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Lay-flat binding for jewelry book desirability


I would appreciate some feedback on the desirability of a spiral
bound “Shop Edition” of a jewelry-making book. Would it be worth
extra cost because spiral binding is a hand operation.

Background: A small number of users have been buying a comb-bound
version of my book on lost-wax casting. However, the short-run
printer has discontinued that binding. I have taken a perfect-bound
(paper back) copy of the book and had it spiral bound locally as
shown in the illlustration shown at This costs extra and
would increase the cover price of the book by about $4.

Do you think there would be any interest in such a binding at a
higher cost?

I will appreciate any ideas.
Fred Sias


Hello Fred, A spiral binding is great for a workbook because it will
lay flat on a benchtop. The 4 bucks is probably not an issue; at
least in my opinion.

Good luck with it.
Tom Arnold


Hi Fred

I’m sure spiral binding is more expensive than the comb binding, but
I think $4.00 is a little expensive. I’m sure there are other other
places that can do it for less. Just today I bought a bunch of 70
page 8 1/2 x 11 spiral bound note books for use by students in school
for 15 cents each.

If they were to be spiral bound, I’d much prefer to see the binding
made from wire than plastic.

You might check with Tim McCrieght to see where he gets his Complete
Metalsmith bound.


You might check with Tim McCrieght to see where he gets his
Complete Metalsmith bound. 

At least some of Tim’s books are printed in China.



Hi Fred,

Yes, especially if it’s something that needs to be referred to
repeatedly and is not simply read front to back once. I don’t like
perfect bindings in magazines or manuals, and would pay extra for a
more useable format.



In my new role at my day job I do this kind of thing all day. The
spiral binding is definitely the best for what you want (it’s what
we always recommend for scripts). $4.00 seems a correct price, it is
not something that can get cheaper by doing in bulk because it is all
done manually.



My feeling is that if it’s a “reference book” like my McCreight
books spiral bound is more useful at the bench.

If your book is something to look at and inspire then stick with the
less expensive binding.

Best wishes,


Hi Fred!

Just picked up this thread… Forgive me if I repeat the same
as some previous responses.

$4.00 is a lot to add to the cost of any book. Like most
manufacturing processes, book binding of all types goes down
substantially when the quantity is large enough that the set-up
costs for the binding equipment is spread over many rather than a few

Whether you are planing to print a few hundred or 10,000 I’d suggest
going to a commercial printer and not a “quick printer” and call it
research. There will be a professional representative who will be
willing to provide To acquire the best pricing, one
designs (page size and imposition) based on the bindery capabilities
and not the other way around. They can give you the which
will allow you to make good judgment calls. If their quantity ranges
are beyond your needs now, at the very least you can plan for the big
time knowledgeably.

All the best,

j (Enjoying jewelry work much more than 35 years of commercial

J Collier


I haven’t been following this thread from the beginning. However,
there are the plastic comb binders that also lay flat which use a
machine to put the pages on. I remember using them when I work for a
corporation in the creation of their annual report which was done
in-house. They do lay flat when you need them to, but, unfortunately,
also have the tendency to slip out easily. $4.00 for spiral binding
seems high to me. If you’re self-publishing, there are places on the
internet where I found double wire binding for only an additional
$.25 per book and double wire wrap around for only $.50 per book. You
can check out their options at

MikiCat Designs


Ok this is very embarrasing but I completly ommited looking at all
the comments about lay flat binding but just today I opend this
subject and felt impelled to write due to the fact that I don’t know
what has been said that If by chance who wants to know the process
and where to go to get it done It might be able to help.

We do lay flat binding every day at my day job with PUR glue and
rep-cover crash paper etc.

Sorry for not following what was said! You can contact me off this

Devin Startup



Thank you for your input. I tried to send you a long email that
included some of the other responses to my original post but the
email was rejected by your domain because something in the content
resembled spam.

Here is the text of my email:

Since most of you responded publicly on Orchid I am taking the
liberty of including all the posts in this response.

First, thank you for your input. It was just what I needed.

Based on the whole conversation, it seems that most of you would
like a lay-flat shop edition and the majority would be willing to pay
a few bucks extra for a book in the $20 to $30 range. So I think I am
going to go ahead and put out that edition.

I had wondered about the choice between the plastic coil binding
shown in my illustration and the Wire-O binding which is probably a
little more expensive and not available locally. However, there seems
to be a slight preference for the plastic coil binding. The Wire-O
binding seems to be vulnerable to crushing and I have also preferred
the coil binding for shop use although the side-by-side pages do not
line up perfectly.

I have met Tim McCreight at the Florida Society of Goldsmiths’
workshops in North Carolina so I will be contacting him. That is a
good suggestion. I am not sure whether he considers me competition or
not. Amazon often advertises his book “Practical Casting” as a
combined offering with my book.

I have one final issue that you all may feel like commenting on. The
perfect bound edition is 7.44 x 9.69 inches which is a common size
for shop books. Tim McCreight’s “Complete Metalsmith” is about this
size. The comb-bound edition that is no longer available was
published as an 8.5 x 11 inch book using the same interior column
size. It has been used at two colleges for casting courses and one
professor said the extra wide margins are great for casting courses
and one professor said the extra wide margins are great for student’s
notes. However, I prefer the feel of the smaller book and, of course,
it takes up less space on the workbench. Any ideas will be

Finally, thanks again for your input.
Pendleton, SC