Wooden Bookbinding Press

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Project by brdf11 posted 01-02-2018 02:36 AM 2791 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


3110 posts in 3024 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


324 posts in 3501 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


17040 posts in 4792 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

2649 posts in 2105 days

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

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

View MontanaBob's profile


875 posts in 4141 days

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


View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4324 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


157 posts in 2232 days

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

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

-- Todd

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