How to Make a Book Press

How to Make a Book Press: A Step-by-Step Guide


A book press is an essential tool for any bookbinding enthusiast or avid reader who enjoys restoring old books. It ensures that the pages dry flat and helps in achieving a professional finish. While you can purchase a book press from a store, making one yourself can be a rewarding and cost-effective project. In this article, we will guide you through the process of creating your own book press, step-by-step.

Materials Needed:

Before we begin, gather the following materials:

1. Two sturdy wooden boards (12 inches by 15 inches)
2. Four wooden dowels (1 inch in diameter, 15 inches long)
3. Four wing nuts (1 inch)
4. Four washers (1 inch)
5. Four bolts (1 inch)
6. Sandpaper
7. Wood glue
8. Clamps
9. Drill with a drill bit (slightly smaller than the dowels)
10. Screwdriver
11. Finishing oil (optional)

Step 1: Preparing the Boards

Start by sanding the wooden boards to create a smooth surface. You can use sandpaper to remove any rough edges or imperfections. Once sanded, wipe away any dust or debris.

Step 2: Drilling the Holes

Using a drill with a drill bit slightly smaller than the dowels, drill four holes in each wooden board. These holes should be positioned near the corners, about an inch from the edge. Ensure that the holes are aligned on both boards.

Step 3: Attaching the Dowels

Apply wood glue to the ends of the dowels and insert them into the holes on one of the wooden boards. Secure the dowels by tightening a washer and wing nut onto each bolt. Repeat this step for the other board, ensuring that the dowels align with the holes.

Step 4: Clamping the Boards

Apply wood glue to the edges of the wooden boards and align them together, ensuring that the dowels fit snugly into the corresponding holes. Use clamps to hold the boards tightly together while the glue dries. Leave it undisturbed for the recommended drying time specified on the glue packaging.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Once the glue has completely dried, remove the clamps and check the stability of your book press. If desired, you can apply finishing oil to protect the wood and enhance its appearance. Allow the oil to soak in and dry before using your book press.


Q1. Can I use different materials to make a book press?
A1. While wood is the most commonly used material, you can experiment with other sturdy materials like metal or acrylic. However, ensure that the materials are durable enough to withstand the pressure applied during book pressing.

Q2. What are the ideal dimensions for a book press?
A2. The dimensions provided in this guide (12 inches by 15 inches) are suitable for most standard book sizes. However, you can adjust the dimensions according to your specific requirements.

Q3. How much pressure should be applied while using a book press?
A3. It is important not to apply excessive pressure, as it may damage the book. Apply enough pressure to flatten the pages and remove any wrinkles, but be mindful of the book’s condition.

Q4. Can I use a book press for other purposes?
A4. Absolutely! A book press can also be used for pressing flowers, drying artwork, or even flattening paper for crafts.


Creating your own book press is a fulfilling endeavor that allows you to customize it according to your needs. By following the step-by-step guide mentioned above, you can make a functional and durable book press at a fraction of the cost of a store-bought one. Remember to exercise caution while using the book press and enjoy the satisfaction of preserving and restoring your beloved books.

Scroll to Top