(eventual) DIY Bookbinding Press

Since book presses cost several hundred dollars to get commercial ones I have some Ideas on making a few along with some sewing frames. I’ve been doing lots of free time learning over the years regarding bookbinding. And I’ve been waiting on the equipment to get set back up at the new space to test out my designs, along with some certification classes I need to still take.

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There are some things I just don’t understand, like the cost of some things. What is it that makes no binding presses so expensive?

What have you in mind for the design of your diy version? Wood or metal?

I have something that might be a book press in the room 3 cabinet. I will get a picture for you next time I am in the room…

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If our metal lathe can thread I want to make a metal frame with wood platens for the press. I want to make a metal / wood acme threaded rod so it’ll be able to take more pressure and that’s what most commercial pressed are made with. I am taking metal shop safety this weekend and will take the lathe class when it becomes available.

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Both metal lathes are capable of threading. What size is the thread you want to turn? I doubt there are any tools ground for acme threads, but they can be made. I am sure there are enough HSS blanks there somewhere.

Give me a few weeks…we may have a new member that would be willing to provide a book press for us.

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Rejoice and be glad! New member Glenn Beagley has generously brought us the following:


Wonderful! Now I can get onto making a sewing frame. That will be much easier to make.

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sewing frame aka quilting frame, I make one out of a sheet of 5/8 plywood to hold a queen size quilting years ago. I can look for the pattern if this will help.

That would be one big book.

Epic Fantasy

I’d love to have anyone in woodworking make me a finishing press as well. I’ve done the diy version of two matching cutting boards from HomeGoods, carriage bolts and wing nuts. Not nearly as attractive but functional. Next up, nipping boards.

I’ve never used a sewing frame @Tarka, how do they benefit you?

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If you sew your book with tapes or cords it keeps them under tension and lets you align them with the holes you punched in the paper.

SewingPress-bookbinding (1)


Do you have a set of plans already?

In my head. I haven’t drawn em up yet. I will soon though. Working on putting some leatherworking templates together currently.

Most the books I plan on making will be 5.5x8.5 or half of a standard sheet of printing paper. If anyone plans on making bigger books I can make sure to accommodate in the design. Basically the picture posted above is the basis for my design.

Sorry that was supposed to be a reply to Robbin_Gheesling but I guess the @ thing didn’t work. Still, if anyone needs help with the design or build of their projects I can help depending on what I’ve got going on at the time

Haven’t had the need to keep them under tension. Interesting.

I don’t have any plans myself either. I just see photos of boards with wood “screws” in them and think… damn. I should be able to make that. But can’t. Lol.

Here is a super nice one: Finishing Press — Colophon Book Arts Supply

Dang! I need to start selling book presses!