Pressing Matters: Binding Machines with Foot Pedals

Selecting a binding machine with a foot pedal offers even more benefits to an already high quality piece of binding equipment.

  • Hands-free operation – When a foot pedal is used to operate the punch function of a binding machine versus pulling a handle for each punch, the machine user is able to isolate his or her hand movement solely to picking up sheets and removing them from the machine.
  • Increased productivity – Additional time spent manually punching sheets with a handle is saved by the quick tap of the foot pedal, ultimately saving money spent on manpower and increasing the volume per hour spent binding.

My manually operated binding machine comes with a foot pedal – what is it used for?

Select spiral coil binding machines that punch manually also come with a foot pedal, which is used to control an electric coil inserter roller. Pressing the foot pedal does not operate the machine dies for sheet punching; however, less time is spent on inserting coils because the user is only handling the binding materials instead of switching the machine on and off during the binding process.

New Item Numbers: Same High-Quality Laminating Film, New Identifiers

Attn: Regular Customers

We’ve just updated our roll laminating film item numbers – same high quality product, just a different, more consistent item number.

All previous item numbers are still searchable within our website; however, the same item will appear as a result with the new item number.

Here is a quick guide to understanding our new laminating film item numbers using our Standard 1.5 Mil Gloss Laminating Film 25 in. x 500 ft. x 1 in. Core as an example:

Old Part Number: 01-255-1X
New Part Number: S15G251

(S) – Single letter = which type of film it is (Standard, PRO, Digital/Low-Melt)
(15) – Two digits = film thickness
(G) – Single letter = film finish (Gloss, Satin, Matte, Ultra Matte)
(25) – Two digits = roll width in inches
(1) – Single digit = core diameter

Thank you for bearing with this change. If you still can’t find the laminating film that you usually purchase, please contact our Customer Service team by email, online chat, or phone. We’re happy to help you!

5 Key Terms to Know when Ordering Roll Laminating Film

Not sure which roll laminating film to buy for your project or existing roll laminator? Learn some of the frequently used terms to better decide which roll laminating film is right for you!

1. Roll Width

Measure the distance (in inches) from one flat end of the roll to the other (the length of the cylinder).

2. Core Size

Measure the inner diameter of the cardboard or plastic core around which the film is wrapped, similar to that of wrapping paper or paper towels. This core slides onto the machine’s mandrel and keeps the film held in place during lamination.

3. Film Thickness

Since laminating film is so thin, it is measured in Mil, which is equivalent to only one one-thousandth of an inch. Common film thicknesses include 1.5 Mil, 1.7 Mil, 3 Mil, 5 Mil, 10 Mil.

4. Film Finish

The shine or dullness of laminating film is described as its finish. Gloss is the most popular. More specialized finishes such as Matte may also be available for certain varieties.

5. Footage Length

The long, continuous sheet of laminating film that is wound around the roll of laminating film is pulled from the roll during the lamination process. Use this measurement in combination with the roll width to determine the number of rolls you need for your project.

Swatch Books Made Easy with Screw Posts

Chicago screw posts make creating swatch books fast and easy. Create a compilation of material samples or other artistic project with covers and interior pages that swivel open with screw post binding.

Most screw posts are threaded for quick removal, which also allows for interior pages to be changed, added or removed.

To create your own swatch book with screw posts, you need:

  • Your front and back exterior covers
  • Your interior pages
  • screw post (consisting of a threaded post and a screw head)
  • A hole punch or paper drill
  • A small flathead screwdriver (that matches the width of the screw head)

Swatch Book Assembly Instructions:

  1. Prepare your book by stacking your pages in the correct order with exterior covers on the outside.
  2. Determine which corner or edge of your book is going to be the fixed, bound edge.
  3. Punch a circular hole in the spot where you want your book to be bound. Most standard hole punches create holes that measure 1/4 in. in diameter, which perfectly fits the 3/16 in. diameter of a standard screw post and allows for some wiggle room.
  4. Thread your pages over the threaded post base, with the flat base against the back exterior cover.
  5. Screw the head of the screw post into the threaded base to lock in the pages. Note: Some plastic screw post varieties simply “snap” shut.

Can I also build cabinets, bridges or rocket ships with screw posts?

Standard plastic or aluminum screw posts are only intended for graphic arts and paper binding purposes – not for heavy duty construction or special engineering projects.

Mounted Prints Stand Up to Competition – Literally!

Provide structure to printed images by using mounting materials! Boards of different materials combined with a variety of adhesives provide a backbone for an image and prepares it to be displayed.

Why use mounting?

Prints can last longer and be displayed in a three dimensional space once mounted to a board, window, wall, floor, etc. Mounting is often helpful with in-store signage, point of purchase displays, and more.

How does mounting work?

Imagine that you’re creating a printed “pizza:”

  • mounting board acts as your “crust” and provides the necessary backbone to support all the other elements.
  • Mounting adhesive is your “sauce” that binds the top and bottom pieces together.
  • Your printed image acts your “cheese” topping.
  • A layer of laminate is an additional “topping” that adds more flavor, or in our case, protection.

While almost all pizzas are made hot, a mounting process can be performed either with heat or with cold pressure-sensitive materials. Select hot or cold materials based on which equipment you may already have.

What kinds of materials are available?

In addition to hot or cold, you’ll decide which board (or substrate) material you wish to use:

  • Foam Board: A simple sheet of Styrofoam with a paper coating on both sides, frequently available in a 3/16 in. thickness.
  • Ryno Board: Denser foam board with a paperboard surface, often available in 1/4 in. thickness, which provides more stiffness.
  • Gator Board: Durable, rigid, strong and extremely flat; these boards are the standard for trade show graphics or applications in which the material is frequently handled.
  • Corrugated Plastic: Built similarly to standard corrugated cardboard boxes; these boards are often used for outdoor signage and are most recognizable in political campaigns.
  • Sintra: A sheet of solid PVC plastic that measures anywhere from 3mm to 6mm.
  • Paper Stock Boards: Simple, thin paperboard, very similar to matting used by frame shops and artists.

Your mounting board material choice will be affected by the conditions in which your image or sign will be displayed – indoor vs. outdoor, stationary vs. handled, etc.

Cut Paper and Costs with a Paper Trimmer!

Paper trimmers cut clean, straight edges in multiple sheets of paper at once, saving you time while finishing your project.

What kind of paper trimmer should I purchase?

Three of the most popular paper trimmer styles are rotary, guillotine, and stack cutters:

  • Rotary paper trimmers have a sliding blade that moves on a track to cut, making it the best choice for cutting a single laminated sheet or binding cover.
  • Guillotine trimmers have a blade that is raised then lowered to cut. If you’re cutting multiple thin sheets of printed material, a guillotine trimmer is a great option.
  • Stack cutters, which are actually a sub-type of guillotine trimmer, have a large, extremely sharp blade that will cut large stacks of paper all at once. Stack cutters are best used in a high volume environment, particularly if you are cutting hundreds of identical sheets at the same time.

Models across all styles are often equipped with grid markings on their tabletop for precise measurement.

I want to create a crease in my laminated project in order to fold it – can a paper trimmer help me with that?

Paper trimmers will slice excess material from your project. If you try to use it to create a crease or perforation in a single sheet, you’ll end up with two pieces! Creasers are designed to create an indent in your sheet to make folding neater and easier, preventing unsightly wrinkles.

The Long & Short of Using Binding Machines with Disengaging Pins

Some binding machines, either manually or electrically operated, are equipped with disengaging pins. If a pin has the ability to disengage, it can be selected and pulled so a hole is not punched in its particular position.

Some modular punch machines like those from Rhin-O-Tuff allow you to remove the pin completely – just don’t lose it in case you need it later!

Why would I want a machine with disengaging dies?

If you tend to bind books that are sizes other than standard 8-1/2 x 11 in. Letter size (such as 8-1/2 x 5-1/2 in. Half Letter, for example), you greatly benefit from using disengaging pins because you can eliminate a partially punched hole on the outermost top and bottom edges of your book.

My machine does not have disengaging pins. How do I eliminate partially punched holes?

Most office binding machines are equipped with a side guide margin, which helps you align the punched holes within the top and bottom edges of your sheet along its bound edge. The side guide margin is often located near the slot where you slide in your sheets to be punched. Move the guide left or right to shift the sheet’s position.

TruLam TL-320B 12 in. Pouch Laminator Demo Video

The TruLam TL-320B 12″ Pouch Laminator is a compact, easy-to-use desktop laminator that is powerful enough for office use yet affordable enough to fit into almost any budget. This feature-packed laminator has a user-friendly digital display and electronic temperature controls, four silicone rollers, and a reverse switch to aid in jam clearing. The TL 320B is capable of laminating with pouches up to 10 mil in thickness, making it an ideal choice for all of your laminating projects. This versatile model has a durable metal housing and features a one-year warranty. The TL-320B is compatible with all major brands of laminating pouches, including GBC, Fellowes, Universal, Purple Cows, and Lamination Depot’s own high-quality laminating sheets.

Comparing Gloss vs. Matte Laminating Film & Pouch Finishes

What is the difference between a gloss and matte pouch? Aren’t they both clear?

Both gloss and matte laminating film and laminating pouches are considered clear since the printed image being coated is shown completely; however, the finish can alter the image’s appearance.

A gloss finish gives a highly reflective, shiny look to an image – much like smooth glass.

A matte finish will absorb rather than reflect light, giving it a duller, almost frosted appearance.

Colored films such as a solid black or white are often used as the backside of an image since they are opaque.

Which is better: gloss or matte?

The advantage of each finish varies by application:

Gloss remains to be the most popular laminating film finish choice. It is most often used for handled items such as name bookmarks, badges, book covers, and restaurant menus.

Matte film used in these instances runs the risk of scuffs and scratches more quickly over time when compared to gloss. Matte laminating films and pouches are an excellent choice for signs and images shown under direct lighting. Gloss films used in these applications would cause the image to be obstructed by glare; however a matte finish diffuses glare and allows the coated image to be seen clearly from many angles and distances.

Case Closed: Secrets to Perfectly Closed Twin-Loop Wires Revealed

These helpful hints on closing twin-loop wires with a manual wire closer help save your supplies, time and money:

Matching Dials and Diameters

Most machines have a dial on the side that controls how far its wire closer will compress. The numbers on the dial correspond to the diameter of a wire once it’s closed. For example, you would turn the dial to 1/4 in. if you were binding a book with either a 1/4 in. twin loop wire with either a 3:1 or 2:1 pitch.

Why does my wire still have a gap between the tip and end of the twin loop?

Machines can be calibrated differently. You may need to turn the dial slightly looser or tighter in order to achieve your desired wire closure. For example, if there is still a gap in your 1/2 in. twin loop wire and your machine is certainly set to 1/2 in., gently turning the dial towards 7/16 in. should create a tighter closure.

Why does my wire get crushed in the closer?

Crushed wires usually occur because the diameter of the wire does not match the dial setting on your wire closer.

Some machines such as the TruBind TB-W20A Manual 3:1 Wire Binding Machine utilize the same handle for both punching sheets and operating the wire closer. When it’s time to punch, the dial must be set to “PUNCH.” Sometimes even the most experienced operator forgets to turn the dial to the appropriate wire diameter setting before closing wires!