Paper or Plastic: The Difference Between Binding Covers

Binding covers not only come in a variety of colors and dimensions, but there are also different materials to consider. The majority of covers are either paper or plastic, but some varieties combine the two.

Which binding cover should I use for the front of my book?

Clear PVC covers are the most popular choice for a book or presentation’s front cover since it is simply a protective transparent layer that completely exposes a book’s first page. This variety gives the most flexibility in terms of customization. Most are clear and glossy while some can have a texture on one side.

Window-cut binding covers are mostly a solid textured plain or vinyl coated paper binding cover with a small window shaped hole in the front that exposes a report or document’s title (like a label).

Some 12 Mil or 16 Mil polycovers come in a Clear variety, which can add a unique style to your book. For example, our 16 Mil Clear Hologram texture covers are similar to textured privacy glass where they somewhat distort the protected image yet still give a clue as to what it is.

Which binding cover should I use for the back of my book?

Most binding covers used for the back side of a book or presentation come in many colors and fall within three material types: polycovers, paper binding covers, or composition covers.

Polycovers are made of 100% flexible plastic and provide excellent strength and protection to a book.

Lightweight paper binding covers offer basic coverage and blend well with bound documents. They are about the same thickness of a file folder and come in either a leather grain texture or linen fabric texture, offering a hint of sophistication.

Composition binding covers are unique as they are both paper and plastic at the same time: they are inherently a paper stock cover with a vinyl coating on one side. They are less durable than polycovers but offer more protection against a sprinkle of water or coffee than paper binding covers.

I’m using a thermal binding machine – which covers do I use?

Thermal binding covers add a front and back cover with a spine all in one step. Styles range from a transparent clear cover with textured paper back (sometimes referred to as “thermal utility covers“) to leather textured hardcovers.

In a Jam? Here’s How to Clear a Jammed Pouch Laminator

If an inserted pouch does not come out the other side of your pouch laminator, it may have jammed your machine. A quick resolution is to run the machine in reverse and hopefully roll the pouch back out of the front of the machine.

Why is my pouch laminator jammed?

A few common ways an operator can jam a laminating machine include:

  • Running a laminating pouch at too high of a temperature, causing it to melt and wrap around the machine roller(s)
  • Inserting a laminating pouch with the end opposite the sealed edge first

If the pouch will not come out either end of the machine and you start to smell a burning plastic odor or see smoke, immediately turn off and unplug the machine. Wait for the machine to cool down completely before attempting to remove the jammed pouch or clean the machine interior.

How do I remove a jammed pouch that won’t come out when I press the reverse button?

Pouch jams are not often covered by machine manufacturer warranties. In the event a pouch is certainly jammed in the machine, you may be able to remove it yourself and clean the adhesive off the rollers.

Most models of office grade or professional pouch laminators have a removable hood, allowing you to access the rollers. If you cannot remove the jammed pouch from this angle, you may need to disassemble the machine to access the culprit under the bottom set of machine rollers.

How do I clean my laminator’s machine rollers?

Once the blockage is cleared, there will likely be an adhesive mess on the rollers. The adhesive can be cleaned by gently rubbing the rollers with a soft cotton cloth (like an old t-shirt scrap) dampened with odorless mineral spirits. Be careful: silicone rollers can tear easily.

Once you’ve cleaned and reassembled the machine, you may smell the remainder of the adhesive melting off the rollers for a while.

If your machine rollers have melted and the machine cannot be repaired, you may need to purchase a whole new machine.

How do I prevent pouch laminator jams?

Here are some helpful tips to lengthen the life of your pouch laminator:

  1. Referring to your machine’s operating manual, match the correct temperature to your pouch thickness.
  2. Use a pouch carrier to evenly distribute heat across the pouch and provide structure to thinner pouches (like 3 Mil & 5 Mil). Note: In some cases, you may need to increase the temperature by about 10 deg F.
  3. Always insert a laminating pouch into the pouch laminator with the sealed edge first! This way, the air is properly pushed out of the pouch as it goes through the machine, making sure the pouch doesn’t buckle during the process.

Perfect Pitch: Understanding Holes per Inch

What does 2:1, 3:1, or 4:1 pitch mean?

These ratios help us determine whether a coil or wire is compatible with the hole pattern punched by a particular binding machine.

Example: 3:1 pitch

  • The “3” means the number of holes
  • The “1” means the number of inches
  • “3:1” means that your machine will punch three holes in every inch of your book’s spine.

How do I figure out which pitch I need?

It’s very easy to measure which wire or coil pitch you need based on sheets punched by your binding machine:

  1. Hold a ruler next to the holes punched in your sheet or book.
  2. Lightly mark with a pencil the upper and lower edge of 1 in. along the spine.
  3. Count the number of holes that comfortably fit within the two drawn lines.

Why don’t my wires or coils match my book?

Wires with a 2:1 pitch will not fit correctly in a book punched with a 3:1 wire binding machine, and vice versa. Similarly, coils with a 4:1 pitch will not wind easily through a book punched with a 3:1 pitch wire binding machine. It is important to have “perfect pitch” when it comes to binding so the loops of your coil or wire will fit through the holes of your book.

TruBind TB-SD600 Heavy-Duty Electric Coil Binding Machine Review

The TruBind TB-SD600 Electric Coil Binding Machine is a heavy-duty coil binder that pairs quality construction and user-friendly features with a budget-friendly price point. The TB-SD600 is the newest model in TruBind’s line of affordable coil binding equipment, all of which have an emphasis on easy operation and are built from durable components. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the TB-SD600 and evaluate all of its features.

The TruBind TB-SD600 was designed with high-volume users in mind and has the largest punching capacity of any machine in the series – 25 sheets per punch. The heavy-duty electric punching mechanism makes quick work of punching even thick books, creating clean, consistent holes with every punch. Because the punch can be engaged using either the included foot pedal or by pushing the button located toward the front of the machine, the operator can keep their hands free to grab stacks of paper and arrange punched sheets into books – increasing overall binding efficiency. The punch is 11.81″ long (46 oval holes positioned with .250 spacing) and has an open throat to accommodate larger page sizes in multiple punches. The TB-SD600 also features fully-disengaging dies, which allow the user to eliminate partially-punched holes by selectively disengaging the punching dies along the edges of the sheet. To disengage a die and prevent it from punching, simply pull the corresponding pin (located on the top of the machine) upward until it stops. The die can easily be reengaged by pushing the pin back into place when desired.

For even greater control over your bound documents, the TB-SD600 has an adjustable side guide as well as an adjustable depth margin. The side guide allows users to accurately set the placement of their paper within the punch, ensuring that the holes are positioned consistently throughout the entire book (even when it is punched in multiple stacks). The side guide is located on the left side of the clear punching guide and can be repositioned by loosening the screw that holds it in place and tightening it once the guide is in the desired position. The depth margin control allows the operator to set the distance of the holes from the edge of the paper – allowing the holes to be closer to the edge on thinner books or with a greater margin when binding thick documents. Adjusting the hole depth based on the size of the book not only looks more professional, but also creates a more durable finished book since thicker books will be less likely to tear along the bound edge when a larger margin is used. The TruBind TB-SD600 has three available punching depths – 2.5mm, 4.5mm, and 6.5mm – which can be set using the knob on the left side of the machine.

Another user-favorite feature of this model is the electric coil inserter that is located toward the front of the machine. To use the electric coil inserter, the user inserts a 4:1 pitch binding coil into the first few holes of a book by hand, then gently touches the coil against the spinning inserter. The coil should be positioned against rubber roller so that the tail of the coil is to the right and the holes of the book are to the left. Power to the electric coil inserter is controlled by an independent switch to the right of the inserter, allowing the operator to turn it off when it is not in use. The electric coil inserter greatly increases productivity by making the binding process much faster than inserting the coils by hand, and can be used with coils up to 7/8″ in diameter (larger coils can be inserted manually). To make the process of inserting coils even easier, the TB-SD600 utilizes an oval hole shape that creates a slightly taller hole that provides less resistance during insertion and makes the pages easier to turn after binding. Each machine also includes a pair of heavy-duty coil crimpers, which are used to trim away the excess coil and create a small bend that secures the pages in place. After the coil is fully inserted, the crimpers are used to finish the binding process.

The TB-SD600 has a durable metal housing and metal internal components. It has a moderate desktop footprint of 17″ W x 18″ D (with a height of 11-1/4″ including the clear guide) and weighs 63 lbs. This model features a one-year warranty that protects against manufacturing defects and covers both parts and labor.

In summary, the TruBind TB-SD600 is a well-constructed, solid piece of binding equipment that is built for frequent use in offices, schools, or copy centers. Though it has the same features and output capabilities of professional-grade machines, it has a price point that is hundreds of dollars less – making it an attractive alternative option for those looking to bind on a budget. The design and operation is simple and intuitive, which allows even novice users to bind with ease within minutes of set-up. While it may not offer interchangeable dies or automatic stacking like some of the more industrial machines that we offer, the TB-SD600 bridges the gap between manual binding machines and production-grade equipment designed for high-volume output. It’s an excellent entry-level machine for companies looking to bring their binding process in-house or for those looking to make the leap from manual to electric.

Create Custom Dividers, for Less!

Your professionally bound book deserves equally presentable divider pages.

Consider laminating a full-color, duplex printed sheet with photos or highlighted information on it, then attaching a self-adhesive tab to further indicate a division within your book.

This process combines both pouch laminating and comb, coil or wire binding.

After printing the sheets for your book(s):

  1. Place a single “divider” sheet into the appropriate sized laminating pouch.
  2. Laminate the pouch according to the proper specifications for your pouch thickness indicated by your machine’s instruction manual, allowing enough of a border along the binding edge of the sheet to punch the holes without piercing the paper inside.

Using your binding machine:

  1. Punch the sheets of your book, then punch the divider sheets so all the holes align properly. (It’s okay for the divider sheets to have extra plastic hanging over the unbound edges.)
  2. Bind your book using the spines that match your binding machine’s punch pattern.
  3. Attach self-adhering tabs to the edge of your divider sheets opposite from the bound edge.
  4. Handwrite or type your tab labels, then insert them into the attached index tabs.

Lamination Depot Celebrates Four Consecutive Appearances on Inc. 5000 List of Fast-Growing Companies

Inc. magazine has ranked laminating and binding supply company Lamination Depot in position 3,138 on their 2015 Inc. 500|5000 list, which recognizes the fastest-growing, privately-owned companies. Lamination Depot ranks no. 260 among all companies listed in the Business Products & Services category and no. 465 among Business Products & Services companies within California. This is Lamination Depot’s fourth appearance on the list, after their debut on the 2012 Inc. 500 | 5000 and subsequent appearances on the 2013 and 2014 editions.

Over the course of the evaluation period, which spanned from 2011 through 2014, Lamination Depot increased their revenue by 109% and nearly doubled their staff. Among the contributing factors to this growth are the expansion of their own supply and equipment brands, the addition of new vendors to their supply chain, and an increased emphasis on lowering operational costs. During the past year, Lamination Depot has focused on cost-saving measures and business efficiencies that have enabled them to pass additional discounts along to their customers. Building upon the successful launch of TruBind and TruLam – Lamination Depot’s own line of branded supplies and equipment – in early 2014, they added dozens of new private-label products throughout the year. Additionally, Lamination Depot has increased their workforce by more than 75% over the three-year evaluation period, which has allowed them to continue providing the same level of service to their growing customer base.

“To be included on the Inc. 500|5000 list is an immense honor, but making our fourth consecutive appearance on the list is an accomplishment that is cherished by every member of our team,” says Paul Godfrey, Founder and President of Lamination Depot. “Our staff has been diligent in seeking out new methods for reducing our operational costs and finding innovative ways to make every aspect of our company more efficient, which has given us the opportunity to help our customers save even more. It is our drive for continuous improvement and constant evolution that has allowed us to achieve the growth that has earned our spot on the Inc. 500|5000 four years in a row.”

A complete list of all Inc. 500|5000 honorees is available on Inc. magazine’s website, at www.inc.com/inc5000/. To view Lamination Depot’s complete profile, visit www.inc.com/profile/lamination-depot.

Printable ID Card Varieties & Materials

The Zebra ZXP Series 1 and Series 3 printers allow you to print images and information directly onto a plastic card. These cards can be used for identification, membership, employment, hospitality, etc. Choosing the appropriate card for intended use depends on a few factors.

How frequent will the card be used?

The selected thickness and material of a printable card depends greatly on how often the card will be used. If the card will be used a few times a month or few times a year, a thin PVC card 20 Mil or less than will be sufficient. If a card is being used multiple times a week, a standard PVC card 30 Mil or thicker is appropriate. A PVC composite card can withstand being used every day.

Does the card need to be encoded with information?

Select blank PVC cards come equipped with a magnetic stripe, which creates a “smart card.” It can be used to store student identification or account information, or hold a gift card balance.

Does the card need additional security?

If unauthorized card duplication is a concern, we offer colored PVC cards and white PVC cards with specialized hologram designs.

Ready to start printing your own ID cards? Select one of our Zebra card printer starter packages and whichever blank PVC card best matches your needs. If you’re unsure as to which model or material is best for you, please contact us – we’re happy to give you a personalized recommendation.

Understanding ID Card Printing Terminology: Card Printer Ribbon Cartridge Abbreviations

What Do YMCKO and YMCKOK Mean?

Members of the print industry easily recognize the letters “CMYK” as the four basic colors of printing: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. The four of these colors are layered in different increments on paper to create hundreds of color output combinations.

This same method applies to ID card printing. The letters “YMCK” also stand for the same four basic printing colors: Yellow, Magenta, Cyan and Black. When a color cartridge is indicated as “YMCKO,” the cartridge first prints all four basic colors then adds a clear Overlay (the “O”) at the end to protect the printed image.

A cartridge marked as “YMCKOK” is also a color cartridge complete with clear Overlay, but the “K” at the end indicates this cartridge is used for dual-sided card printing. This cartridge allows you to print full color on the front side and just Black on the reverse side.

Other Abbreviations

Some Black cartridges bear different abbreviations like KdO and KrO. The “K” indicates it is a Black cartridge and the “O” at the end indicates it also comes with a a clear Overlay. The lowercase “d” stands for “dye” while the “r” stands for “resin.” The KdO cartridge is ideal for printing grayscale images with light, midtone, and shadow while the KrO is perfect for printing crisp black lines in logos and barcodes for easy reading.

To learn more about ID card printing equipment and supplies, visit our complete selection on www.laminationdepot.com.

Titan-Strength Screw Posts – Home Rocket-Building Made Easy!

Our standard aluminum screw posts are great for binding manuscripts, oversized sheets, and swatch samples – but what about those heavy-duty projects like building a rocket? Lamination Depot’s new titan-strength screw posts offer the strength you need, without the unnecessary accuracy (and cost!) of high-precision screws.

With a package of Lamination Depot’s titan-strength screw posts, a few feet of aluminum tubing from your local hardware store, your favorite rocket fuel, and a little ingenuity, there are only a few hours between you and your dreams of space exploration.

Other possible applications include DIY earth-moving equipment, high-rise building construction, a homemade mech suit, and many more! Now that Lamination Depot offers screw posts in titan-strength, you’re only limited by your imagination – and the size of your launch pad!

*Please note: This post is intended as a joke. Our screw posts are designed for light-duty binding applications and not for construction projects of any type. Happy April Fool’s Day!