Anyone have bookbinding press or alternative?

I’m looking to play with some ideas with imprinting leather using a CNC’d wooden stamp and something like a book binding press. I may end up buying one, in which case I can probably lend it to the space if anyone else wants to use it, but I just wanted to check if anyone else had one or knew of a good alternative.

Check out @ 6:00 for reference

I suppose I could just get some boards and use clamps to play around with the technique. Maybe I’ll just try that first.

Oh I have had great success with making leather stamps.

Thick acrylic (~1" stuff) is great for leather stamps. They don’t need to be metal. Drill and tap the back and stick a thick lag bolt into it for something to hit.

When I did them, I was using a CNC. In which case a wide range of materials is possible. If you’re using the laser, it would be best with acrylic of course. CNC offers better depth control.

Leather is sensitive to feature angles. For example, if you simply make text “ATX” extruded vertically, the 90 deg corner of the letter structure will tend to cut leather. Now the first thing that comes to mind is “draft angle”, where the sides of the extrusion are angled, so the cross section of a square feature is a trapezoid. However, that’s not QUITE it. The edge itself can still be sharp even if there’s like a 22 deg draft angle. If the edge of a square feature was rounded (or beveled) even a little bit, it won’t cut the leather even if there’s no draft angle and the cross section is a square with slightly rounded corners.

Thanks @dannym, great info. I was thinking of using the CNC to cut a ‘stamp’ that would be the entire size of a wallet (i.e something like 4"x6" or 4"x 8"), so I’m not sure that a few hits with a mallet would cut it (no pun intended). That’s why I thought about using a press to apply a tens or hundreds of pounds of pressure for a few minutes or hours, like jimmy diresta does for this one here

I was first thinking of using some kind of wood, like melamine or MDF, but acrylic does sound like a much better idea, especially if I’m using wet leather that could damage or soften the wood. This is what the stamp he used looks like – mine would be a different design obviously but same idea

Yeah, I thought about the problem of doing a larger thing like that awhile back, and saw the same problem. One thing that did come to mind was using a high vacuum to compress them together, so all you’d need is a flexible, sealable envelope like vinyl, and a pump. But of course that is a max of 14.7 psi of pressure. Sounds much less than the impact from a hammer on a stamp.

But it might work just fine, or not. The extra time left sitting there may deepen the impression with wet leather, but probably not for dry.