In preparation for an upcoming workshop, I realized we could use an extra press. I wanted something slightly nicer than the a basic four carriage bolt type, but didn’t need another real book press. This version, which we will test out in July at the Winterthur Historic Structures Class, fulfills several basic requirements: relatively inexpensive, rock solid, the platen stays up so that you can accurately load it, and it is easier to use than carriage bolt style presses.
Most of the hardware for this came from Mc-Master Carr, including the Acme bolt assembly and aluminum platen reinforcements. This version fits books up to 9 x 6 inches and has almost 5 inches a daylight. I think this press could be scalable, using thicker aluminum, and possibly even four Acme assemblies.