New Huge Section Punching Tool with Lots of New Perks from iBookBinding

It’s time to announce a major addition to our section punching tools collection. Major as in huge, because this tool is massive! We’ve been quiet during the winter holidays. And then all the work that piled up by the end of our vacation caught up with us. But now it’s time to share something special with you!

This advanced design of the signature punching cradle has implemented lots of comments and requests for improvements that we collected since we introduced our own take on the tool last autumn. Some of these requests are already realized in the designs of our other punching tools. But the rest of them were reserved for this advanced version.

Before venturing into details, I’d like to say thanks to Joni Herren Graves (AboBoBooks), David Sousa (CodexDavid), and Eliane Gomes (Nautilus Boekbinderij) as well as all other colleagues and followers of iBookBinding, who participated in discussions.

First things first, this tool is offered in sizes that can accommodate signatures up to 60 cm (23 1/2″) high. Think newspaper format or even a bit larger.

Here are some other changes and additions:

  • The width of the groove in cradles is reduced from 3 mm to 1 mm, preventing signatures from being pushed into the groove. The initial size was taken as granted from designs of wooden punching cradles, where it is dictated by the thickness of the table saw’s blade. However, as we 3d-print our tools, we can make almost any adjustments here. This change is being propagated to other versions and sizes of our punching cradles as well;
  • At the head of the cradle, there’s a screw now, that allows you to fine-tune the distance from the top of the signature to the first hole;
  • Corresponding part of the awl guide now has a magnet embedded, that keeps the guide secured in its position and not allowing it to shift. This ensures precise positioning of the holes in all signatures;
  • The advanced version of the cradle has new fixtures that allow you to clamp the cradle to your workbench…


  • …and hang it on the wall when the work is done:

  • Now you can choose the angle of the cradle’s opening. It can either be 90º (as it was before), or 120º. The wider angle is handy for larger signatures, as the sides curve less, have more support by partially laying on the table. All this minimizes the risk of damaging the paper while punching holes in the fold.

And just to reiterate some of the changes from the initial design that were implemented months ago, but which distinguish our tool from competitors’:

  • Every hole in the awl guide is numbered for easier repeatability with different sections, projects, and in different moments in time;
  • Our tools come in multiple sizes and versions:
    • Lengths allowing for page height of up to 220 mm, 310 mm, 350 mm, 400 mm, and 500 mm. And, as described above, the advanced version of the punching cradle has sizes up to 600 mm. We can even make larger tools if you need them;
    • The holes in the awl guide may be 5 mm, 1/2″, 10 mm, 1/2″, or 15 mm apart. Other options are available for an additional fee. Including unevenly spaced holes;

And here is how this monster of a tool looks like our other punching tools:

As with the larger sizes of the simple punching tool (400 mm and 500 mm), the larger sizes of the advanced tool are printed in parts as a puzzle and glued together. Unfortunately, our 3d-printers do now allow for printing something 50-60 cm long or more than 39 cm high. But the resulting tool is stable and sturdy, so that doesn’t affect the functionality.

We are sure that’s not the last version of this advanced punching tool and not the last modification of the punching cradle we design. So we would highly appreciate your comments and ideas. As we always look for ways to improve all of our tools and jigs. However, the design has already been tested, and it is completely functional as it is at the current moment. So here is the link to our Etsy shop where you can find this tool and many other useful items:

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