Cylindrical Book Box

Designed and printed by Delphi Basilicato.

There’s this scroll for sale at the Center for Book Arts that I’ve been totally in love with for about three years now.  It was designed, inked, printed, waxed, scrolled . . . lots of -ed’s, by Delphi Basilicato.  Whether by design or not, I don’t know, but his online footprint is shockingly tiny.  The only evidence of his work online is from others posting it, but his work is beautiful.  This scroll is just one of many of his works that I admire. I fully intend to buy it as soon as I have $100 I won’t feel guilty spending.

When I do buy it, I’m going to want to protect it from the hazards of children, so I made a mock-up of a box to house it.  I was inspired by the beautiful boxes from Gregoire Vigneron.

Cylindrical Book Box

This box is one cylinder inside another with a 1/3 opening and a cutout in the bottom with a lever to rotate the inner chamber to open the box.  It isn’t perfect, but I understand a lot more about what to consider when making a box like this.

The outer chamber has to be big enough that the inner chamber revolves easily, but not so big that wiggles around a lot, falls open too easily, or otherwise does not protect the book.

It also has to be sturdy with perfect circle and 90 degree angles.  I’m afraid I did a lot of sanding because I wanted the opening of the outer chamber to be perfectly level with the platform of the inner chamber, and cross-cutting a cylinder with an Olfa blade is very difficult.

The hardest part of the whole construction was getting on the endcaps.  The cylinder and the caps have to be perfect circles, and since I’m a person, not a machince, this was nust not possible.  Lots more sanding ensued, trying to get that stupid cap in.  And since the inner chamber had to be inside already, the outer chamber had to be covered already (except for the ends), this was just really tricky.  I’m still trying to come up with a way to make this easier.

What wasn’t hard at all was curving the boards.  I was working in the bindery at the Center for Book Arts alongside Biruta Auna while she was working on some cylindrical boxes covered in leather for a museum here in NYC, and she used thin chip board which she rolled up, and I thought I could do that with a thicker board if I soaked it in water.  I didn’t end up soaking the board though.  I briefly immersed it in a tub of water, then wrapped it around a can of hairspray with a paper towel on the inside and a piece of felt wrapped around the outside secured loosely with rubber bands.  I left it overnight to dry and it worked beautifully.  I think when I finally do buy that scroll, I will have a lovely home waiting for it.


About sappling

When God created the world, he did it in six days and rested on the seventh. I always wished there was just one more day in the week, an eighth day just for me to pursue the thoughts in my head and translate them to the physical world. There are only seven days, however, so I steal my creative moments in between being a mom and my work binding books and making boxes for clients all over New York City. I love working with my hands, learning new things, and I'm here to share those lessons with you. There are only seven days in a week. Why not eight? Guess I'll ask when I get there.
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2 Responses to Cylindrical Book Box

  1. Elissa says:

    Seriously, holy crap that’s impressive.

    • sappling says:

      Thanks! And guess what–Delphi just told me that if I made him a box he’d give me a scroll! Totally fair trade in my mind.

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