Admiring a job well done

Trimming the cover

Fender Tucker Makes a Book

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Fender Tucker started life in Louisiana, and grew up in New Mexico, where his first career was playing guitar in bar bands. He then took on the duties of editing Loadstar, a Commodore disk magazine, in Shreveport, Louisiana.

When he turned that project over to another Commodore enthusiast, he started Ramble House, a small business producing books, mostly reproductions of long out of print mysteries and other "pulp fiction," whose small cult following keeps the company going. He started with books by the now unknown but prolific Harry Stephen Keeler, and the company now offers over 350 titles, and has produced around 4,800 individual books. Most of the finished books are now produced by print-on-demand printers, Lulu.com and CreateSpace.com, but a few are still printed and hand bound by Fender himself. Total sales are around 12,000 books.

My grandson Mikie and I visited Fender and his wife Judi in Mississippi in 2009, during which time he demonstrated the manual book-making process.

--Dick Estel

Click photo for a larger view (pictures open in a new window)
A few books, clamped together to keep things straight Rare for a paperback, this one will get a dust jacket Measuring the cover to fit the book Fitting the cover to the book
A few books, clamped together to keep things straight Rare for a paperback, this one will get a dust jacket Measuring the cover to fit the book Fitting the cover to the book
 
Marking and scoring the cover for folding Applying hot glue A hot iron keeps the glue warm as the book and cover come together The cover is ready
Marking and scoring the cover for folding Applying hot glue A hot iron keeps the glue warm as the book and cover come together The cover is ready
 
Pressing the cover tight Trimming the cover Finishing the trim Each book is individually numbered
Pressing the cover tight Trimming the cover Finishing the trim Each book is individually numbered
 
The finished book Folding the dust jacket Trimming the jacket The finished product
The finished book Folding the dust jacket Trimming the jacket The finished product
 
  Admiring a job well done    
  Admiring a job well done    
 
Loadstar Disk Magazine Cover Photos
Pressing the cover tight

The finished book

 

All photos copyright 2009 by Dick Estel. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.

    

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Updated September 24, 2016