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On the occasion of a recent discussion at the Book arts web list, I thought to share with you all how I’ve set up my lying press.

Lying press - Incorporated on benchThe discussion was regarding the positioning of lying presses on the bench workspace, how to keep them in place and other practical suggestions/ideas.
When I bought the press I got myself a taller and more robust bench than the one I’ve been using. However the bench was quite large leaving little room for the press to be on its own separate base.
I thought of a certain setting that saved me both a lot of room and a decent amount of money that would normally go in making a sturdy base for the press. Part of the bench surface, about a 1/4th, is a separate plank with a large parallelogram gap. The press was mounted over this gap and held in place with a few screws here and there.

Book position - Using the press spaceI’ve clamped a rather large book so you can see its position in relation to the bench; the book protrudes downwards, below the bench surface. This is another advantage this setting has to offer in comparison with simply having a lying press on an ordinary bench where you have to stack objects under its bars to achieve the desired height for a large book. It’s also very steady when used as a backing press. When I don’t saw or back books I place some wooden sheets on the press and use the space to keep books or things I’ll need during the task at hand.

The whole idea has payed off ever since and I’ve found it most helpful. Though I designed my bench like this anyone can modify an existing bench accordingly with the right power tools.