DIY: Blank Bible (part 4) Punching and Binding

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.

Only two steps separate you from a pile of loose pages and a priceless bible.

Punching

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.

Binding

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!

Pen

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).

Conclusion

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!

9 thoughts on “DIY: Blank Bible (part 4) Punching and Binding

  1. Tony, how many pages can each binding coil hold? The folks at Staples are using different measurements. The largest coil they have in stock is “16.” Whatever that means. They say they can get up to “22” by special order. Do you know how man pages these can hold?

    Also, why do you go with spiral instead of comb binding?

  2. Justin,

    16 = 5/8″ = 120 sheets
    28 = 1-1/8″ = 220 sheet
    30 = 1-3/16″ = 225 sheets
    32 = 1-1/4″ = 230 sheets

    16 is way too small. You can find 30s pretty easily. I wouldn’t settle for anything less than 28. 28-30 are common at Office Depot. I think they may even have 32.

    Never comb bind! It may seem easier but it’s an awkward, ugly and goofy binding. You will be much happier with spiral.

    Tony

  3. Tony,

    Thanks again for this project. I had a question concerning the covers. You mention vinyl covers in this post. I was wondering if you used the same material on the other spiral bound blank bible. If not, what was used?

    Thanks.

  4. Praz,

    I used vinyl on the first blank bible. I did not use any covers on the Interlinear. It has extra paper at the beginning and end. It’s a bit more flexible this way, too. Vinyl is nice though especially if you are going to travel with the bible.

    Tony

  5. Great idea! May I suggest you check out Rollabind.com for a binding solution that would allow you to remove and replace sheets as needed. Excuse me while I go decide which of my bibles to mangle.

  6. For a portable, pocket- or purse-sized version, a person could use a smaller outside dimension bible and bind each book separately.

  7. “Excuse me while I go decide which of my bibles to mangle”

    Now that is funny right there.

    Seriously, I really want to try this but do not own a table saw and am hesitant to do the paper cutting method. Is there an office supply store (or hardware store) that will allow you to use their table saw?

  8. So as not to try to reinvent the wheel myself– Did anyone try the discs? I like the idea of being able to add pages as I want to; that would be great. 2 pages between some pages would not be enough, such as Revelation. I already have 12 pages in some places taped in between a note bible already. If you did try the disc system, is there somewhere commercial to punch the pages that you know of, as only being able to do 10 at a time would take forever, since I am planning on mangling a Hebrew Greek interlinear. Any help or advise is greatly appreciated. Teresa

  9. This looks amazing. I am excited to do this! Have you ever bound the Bible pages on the right side so that you would be reading the text on the left with the blank page on the right? This seems more natural. Thoughts?

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