Journals / Paper Folding Machine

I recently acquired a wire stitcher machine hoping to make journals. I have created one set so far that turned out great. One drawback.. folding the paper. Now I could fold all paper myself but I have seen paper folding machines that are fast. Has anyone used them? I have seen them on YouTube but it looks like the paper is one on top of the other. Is there a setting with these machines that will fold and put the paper in inside the previous paper folded? This would save me time in the long run. If these machines do not do this then I will have to go back to folding a bunch of sheets at once.
Thank you.


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As far as I know the basic little paper folding machines only take one sheet at a time and do not have the capability you are looking for. That generally requires a bindery-line which will load each signature and stack them in sequential order before stitching them together.

The only two things that have a motor on them in my shop are a small folding machine and a paper drill. I do everything else by hand. I have a fairly old folding machine and would NOT depend on it for accurate folds on every piece.


Chris, your time doing handwork costs far less than any commercial machine would. Unless your runs are in the tens or hundreds of thousands, the costs of machines capable of folding, gathering and stitching are not justified.
The only thing that MUST be done on machine is print. Hand-printing is a wide-variable that shouldn’t be sold to a customer expectring professional work. Treadle presses and hand-platens certailnly work within their limits, motor isn’t absolutely necessary..
I’ve done a lot of hand-folding. Also a lot of machine-folding. The difference is more time by hand, more waste by machine. Accuracy is really up to the operator.
There are “booklet-makers” that take a gathered set and stitch. I doubt the quality of product will match something folded then gathered then stitched.

Paper folders don’t insert the pages. You can set up signatures and grind off/cut off the excess paper after folding.

If there is a commercial printer/bindery in your area you might get pricing from them to handle larger runs for you.


Actually, there are bindery machines that do it all. The question is how many units produced can justify the high expense of purchase, operation, and floor-space? Absolutely nobody asking on BriarPress is doing that level of production.
One of my first paying jobs was insering a two-page sheet into an in-line knfe-folder connected to a Miehle flatbed cylinder press, and a six-page newspaper was the result. There have been automatic bindery machines since then that replaced everything I did by hand, but by cost and flloor-space, are too expensive by usual BriarPress standards.

Where I used to work we had a saddle-stitcher-folder. You would put in the collated set, press the button and it would stitch and then fold the entire book. I ran thousands on this machine. Then you trimmed off the edge in your paper cutter. It was a table top model. I can’t remember the name of the machine, but if you contact a local bindery supplier they would be able to help you. Or I can get you in touch with our supplier in Cleveland.

A booklet maker.

Yes. We have two relatively small booklet makers at my day job. Just a bit larger than tabletop as they’re freestanding units. Very handy tools. Ours will staple and fold from half-letter up to tabloid and up to about 15 sheets of bond paper, I think. Anything larger or thicker gets hand folded and stapled using the table-mounted saddle stapler.

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

Great. Thank you everyone!