A Quick Book Plough Experiment

I wasn’t planning to update at all this week due to the holiday taking over my life, but I had some time yesterday to finish the mounting hardware for the blade in my book plough. I opted fitted brass insert secured by a screw. The screw isn’t a period solution, which is why it’s not a permanent one either.

And since I couldn’t sleep anyway last night, I gave it a try.

As you can see, I had some paper jams, but everything pretty much worked the way it should.

You’ll also notice this is the no-frills version without a rail to keep things square. Jost Amman’s ploughman is using his plough like I am in the video, without any apparent guides to keep him square to the text block. In the sketches from the prior post, you’ll know that it wasn’t long after Amman that the ploughboys added a guide to help them use the darned thing without going astray.

A cartoon schematic of a bookbinder's plough in action. A book block is held pinched in a press with a book plough slicing away the edges of the sheets above.

It works, but it’s a pain to keep everything straight. Seriously, I wonder how many minutes after using the thing for the first time a binder started to modify the thing.

Anyway, that’s it for me at least until after Thanksgiving. If you’re in the U.S., I hope you have a safe holiday weekend full of family and food. For everyone else, just have a great week!

~ Scott

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