Clamshell Box


Part 1

The effectiveness of this box rests with the measurements; the box neets to fit snugly around the book and both halves fitting snugly together. Getting the basic dimensions was not as easy at it seemed as the book has deteriorated with age. The depth was particularly difficult to gauge as it has been severely compressed at the bottom left. The front cover board is completely detached and a fair bit of the spine is exposed right back to the sewn sections. This is particularly interesting to me as an amateur bookbinder – seeing each layer exposed in stages – there are close-ups and other views on Flickr.

All three dimesions (length, width and depth) were eventually set, but arrived at through much squinting and folding of strips of paper – not entirely scientific or technical, but hey, this is the first one! Every stage from now on depends on these measurements. For those interested they are 338L x 223W x 78D.


The next stage is to measure out on greyboard and carefully cut with a fresh blade (H&S Note: I was wearing a full suit of armour and clean pants when actually cutting – these items were removed for the purposes of clearer photography).


The edges are glued with neat PVA, the length and one of the widths positioned carefully, adding the third without disturbing the first two. I use a few strips of De-Stuk (this is just normal tape that has been stuck to the back of my hand to remove some of the adhesive!) to help keep things in place.


Turn the thing over and add a little weight to set the panels firmly – I find the Taschen 1000 series of books ideal (and reasonably priced). I also packed under the middle to prevent it sagging.


After about three quarters of an hour I decided to slip it over the book to check I’d measured up correctly, and guess what? F**K! I had measured the book out really carefully and then went on to draw out the length of the main panel nearly 20mm shorter.


I measured the book again to make sure – the original measurements were right, but I had just made a pretty big cock-up drawing it out on the greyboard. Can’t work out why. Only one thing for it. Re-draw, cut and glue again. Then off to bed – I’ll check in the morning.


Part 2

Yup. That fits. Now to make another one is slightly bigger and fits directly over the top. A much quicker process this time, with some double checking! Here are the two halves nested over the book.



2 thoughts on “Clamshell Box

    1. They are very nice aren’t they? They are tricky to make though – the next bit is covering the greyboard sections and I’m still looking for a decent paper stock at the right size – one piece has to be just under a metre long! I hope to get this next part done before the end of the week, so keep tuned in!

      PS. If you ask me nicely, I’ll include this into the bookmaking sessions!

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