My First Bookbinding Press

Oftentimes there are discussions on affordability of bookbinding equipment on Facebook and forums. I’ve been preparing my studio for a new season (yeah, I haven’t had any classes since this summer in my workshop), and found the first press that I’ve made for myself more than ten years ago. Or should I call it a vise?

So, here it is:

Just two pieces of reclaimed planks, two metal rods and bunch of nuts. At some moment I decided that I needed a sewing frame too, and just drilled several holes to allow for the threads to be tightened to my press.

That’s it. 5 bucks for the nuts and rods and nothing for the lumber.

As you can see, it was worn out almost out of commission when I’ve got my second bookbinding press. However, it was made by a friend. As well as the third press. I’ve returned to making my own presses since.

I know that’s was not a proper bookbinding equipment. But I had absolutely no money and wanted to make books. And I’ve made some nice bindings then that are in good use to the moment.

Good equipment is great. It makes your life easier. There are some things that are really hard to do without proper equipment. But there are absolutely no financial reasons preventing one from starting to make books. At long last, our trade is literally ancient. If our predecessors were able to make gorgeous books with crude instruments, that shouldn’t a problem for us too =)