Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy and a Healthy New Year!

Wishing you all Happy Holidays & a Healthy New Year from the crew at TALAS!

Keep warm, and remember that we will be closed from Thursday December 24th - Sunday January 3rd.
We will be reopening on Monday January 4th.

Catch you all when we return in 2010!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What would YOU like?

So my friends, the tables have turned. Today we ask you, what would you like to see on our shelves (that we don't already stock) come next year?
Maybe it's a genre of paper, a particular tool, or maybe a new type of adhesive - whatever it is, let us know. We won't know unless you tell us, so don't be shy.

If it's feasible, we'll do our best to get it into our warehouse & up on our website as quick as we can!

So, start throwing ideas at us, and let's see what we can come up!

call: 212.219.0770
Or, better yet, let us know right here!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shop with TALAS for the Holidays (Part IV)

At this point I assume everyone's begun to get completely wrapped up in the regular holiday season jargon, as it becomes increasingly difficult to avoid. But who can complain, and who doesn't love that warm cuddly feeling associated with this time of year?

Which is why we think you should consider getting cozy on your work bench this holiday season with your cup of spiced tea, and of course your brand new Scharf-fix Paring Machine!

But, maybe the Scharf-Fix isn't for you, and you prefer a Brockman Paring Machine.

Whichever you prefer, treat yourself or someone else this year to one of these time-saving devices, and bring the thrill back into thinning leather!

Need some other leather paring suggestions?
Our Peachey Paring Knifes are presumably our highest end in the realm of paring knives. Crafted by hand, and sharpened to create a razor sharp edge ideal for paring leather.

Just beginning to work with leather, and not quite ready to take the plunge?
How about trying one of these paring knives. Since America seems to remain neutral in regards to varying tool styles - we carry 'em all! Including a new German Paring Knife, which is essentially a hybrid between the English & the French paring knives.

On another note, perhaps a Spokeshave might be most suited to your needs and style. Or, perhaps the simplest and most user-friendly of all of the tools - our Skife Knife.

More questions regarding these tools, or anything else we carry?
Feel free to contact us:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Shop with TALAS for the Holidays (Part III)

Gift Guide #3:
Blank Book Journal Kits!

Nothing says you care quite like giving the gift of something homemade. Each book kit comes equipped with pretty much all of the materials necessary for binding your own journal (all you'll need is a bit of Jade glue, a glue brush, and a bone folder).
And if you yourself don't feel inclined to bind it yourself, don't be shy... give the kit itself!
Check out these great & affordable kits here!

Start the year off right with a 2010 Shepherd's Diary Block.

This unbound block, is sewn & glued but will require lining the spine with mull, and casing in.

Make sure to leave that tardiness and forgetfulness back in 2009 where it belongs, and stay on top of your 2010 agenda with this handmade and beautiful diary from England - you'll make sure to always have it by your side!

It's that time of the year again, when our minds travel to Mediterranean locales, but our bodies stay put behind the monitor - so now that you have your life in order with your 2010 Diary, give yourself a little piece of bliss, and try one of our Book Blocks from Spain!

Made from 100% handmade recycled cotton (chiffon) fibers. Acid-free, deckled edges, with a natural grain on both sides.

As always, feel free to contact us with any questions:
Monday-Friday (9:00am-5:30pm)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Shop with TALAS for the Holidays!

Gift Guide #2: BOOKS!
Give the gift of knowledge this year with one of our wide selection of books and DVDS, and who knows, maybe next year you'll receive some fantastic handbound masterpieces in return for the holidays!

For the aspiring bookbinder, how about: How to Make Books; covers simple folding techniques to more elaborate leather binding that are all illustrated in an easy to follow manner.
Handmade Books DVD, is another great option. This DVD features easy to follow exercises include making single and multi-section books, photograph albums and notebooks.

And how about something for the more experienced binder? Perhaps An Introduction to Gold Finishing or Edge Decoration would be a good choice.

Now you may be asking, but what about my conservator friend? No worries, we have got plenty for them as well! Books ranging from conservation of specific genres, to overall conservation principles.

And if those topics don't seem to cover what it is you're looking for - how about something related to Marbling, or Photography, or perhaps Framing & Matting?

People often say the best knowledge comes from your peers, and we certainly agree, but also believe that books come second to live presentations. So peruse our selection, and let your imagination take flight!

As always, please don't hesitate to call or email is you have any questions.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Shop with TALAS for the Holidays!

It's that time of the year again already: Gift giving season!

I can't speak for all of us - but I know for sure that I'm typically scrambling at the last minute to find gifts to please even the most difficult of recipients.

But this year, TALAS is making your holiday shopping easy with some wonderful gift ideas! We have put together a list of specialized boutique tools and equipment that any professional or hobbyist would love to receive.

And if you can get her to walk, nonetheless to pull a sleigh, we'd be happy to throw in a complimentary dog-drawn sleigh delivery option for your order! (Please beware, chimney delivers may incur additional shipping costs).

Gift Guide #1:
Boutique Tools.
Nothing says "I love you" more then a beautifully crafted Croft bonefolder, Leino double-ended awl, or a Peachey paring knife! Ok, maybe that's not entirely true, but it sure says you care, and fits more comfortably into your budget this year as opposed to some other hand-crafted gems.

You will find these tools in the Boutique Tools section of our website, plus many other great gift ideas from these three artisans, along with exquisite new hand-crafted Antique Book Clasps from Sean Richards.

More gift ideas to come in the upcoming days before the Holidays!

But, if you can't wait til then, as always, feel free to give us a ring or send us an email and we would be happy to assist you in finding that perfect gift!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cutting Binder's Board

Cutting binder's board can be quite difficult, particularly when working with a heavier weight board. There are many approaches to take when cutting these boards, but I'll lay out a few I feel are important to discuss and address some of the pros and cons of each.

Guillotine: Arguably the best way to cut your binder's board most accurately and uniformly is with a guillotine - however, it is also probably one of the most difficult tools to get your hands on. But, if you are a keen follower of this blog, you will in fact know that TALAS has its own guillotine, and we would be happy to cut your board to your specifications (minimums apply). Now only would this expedite your bookmaking process, it will also severely cut back your shipping costs!
So, what makes this machine so much better for cutting? Well, it has to do with several things. First off, the clamp used to secure your boards is incredibly strong, and will prevent your boards from sliding during the cutting process. Secondly, the blade. The blade of the guillotine is insanely sharp and resilient, able to cut through even a tall stack of boards! This is extremely useful when cutting a larger number of boards which are meant to line up, and also to trim down your sewn book blocks.

Kutrimmer: Ranking in at #2 would be the Kutrimmer. A fantastic tool for anyone willing to make the investment. This cutter has a truly superb clamping mechanism (second to the guillotine) that keeps your material put during the cutting process, and can also accomodate a large number of papers or thick boards. While it may not be as accurate as the guillotine it still does a great job, and has guides calibrated down to 16th of an inch to ensure accurate cutting!
Is a Kutrimmer any different from my run-of-the-mill paper cutter??
The answer is YES! For those of you have ever used a Kutrimmer can relate - the vice that secures the material to be cut helps counter the natural torque associated withthese tools (that will try and rotate your material out towards the blade, and result in a not-so-straight cut).

Heavy-Duty Knife: Probably the most common way of cutting these boards. We recommend the Olfa L-1 Heavy Duty Cutter for the job. To begin, make sure you have a sharp blade, and beware that when cutting boards of this density, your blade will become dull extremely quickly - so don't be afraid to change it sooner then you ordinarily would!
Always measure twice and cut once. Sure you've probably heard this before, but it's really true and all too often comes back to haunt. Take your ruler (preferably one with a cork or cork-like anti-slid backing), and carefully cut applying even pressure, always away from your body.

Do not expect to cut through the board in one pass, depending on the thickness of the board, it may take many passes to get through to your cutting mat. When cutting boards I like to really get above the knife to ensure that I don't begin cutting at an angle; resulting in accidental beveled edges and subsequent edge filing to straighten the cut.
While this is probably the most common way to cut binder's board, there are a lot of variables, and problems that will arise that I feel are important to acknowledge.

First off, we've all heard horror stories of people who accidentally cut into their hands - although there's no advice I can provide you with that will all together alleviate this issue, I can advise you as to ways to best prevent such an injury:

- Always look where your fingers are before making a pass - this seems obvious, but the reason for most blade/cutting related injuries.

- Be aware that knifes sometimes tend to "jump" and/or stray from your straight edge. These unintentional marks can be aggravating later on, and also make it more difficult to follow the correct line in future passes - as your knife is likely to want to follow that stray path time and time again. Keep in mind that it is also always possible for the knife to "jump" up onto the ruler and jeopordize the well being of your fingers and nails. To help vest avoid this casualty, try and cut slowly (never rush) and don't apply too much pressure all at once. It's ok if it takes you a few extra passes!

- Beware that your knife does not angle down under the straight edge, and thus create one of those less than ideal, beveled edges I mentioned earlier.

Karate Black-Belt: We've all seen similar things in the movies... but binder's board is pretty dense stuff - and although I've never tried it myself (nor do I know anyone who has, and nor do I recommend trying) I'm gonna say, this is probably not such a good idea! And I say it's best to stick with one of the aforementioned cutting options...