Saturday, December 7, 2013

Custom made Camel bone folder


About two months ago, someone stole one of my beloved bone folders that I crafted to fit my hand perfectly when I first started apprenticing over a decade and half ago. I loved that bone folder. It was entrusted to me by my master, and I fashioned it in a particular shape and etched my initial on it. The bone folder was amber in color and somewhat transparent, and I loved that about it, too. Well, some god damn bastard took it. I don't blame him/her though, because the bone folder was really nice looking.

Normally, when I lost something, or something was taken from me, or something bad has happened, I'm always like, " Well, I'm glad it wasn't my wallet that was lost." or "I broke my legs, but I'm glad my arms are alright." or "Maybe, the person who took my $20 hadn't eaten anything for a week, and was desperate. I may well have saved his life." The point is, I sort of take matters like these real easy.

But, this bone folder incident had been bugging me so bad that I just couldn't get over it. I even dreamed about it, too. It was that serious. Losing something so personal and special to me is bad enough, and keeping myself feel miserable over it is even worse. So, I decided to give myself another bone folder. - It's similar to giving a new pet to someone who can't get over the death of their pet in order to recover from the grief.

I never like commercially available bone folders which have no character, so I bought a couple of pieces of Camel bone, and made a new bone folder today. I choose Camel bone because it's off white and has a really nice translucent caramel texture. Bone folders are super simple and easy to make. - All you need is a saw, file, different grits of sand paper from rough to fine, a piece of leather to polish at the end. It should only take about an hour and half to two hours to make it, so, you should try it, too. ;-)
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For in-depth insights on bone folder: Folder or Bone knife

18 comments:

  1. Hi MHR!
    Sorry for your loss, it is very unpleasant to get stolen, specially if the item is a so personal one.
    I think that is best to be the victim rather than being the criminal and it make happy that you are trying to overcome the incident.
    By the way, the pictures are very beautiful. Congratulations!
    I am a beginner at the bookbinding craft so my few tools are industrilized. Who knows in the near future I can get interested in personalise my itens?
    Thanks so much for posting, although it was motivated by a sad fact.
    A great week!!

    Lucia

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    1. Thanks Lucia. And that's exactly how I try to see things, - better to be the victim than being the offender. Life becomes much easier by thinking matters like that, doesn't it?

      I wish you a great holiday season!

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  2. Hi,M,the bone folder looks very unique and the chinese character "美"means"beautiful"
    .I think the reason why you couldn't get over it is because it is a unique bone folder to you,it carried the memories of past days:)
    I lost a coat last year,it was gogo's first attempt on clothes desgin ,it is very cool,and fit me so well,but I lost it.I was so sad and even cried ,hehe.You will get over it ~~~
    huhu

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    1. Ohhh nooooo.. You lost a coat Gogo made you? I totally feel your sadness over that. I'm a sentimentalist when it comes to things that are associated with my memories and histories, so the loss of my bone folder was really tough!

      I've actually started using this new baby since yesterday, and it fits sooo perfect for my hands! Well, after all, I crafted it that way. haha. I love it, but I still miss the lost folder!

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  3. Sorry to hear that you lost your bone folder. I quite understand your feelings. I, and other binders I know, feel attached to our folders - and our other tools. They become part of us as part of our working lives. Thank you for sharing how to make a folder. I might even give it a go! I enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Yeah! Aren't we all so attached to our tools like they are part of us! It's so true. Especially the bone folders! (They are kind of like obedient pappies!) They are always beside us no matter what we do!

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  4. 1. You make it sound so simple. ”I bought some camel bone and”. If I go to a sloughterhouse and ask for a bone they look at me weird.. And how could I cut a bone in a slice?? If you know any bone slice store... please let me know.

    2. Your new one is awesome! Simply magnifficent! I collect a lot of things, and since I m into bookbinding, I also collect bonefolders :) Do you take commissions?

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    1. Dude! It is easy to make, or I wouldn't do it. haha My time is spoken for.

      Well, you can slice it with any saw, but the thinner the blade is, the easier it cuts through. I have a jeweler's saw, so that's what I used. ( A jeweler's saw cuts anything like a butter. It's for cutting metal, after all..) If you however have an access to a belt sander, you needn't to slice the piece of bone; just sand it off to the size and shape you like. It should only take 10~20 minute to make a bone folder if you have a belt sander!

      Nah, no commission is necessary. I bought two pieces of bones, one of which has no use. So when I have time, I'll make one for you. No problem. Like I said, it isn't hard to make a bone folder. But one thing about this particular piece of bone is the size. The folder I lost was 5.5" in length, and it was perfect for my small hand. So the bones I bought were both 5" in length. It might be too small especially for men's hand. Anyway, I don't wanna waste the left over piece of bone, so I'll make a folder out of it one way or the other. ;-)

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  5. Well that s one instance when I m glad I have small hands. Then I will trade sometthing with you, not sure what :D Again, how in Dante s Hell did you buy camel bone?

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    1. Good, then I'll let you know when I'm ready to make it. (I don't know when, though. ;-)

      Well, I chose camel bone because it was cheap, interesting looking, and wildly used as a knife handle which made me think that it was easier to fashion yet strong enough. I also thought about giraffe or deer bone, but I started feeling hesitant because they are such wild animals that aren't domesticated. Camels, on the other hand, are domesticated and eaten as meal daily in a part of the world.

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    2. Oh, sorry. I bought them on eBay. :-)

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  6. Do I have your permission to post two pictures from here in a Romanian article on my blog about bonefolders? Links and credits and all :D

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  7. http://artacartii.blogspot.ro/2013/12/faltuiala-sau-cutitul-de-os.html Thank you!!!

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  8. Dear MHR, I am now trying to learn on binding and I've crossed my way on your videos on youtube. Thanks very much for your sharing and the very nice way of doing it. I need to bind my own books on photography. (Curiously, my first is about possession and personal objects are the subject on one half of the book - so, I perfectly understand your feelings on that loss). Could you share images on your blog of the most important steps when doing the second bone folder? (I would like to make one too). Thanks once more and I hope you the energy and good will on doing such an amazing job!

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    1. Thanks for your kind comments, Carlos. ;-) Though I don't know when I'll have time to make a bone folder for Mihai, I'll put up some pictures. No problem. But if you ask me what the most important thing about making a custom folder is to know what shape and size best suit to you. And of course, patience. ;-) If you don't have a machinery like a sander, etc., some folks might find filing and sanding a piece of bone by hand a bit tedious. Well, patience is a virtue!

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  9. I HATE losing tools, let alone having them swiped. I try to look at it as something karmic, like it's energy was used up and some one else needs it....yeah...and it goes off into the universe to help someone else...yeah. :/

    Thank you Mihai for the bone folder page. I'm getting my saw out....

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    1. That's surely one way to look at it. haha. The thing is, I still think of the bone folder when I'm working, but it's much less frequent. I just hate dwelling on something I have no control over, so I try to find a positive way to make sense out of this.

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