Wooden Bookbinding Press

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Project by brdf11 posted 01-02-2018 02:36 AM 1733 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


1773 posts in 2021 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


287 posts in 2498 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


16711 posts in 3788 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 1102 days

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

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

View MontanaBob's profile


868 posts in 3138 days

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


View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3321 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


109 posts in 1229 days

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

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

-- Todd

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