You can press a book with just weights, but this is a much nicer and professional way to press books for book repair. My wife is a librarian graduate student, and wanted to repair the old fashion "paper" books. I was going to get her a book press, but they are very expensive. I thought I could make one that would cost less than buying one.... and I did it!
Step 1: Gather the Parts.
I had to ask my wife what size books she'd be pressing. She told me that most books are 30cm tall, or less. So I designed for 1 foot of book. If you are going to press bigger books, you might have to alter some of these dimensions. But that's what I built.
You'll need several parts from your local hardware store or hobby store. Here's what I used, although you might have to alter the list slightly based on what you find. Oh yes, I don't know why, but every book press I saw on line used brass strips. I understand that the 1/8" thickness and the 1/8" overhang are important for making the crease in the spine... but I don't know what brass is important.
Materials for platens (plates)
(4) 1'X1'X3/4" wooden boards
(20) Brass screws
(4) 1 foot long brass strips, 1/8" thick, 1" wide
Materials for Press
(2) 3/4" pipe clamps, with slide lock and clamp on the same side.
(2) 3/4" black pipes, 12" or 18" long - YOU CHOOSE! :)
(2) 3/4" black pipe caps
(2) 3/4" black pipe flanges
(1) piece of wood for the base - I used a 2x6 about 20" long
(1) piece of metal - I used a steel U-channel
(8) 1/4-20 bolts, 1" long
(8) 1/4-20 nuts
(16) 1/4" washers
Tools that might help
Drill with various drill bits