Determining Book Board Cutting Costs

Most of our custom board cutting is done on an electric guillotine cutter as shown above. The parent sheets we use are 26" x 38" (Standard Board) and 30" x 40" (Davey Board).  Grain direction runs long for both Standard and Davey Board parent sheets.

Because of the consistency in thickness and dimensions of our board, cutting charges are based primarily on the number of parent sheets required to fulfill the cutting request. We back-cut all board pieces (essentially, we cut each side twice) to assure the boards are cut square. Although we attempt to be as accurate as possible, calibrating each dimension using a hand operated gauge may result in a slight variance of approximately 1/32”.  For this reason, it is suggested that you do not use our board cutting service for cutting pieces that require absolutely precise measurements of less than 1/16".  

To get the most out of our services, we encourage you to consider placing orders that will maximize at least one full sheet of book board. Many people who use our services that require more than just a few pieces. Typically, depending on the size of the pieces, orders range from about 10 to 100 or more pieces per size.

The quote you receive from us will include the cost of the book board and cutting charges combined based on factors listed below. Our custom cutting quotes do not include shipping. Those charges are determined separately by weight and zip code. Most custom cutting orders will take several days before we can cut and ship the order. 

How We Determine the Cost: 

A standard set-up charge of $10 applies to all our board-cutting services. This fee is waived on cutting orders over $50. The minimum charge for any board cutting service is $20.

1. Determine the size of the pieces you want us to cut and round up by 1/2” or up to the nearest 1/2" for each dimension. For example, a measurement of 5 3/8" x 7" becomes 6" x 7 1/2" for our purposes only. The extra 1/2" or so is needed in our calculations so we can back-cut each piece on the guillotine. This assures that each piece is cut as square as possible.

IMPORTANT: The measurement you submit for your quote should be the EXACT measurement you want us to cut. DO NOT use the rounded-up measurement when you submit your custom cutting quote.

2. Determine and indicate the grain direction of the board to be cut. It will run either long or short. Most often the grain runs long. For example, if you are making a book that is vertical (or has a portrait orientation), which are most books, the grain direction should run the same direction as the spine. In this case the spine pieces and cover boards should both be requested as grain long.  

If the book is horizontal, such as a landscape oriented guest book or photo album, the grain of the spine should still run long, however, the cover boards should run short. (In our example, the 5 3/8" spine would run grain long, but the landscape oriented cover boards would run grain short.

3. Enter the quantity of pieces required. You may enter up to three measurements for the same board type. If you would like a different board type, or are including more than three measurements you will need to submit a new custom cutting quote request.

4. To calculate how many pieces can be obtained from a full sheet (using Standard Board and our example measurements of 5 3/8" x 7"), divide the short direction (6") into the 26" width of the parent sheet. This will equal 4. Next, divide the long direction (7 1/2") length into 38" length. This equals 5.  This means we can cut 20 pieces out of a single parent sheet of Standard Board. (4 x 5 = 20)

5. The following are the costs per parent sheet used for the various types of board for up to 20 pieces cut from each:  (See #6 Additional Small Pieces Fees for possible additional charges.)

.060 Standard Board
       - $8.50 per sheet for up to the use of 10 parent sheets
       - $7.50 per sheet for over 10 parent sheets 

.090 Standard Book Board: 
      - $9.50 per sheet for up to the use of 10 parent sheets  
      - $8.50 per sheet for over 10 parent sheets

.100 Standard Book Board:
      - $11.50 per sheet for up to the use of 10 parent sheets  
      - $10.50 per sheet for over 10 parent sheets  

.080 Standard Book Board - BLACK: 
      - $10.00 per sheet for up to the use of 10 parent sheets
      - $9.50 per sheet for over 10 parent sheets  

.080 Davey Board:
      - $13 per sheet for up to the use of 10 parent sheets
      - $12 per sheet for over 10 parent sheets  

.098 Davey Board:
      - $16 per sheet for up to the use of 10 parent sheets  
      - $15 per sheet for over 10 parent sheets 

6. Small Pieces and Multiple Sizes.  Cutting small pieces including spines, pieces under 3" or 4", multiple sizes, and other factors may add to the cost of cutting.

The small pieces fees are listed below and act as a general guideline and we reserve the right to make adjustments in your quote, depending on the specific order.

20 to 29 - $10; 30 to 39 - $20; 40 to 49 - $30; 50 to 59 - $40; 60 to 69 - $50; 70 to 79 - $60; Over 80 - TBD

7. Cutting Limitations

We may contact you regarding limitations on what is feasible for us to cut, such as very large quantities, pieces that are too small for our cutter, or other unusual requests. For example, we cannot cut curved or angled pieces. We cannot drill holes in the book board. Also, we generally do not add a back-cut to spine pieces under ¾”, resulting in a slight bevel along one long edge.

Because we use a hand gauge for measuring, cutting precise measurements of less than 1/16” is not always feasible. Please recognize the possibility that your cut pieces may exhibit a very slight variation (approximately 1/32”) in some of their measurements. 


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Approximate weight per parent sheet for shipping purposes only:

.060 Standard Board - 1.5 lbs
.090 Standard Board - 2.0 lbs
.100 Standard Board - 2.25 lbs

.080 Davey Board - 2.75 lbs
.098 Davey Board - 3.25 lbs