Studio Rentals

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 3 kinds of Studio Rental:

  • Daytime Studio Rental :: Monday thru Friday 10am-5pm (When there are not weeklong classes running.)
  • Evening Open Print Studio/Bindery with various studio monitors on designated evenings 5:00pm-10:00pm (See dates and times listed below.)
  • Weekend Open Print Studio/Bindery :: Saturday/Sunday (when workshops are not running) 10:00am-5:00pm (See dates and times listed below.)
To rent studio time, please email or call 415-565-0545 for a reservation.

Upcoming Weekend & Evening Open Studio Rental Dates:

Who Can Rent:
Students who have completed our core curriculum in letterpress printing or have attended a supervised Open Studios session and have been certified by the Studio Monitor 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.  Requests for a certification examination or for a special piece of equipment can be made to as well.
Studio Rental Policies:
  • 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
$10.00 per hour for bindery rental
$20.00 per hour for 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
Three table top paper cutters (also called a Kuttrimmer)
31" guillotine paper cutter
Three board shears
Six Vandercook proof presses 
Two C&P floor model 10” x15”
Four 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.

Polymer Bases:
12 x 16" - Boxcar 
12 x 16" - magnetic (2 bases)
12 x 12" - magnetic
10 x 12" - Boxcar
8 x 12" - magnetic
6 x 9" - Boxcar (2 bases)
3 x 4" - Boxcar (9 bases)

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!