July 20, 2010

Experimenting with chipboard

Chipboard. Who doesn't have this sitting around the house? Many, many products are packaged with it and we throw so much of it out. The next book swap for the Etsy Bookbindingteam is focused on using recycled materials. I am looking at the swap as a challenge and chipboard is a readily accessible material.

There are problems with recycling chipboard from packaging. One side is coated and printed with the product info and the other is not. If you apply regular glue to this kind of chipboard, it will inevitably warp. One side will absorb more moisture from the glue than the other and no amount of pressing will prevent it. The challenge for me was to find a way to cover the chipboard without the board warping. I needed a "dry" glue.

The bookbinding team came up with several ideas. Here is just the first round of testing with the easiest methods. Even though I don't show it, both sides of the chipboard are covered with paper.

PVA: No matter how much pressing you do, PVA and this kind of chipboard don't mix. I made a needle case and the boards warped.

Heated-activated PVA: In this example, the paper is first coated with PVA and allowed to dry. You then use an iron to apply it to the board. There was some slight warping and I did put it under some weight. So far it looks pretty flat. This method gets a nice even adhesion with no bubbles. This method adds an extra step in prepping the boards before sewing.

Glue Stick: An inexpenisve, quick method. A glue stick with the color additive that fades as it dries would be helpful. It's very important to cover the entire surface and then rub it down thoroughly. Even so, it is possible to get some bubbling from improper adhesion. The chipboard warped the least with this method.

I'll be making up some test notebooks with this chipboard to see how it holds up over time.

1 comment:

  1. Cool experiment, Esther! Thanks for summarizing the possibilities of approaching this. Who would have thought the glue stick would work out best? I can't wait to see what beauties you make out of these!