Wooden Bookbinding Press

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Project by brdf11 posted 01-02-2018 02:36 AM 664 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


1223 posts in 1436 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


252 posts in 1913 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


15701 posts in 3204 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

1910 posts in 517 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


811 posts in 2553 days

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


-- To realize our true destiny, we must be guided not by a myth from our past, but by a vision of our future

View helluvawreck's profile


29670 posts in 2736 days

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

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

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Chiaroscuro's profile


80 posts in 644 days

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

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

-- Todd

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