Have a project or freelance job in mind but need to access letterpress equipment?
Want to complete a bookbinding project but need a space or special tools? SFCB can help!
How It Works:
The San Francisco Center for the Book offers daytime Studio Rental (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10:00am-5:00pm) when there are not weeklong classes running, a daytime Open Print Studio and evening Open Print Studio (designated evenings 5:00-10:00pm) opportunities to those who qualify. Open Print Studio sessions have an experienced instructor on hand to assist new printers with questions and tips.
Supervised Studio Sessions for New and Experienced Printers
Supervised Open Studio Day Sessions/ Wednesdays 10:00am – 5:00pm
September 4, September 11, September 18, September 25
October 2, October 9, October 18, October 23, October 30
November 13, November 20
December 4, December 11, December 18
Supervised Open Studio Night Sessions/ 5:00pm - 10:00pm
August 21, August 30
September 6, September 10, September 17, September24
October 4, October 8, October 18, October 24
November 1, November 5, November 15, November 19, November 29
December 5, 10, 20
Open Studio Rental for Experienced and Qualified Printers
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10:00am-5:00pm (when there are not weekday workshops)
Who Can Rent:
Students who have completed our core curriculum in letterpress printing, have attended a supervised Open Studios session and been certified by the Studio Manager are eligible to rent press time. Students who have taken Beginning Bookbinding (or equivalent class) are qualified to rent equipment in the bindery. You may also be certified to rent facilities by completing an examination with the Studio Manager. To be certified to use the guillotine or electric cutter, you must schedule a training time with SFCB staff and pay $20.00. To rent studio time, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-565-0545 for a reservation. Requests for a certification examination or for a special piece of equipment can be made to email@example.com as well.
Anyone using the studios must book in advance by calling 415-565-0545 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have not received a confirmation via phone or email, you do not have studio time reserved. Time can only be booked by an SFCB staff member. When you arrive for your studio rental, you must check in with the front desk and check out when you leave.
SFCB's studios are a community space where respect and accountability are of the utmost importance. You are responsible for leaving the space cleaner than you found it and reporting any equipment issues in writing. You can email email@example.com, write the issue on the designated clipboard outside the second administrative office, or speak directly to your Open Print Studio instructor about the issue. For safety and maintenance reasons, it is very important that you only use equipment you have been thoroughly trained to use. Guests and visitors must sign a waiver and are not allowed to touch any of the equipment or assist with cleaning the equipment.
The studio can be a busy place, so please assume that your time slot only lasts for the exact rental period: 10:00am-5:00pm or 5:00pm-10:00pm. These time slots include set-up and clean up! Studio rental is by the hour for the photopolymer platemaker and bindery equipment. We cannot account for partial hours. Press rental reservation is for the mornings 10:00am – 1:30pm, afternoons 1:30 – 5:00 or full day 10:00 - 5:00. SFCB requests 24 hour advance cancelation notice.
Note: Studio Rental is 10:00am – 5:00pm and your work area must be completely cleaned and packed up by 5:00pm. Open Print Studio evenings are from 5:00pm – 10:00pm and your work area must be completely cleaned and packed up by 10pm.
Press rental fees start when you physically begin using the press (inking the press or locking up the press bed), and continue until the press is cleaned and covered. We recommend mixing inks and cutting paper before you lock up the press bed to not incur press rental fees before you are ready to print. When you are ready to use the press, check in with the front desk to record your time. Total hours used must be recorded on the Studio Rental forms by an SFCB staff member. Once you start using the press, it is your responsiblity. Report any issues with the press immediately. You cannot allow anyone other than an SFCB staff member to assist you with press set up, printing or clean up.
$10.00 per hour for bindery equipment
$20.00 per hour for press rental, platemaking time rental
Plate material is $20.00 per 8.25” x 11.75” plate.
SFCB carries both sticky back/Boxcar plates and steel back plate material.
Payment: SFCB accepts credit card, cash, check, or BitCoin as payment for rental.
Usage of bindery equipment requires a minimum of 1/2 hour rental
Need help printing? Hiring a a qualified teacher or supervisor to work with you on the presses is $50.00 per hour in addition to press rental and can be booked ahead of time with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have other questions? Please feel free to email email@example.com with any questions and we will be happy to answer them. We look forward to seeing you in the studio soon!
Equipment available for rental at the San Francisco Center for the Book
Three table top paper cutters (also called a Kuttrimmer)
31" guillotine paper cutter
One Board shear
Six Vandercook proof presses 10” x15”
Two C&P floor model
Three 6” x10” hand platen presses
Two etching presses
A polymer platemaker
Many cases of wood and metal hand type, and all the usual equipment you expect to find in a letterpress printshop and hand bindery.
12 x 16" - magnetic (2 bases)
12 x 12" - magnetic
10 x 12" - Boxcar
8 x 12" - magnetic
4 x 6" - Boxcar (2 bases)