New press in the studio!

Crystal Shaulis

I’m always on the hunt for book presses, or anything that might be used as a book press. I’ve spent some time looking at a screw clamp, which pretty much looks like a book press without a body or platen... Now, I don’t just shop willy nilly, those Amazon reviews matter to me. They weren’t very good. And well, for that price ($65) it wasn’t worth the risk plus the work that goes into completing the press.

In the meantime, I decided to build one of those wooden presses with the bolts and wing nuts which you might’ve seen around if you’re a fellow book binder. This one has compression springs, making it a bit easier to open up when placing a book inside. If you haven't seen one of these, here it is:

handmade book press

Last week, I half-heartedly searched for 'book press' on Craigslist when one popped up - and only 1 1/2 hours away! But the press didn't look to be in the greatest shape. Having a free Sunday it was worth the risk of coming away empty handed. Worse case scenario, it’s a road trip to Grant, MI. Best case, we come home with a new book press. Upon arrival, the press looks better than the photos depicted and the screw turned smoothly - YES! For the excellent price, no barter was needed - we packed it straight into the trunk and headed home to clean it up.

It would be nice to be able to sand the whole thing down and repaint it; restoring it to original condition. But lacking many tools needed for this, the rust and dust was scrubbed away with only steel wool, so I embraced the chipped paint and all. I absolutely LOVE how it looks in the studio. And most importantly, it works just as it should :D

Read about our other book press made by Aamel.

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