Book Making

A closer look into our book quality

We make our GMD Editions ‘by hand’ which means: each book is ‘handled’ individually for assembly and binding, from start to finish.

Firstly, we take apart the antiquarian published edition that we are going to re-print by cutting the sewn pages from the binding.

The ‘old’ pages are then ‘photographed’ onto printing plates ready for the Heidelberg Press.

The Heidelberg Press prints 500-3000 copies at a printing depending on the ‘Title’ chosen, ie: Unspoken Sermons is our title printed at 3000 a run. Printed with soya-based ink and printed on acid-free, recycled paper for 100+ years of usability using ‘crown’ size paper for easy handling.

The Baum Folder folds the printed sheets into octavo signatures (8 leaf) for lay flat opening & strong binding.

We hand-collate the signatures on our custom-designed ‘Collator’ preparing the book signatures for sewing.

Each collated signature is sewn on a Smyth Sewing Machine (similar looking to the old tredle sewing machines) which sews the collated signatures into a ‘book-block’ ready for binding, using all cotton thread, producing ‘Sewn Hubs’, a sign of substantial sewing. Our ‘hubs’ are less noticeable on the spine since we switched to thicker cloth which literally clothes the spine hubs but if you look closely, you’ll see the protruding ‘sewn hub’. Because of the thicker cover cloth, we opted to make ‘library bound’ covers which means the ‘library’ corners are extra thick, specially folded to provide durable corners for withstanding bump injury.

Next, the Bindery: Our custom bindery is designed to make one book at a time, 9 in a lot.

We press and cut the book-blocks, then ‘tip-in’ the ‘end sheets’ onto the sewn book-blocks. The book-blocks are ready for ’rounding and backing’ the spine on our custom rounders using ‘textbook’ hinge cloth (super) for many bends. The spine is ‘glued-off’ with PVA glue for unsurpassed flexibility & adhesion which allows the rounded book a minimal arching of spine.

Our covers are individually hand made on a Pot Devon Gluer using Pyroxylin coated cotton cloth (water proof and same coating as used in 19th century bookmaking) then stamped with especially durable gold foil on the face and spine of cover.

The book-block is set in the cover, engaged with custom clips which forms the french groove on the spine/cover.

One day later the book-block is glued to the cover and set to dry a minimum of 5 days.

Books are removed from their french groove clips, wiped clean and packaged.

Voila! Hard-bound covers, editions hand-bound with care, just like the MacDonald originals.

Forthcoming photos of each bookmaking detail described above.

FYI: Johannesen Printing and Publishing is the only publisher, printer and binder making these old world volumes by hand and also have gone worldwide offering the Complete and Original Works of MacDonald. For this great privelege, we are thankful many readers have gained greater insight into their own destiny and purpose-filled living through MacDonald’s personal words of wisdom and wonder.