Wood cover sketch books

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Project by OG51 posted 02-23-2018 07:17 PM 1448 views 4 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are some of my favorite fun projects. Wood cover sketch books designed to lie flat when open. The idea is its a portable table when sketching outdoors your next art master piece.

All wood construction except for the paper holder/clasp. I use cotton paper on these so moisture will have less affect on it when outside. I have found the wooden hinges do squeak a little during the humid summer months but so far no loss in functionality. I do keep playing with the hinge design to see what is easiest to build. Oak dowels for the pins. I use leather sometimes for embellishment.

Presents only for family and friends. They are not quick to design, carve and build. And yes its more of a tome than a light sketch book. Not something you would trudge through the forest with but you can put in a back pack to a nice park and sit under a tree and draw the afternoon away.

The lumber species used in order of pictures: maple, cherry, padauk, walnut.

In total so far I think I’ve built 9 of these books.

8 comments so far

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1498 posts in 2538 days

#1 posted 02-23-2018 09:43 PM

Those are great. Wish I could have seen the inside.
I have to get back into sketching outdoors again.

-- James E McIntyre

View Ivan's profile


17013 posts in 4113 days

#2 posted 02-24-2018 10:53 AM

The coolest book cover I’ve ever seen! Awesome work!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8445 posts in 1828 days

#3 posted 02-24-2018 11:10 AM

These sketch books are great. If you could take pictures of how you handle binding the paper into the wood cover, that would be very helpful.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View dalepage's profile


390 posts in 2086 days

#4 posted 02-24-2018 01:26 PM

This is not CNC carved? Wow! These are fantastic! I wish you had some photos of an open book so we could see just how this works.

I have made several sleeves for rare books so that you see a wooden spine on the shelf when used. You have really inspired me to make the next one a box.

Most impressive. Well done. I’m surprised this is not a Top 3.

Thank you for posting.

-- Dale

View OG51's profile


157 posts in 1357 days

#5 posted 02-24-2018 04:02 PM

dalepage, I wish they were all me but they are cnc carved. They are all designs I have made in the past for my friends and family. I wish I was talented enough and had enough time to learn how to carve that well.

The paper is bound to the back cover using 1 1/2 inch screw posts (threaded posts with screws). I drill through the back cover and place the posts. I take the measurement from the posts and punch holes into the paper. Not very elegant but it works and has the benefit that paper can be added or removed. The screw posts can also be replaced if they wear out or damaged.

I’ve shared the design with my cnc forum group (different forum) and one member is buying three ring binder adapter that he screws into the spine of the book. So another option.

View Scott Dirt Road Woodworks's profile

Scott Dirt Road Woodworks

171 posts in 2570 days

#6 posted 02-24-2018 04:38 PM

View OG51's profile


157 posts in 1357 days

#7 posted 02-25-2018 02:45 AM

Just realized you can add pictures to the comments. My pictures organization is a little chaotic and random but I finally found the card with the pictures. Here is a book I made for my wife. Her and my son are “FOR THE HORDE!!!” Or at least that is what they tell me. The second picture shows the simple binding I used. Since these are wood any mechanical system will work. Pretty much every book has a different hinge design as I am trying to see what works the best. I really like this version for the spine though it does stick out a bit more.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8445 posts in 1828 days

#8 posted 02-25-2018 10:26 AM

Thanks for the additional photos! That makes it much clearer how things go together!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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