The Bindery Blog

  • Little less home

    We spent the weekend moving our eldest quills into her new dorm at college in a quaint small town in southern Minnesota.  With every imaginable dorm essential purchased we and the rest of the younger quills help set up her 1/2 of the room.  Dad made sure the Macbook Air and iPhone was internet connected and all emails were working properly.  Mom made sure the room was decorated with a bit of home flair. We even figured out how to loft the bed so her desk would sit underneath.  I think your looking for spare square inches in dorm rooms?  Well, what neither of us were truly ready for was the spare room in our house.


    We are finding that when the first kid leaves a bit of our home does as well.   She was the eldest and she ruled the roost when Mom and Dad were not around.  Actually she tried that as well when we were home!  Regardless without her familiar voice, the music she loved listening too and the passionate person that makes her who she is, the home just seems a bit quieter.  We are both thankful for the time with her and excited for the road ahead. Said a million times, they grow really fast.  We've now lived it and it's a statement based in total truth.  Time for us to quietly adjust and time for a new chapter in her life to begin.
    Mr and Mrs. PQ

  • Sure Locked!

    When we invented the very first case made of baltic birch to hold an iPad we had a great deal to learn.  For the first several years we used self adhesive thin bumper system to hold iPad's in our cases.  We learned, as we worked with our customers, that the system could be improved. Striving for constant innovation we decided in late 2011 that we would develop for the iPad 3 and 2 a brand new system to work with our wood.  The goal was to provide superior hold on the iPad and create a stronger and longer lasting wood frame.


    The Sure Lock System was developed and tested in house at Pad and Quill.  We worked very closely with Eric who designs all our wood frames.  We created our own custom 3D drawing of the parts, tested many prototypes and finally landed on the perfect combination of real wood tray  and injection molded corners.  What's exciting about this development is that even the little Sure Lock Bumpers are made right here in Minnesota!


    If your looking for a unique case for your iPad, that works well and lasts long, look no further.  Pad and Quill is truly making the case for books...and bumpers!


    Check out Will from PQ showing the Sure Lock System in action!


    Sure Lock Bumper System on YouTube


    Mr. PQ

  • The warm sound of wood

    At PQ we are very proud to be carrying headphones from ThinkSound LLC.  Aaron Fournier is the CEO and chief designer of these real Wood headphones. Since our premium cases are also made of real wood, we thought the pairing of these two products seemed...natural.


    PQ currently carries the premium headphone set, the Monitor Series.  Critics like Stereophile Magazine and MacWorld agree these headphones set the bar. The Monitor series headphones are made with actual wood from a pear tree and high quality 8mm gunmetal finished speaker drivers.  The result is a headset that delivers excellent frequency response and provides the listener with a warm and gorgeous sound. Lightweight and well built, these headphones will survive any daily commute you put them through.


    Much like Pad and Quill, Aaron’s small US business is producing world class products at fair prices.  Remember that if you purchase any of our cases with a ThinkSound Monitor headphones domestic priority shipping is always FREE.


    Mr. PQ

  • iPad's, Art and CNC




    Every Pad and Quill case starts with a very unique and well engineered CNC wood cut frame.  A unique blend of technology, art and design. The term CNC means 'Computer Numerical Control', a highly complex cutting machine that follows instructions from a computer drawing on how to cut various parts. CNC machines cut with amazing accuracy many types of wood, plastics, metals and other materials. Proper CNC computer planning, mechanical engineering and artistic design makes up the process of creating every one of PQ’s unique wood frames.


    Eric our CNC operator is a master at this art.  He starts all of our projects by first carefully measuring out the device that he is about to cut wood for by taking 1/1000 of an inch measurements.  He and I then discuss how the product needs to act as far as strength, access to ports and various other considerations that make up a Pad and Quill wood frame.  He then designs the cutting paths on a computer which are then transferred to the cutting machines. Multiple prototypes are made, tested, remade and retested to ensure that the fit, finish and appearance of our wood meets are highest quality standards.


    We added a new feature this year to our iPad frames, the Sure Lock Bumpers.  These custom made (in Minnesota!) injection molded bumpers were designed to work in tandem with our wood frame to perfectly hold an iPad in place. They have preformed amazingly well and we are thrilled with our customer feedback on this new design.  Eric’s commitment to quality design and engineering truly makes our hand made cases gorgeous works of art!


    Mr. PQ

  • iPhone 5 and The Little Black Book



    As you can imagine we are keeping close tabs on rumors regarding the next iPhone from Apple.  Our Little Black Book for iPhone is the first of it’s kind on the market and we have some big case plans for the new Apple model about to be announced.  Here is what we know about the newest device from sources including,, The Wall Street Journal and AllThingsD


    -Announcement on September 12th and Available to buy September 21st!


    -The name is either the simply ‘the new iPhone’ or iPhone 5


    -A taller screen with a new 16:9 ratio, similar to widescreen television (have fun developers) :/


    -A taller and thinner iPhone


    -LTE support, meaning much faster internet data speeds similar to iPad 3


    -New and much smaller connection port including a newly positioned headphone jack at bottom


    We cannot say yet what our newest cases look like for the new iPhone, but rest assured, what we have planned is absolutely gorgeous!


    Stay tuned for our announcements by signing up for the PQ Special Offers Newsletter. We will update you with upcoming iPhone case news, including case updates for the iPad Mini and new Kindles!


    Mr PQ

  • 30 Day Money Back Promise

    We sell all of our cases exclusively online, one of the concerns we hear often is that folks are unable to touch, hold and use these hand made gems prior to purchasing.  We have recognized that need and have decided to start an entirely new agreement with perspective customers.


    The 30 Day Money Back Promise is comprised of a simple commitment: If your not happy with the case, you can return it with no questions asked within 30 days of purchase date. We are so confident that you’ll find our handmade iPad, iPhone, Macbook Air, Kindle and other cases to be of such high quality both in construction and materials you will love them!  We see it as a win/win for everyone. To convey online the luxurious Spanish bonded leather, the feel of real bookbindery cloth and the depth of our finished baltic birch wood frame is challenging, so we have decided to take the guess work out for you.


    So give one of our handmade cases a spin, it’s on us!


    Mr and Mrs PQ


    (Brian and Kari)

  • The Difference is in the cases

    We get a question often from our customers, “what is the main difference between your handmade iPad cases?” The Contega, Octavo and Graduate Edition are all unique products that are designed for various tastes and practical needs.


    The Contega is our flagship case. Self propping, rugged design and gorgeous materials.  The outer wrap is covered in Spanish bonded leather and lined with traditional bindery cloth.  The iPad is seated snug in our real wood frame and secured with our Sure Lock Bumper System. This case includes a hidden pocket, camera hole, smart cover on/off and a classic moleskine elastic closure. The Contega is both a practical case and work of art.


    The Octavo is the lighter, thinner version of the Contega.  This iPad case is light weight and can be used in various positions.  Although not self propping like the Contega, this case is the same gorgeous Spanish leather and bindery cloth and includes all the other features. This is Mr.PQ’s favorite.


    The Graduate Edition is our take on a true bindery cloth, spine wrapped book and our most affordable offering.  This one feels, smells and wears like a favorite old book. Comes complete with all the features of the Octavo.


    The Octavo Luxury. Think Octavo then up it by 2 in luxurious boot like leather.  Covered in soft-stitched leather this case is absolutely gorgeous.  The wood frame that holds the iPad is even coated with extra coats of lacquer to deepen the beauty of the wood.  This one truly makes your iPad look unbelievable.


    We find that different folks find each of these three cases fit their unique needs. The real difference in all of our cases is the PQ standard of quality.



    Mr PQ

  • Gadgets are coming...

    Wow, the rumor mill has been really heating up of late. Usually summer seems to be the quiet time in the the tech world, but not this year. Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple appear to be offering plenty of new product releases. Some confirmed some still in the very heavily speculated stage.

    Microsoft and Google have new 7 inch tablets announced as of today. Rumors are pointing towards a new Kindle Fire from Amazon as well as Apple rumors that are speculating about two new products: an 8 inch Mini iPad and the iPhone 5. Of all these products I find the iPad Mini to be the most intriguing. This would be Apple’s taking their first competitive shot at the 7 inch tablet market. Considering their content deals with books, movies and music and the amount of countries they offer these, this would be a very serious threat to Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Fun months ahead!

    At PQ we are diligently planning where our hand made craftsman should focus our case efforts. Bruce and Tom, our master bindery craftsman keep in constant contact with our team to plan case production on these possible upcoming devices. Our goal is to provide gorgeous hand made bindery and wood cases for the coolest new tech devices. Stay tuned because at Pad and Quill,we are making the case for books!

    -Mr PQ

  • Things For Which I Have No Answer


    The older the four quills get, the more questions I encounter for which I have no answer. Here are a few examples:


    As I was leaving the dinner table to go have a cocktail with my friend, I informed my family that I won’t be out late with the comment, “I’ll be home early, I’m an old fuddy duddy, much to the chagrin of my friend who would most likely prefer to go clubbing into the wee hours.”


    “But you’re our old fuddy duddy, Mom” chimed in the 18 year old. Somehow that made me feel good, I have no answer for that.


    People invest in an animal, feed and water the animal, pay for its care, but then take it out on a 10 ft leash, on the local bike paths where cyclist speeds routinely top 25 mph, A dog encountering a bike seldom yields a decent ending. I have no answer for that.


    “Mom, if we clean the kitchen and the living room, can we rent Up? We really want to cry so we want to rent Up.” Hmmmm, “sure” was the best I could muster for that one, at least I get to come home to a clean kitchen.


    I spent 3 hours at the DMV with the 2nd quill acquiring a learner’s permit. There were 80-100 people in line, of which at least half were newly minted drivers with their moms, and 2 staff people methodically filling numbers. At AAA, where they are paid by the transaction, staff is proportionate to demand and the wait is rarely over 10 minutes. The answer is intuitive here. The question remains. Curiously, I was overcome with cravings for junk food this past 24 hours. Is Teen Angst truly that contagious?


    I feel particularly generous towards the curbside solicitors that are out-of-work contractors in our area. Mr. PQ was a painting contractor right up until the economy tanked. He looks far more settled and satisfied in our little shop in North Minneapolis, with our wonderful customers and amazing staff. How did we find ourselves blessed to live in so great a country that affords the freedom and ability to transition one skill set into another, thus keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table? For that I have no answer but to be humbled.


    Here we arrive at the two year anniversary of Pad and Quill, an idea that began as a way to pay off some accumulating debt and perhaps provide a transition into a new career in commercial real estate. It is said when God closes a door, he opens a window. In this case the window wonderfully turned out to be an Apple, and a company that has grown and multiplied and allowed us to meet some amazing people around the world. So thank you to all who believed in us from the beginning, purchasing some of those first renditions, and returning for more. For telling your friends and family about us and spreading the word and for all of our wonderful vendors, customers and employees. We are looking forward to all this third year holds!


    -Mrs. PQ

  • Dry Case for iPhone


    “Hey Mom, what’s this?” queried the older son as he plopped down in the front seat. “It’s my new running
    armband for my iPhone.”
    “How’s it work?” My amazingly tactile son is now pulling the valves and twisting the closure buttons of my waterproof Dry Case produced by Dry Corp LLC. In between stoplights I explained to him how to open the enclosure, slide your iPhone inside and siphon the air out. Of course the handy pump provided by Dry Case was in the back of the van, so he substituted by sucking the air out with his mouth. Hmmm.


    So, let the product testing begin. I give it an A+ on functionality. The iPhone touch screen is fully accessible inside the case. My concern with bulk was non-founded as I didn’t notice the extra weight on my arm at all. There is no chance that I will test its water proof guarantee with my own iPhone, rather, I’ll use one of our warehouse broken units first. It performed admirably in today’s downpour during my 7 milenature center run. Being as the two middles are undertaking the sport of running, I have no doubt the case will be well tested before we decide to introduce it to our loyal customers.


    A little side bar, the kids who interrupted me multiple times tonight to celebrate this longest day in the yard, to implore me to come look at the awesome double rainbow, and scream for my help in getting the dog back in the yard are more than willing to test other products, so go ahead and let your ideas flow! If it can survive our household, it’s pretty much indestructible.

    - Mrs. PQ

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