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  • Writer's pictureBel Mills

Most Overlooked Bookbinding Tools, Part 2

Welcome Back!

If you are new to this series on tools, I would recommend starting HERE, at the beginning, to better understand basic bookbinding tools, and how the tools in this series are different.

Now let's get on with our overlooked tools!


Ah, the Crop-a-dile.

Hallowed hole-maker and installer of teeny-tiny grommets. I love this tool so much, I actually developed tendinitis from overusing it. So if the name sounds dangerous, it's because it is (sort of). Dangerously habit-forming. Dangerously compelling in its ability to transform a regular hole into a thing of beauty.

Behold the way it added a lovely finished look to the covers of Coptic journals I made for a Christmas craft fair back in 2017. (This was my LAST craft fair, by the way, due to the aforementioned tendinitis which developed in the making of the journals below)

Needless to say, I have NEVER again created a collection of books that require 10 grommets a piece. And my right elbow thanks me.

But I haven't stopped using the Crop-a-dile.

Here are two of my more recent book projects utilizing this tool. Note that the number of grommets per book is now kept in check.

Aren't there other tools that install tiny grommets, you might ask?

Why yes, naturally, there are. But there aren't other tools (that I know of) that both punch holes AND install grommets in the holes, and all with a minimum of noise and fuss.

If you are sensitive to loud noises (which I am, and so is my dog) then banging away with a hammer or some other whacky tool isn't your idea of a peaceful day in the studio.

So I continue to use my Crop-a-Dile. I'm just more judicious about when to summon its metallic magic. Projects that require 1-2 grommets a piece are ideal. But even 1 or 2 grommets never fail to deliver maximum impact.

See what I mean?

In Part 3 of my tools series, I'll wax on about a tool I'm guessing you've never associated with bookbinding.

Hint: I used it in the picture above on the right...

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