Tools of the Trade: Bone Folders

by Suzanne Coley

Bone folders are my extra fingers when binding books and making boxes.
Bone folders from my studio, Suzanne Coley
#1 Teflon bone folder - used for smoothing, pressing, folding, shaping.
#2, #3, #4 - antique genuine bone folders given to me by a retired master bookbinder, made in Germany - used for delicate work and conservation.
#5 - wooden Potter's rib - used for difficult spots in large boxes.  Great for smoothing and shaping.
#6, #7 modern genuine bone folders - used for scoring and turning corners when binding books.
#8 Teflon bone folder - nothing sticks to them and they don't leave marks.
Bone folders are great for crisp clean folds and creases.  Suzanne Coley
My fingers may grip, pinch, and pick up things,
but my bone folders are stronger, smaller,
larger, rounder, skinner, flatter, sturdier,
and can be sanded into other types of shapes.  

My bone folders score, press, shape,
burnish, fold, smooth, and work the corners
and grooves of my books and boxes better
than my pinky and index fingers.