brown tone as years pass by, though small exposure to sunlight can prolong the process. I find the aged version even more attractive if you ask me!
The Bookbinding Finishing Multitool’s basic set is an ideal starting kit for those interested to venture in classic decoration techniques. It includes 15 interchangeable decorative heads that enable the binder through combined use to perform a multitude of designs, from simple to elaborate. Read the original entry on the BFM to learn more about its features.

Amboyna typeholder - Dimitri's bookbinding corner
Versatile Typeholder with Amboyna Burr handle.

Amboyna is not actually a distinct species but rather how the burl formation of specific trees is called. A burr (or burl) is formed when a tree undergoes some kind of stress such as injury, a virus or a fungus, leading to the irregular development of its grain. That “irregularity” creates intricate patterns or color variations within burls and Amboyna is the most expensive and sought after kind. Apart from its charming appearance the Amboyna is very durable and shows excellent decay resistance.

The Versatile Typeholder is ideal for tooling single letters whenever needed. Check out the original entry for the Typeholder to learn more about its use.

Cocobolo stylus - Dimitri's bookbinding corner
Bookbinding stylus with elaborate Cocobolo handle.

Coming from central America Cocobolo is renown for its hardness and beautiful color, most commonly streaks of dark brown (or black) and red. Used in a variety of objects, from pool cues to pens, from inlay work to full musical instruments, Cocobolo is an expensive and prized hardwood. Due to is natural oils it shows outstanding resistance to degrade caused by humid/dry cycles and is rated as extremely durable.

I combined the straight Stylus with the elaborate (and also revised) handle design for this unique piece. The Stylus tool gives you the ability to decorate your bound books “freehand”, your imagination (and maybe your gas tank’s capacity!) is the only limit. Keep in mind that you can always alter/modify the Stylus’ end to the sharpness of your liking. Read the original entry on my Stylus set to see the advantages such a tool offers.

Padauk Stylus set - Dimitri's bookbinding corner
Stylus set with Padauk handles.

I’ve managed to provide you with 2 Stylus sets in handles made from this beautiful hardwood. A great addition to any bindery, this Stylus set considerably expands your tooling options while also making an aesthetical statement. Make those colleagues jealous!

Wenge stylus - Dimitri's bookbinding corner
Bookbinding stylus with Wenge handle.

You can have this one for free! Yup, you heard me! All you have to do is head over to the blog’s Facebook page, SHARE and like the corresponding post and answer a question. The winner will be chosen at random on Sunday the 15th of February. Good luck everyone!