These are my bonefolders. I use them all occasionally, but the one on the very top, and the completely round one got used the most. I once had another really big one for folding big sheets of paper, but I hardly ever used it, and when I wanted to take the picture I couldn’t find it anymore.

Recently I bought the one at the bottom, and it is made from plastic. I was skeptical when I saw it, but it was cheap, and so I decided to give it a try. So it is not one of the expensive teflon folders but a very cheap plastic thing. With an odd shape, too.

After a day of usage I love it! The shape is actually nice, and the folder lies neatly in my hand. And because it is plastic, it doesn’t give this typical bonefolder shine on the creased fold.

But why, I have begun to ask myself, is it apparently essential for the functioning of a bonefolder that it has this tiny hole at the back? Anyone knows why it is there, and what its function is?

11 replies on “Bonefolder”

  1. We love bonefolders! If I think back, it was a bonefolder which attracted me most when I saw all the necessary bookbinding tools at my very beginning as a bookbinder at school. A bonefolder and a stealruler were my first investments…

  2. I love bonefolders too – though mine are plastic and my very favourite is made from bamboo! It sits so comfortably in my hand and is light to use. I also have a curvy one, similar to your new one, which I like for small folds.
    I don’t know why some bonefolders have a hole in, unless it’s to attach a string to hang it up!

  3. Most bonefolders I know actually don’t have a hole in the back. I would think the holes are useful to hang the bonefolder up so you don’t lose it.

  4. Bonefolders are so simple and yet so powerful! It was also the first tool that I bought (and glue brushes).
    It looks like a hole to attach string through it to me, too. But why would you want to hang the bonefolder? And where would it been hung from: A belt, a nail in a wall? It is so widespread (the hole) that I would think that if it is used to hang the folder then there must have been a time when that was the default thing to do. I store my folders in a drawer, and all other binders I know, too.

  5. I keep my bonefolders in an old tin on my work table. But I hang all my rulers from nails on the wall. If my bonefolders had holes for a string, I would probably hang them on the wall next to my work table as well!

  6. I just got one of the curvy bonefolders as well after years of straight ones (and even the spendy teflon ones). You’re right – it’s super fun. I’m still trying to explore all the ways it can be used.

  7. My very favorite bonefolder is an ergonomically shaped Teflon one. It is sort of shaped like a curved triangle, if that makes any sense. The teflon is great–no shine left on the paper. I’m now thinking of getting a more traditionally-shaped teflon one as well. And the hole on mine is the perfect size for hanging on a hook over my work area. It’s one of the only things I can find in my messy space! I rather like that hanging hole…

  8. Mhm, apparently I was wrong when I claimed that all bookbinders I know are storing their folders in drawers 🙂

    Sometimes the hole in the folders are very small. Almost too small for thread. Maybe it could be a leftover of the making process. Where the bone would have been fixed in a position that is well suited for carving the bone perhaps? This is a really wild guess, I have not the slightest idea how bonefolders were actually made.

    Any of you know any literature about that: Bonefolders and how they were made, or maybe bookbinding tools in general?

  9. Letztes Jahr habe ich mit Jeff Peachey & Friends einen längeren ‚populärwissenschaftl. Gedankenaustausch’ darüber gehabt, dass Jeff als Vollprofi noch nie ein Falzbein mit Loch bewusst gesehen hatte. Ich hingegen einige. Also haben wir uns darauf geeinigt, dass die Löcherchen im Falzbein wohl eine ‚germanic’ Besonderheit ist. Mein ältestes Falzbein stammt (mit Loch und mit Verziehrung drumherum) wohl von ca. 1900. Und beim Kumetat gibt es welche mit und ohne Loch zu kaufen. Das Loch hat keinerlei Bezug zum Herstellungsprozess. Weil meine FBs eh alle griffbereit am Haken hängen, habe ich den ungelochten halt in Eigenregie ein Löchlein verpasst. Beweis folgt. ;–)

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