@chrisaldrich Nice! This got me looking into bookbinding glues. Looks to me as if PVA glue is basically the same stuff as the Elmer's that you can buy everywhere, is that right?
@JMaxB My understanding is that Elmer's contains PVA, but is a mixture of other non-toxic substances. As a result it can yellow and crack over time. I chose a neutral pH glue specifically for bookbinding, which in my personal tests and those I've heard about from others (including some professional archivists) gives a better result, particularly for these types of bindings where later removal is useful. It's a bit more expensive, but not prohibitively so. I suspect I'll also use this for some woodworking applications as well.
I've heard people use Elmer's glue for this with reasonable results, but you might want to try at least three coats.
@chrisaldrich Thanks. This looks like a step up from the 'Hipster PDA.' I think I'll try it.
@chrisaldrich thank you for sharing this. I read your earlier post about this and watched the related YouTube video with the different glues. Great idea!
@chrisaldrich Can this be done so it's reversible? That is, when you've filled the cards, you could take them apart and file them by topic? (This is probably one of those things I only think I want to do, but I figure it's worth asking.)
@dwalbert You're definitely not the only one who'd consider doing this. Your question about reversibility is also the whole point! I specifically want the convenience of a notebook/notepad format, but the index card resorting affordance of an index card-based commonplace book or zettelkasten. It's only two thin layers of glue holding them together at the top. In fact, it's the same sort of process and glue that's used on most paper pads that allows you to tear sheets out as you go. As a side benefit with index cards, I'm even less worried about the paper tearing when removing them because the paper is thicker.
Now of course one could also do the reverse process and take a group of cards organized by a particular topic and turn them into their own little mini-book if one wanted. Some writers who use these methods for researching and organizing may want to do something like this when their book project(s) are over for archival purposes, though simply keeping cards in their boxes is probably just as convenient, though time and entropy may manage to re-organize those cards depending on one's wishes.
I had started out looking for companies that made something like this, but realized there aren't any and that I could just as easily make my own with the exact cards I prefer for a fraction of what I would have been charged for the privilege.
@chrisaldrich Makes sense, thanks. If I ever buy one of those cars catalogs I’m always eyeing in antique shops, this is how I would populate it!
@chrisaldrich ha! That’s great. Actually I have lingered over old wooden ones that look like they came from libraries. I love the idea of having one but don’t know where I’d put it or what is put in it.
@dwalbert There are a variety of handbooks which have been written over time that one might consider. A few popular modern ones include those by Dan Allosso, Sonke Ahrens, and a new one (today, in fact) by Scott Scheper. At the very worst, most of these card file drawers are just big enough to fit a bottle of wine, so if you get something with 40 drawers, you can put something in them until you've gotten them filled with note cards. 🍷🍾🗃️
Some other box options for starting: card storage