Wire calendar hangers are small, sturdy pieces of wire that have a shallow curve located in the center and are used to transform bound documents into wall-hanging calendars. This curve is aligned with a notch on the edge of the document (which is created using a half-moon punch), and the resulting opening allows the calendar to be hung using a nail or push pin while still providing clearance for the pages to be turned. They are available in two sizes – 6” wires that accommodate calendars that are 6”-9” on the bound side and 10” wires that are designed for calendars that are 10” or larger on the bound edge. The calendar hanger is secured in place by a standard wire binding spine (recommended size: 5/16”).
The Foilfast P21x printer from Powis Parker offers users an easy and cost-effective way to create custom binding covers on demand. Below are helpful tips for troubleshooting the most common problems experienced while using the Foilfast P21x:
- The cartridge is stuck in the carriage.
- Turn off power to the machine, then open the front cover and remove all cartridges on the cartridge holder plates. To reset the carriage, close the front cover and turn the power back on.
- The power does not come on when the power button is pressed.
- Ensure that the power cord is plugged firmly into both the outlet and the printer. If the power cord is plugged into an extension block or power strip, make sure that it is turned on.
- The foil printing is light, distorted, or has gaps.
- Stop the printer, then remove and reinstall all of the cartridges. Before reinstalling the cartridges, take up any slack that exists on the ribbons. If a particular cartridge continually causes problems, try exchanging it with a different cartridge.
- The print head may need to be cleaned. It is also recommended that you clean the platen after cleaning the print head. Note: If anything is stuck to the platen, carefully remove it before cleaning to prevent damage.
- The printer will not print, or stops unexpectedly during the printing process.
- Ensure that the printer is turned on before attempting to print.
- Make sure that the front cover is closed properly.
- Press the “Ready/Insert” button and verify that the ready light comes on.
- Check that the printer cable is fully inserted into the wall and the machine. Ensure that nothing is putting pressure on the cable, and tighten the fastening screws and clamps to secure the cable in place.
- Remove the sheet(s) of cover stock from the machine. If any pages are caught within the rollers, open the front cover and push down on the release lever before gently removing the sheet.
- Recheck the printer settings in the application that you are printing from. Note: If you are using the parallel port for printing, you will have to set the printer port to LPTI instead of the PPI_LPTI port.
- Use the Installation Disc included with your printer to install the print drivers onto your computer.
- If the guage in the “Print” dialog box does not progress or the “Out of Sheets” message appears repeatedly (when sheets are loaded), your printer cable may need to be replaced.
- If you are using a printer selection switch or a print buffer, you may find that printer operations are unreliable with bi-directional interfaces. Use one-way communication to ensure best operation.
- The longer that the printer cable is, the less stable the single becomes. Select a cable length that is not excessively long to maintain a strong signal between your computer and the Foilfast printer.
- Ensure that you are using the correct cartridges. The Foilfast printer is only compatible with Foilfast brand foil cartridges.
- The cartridges must be inserted into the printer so that the “B” side faces up.
- One or more foil cartridges may need to be replaced. When a cartridge has run out, black and silver stripes will be visible on the ribbon. If the cartridge ran out while printing, it will automatically continue printing where it left off once a new cartridge is inserted.
- The Foilfast P21x printer requires work space on the hard disk while it prints. Always make sure that your hard disk has ample free space before attempting to print to avoid problems.
- The printer is not printing, or is extremely slow.
- Make sure that you have enough free space on your hard disk. Note: The printer requires free disk space to operate, but the space will be released once printing has finished.
- When your computer has very little free memory available for print processing, printing may take a long time or even fail. Close as many applications as possible and try printing again.
- Working with color images requires a large amount of memory for both the application and the data itself, which may leave insufficient memory for printing. Make sure that your computer has enough memory to process and print the images that you are using.
- General protection fault errors can be caused if your computer has insufficient memory for color printing or if part of the hard disk has become corrupted. Try decreasing the size of the file that you are printing and/or scanning the hard disk before printing again.
- The time required for printing can dramatically increase if the available free space on your hard disk is extremely fragmented. Clean up your files and run a defragmenting utility to defragment your hard disk.
- Some applications have color printing enable/disable settings, while others do not support color printing at all. Refer to the manual for the application that you are using and check the color settings, adjusting as necessary.
- The printer makes unusual noises when the power is turned on, and the error lights blink.
- If this is your first time using the unit, you may have packaging material remaining in the printer carriage or packing tape adhered to the case. Refer to the manual for detailed instructions for removing all of the packaging materials.
- Make sure that none of the foil cartridges have become dislodged from the cartridge holders. Open the front cover of the printer to verify that all of the cartridges are installed correctly.
- Paper is not feeding into the machine correctly, or does not eject from the sheet feeder properly.
- The cover material that you are using may not be compatible with the Foilfast printer.
- If the cover is curled, it may cause the machine to jam. The sheet should be curled the opposite way by hand to flatten it out before it is used.
- If your cover has a cut or folded corner, it may not activate the position sensor or sheet length sensor properly, resulting in feeding and printing problems.
- There needs to be a small margin (approximately 0.02″) between the feed guide and the sheets themselves to allow the sheets to feed.
- The sheets may be overloaded in the paper feeder. Do not insert more than ten composition covers, one clear cover, or one Foilfast title sheet. Note: Composition covers should be 16-18.5 points thick, and clear covers should be between 6.5-7.5 points thick. Other cover thicknesses may work, however they are not recommended and may cause damage to your machine’s feeding mechanism in addition to potentially voiding your warranty.
- Do not place anything onto the output tray as this can cause exiting sheets to jam.
- The cover sheets must be fanned at least once before they are loaded into the sheet feeder. If the sheets are not fanned, they may stick to one another, causing multiple sheets to feed into the printer at once.
Whether you’re binding your documents using binding wires, 19-ring plastic combs, spiral coils, or Velobind binding spines, it’s the cover of your book that will make the first impression on the reader. There are few more powerful ways to enhance the look of your reports than by binding with customized binding covers. Below are the step-by-step instructions for printing single-color clear binding covers using the Foilfast P21x Printer from Powis Parker (for Windows users):
Note: When you choose to print your cover using the single-color mode, the printer will ignore the colors used in your original artwork and will only print in the designated foil color. For example, if you original artwork is black, but you select red foil in single-color mode, then your image will be printed with red foil. Similarly, if your artwork has multiple colors, then using single-color mode will cause the entire image to print in the designated color of foil.
Instructions (Using Non-Adobe Software)
- Choose “Print” from the “File” menu of the program that you are using.
- The main “Print” dialog box will pop up automatically. In the “Printer Name” menu, select the Foilfast printer and then click the “Properties” button.
- When the “Properties” dialog box appears, verify that “Foilfast ClearCover” is the selected option in the “Media Type” box. In the “Print Mode” box, select the “Single Ink” option. Note: The “Undercoat” box will be automatically checked when “Foilfast ClearCover” is selected as the “Media Type.” An undercoat is required when printing on clear covers, so be sure to leave this box checked. Also, ensure that a Foil Primer cartridge is loaded into the printer before proceeding.
- If you are printing in any color other than gold, click the button next to the desired color on the “Select Cartridge(s)” menu.
- After all settings have been adjusted as indicated, click the “OK” button.
- The “Print” dialog box will appear again. Verify that the size of your cover matches the setting in the “Properties” dialog box, and adjust the number of copies to match the number of covers required.
- Load a clear cover into the feed tray. Note: Clear covers should be loaded one at a time to help prevent jamming and misfeeds.
- Click the “Print” button to begin printing your customized clear covers.
Instructions (Using Adobe Software)
- Choose the “Print” option from the “File” menu.
- The “Print” dialog box will appear automatically. Select the Foilfast Printer from the “Printer” selection menu, then click the “Setup” button.
- A warning dialog box will appear that will ask if you want to continue or if you want to return to the “Print” dialog box. Select the “Continue” option.
- The “Print Setup” box will display. Ensure that “Foilfast ClearCover” is selected in the “Media Type” box. In the “Print Mode” section, select the “Single Ink” option. Note: Leave the “Undercoat” box checked, as a primer layer is required when printing clear covers. Be sure that a Foil Primer cartridge is loaded into the printer before printing.
- If you will be printing your image in any cover other than gold, then select the desired color under the “Select Cartridge(s)” section.
- Click “OK” after all settings have been adjusted.
- Once the “Print Setup” box appears, click the “Print” button.
- The “Print” dialog box will appear. Ensure that the paper size shown in the “Printing Preferences” box matches the size of your covers, and adjust the number of copies as required.
- Load a clear cover into the paper feed tray. Note: Loading your covers individually will help prevent jams.
- Click the “Print” button to begin the printing process.
Many binding supply retailers offer pre-punched binding paper in the most common hole patterns. They are most commonly sheets of 20 lb. paper, and are generally sold either by the ream (500 sheets) or by the case (5,000 sheets).
For those who want to do their own professional-looking document binding but aren’t able to invest in a full-function binding machine, pre-punched paper makes it possible. By using the pre-punched paper with a stand-alone wire closer or comb opener, or a pair of coil crimping pliers, it is possible to create a quality bound document with ease.
Though pre-punched paper is popular with users who don’t own a binding punch, it is also frequently used in high-volume production environments. Since the pre-punched sheets can be run directly through digital copiers or printing presses, they save a great deal of time when compared to the amount of time required to both print and punch documents in-house.
Poly binding covers (also called polycovers) are made from durable polypropylene, and are most often used as a back cover on bound documents. Because they are made of sturdy, opaque plastic, these covers are also frequently used on legal or financial documents. They are available in a number of colors, opacities, thicknesses, and textures, including decorative finishes such as diamond plate and hologram.
There are six, distinct poly cover finishes available: crystal, grain, hologram, leather, stripe, and sand. The most popular texture is leather, which is offered in two thicknesses (16mil and 20mil), a plethora of creative colors, and features a glossy finish similar to that of treated leather. Crystal texture covers are made of 16mil, translucent polypropylene, and have a diamond plate finish. Hologram covers are semi-transparent, with a reflective, holographic finish in a 16mil thickness. Grain texture covers are opaque with a medium texture, satin finish, and are available in a robust, 19mil thickness. Sand texture covers are opaque with a fine texture, satin finish, and come in a 12mil thickness. Striped covers are translucent, featuring a fine, grooved texture in a 12mil thickness.
When binding with spiral coils, the ends need to be crimped in order to secure the document and prevent the coil from twisting out of the holes. The most common way to cut and crimp the ends of plastic binding coils is by using a pair of specially designed hand-held pliers. Coil crimping and cutting pliers perform two distinct actions – they cut the coil so that it fits the document that is being bound and they crimp the end of the coil so that it stays in place.
To use the coil crimping pliers, hold them so that the red dot on the top of the pliers faces away from your palm. Hold the bound document so that the coil that needs to be crimped is at the top. Insert the pliers so that the lower jaw is below the coil rung that you want to crimp and the top jaw is positioned above it. Squeeze the handles to cut the coil and continue to apply pressure until the pliers are completely closed in order to crimp it. Repeat the process on the other end of the coil to finish the bind.
A growing number of businesses are looking for ways to be more ecologically aware, which includes seeking out more “green” binding supplies and methods. Below is a list of four Earth-friendly binding solutions for organizations of any size:
- Paper Binding Covers – Available in a wide variety of vibrant colors and attractive finishes, paper binding covers are an Earth-friendly alternative to traditional poly binding covers. They’re made using up to 20% recycled materials and up to 30% post-consumer waste, plus they are completely recyclable.
- Aluminum Screw Posts – Aluminum screw posts (also called Chicago screws or binding posts) are a reusable binding solution that allows you to easily make revisions to any swatch book or other document. They are made from 100% aluminum, so they can be recycled, but their reusable nature gives them a long functional lifespan.
- PaperLock PaperCombs – The PaperLock binding system is designed to work in conjunction with your traditional comb binding machine, and provides an eco-friendly alternative to plastic binding combs. PaperLock PaperCombs are made of paper, so they can be recycled with ease.
- Fastback Binding Strips – Fastback binding strips by Powis Parker are innovative thermal binding spines that offer a number of “green” features. The strips are paper-based and contain up to 50% recycled material, including up to 25% post-consumer waste. Their adhesive compounds are specially designed to be environmentally neutral, meaning that they won’t pollute landfills or water tables.
Creating a custom calendar with wire calendar hangers is easy! All that is required is a 3:1 pitch wire binding machine, a half-moon punch, 5/16” twin loop binding wires (3:1 pitch), wire calendar hangers, and color copies of your photographs or promotional images that have been prepared with your favorite calendar software. Begin by using the half-moon punch to create a semi-circle notch in the center of the edge to be bound (the edge that will be used to hang the calendar). Next, align your document in the punching portion of your wire binding machine so that it has an even number of holes on both sides (note: this may require you to disengage a few pins to avoid punching partial holes in either the notched section or the outside edges of your calendar). After punching your document, cut your wire binding spine down to the appropriate length for each side of the top edge. Insert your pages as well as the wire calendar hanger into the two spine sections, and use your wire closer to complete the bind. Now your custom calendar is ready to share with a friend or colleague.
Thermal soft covers are used for perfect binding, a popular binding style that uses heat-activated adhesives to create an attractive, uncluttered bind. Perfect binding is commonly used on both soft cover and hardcover books, as well as magazines, because it allows for easy stacking and storage (unlike other binding styles which tend to have a bulkier finish). Since the documents are secured with glue, no punching is required to achieve a secure bind.
Like traditional binding covers, thermal soft covers are made from paper or clear plastic (or a combination thereof) and are available in a variety of finishes. Instead of having separate front and back covers, thermal soft covers come as a pre-scored, solid piece (similar to a file folder) that has a strip of thermally-activated adhesive down the center. To create a bind, simply place your document within the cover and insert the cover into your thermal binding machine (following the manufacturer’s instructions). Because the covers are made as single pieces, they are available in different spine sizes that are specifically designed to accommodate the thickness of your report. They are offered with spines as small as 1/16″ (capable of holding 1-10 pages of standard 20 lb. paper) and 1-3/4″ (capable of holding 280-350 pages of standard 20 lb. paper).
Clear binding covers are traditionally used as front covers for business reports, proposals, and employee manuals, both because of their classic look and because they allow the contents of the first page to be read without the book being opened. They also make a great, low-cost substitute for custom-printed covers, since they enable any standard-sized sheet of paper to function as a cover page.
There are five standard varieties of clear binding covers: PVC covers, non-glare covers, heat-resistant covers, matte-suede translucent covers, and matte-gloss translucent covers. PVC binding covers are traditionally the most popular clear cover style, with the widest range of sizes and thicknesses available. Non-glare binding covers are a newer addition to the marketplace, but they are quickly gaining popularity because of their glare-free finish. Heat-resistant covers are designed to withstand the extreme temperatures of thermal binding (or for use in other high-temperature environments). Matte-suede binding covers are tear- and scratch-resistant, with a smooth, matte finish on one side and a pebbled texture with a frosted finish on the other side. Matte-gloss binding covers feature a glossy finish on one side and a satin-like, anti-reflective finish on the other to help reduce glare.