I do love me some new tools.

Handheld book plough in leather case

This probably isn’t the safest one I’ve ever made.

Handheld book plough on leather case

See that blade stuck to the bottom?

Handheld book plough in hand, upside down


Jim Poelstra makes a very nice handheld plough for trimming the edges of books, with a few different safety features that this one definitely does not have. The upside is that this one is cheap; a 3” wooden ball sawed in half plus two single bevel circular packing knives cost me about $45 and yielded two of these. Not that I need two.

It does a good job, though! I got some nice, smooth edges on my book blocks. However, since this was my first time using a plough in the first place, my technique needed some refinement, and then my unrefined technique needed to be covered up.

Three blank book blocks, heads up, with dyed edges

I was totally planning on dyeing those edges all along. Totally.