If you have set out to build your own bookbinding machine to create perfect bound paperback books, it is wise to seek out some examples of machines used in the binding industry. That is easier said than done, but I have located a few places that sell such machines and even found a video demonstrating one such bookbinding machine in action.
The first thing to watch is how the book pages and cover are postioned and held in place. The bar that clamps everything together is not located all the way at the edge of the spine. It is actually about 1/8th of an inch from the edge. There is also a second metal bar behind the spine that sticks out slightly from the back of the clamp.
The next thing to notice is obvious, the book flips upside down to expose the spine for gluing. This machine roughs up the spine and then applies a layer of hot glue to the edge of the pages.
Finally, when the book is flipped back around, a metal bar about 1/8th of an inch thick clamps up against the side of the book spine to pinch it against the bar in the back. The book is held in place for a moment to allow the glue to cool and then released.
This machine costs approximately $7500 USD. I’ve actually seen this machine and others from the Fastbind product line available on eBay for slightly over $1000 USD with shipping.
It is possible to create books with less expensive materials and equipment (the easy bookbinding method shows this well), but this is a good example of a method that can be adapted for your own bookbinding machine. I’ve seen people with metalworking skills showing off similar machines. I use a more simple clamp and cold glue method myself.
If you know of other good video examples of bookbinding machines that are within the reach of everyday folks, let me know by posting a comment below.