Shear delight

Stack of hexagon book board for covers

Now that I’m back in the Twin Cities, I am fortunate to have access to a world-class book arts center, Minnesota Center for Book Arts. As a member of the artist collective I have 24-hour access to a wide array of equipment such as a board shear, which is required to precisely cut the hexagonal covers for the artist book I printed at KKV Grafik in Malmö, Sweden.

board shear at Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Typically my book covers are square or rectangular. They are easy to cut on a board shear because one of the four sides can rest against the bottom edge, and I can use the spring gauge to precisely cut multiples. A hexagonal cover, on the other hand, is trickier to cut; only two of the five sides are parallel.

hexagon template placed on a piece of book board

For this hexagonal cover, I created a template, which I then used to mark the cut lines on the book boards that I had cut to size along the parallel edges and to the two points.

The book board corner lined up along the blade of the board shear

Each corner is cut by placing the line drawn on the board along the edge of the blade.

A pile of corners cut from squared book board

Here’s my pile of cut corners. I always feel the impulse to save scraps like these. They’re beautifully uniform! Sadly, I pushed them into the recycling bin.

Stack of hexagonal book board covers

Here’s my finished stack of covers. I’ll need three for each book: one for the front of each book and one that serves as the back for both books, since the structure is a dos-á-dos. There aren’t enough covers here for the entire edition. I’ll need to repeat this process in the near future.