Sunday, June 1, 2014

Recycled Notebook

As the end of the school year as you know it approaches (for those still in school), you likely accumulated a lot of papers from the semester.  Instead of trashing or burning them all, why not make the most out of what's there.
Here are two piles of papers I cleaned out.  The difference here is one of the piles is of paper not printed on both sides.
some papers left over from the semester
Look at all this potentially wasted writing space, let's build a notebook out of it.
papers printed only on one side

First step is to cut the papers in half.  Normally I would do this with a scissors, but this time I made use of the paper cutter in the school's computer lab since it's a lot faster.
using the paper cutter
When using the scale to gauge the length, make sure that 5.5" is really where it says it is.  The nice people before me have marked a line where the real halfway mark is since the scale wasn't perfectly aligned.
checking the paper cutter scale
After all the paper is cut, it's time to bind it.  Certainly, staples aren't going to work with this thick of a stack, so I vouch for aluminum sheet metal and pop rivets.
Cutting aluminum sheet metal with aviation snips
Cutting the aluminum with aviation snips to match the length of the paper, one piece for either side.
cutting the strips for binding the notebook
Next, de burring the aluminum to get rid of the sharp edges.  I used a file, but an edge de burring tool would've worked nicer.
de burring the aluminum strips
I finally got my filthy hands on a hand Whitney punch, so punching the holes here is a lot easier than drilling.
using a hand Whitney punch to make the holes for the rivets
I had made a notebook with this design previously, however it didn't have any protective cover.  This time, I put the cover pages in some binder sleeves cut to size before assembly.  Afterwards, everything was pop riveted together while being clamped with vise grips to ensure it would be held tightly.
pop riveting the notebook together
Side view of the binding.  With this binding method, the pages can be ripped out with a clean edge easily. 
the side of the binding
The pages did come out a bit warped since only half of the paper would fit in the Whitney punch at a time leading to a slight mismatch between the two halves.  Though it isn't that critical of an error, I'm used to things being perfect.
warped pages because of hole punching error
Though writing is only permitted on the right hand side, I think that can be a good thing because no worries about ink bleeding through or trying to write on the folded over side.  I like writing on recycled paper because I don't feel like I'm wasting paper and am more inclined to use as much as I want to get my ideas down.
finished recycled notebook
The other stack of paper isn't wasted either.  I save those for starting fires at bicycle BBQs or in the foundry.

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