Moment of clarity, end sheets, and common sense.

Making hand bound books from scavenged, and recycled materials is fun! It is also a huge pain in the ass if you are trying to streamline production of a product. Each sheet of board, paper and cloth is slightly different.  The history of the paper, the thickness, any coating information is entirely unknown to you. Sheets are all different sizes. There are no spec sheets to recycled or found materials.  You wouldn't think that this would make a huge difference but it really does. Despite the challenge of compensating for some of these details, it is very rewarding when I manage to come up with a production plan that allows me to work faster and smarter.  (note my use of the word 'if'. Haven't finalized my plans but think I am very close.)

Sew a single signature to a flexible covered board, glue a strip of book cloth to the spine, then neatly trim the entire book leaves you with a neat and tidy notebook. You get the nice flush edges like a perfect bound book but the benefit of much stronger binding. However, given a week in my book bag (product testing!) the edges of the decorative cover are peeling off the edges. There is no fold over. Just flat lamination. You just can't sell something designed to be used in real life that will begin to fall apart within a week of its life.