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Adding Magnetic Closures

This is a neat way to make a book safe that stays shut. You'll need to allow a few more days to let the glue dry between steps, and you'll have to use some extra equipment in addition to the supplies in the Basic Instructions:


There are a lot of steps with some back-and-forth with the Basic Instructions, but don't be intimidated! The procedure to add magnets is surprisingly easy.

Stage 1: Cutting the Book

Cutting the book normallyCut the book cavity.
Follow the Basic Instructions from Step 1 (removing the dust jacket) to Step 12 (clean up the cavity).

Since the magnets need to be glued to the cover, you do NOT want any loose sheets in the front of the book, meaning you skip Step 2 and have only one cover-up page rubber-banded to the cover.

Stage 2: Punching Holes for the Magnets

One magnet against a stack of pagesMake a stack of pages that equals the thickness of one magnet.
Scoot back a pile of pages (make sure to include the cover-up page!) and put a magnet next to them. Press down with your fingers and feel the height of the pages next to the magnet. Add or remove pages from the pile until it's the exact same height as the magnet.

Note: If you're having a hard time getting it exact, fall on the side of too few pages rather than too many. Better for the magnet to be thicker than the pages, than the other way around.

Punching the middle holePunch three holes in the stack of pages.
Using a single hole punch, put three holes on the side of the page, one each at the top, middle, and bottom. These holes are where the cover magnets will sit when the book is closed.

Note: If you want, you can measure the exact placement to make the holes aligned and evenly spaced. Me? I usually just eyeball it.

Punching with both handsNote: My hole punch isn't as sharp as it used to be. Punching through the stack took both hands. Use a good hole punch if you can!

Folding the divider pageFold the next page in half, towards the spine.
Flip the punched pages over, then take the next sheet in the book and fold it in half. This will be the divider sheet that keeps the bottom magnets covered.

Making second stack of pagesMake another stack of pages that equals the thickness of one magnet.
Follow the same procedure you used to make the first stack. Scoot pages back, compare the thickness of the pages and a magnet, then add and subtract pages from the stack.

Keep these pages in hand or put some kind of divider under them to keep them separate from the rest of the book.

Taking the punch guideFlip over one punched page for a guide.
Press it down over the second stack of pages. This will be your "Punch Guide" for the next three holes.

Punching the next set of holesPunch through the second stack of pages at the top, middle, and bottom.
Punch through the existing holes in the "Punch Guide". This will make sure the second batch of pages has holes in the exact same spots.

Flipping over the punch guideFlip the "Punch Guide" sheet back.
You're done with this page, so you can return it to the first batch of pages on the left.

What it should look likeNow you have two batches of pages with three holes in each: the set on the right for the base magnets, and the set on the left for the cover magnets. In between, you have the folded divider sheet.

Stage 3: Inserting the Base Magnets

Glue in the holesPut a small dab of glue into the three holes on the right.
This will keep the base magnets in place when you're gluing the rest of the book.

Putting magnet in the holePut one magnet into each hole.
Try to position the magnets in the center of each hole. Because the magnets are almost as tall as they are wide, they can easily end up on their side, so make sure they're lying flat.

Tip: Because the magnets are so small they are VERY easy to lose! Handle with care, and keep a clean work space so you can find them if they fall.

Unfold the divider sheetUn-fold the folded page and smooth it down.
Now the base magnets are covered by the divider sheet.

Drying under weightClose the book, then weigh it down until the glue dries.
Allow an hour or two. You don't need the glue to be 100% dry, just dry enough to keep the base magnets in place when you glue the rest of the book.

I used a bucket of rocks for my weight, but you can use whatever you have on hand, as long as it's 10 pounds or more.

Stage 4: Gluing the Book

Gluing the inside of the bookGlue the inside of the book.
Resume the Basic Instructions at Step 13 (replacing the dust jacket), and go through Step 24 (cutting up the cover page after the glue has dried).

Finished bookAfter it dries, you have a book safe identical to the one in the Basic Instructions except that 1) there's three hidden base magnets, and 2) there's three holes for the cover magnets to sit in.

Stage 5: Attaching the Cover Magnets

Take off dust jacketIf your book has a dust jacket, take the front flap off.
The top magnets need to be affixed to the cover.

Plastic wrap over the holesPut a piece of plastic wrap over the holes.
It doesn't need to be big, but it should be bigger than the holes by a few inches.

Putting glue onto the plasticDab drops of glue onto the plastic wrap over each of the three holes.
The drop should be about the same size as the holes beneath them.

Magnet in the holePut a magnet into each hole.
The magnets should snap into place and get themselves buried in glue in the process.

All three magnetsThe final result with all three magnets in.

Closing the coverClose the cover.
This will glue the magnets to the cover.

Under weight to dryPut the book back under weight to dry.
Let it sit for about a day.

Stage 6: Finishing the Book

Taking off the plasticOpen the book and remove the plastic wrap.

Note: If the glue isn't dry yet, and the magnets stick to each other instead of the cover, you can easily fix it! Put the plastic wrap back over the holes, drop the problem magnet into place, put a bit more glue on top of it, close the book again, put the weight back on top, and give it another day or two to dry completely.

Putting the flap back onReplace the dust jacket's front flap.
If your book has a dust jacket, put it back on.

Pressing down at the magnetsClose the book and press down over the three magnets.
Depending on the type of paper the cover is made out of, this will either make a circular indent around the magnet or punch the cover magnet through the flap. Either is fine; you just want to make sure the book closes tightly.

Note: If you want to, you can cut out holes in the dust jacket flap around the cover magnets. I used to do this, but I think the results are a bit neater when you leave the cover intact.

Putting the flap back onThat's it! You're done!

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