Studio Rentals

San Francisco Center for the Book has reopened with limited hours and masks are required. Studio rental is limited to Wednesday-Friday from 10-5.

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

SFCB offers three kinds of Studio Rental:

  • Daytime Studio Rental :: Wednesday thru Friday 10am-5pm (Check with staff for availability.)

  • Weekend Open Print Studio/Bindery :: Saturday/Sunday 10am-5pm (No current dates available yet.)

  • Evening Open Print Studio/Bindery with studio monitor 5pm-10pm (No current dates available yet.)

To rent studio time, please email or call 415-565-0545 for a reservation.


Upcoming Weekend & Evening Open Studio Rental Dates:

There are no Open Studio dates at this time. Please check back in mid-2022.

Who Can Rent

Students who have completed our core curriculum in letterpress printing or have been certified by the Studio Director | Resident Instructor are eligible to rent press time. Students who have completed our core curriculum in bookbinding are qualified to rent equipment in the bindery. You may also be certified to rent facilities by completing an examination with the Studio Director | Resident Instructor. To be certified to use the guillotine or electric cutter, you must schedule a training time with SFCB staff.  Requests for a certification examination or for a special piece of equipment can be made to as well.

Studio Rental Policies

  • All renters must wear a mask while in the studio (KN95 or similar) and show proof of either vaccination or a negative Covid test taken within the last 24 hrs. (updated 3.31.22)

  • You must book in advance by calling 415-565-0545 or emailing 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, 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! 

  • SFCB requests 24 hour advance cancellation notice

  • 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.

Rental Costs

As of March 1, 2022, ALL studio rentals at SFCB are $10.00 per hour.
That includes bindery rental, press rental, platemaking rental, and cutting equipment 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, as payment for rental.
Usage of bindery equipment requires a minimum of 1/2 hour rental

Equipment available for rental at the San Francisco Center for the Book

In the Print studio:

  • Six Vandercook proof presses 
  • Two C&P jobbing platen presses 10” x 15”
  • Two C&P jobbing platen presses 8” x 12”
  • Four 6” x10” tabletop platen presses
  • 30” Kuttrimmer
  • 26” tabletop Kuttrimmer
  • 30" Challenge power guillotine paper cutter
  • An A-3 photopolymer platemaker
  • Many cases of wood and metal type

In the Bindery:

  • Three board shears
  • 30” manual Challenge guillotine
  • 26” manual C&P guillotine
  • Vagelli standing percussion press
  • Four job backers
  • Two French laying presses
  • Many nipping presses (various sizes)
  • Finishing presses, sewing frames, and all the standard hand tools needed for basic binding
    (knives, awls, rulers, dividers, etc.)

Have other questions? Please feel free to email with any questions and we will be happy to answer them. We look forward to seeing you in the studio soon!