DIY: Blank Bible (part 4) Punching and Binding
So you have survived the first 6 steps! Pat yourself on the back. From the woman who accidentally dropped her cut bible pages into a pile of chaos on the floor: “Good job.” And from the man whose bible got caught in the table saw and thrown into the air like a snow globe: “Congratulations.” You stand among the world’s elite to make it this far.
Right now your bible is a pile of pages with the right number of blank pages inserted exactly where you want them. For the Interlinear, I put one blank page between each bible page.
It’s time to get the pages punched using a spiral binding puncher. This punch is usually electric and can punch about 20-30 pages at a time. It punches several little holes (4 per inch).
I prefer to punch the pages myself. I go to a smaller office supply store where they let me back behind the counter to do this step myself. I like doing this step on my own because it gives me a little time to make certain all the pages are aligned at the binding edge. I do this by taking 20-30 pages at a time and tapping the binding edge on a table. Sometimes the blank pages and bible pages are slightly different widths. We want to make certain that all pages are aligned on the binding edge. A few simple taps on the table does the trick.
Failure to be careful here could give you a page where the binding holes are aligned on the edge of the paper and that page will easily tear or fall out. The minor addition of time makes a big difference in quality.
For our Interlinear blank bible of 2,700 pages (1,350 sheets), it only took about 40 minutes to punch all the holes. It goes quickly.
Before you leave the office supply store you will need a few things. First, it’s important to separate your bible into volumes. The largest standard spiral binding coil is 1-1/4” and so I usually separate my bibles into 1” to 1-1/8” piles. The first ESV blank bible was separated into three volumes, this Interlinear (being a total of 4-1/4” tall) will be separated into four volumes (Matthew-Mark; Luke-John; Acts-Galatians; Ephesians-Revelation).
If you want vinyl covers you will need these cut and punched before you leave the office supply store. Two vinyl covers per volume. They are cut and punched exactly to the size of the bible pages.
Then you need to purchase binding coils. I like the 1-1/4.” The larger the coil; the more flexible the bible. For this 4-volume project I will need 4 coils. Now you can return home. The final step can be done from your kitchen table.
I usually do the spiral binding myself at home. Align the pages for the first volume, place the covers on, and begin screwing the binding coil into the first hole. The first hole takes a minute to align all the pages correctly, but once you move on to the second the holes begin automatically lining up on their own. Just keep spinning the coils in. Once you are done, cut the coil off. Leave one full circle of visible spiral on the top and bottom.
I bound all four volumes of the Interlinear in about 25 minutes.
And you are done. That’s it!
I recommend using a Pigma Micron 005 pen available at most scrapbook or art stores for under $3.00. It’s a super fine point that allows me to write very tiny and maximize each page (don’t mistake this with the 05 which is much thicker).
I recently read this about our project at a blog called OldTruth.com:
“It says something about you, if you are willing to cut, rip, clamp, saw, slice, stuff, punch, and bind your own bible, just so you can squeeze a blank notes sheet in between every page of scripture. Perhaps it says that you are a really serious student of the bible.”
Yes, indeed. If you are tackling this project it already shows your heart. You will take sacrifices to improve your opportunities to grow in God’s Word. Praise God!
So if you happen to be the man standing over the table saw, whose bible explodes into the air into a blizzard of paper, use this moment to raise your hands and celebrate. God is at work giving you the desire to read, study and know Him more. Let the confetti rain down in praise of His grace!