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BoxBook; or, a box that acts and looks like a book.

After a two years of designing, developing, and fine tuning a design for a compelling and functional box for books and pamphlets, I’d like to introduce what I call the BoxBook. My goal was to develop a box that I enjoyed making, and which incorporated the best elements of history, craft, and beauty. The box I imagined also needed to be easily opened, and be able to stay closed when moved around.

After making many clamshell boxes, which are perfect where super protection is needed, I realized that the type of protection the clamshell box offers is overkill for the needs of many books. An uncomplicated enclosure, beyond the slipcase (which abrades the book each time it is inserted or taken out) was what I was after.

And to be honest, the multitude of cuts and folds in a cloth clamshell box was driving me mad.

Enter wood. Since wood is acidic and off-gasses harmful chemicals indefinitely, it is generally not recommended for archival storage. Thus measures need to be taken to protect the wood from adversely affecting the enclosed material. All boxes have a polyester sheet lining as well as polyester felt to protect the book from abrasion.

Each box is constructed as a cased-in book might be bound, with boards, a spine and grooved hinge. The box stays shut with strong neodymium magnets, and the wood frame is joined at the corners with strong and attractive box (or finger)  joints. Each frame is hand finished in a ten-step process.

Every box is be designed to fit the historical style of the enclosed item, from early leather bindings to cloth bindings with decorate gold work. Below are a few pictures of an 18th Century style quarter leather box, enclosing The Annual Register, London, Dodsley, 1777.

A quarter calf binding with labels, gold and blind decorations in the style of the period. Tool designs are based on original designs from the 18th Century.

View of Annual Register volume in open box.

Detail of box joint and magnet closure. This frame is made of cherry.

Categories: BoxBooks, Boxes, Uncategorized.

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