Booking Binding Press





Introduction: Booking Binding Press

In this guide, I show how I made this bookbinding press. It's a super easy project, so it's also quite a short video. I wanted to make a few notebooks for a while now, I usually have a few different ones and was fed up with buying them, so thought I would learn how to make them. This is a first part video, the next one I'll show how I make my notebooks. This should only take a couple of hours tops, and can also be used as a flower press or anything that needs pressing!

For this project you will need;

I also have an Instructables on how to make your own Perfect Bound Paperback Notebook with this press. Make sure to go check it out!

Step 1: Measure

I started off with a sheet of 18mm thick plywood. I went for the thickest that is easy to get in the UK as I wanted something strong that will take a lot of pressure when bookbinding, but something that will also flex a little instead of splintering.

The board had already been cut down in width to 60cm (from my Steel + Coffee Sack Footstool project) so I marked and cut it down to 40cm long. This might be a bit too big, but basically, I made it big enough that I could make any books right up to and including full-size A4 notebooks. It's also a quick and simple enough project to make a smaller one if needed at any point. I like the idea of being able to use this as a flower press or something as well so I went big with it. I set up a metal clamp as a guide and cut down with the circular saw.

Step 2: Clamp + Sand

I then added a load of clamps and strong clips to hold the two bits of wood together. It's important to do step as it will make everything a bit easier the further on we go. Everything needs to stay lined up. Once it was clamped up together I sanded the whole thing all over to make it smooth to the touch. I only went up to 120 grit sandpaper.

Step 3: Corner Drills

Still leaving the 2 bits of wood clamped together, I used a ruler to mark 1cm in from each corner. This is to mark the hole for the bolts. I did this on each corner.

I then took it over to the drill press and started by drilling 2mm pilot holes. This will stop the plywood from splitting as I widen the holes to suit the books. I then went up to 6mm drill bit to make sure my M6 bolts would fit through. I also widened the holes a little more to give them a bit of space, it doesn't have to be a perfect tight fit.

Step 4: Bolt

I then put all the bolts through. I was using some quite long M6 bolts, this meant that I can make thick books. I also put on some Wing Nuts to make them easier to tighten and clamp down. I can make them smaller to speed it up if I'm working on a smaller book.

Step 5: Final Images

Here are the final images. It's a super quick and easy project, and is probably overkill for most people but might as well make it overkill once than have to make 2!

I will be putting a guide and video up in the next few days to show how to make a notebook. Be sure to subscribe to my Instructables or YouTube Channel to make sure you don't miss it.

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    3 Tips


    If you don’t have clamps you can use Bull-Clips extra large to hold the boards together. I have been using them now for the past year and find they are quicker on some jobs compared to using clamps. :-)

    put flat washers under the wingnuts. Stops nuts grinding into the plywood

    I designed something similar last year in order to bind my journals. No photo to share right now, but my top piece of plywood is about a quarter of the height of the bottom piece. Only two carriage bolts with wing nuts required because all I am securing is the binding edge where I will be applying the adhesive and binding tape. This allows me to fasten an edge guide below and perpendicular to the top plywood piece. Might improve it a smidge, but works great.

    1 Questions


    What does it do?

    It holds paper together while you glue or stitch it up to make a notebook. I'll have another video / instructable in the next couple of days showing has to use this to make your own notebook.


    Yes!! I'm so glad you made an instructables about this. I've had mine since college and still use it ! Simple and smart design never goes out of fashion :) Now I have somewhere to send people to when they ask about how I bind books. Thank you

    Not a problem! Glad to know there's a chance mine will last a while then :) Thanks

    I made one of these in college! On mine, I added nylon tubes in the holes of the upper board, and put washers on so I could really crank it down without hurting the wood. Yours is nice and simple, and easy to reproduce on a budget! :)

    Hi, Yes I've added washers now! Thanks for the comment! This is aimed to be a super simple and basic one to get people into book binding!