Bookbinder Case Gauge

Making hand bookbinding easier and faster–affordably


Logo of Coughlin Casemaker machine

Finally, a precision yet cost-effective case gauge for the small to medium size bookbindery.


Remarkably easy to set up, this case gauge is noted for its accuracy, its compact size, its light weight and other features that make it easily adaptable to complex binding projects—all for an  affordable price.

What do you want in a case gauge?

How about an easily adjustable head stop that provides up to 1.25 inches of adjustment and adjustable arms to create joint widths of 1/4, 5/16 and 3/8 inches. The precision side guide allows for quick adjustments to accommodate various book cloth dimensions. You won’t find features like this on gauges costing 3 to 4 times what the Coughlin Case Gauge sells for. 

But there’s more.

  • It only weighs approximately twenty pounds.

  • Needs less than four square feet of counter space.

  • Can easily be stowed away when not being used.   

The Coughlin Case Gauge was designed, tested and is manufactured in America. It has a sturdy 3/8″ thick ABS base which provides rigidity and excellent chemical and abrasion resistance. The joint arms come in three standard widths: 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch and 3/8 inch.  Each case gauge includes a pair of joint arms–your choice of width. If you would like the other joint arms, they can be purchased separately to give you a full range of joint widths. These joint arms are easily removed and replaced with the other widths to meet your binding needs. The joint arms are made from corrosion-resistant aluminum.

pencil on case gauge for size-reference only

Want more?  It comes with a satisfaction guarantee: you will be pleased with your new case gauge or we will refund your money upon return of your case gauge.

An operating pamphlet, which is included, explains the distinctive features of your new Coughlin Case Gauge. Once you have determined the head stop distance, the spine width and the size of your cover cloth and boards, it should take only a few minutes to properly adjust the case gauge. Then you simply enjoy the ease, speed and precision with which you will be able to run your bookbinding orders.


  • Fully adjustable head stop with a maximum fold-over cloth allowance of up to 1.25 inches.
  • Adjustable joint widths to accommodate various binding projects. The gauge even allows for creating different front and back dimensions for unique binding projects. 
  • Centering adjustment for quick and precise positioning of spine inlays.
  • Light weight.
  • Compact size to make efficient use of bindery space.
  • Designed and made in America with top grade aluminum parts mounted to a rigid, scratch and chemical resistant ABS base. 
  • Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee: if you are not satisfied with your new Coughlin Case Gauge, return the gauge for a complete refund of purchase price.
  • Perhaps best of all—it is extremely affordable.  No other case gauge on the market compares in value to the Coughlin Case Gauge. 

I began my venture into bookbinding over 25 years ago when I took a basic course in binding at the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts (MCBA) in Minneapolis.  In time, I integrated my interest in bookbinding with my work in hand paper making and letterpress printing and hot-metal typesetting.  As my own projects grew in size and volume and as I accepted outside commissions, I realized I needed to automate my bindery, but I needed to do so within a limited budget. So I worked with my engineer son to take the best of existing case gauge designs, tweak them to ensure  accurate alignment and quick set up and developed a totally new variable-spine gauge to accommodate a wide range of book dimensions.  We did it all while maintaining an attractive design and, perhaps best of all, we were able to keep the case gauge affordable. 

My experience with other bookbinders made me realize that their case gauges needed to be pampered to keep them working properly. And for the privilege of putting up with such headaches, a bookbinder was forced to pay thousands of dollars to acquire one of these gauges. Engineered to exacting requirements and handsomely designed, the Coughlin Case Gauge makes all that fussing around obsolete.