I developed a press that can be built with a CNC router or laser cutter and $40-50 of materials. The main goal with this press is that it can be built by someone with little wood shop skills but access to a digital fabrication tool. This press can provide an inexpensive alternative that can  act as a transitional press to enable students to make prints when they may not have access to a large steel presses. This press will not last you a lifetime, but with care and proper use you should be able to pull thousands of prints off of this press.

This press is specifically for letterpress printing (galley high .968″). You can also use it for other relief processes (linocut, wood cut, & wood engraving). The press bed is around 8.5″ x 18,” but you should probably expect to print 8″ x 12″ or less.

Below you will find the files provided for making this press. I would recommend starting with the instructions for your given tool – it has a parts list as well as the instructions for building the press. You will then need the other PDFs for cutting and labeling your press pieces as you get started.


Provisional Press Laser Cutter Instructions

PDF to label cut pieces

PDF to load into your laser cutter program


Provisional Press CNC Instructions

PDF to cut with CNC

My hope is to create some instructional videos to better facilitate the building process in the near future.

This project and files are all my (Steve Garst) creations, but are free for anyone to use and modify as they experiment with building their own press. Questions or concerns may be directed to

This page was created in March of 2020 and is still very much a work in progress.