A Joy to Use

Both the press and the plough are beautifully made and a joy to use. I’m almost reluctant to use them for fear of scratches and dents.

Nancy Langford from Losing Her Marbles

Binding equipment that Just Works

If you need binding equipment that "just works" and lasts the distance see Jim at Affordable Binding Equipment. All products are handmade and suitable for home or the professional. Bookhaven uses this equipment on a daily basis and can highly recommend it's quality and reliability.

Peter Leach from Book Haven Binding

Successful, cost effective and space-saving

Recently we had the need for a very large tying up press and we solved our problem by asking Jim Poelstra (Affordable Bookbinding Equipment) to adapt the tying up boards he usually makes and make boards 21" long and also wider than usual (about 8 or 9"), so that they could fit in our job backer and also be held from the underneath the job backer. This was a very successful, cost effective and space-saving way to deal with the problem of rebacking or binding folios with raised cords. Obviously we were very happy with the result. We sent Jim pictures of our set-up and he has our size specificatons. If you are interested, I am pleased to recommend this item and he can be contacted at http://affordablebindingequipment.com.

Mindy Dubansky
Sherman Fairchild Center for Book Conservation
Thomas J. Watson Library
Metropolitan Museum of Art

via Book Arts on listserv.syr.edu

Sharper than Lucifer himself

There are also committed individuals who want you have the tools you need at an affordable rate. One of these persons is Jim Poelstra of Affordable Binding Equipment, (or ABE from here on), offering sewing frames, finishing presses and other tools. All of these companies have greatly assisted me in growing and expanding my skill set without having to worry about my other expenses. I will write more about them at a later date -- at present, I'd like to focus on Jim's work.


I recently acquired from ABE a hand plough, much to my delight. Not only does the plough function exactly as needed (it's sharper than Lucifer himself), it's a beautiful piece of work. It feels like one solid block of wood, and is comfortable in your hand. Did I mention how sharp it is?


In the above photo I am trimming the fore edge of a textblock, Somerset book wove, 100% cotton 115 GSM paper. You may notice a bit of whiteness in my thumb and index finger as I grip the tool (I've since loosened my grip as I've grown accustomed to it), but I'm hardly applying any pressure to the blade making contact with the paper.

This is just one example of how a simple yet effective and affordable tool can make a huge difference in your work. The best part of ABE's products is knowing that they are being offered from one craftsperson to another.

H.S. Miller from Tulip Bookbinding

Thank you so much for the Beautiful Laying press

I just wanted to email you and Thank you so much for the Beautiful Laying press that you sent me. It was way beyond all my expectations! And so much prettier than the one you had pictured on Ebay.

The oak, walnut, and maple woods all look wonderful beside each other and the smooth, silky finish on the wood is delightful to the touch. Also, the beveled edges put the finishing touch on the piece.

It was very easy to put together after seeing your video.

Thanks so much and I know I will get years and years of great use out of this laying press.

Caroline M. Glenn

The most beautiful piece of woodwork I've ever seen

My press arrived and I'm already in love with it! You are definitely a very skilled woodworker!!! I will be a repeat customer for sure!!
My Finishing press is the most beautiful piece of woodwork I've ever seen. I love using it and looking at it!

Tara McNeill at Bound For You

The presses are fantastic and exactly what I needed

Just wanted to send a thank you your way. The presses are fantastic and exactly what I needed. I'm using them both right now for a job. Very satisfied.

Michael Tyler--Woodstock Albums

Truly affordable

Because I'm teaching some classes this Summer at the school art room, it's nice that I can carry these things around, unlike the antique iron nipping press that i'm getting on long-term loan. Anyhow, these two pieces may not make me a better binder, but they are making me feel less like an amateur! It felt good to use the guild money to support another hand-craftsman, as well.

Thank you Jim at Affordable Binding Equipment (for sale on eBay) for your awesome work!

Brenna Jael

Exceptionally happy

If you know some woodwork, chances are you could've made yourself a sewing frame. Otherwise you would've have to shell out at least 100 dollars for one. I wanted a sewing frame for so long but I wasn't going to go either way. When I found California-based Jim Poelstra's pieces on eBay Jim Poelstra's pieces on eBay, I knew that was it, and when I got it, I was exceptionally happy with it.

Dennis Yuen at Cailun

I am so happy with my purchase

If you are a faithful reader, you know that I have been doing a lot more book binding lately, both teaching classes and in the studio. While my teaching philosophy is DIY-no-fancy-equipment-necessary, sometimes investing in special gear really makes sense. My most recent studio purchase is a cradle for punching sewing stations and MAN ALIVE I LOVE IT.


You can imagine how pleased I was to find a link to beautiful and affordable bookbinding equipment on a bookbinding blog that, unfortunately, I can’t credit here because I saved the equipment link but not the blog’s! Anyway, thank you to that blogger for sharing the information and leading me to Affordable Binding Equipment in Lodi, California. I am so happy with my purchase and I will definitely buy more equipment from Jim. High on my wish list from his shop: the combo book press & sewing frame and the plough.

Richenda Brim

Very happy with the press and sewing frame

Thanks so much for your excellent products, invention and workmanship. I'm very happy with the press and sewing frame, they are both excellent….Again, I am really delighted and thank you for your excellent service and honesty in postage costs.

I'll be sure to buy my equipment from you in the future and will recommend you to others.

Best wishes,

Hannah Walker