Indestructible Organ Books
  • Blessed All Souls Day.

    I am wondering if anyone has a solution to this. We use those black binding combs to put our handmade liturgy components together- This works well in the beginning but I have found that all of my work to keep things nice are now shredding to pieces (literally). Does anyone know of another option that might work. Originally I was doing it in a binder with plastic sheets which solves the tear problem, but it is difficult to see over the organ when you use a binder- which can be problematic in the liturgy. Any insights on what others use would be appreciated. Thanks!
  • Digitize everything and use an iPad/tablet.
    At least if its digitized (scanned or saved in a notation software {Finale, Sibelius, ect} you can print out new copies as needed to replace aging ones.
    I still use the binder/sheet protectors personally because I do not trust my iPad to not fail in the middle of some major event.
    Thanked by 1francis
  • @OrganistRob320 Well that would work for a lay person- but you are speaking to a nun :) I have it digitalized but with poverty we want to avoid printing things over and over again.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    Comb binders are not the best to live with long term. On amazon you can get spiral binding machines now, which tend to be a bit more resilient to tearing.

    That said, I use my comb binder a fair bit, and one thing I do is print the outer covers on cardstock (110lb pound weight paper that you can buy at Walmart / Office Depot) and sometimes I will optionally reinforce the edge that will be punctured with tape as well. They also sell plastic sheets that can be used as loose front/back covers which I also employ from time to time.

    The biggest thing is reinforcing the first page (or two) with tape on the binding side. And depending on just how long you want it to last, you can use fancy tape such as this artist tape:

    I've also discovered that getting the cloth skin tape (meant to help with sprains) from the pharmaceutical department at Walmart (or CVS) is excellent too. Unlike the classic clear tape that is very acidic, it does not break down over time and can be folded a bajillion times without breaking down since there are actual cloth fibers in it.

    This sort of "medical" tape works really well:

    And for things that you truly want to keep a realllllly long time and treat with extra attention and care, you can use archival linen hinging tape, which is my absolute favorite, or its similar sister product, "" hinging tape.

    Another option that I've begun to employ recently is to print things 2up booklets on 11x17 paper, folding them in the middle, and use a long-reach stapler to bind in the center. You can get some of the long reach staplers for an affordable price now.

    And as for making your PDFs, there is a wonderful utility called "PDF Batch Booklet" which you can download for free here: It will take random PDFs, combine & superimpose them, and put them into booklet order.

    Thanked by 1monasteryliturgist
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    I should also mention that sometimes when I make my 11 x 17 packets, I will use some cloth tape on the inside of the outer most sheet, and sometimes the innermost sheet as well, (at the central crease) so that way when you puncture it through with staples, the two pages that have been reinforced hold everything else between them. The booklet that I made for our ordinary that is my organist copy has been holding up for months and months this way.

    Also, for certain things, I will just print it all on card stock and tape the edges together with the cloth tape, I mentioned above, accordion style. It depends on how much you want loose things around on the organ though.

    If you really are making a lot of booklets, I think getting a spiral binding machine and giving yourself plastic front and back covers is probably the way to go.

    I’ve also discovered that medium and heavyweight papers are very much worth the extra investment for things that are not single-use items. You are probably on a tight budget, but it does save you headaches in the long run.
    Thanked by 1monasteryliturgist
  • Medical Tape... who would have thought! I shall have to give it a shot. Thanks for the tips- these are very helpful!
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    Seriously... I love the stuff, and it's not all that expensive. The one downside is that it is thick. There is a hybrid medical tape that has plastic-y fibers in it, but isn't full cloth tape in the traditional sense; this works well too. I have had to play around a little bit with the brands though. Anything 3m is good. There's also a Meijer generic brand with which I've had success.

    I did get one thicker cloth tape that came in a set of 4 or 5 rolls in a clear plastic tube at CVS; that tape does not work well because it gets tacky on the outside, which you don't want for this application. It doesn't seem tacky at first, until you try to press it on with any firmness and then you sense residue on your fingers. With the other stuff that I linked to above that appears to be of white silk: I have some scores that were done 3 years ago and are still holding up well. (I never am happy with clear plastic tape by comparison.)
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    The only reason I tried the medical tape was because I had used the linen hinging tape which is PERFECT, but very expensive. I saw the cloth tape and thought, "poor man's hinging tape!" except that it is excellent in it's own right and soooo much cheaper.
  • I actually re-binded a gradual once with KT Tape ... shh! Don't tell! Sometimes in the necessity of finding quick solutions - you find a revolution!
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • LarsLars
    Posts: 85
    It's not the nicest looking thing, but I use transparent sellotape. It's very cheap and works well enough for my needs. I've done entire books like that, such as Fiori Musicali(68pages), Couperin's Messe des Couvents(44pages) etc, it's a bit of a chore, but easy enough for short works, like french organ suites that average 10-12 pages.
    The nice thing about transparent tape is I can utilise the whole page, the margins are only a few mm.
    God bless.
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    Thanked by 1monasteryliturgist
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,119
    Sellotape, in my experience, lasts for months but in the course of time it goes yellow and brittle, flakes off, and leaves a disgusting sticky mess.
  • I tried the medical tape today on one of my books and I would say that its amazing how fast and easy it applies. Time shall tell if it shall with stand our excitable organists of the Monastery. We might hold the world record for breaking so called "break proof" products.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    Indeed: sellotape, packaging tape, standard clear plastic tape, and everything of that ilk goes bad over the course of time. (I know from experience.) Also, speaking as a former archivist, I can assure you this acidic tape degrades catastrophically. If you want to use that kind of tape, you should at least try to find acid free variants, as they will last substantially longer.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    Indestructible Organ Books? That would be the Gleason organ method book. Every time I tried to get rid of it, it kept rising from the dead like some hellish ghoul.
  • @CharlesW sounds alot like the "peoples mass book", "the worship" and "lucien Deiss" that I keep trying to burn in the inquisition pile here. Every time someone donates books to our Monastery, new additions arrive.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    Every time someone donates books to our Monastery, new additions arrive.

    Oh, I know. About the time our RitualSongs were falling apart, I thought I would be able to get something else. Then a well-meaning (at least I hope they were well-meaning) seminary donated 300 copies of RS in mint condition to us. Urgh.... Kind of makes you want to smack that gift horse in the mouth.
  • One would wish they were new editions, not new additions
  • I actually re-binded a gradual once with KT Tape ... shh! Don't tell!

    My copy of the 1940 I've had since high school has been held together with duct tape ever since then and the same piece of tape has held up nearly 20 years now
    Thanked by 1Joseph Michael
  • francis
    Posts: 10,079
    I scanned the entire 1940 years ago... its on my ipad along with The English Hymnal.


    For the headaches of paper, you might consider an ipad... EVERYTHING can go on there and you don't have to worry about paper any more... over time it might be a cost effective solution. The only headache is turning pages if you a playing something with 20 digits.
  • @francis

    As nuns, we don't use very much other than a few computers and one cellular for the entire monastery... this is because of poverty, and monastic simplicity. It would be convenient to have an ipad or tablet but its not something the superiors are willing to consider currently.

    But it is through the inconveniences that we learn to love poverty... it might be easier and even more cost efficient to do it one way- but for religious, especially in America- we really do have to be careful so that we are living our vows well. Poverty isnt just about having cost efficiency but more about simplicity and even going without necessities sometimes.

    I really do appreciate all of the tips though!