Wooden Bookbinding Press

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Project by brdf11 posted 01-02-2018 02:36 AM 893 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a wooden press that I built as a Christmas gift. It’s based on a traditional colonial style, and is larger than a typical book press so that it can be used for block printing and other pressing jobs as well.
The entire press is laminated dimensional pine lumber, and all of the joinery is hand cut. The wooden screw is beech and is an unusual 2” x 1/4 thread, and is about 150 years old. I believe it came off of a cider press or something similar. The guides that keep the platen straight and level are maple lined with felt, and the wooden bearings that lift the platen are maple lubricated with graphite powder. I turned a flange onto the end of the screw which fits into a recess in the platen, and the shoulder of the flange rides on the maple bearings to lift the platen.

The last photo is of a woodblock print made on this press by the talented Addie Best!

7 comments so far

View oldrivers's profile


1254 posts in 1501 days

#1 posted 01-02-2018 03:02 AM

Very nice press, would work great for glueing segmented vessels rings.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View irtamos's profile


259 posts in 1978 days

#2 posted 01-02-2018 08:46 AM

Well done. I wonder how you made the wood thread?

-- irtamos, Belgium

View stefang's profile


15878 posts in 3268 days

#3 posted 01-02-2018 11:56 AM

Very nice work and design. When I made my veneer press I used a hydraulic jack instead of hand screws due to the high cost of press screws. the jack works very well but it doesn’t give you a feel for the amount of pressure applied, which could result in over stressing the frame. I didn’t think about wooden screws at the time, but I have wooden thread cutters and thanks to you I might cut some for my press.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2347 posts in 581 days

#4 posted 01-02-2018 12:09 PM

I agree, well done. Be proud, Ben. Kudos!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View MontanaBob's profile


826 posts in 2618 days

#5 posted 01-02-2018 01:35 PM


View helluvawreck's profile


30512 posts in 2801 days

#6 posted 01-02-2018 02:29 PM

You did a beautiful job on this book binding press. Nice work!

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Chiaroscuro's profile


87 posts in 709 days

#7 posted 01-03-2018 06:15 AM

Very nice! How did you come by the press screw?

-- Todd

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