How Do I Print Single-Color Clear Covers with the Foilfast P21x Printer? (Windows Users)

Whether you’re binding your documents using binding wires19-ring plastic combsspiral 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)

  1. Choose “Print” from the “File” menu of the program that you are using.
  2. The main “Print” dialog box will pop up automatically. In the “Printer Name” menu, select the Foilfast printer and then click the “Properties” button.
  3. 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.
  4. If you are printing in any color other than gold, click the button next to the desired color on the “Select Cartridge(s)” menu.
  5. After all settings have been adjusted as indicated, click the “OK” button.
  6. 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.
  7. Load a clear cover into the feed tray. Note: Clear covers should be loaded one at a time to help prevent jamming and misfeeds.
  8. Click the “Print” button to begin printing your customized clear covers.

Instructions (Using Adobe Software)

  1. Choose the “Print” option from the “File” menu.
  2. The “Print” dialog box will appear automatically. Select the Foilfast Printer from the “Printer” selection menu, then click the “Setup” button.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. If you will be printing your image in any cover other than gold, then select the desired color under the “Select Cartridge(s)” section.
  6. Click “OK” after all settings have been adjusted.
  7. Once the “Print Setup” box appears, click the “Print” button.
  8. 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.
  9. Load a clear cover into the paper feed tray. Note: Loading your covers individually will help prevent jams.
  10. Click the “Print” button to begin the printing process.

How Do I Bind with the GBC VeloBind V50 Binding Machine?

While many schools, offices, and even homes have found a need to create bound documents, not everyone has the budget or the space for a full-function binding machine. For those that want to be able to occasionally bind their own documents, the GBC VeloBind V50 is an affordable, entry-level binding machine that is small enough to fit on a desktop while still being powerful enough to punch up to 20 sheets per lift. Below is an overview of binding documents with the GBC VeloBind V50:

  1. Begin by aligning the pages of your document by tapping them repeatedly against your work surface.
  2. Insert up to 20 sheets into the punching throat. If your document is longer than 20 pages, you will have to insert the sheets in sets. Note: The maximum punching capacity of the V50 is 20 sheets (based on regular 20 lb. paper; if you are using cover stock or thicker paper, your punching capacity will be reduced).
  3. Depress the punching lever with both hands to punch your document with the 4-pin VeloBind pattern.
  4. Remove the sheets from the punching throat, and repeat the process as necessary until your entire document has been punched.
  5. Place the document onto your work table so that it is facing up and the holes hang over the table’s edge.
  6. Insert the pins on the VeloBind spine downward through the punched holes.
  7. Carefully turn the document over and lay it flat on the table, ensuring that the spine stays in place.
  8. Place the slotted strip over the four pins, with the slots facing up.
  9. Secure the strip by holding it in the center and snap the pins into place, using your thumb and forefinger. Once all four pins have been snapped into place, the bind is complete.

Because the VeloBind 4-pin strips that are used with the GBC VeloBind V50 are recloseable, documents bound with them can easily be debound and edited. Below is an overview of how to debind reclosable 4-pin VeloBind strips:

Note: GBC manufactures a tool that is specifically designed to debind 4-pin VeloBind strips. The instructions below illustrate debinding techniques that do not require the use of a debinding tool. If you plan on doing a high volume of debinding, then you will find that a debinding tool is much more efficient.

  1. Use the tip of a pen to slide over the point of the pin and use leverage to pry the pin out of position.
  2. Continue pulling the pin up until it is returned to its upright position.
  3. Repeat with each of the remaining pins and remove the slotted strip.
  4. Punch all replacement sheets and insert them into your document as desired (or simply remove any unwanted pages).
  5. Follow the steps listed above for inserting the spine into your document and snapping the pins closed.

How Do I Bind with the GBC SureBind System 3 Binding Machine?

While most binding machines are capable of binding documents that are larger than 1″ thick, very few machines are able to handle ultra-thick 3″ documents. The GBC SureBind System 3 binding machine can not only bind 3″ documents, but makes binding them surprisingly easy, thanks to automatic electric punching and binding features. Below is an overview of the binding process with the GBC SureBind System 3:

  1. Begin by pushing the “On” button to power up the machine.
  2. Loosen the Punch Edge Guide Knob and adjust the guide so that the line on the decal corresponds to the line on the Punch Platen that matches your document size. Positioning the Punch Edge Guide ensures that your document will be properly punched and will not extend beyond the binding strip on either end.
  3. Select the desired punch mode. To select the “Automatic Punch Mode,” simply press the Auto Punch Button. If you will be using the “Manual Punch Mode,” do not press the Manual Punch Button until after the paper has been inserted (in the next step).
  4. Insert your document into the Punch throat. If you are using the “Automatic Punch Mode,” insert the pages just to the right of the Punch Edge Guide. If you are using the “Manual Punch Mode,” insert the document so that the pages are flush against the Punch Edge Guide. Note: The GBC SureBind System 3 has a 22-sheet maximum punch capacity (based on regular 20 lb. paper), so documents that have more than 22 pages will have to be punched in sets.
  5. Next, punch the sheets. If you are in the “Automatic Punch Mode,” sliding your document to the left (so that it is aligned with the Punch Edge Guide) will activate the punching cycle. To punch manually, simply press the Manual Punch Button. Note: It is recommended that you punch a test sheet before attempting to punch your document. Fold the punched test sheet in half and check that they are aligned along the edge of the sheet and with each other.
  6. Repeat the punching steps as necessary until all pages of your document have been punched.
  7. Press the Bind Button to place the machine into the standard binding mode (designed for documents larger than 1″ or for small reports that will need added binding strength) or press the Fast Bind Button to place the machine into the fast binding mode (designed for documents 1″ or smaller).
  8. Insert the bottom strip (the strip that has holes) into the Strip Recess so that the textured side is facing down and the small hole in the strip is aligned with the Locating Pin. When the strip is positioned properly, the hole closest to the left end of the strip will be aligned with the vertical line on the Backstop.
  9. Place the punched document onto the Bind Platen so that the document is face up (with the first sheet on the top) with the left edge aligned to the Bind Edge Guide. The punched edge should be flush against the Backstop. Note: The Bind Edge Guide is properly adjusted when the punched holes of the document are aligned with the strip holes and the left edge of the document is flush with the Bind Edge Guide.
  10. Insert the top strip (which has the pins) through the holes in the document and the bottom strip. Press the top strip down firmly until it rests against the top sheet of the document. Note: The SureBind System 3 is only compatible with 10-pin binding strips.
  11. Lower the Pressure Bar so that it is pressed against the top binding strip and the document stack.
  12. The binding cycle will begin automatically. The binding process takes approximately 16 seconds in standard mode and 10 seconds in fast mode. Once binding has been completed, the Pressure Bar will raise automatically.
  13. Your bound document can now be removed from the machine.

How Do I Debind a Document with the GBC SureBind System 3 Binding Machine?

One of the greatest benefits of binding with VeloBind thermal binding strips is that the resulting books are tamper-resistant and secure. A number of manual tools are available on the market to help enable people to debind and revised their Velo-bound documents, but most are difficult and time-consuming to use. The GBC SureBind System 3 binding machine features an automated debinding process that makes it easy to remove the spine from bound documents so that they can be edited. Below is an overview of how to debind a document using the GBC SureBind System 3:

  1. Begin by placing your bound document into the GBC SureBind System 3 binding machine so that the bound side is against the Backstop and the edge is flush against the Bind Edge Guide. Ensure that the small hole in the bottom strip is aligned with the Locating Pin located in the Strip Recess. Note: The Locating Pin is used to center the strip during the debinding process. The hole on the bottom strip must be aligned with the Locating Pin for proper machine operation.
  2. Once the document has been properly situated in the machine, press the Debind Button to put the machine into debind mode.
  3. Lower the Pressure Bar onto the document so that it is aligned with the binding spine and is applying pressure onto the document. The machine will automatically begin the debinding process once the Pressure Bar has been lowered.
  4. Immediately after the Pressure Bar raised, remove the document from the machine and peel the top strip off (starting at one end and pulling the strip up and toward the other end). The debinding process takes approximately 25 seconds. Note: Be sure to immediately remove the document once debinding has been completed. Allowing the document to sit for too long will make the spine difficult to remove.
  5. Press either the Standard Bind Button or the Fast Bind Button to return the machine to binding mode.

Your document can now be revised as desired and bound with a new binding strip. This technique is an excellent way to bind documents that will grow over time – such as financial reports or legal documents – because they will remain secure until you choose to debind them. Furthermore, the GBC SureBind System 3 is one of only a handful of machines that is capable of binding documents as large as 3″ thick, and it does so in as little as 16 seconds.

Five Ways for Parents to Use Binding

When most people think of binding, they picture bound reports and proposals designed for business applications, but binding also has many uses within the home environment. Below are five ways for parents to use binding to stay organized, share important information, and even provide fun activities for their children.

  1. Babysitter’s Guide – Whether you’re working with a new babysitter for the first time or have been using the same sitter for years, a bound babysitter guide keeps all of your important information in one convenient location. Using a word processing program, create sheets that list emergency contacts, helpful hints (such as favorite games, nighttime routines, etc.), special needs (dietary restrictions, allergies, medications, etc.), and even your favorite local pizza shops. Bind the sheets together using your preferred binding method for an easy-to-use booklet. To involve your children in the process, allow them to create the cover by giving them a blank sheet of cardstock and their favorite art supplies.
  2. Personalized Yearbooks – Have you been looking for a way to organize your child’s homework and art projects? Try creating a custom yearbook! At the end of each school year, gather their best tests, reports, artwork, and other assignments and bind them together using your binding machine. Place a copy of that year’s school picture onto the cover along with a label listing the name of the school, the grade, and the school year, and you’ll have a keepsake you’ll treasure for many years to come.
  3. Medical Records – Staying on top of immunizations and other medical records can be difficult, especially when you have multiple children. Try using your binding machine to make your own bound medical record books to keep all of their medical information organized. Begin by designing a few basic templates (with columns for date, doctor’s name, and other notes) for immunization records, prescribed medications, and surgeries using your preferred word processing or graphic design program. Print out a few copies of each template and bind a book for each of your children. Add an entry onto the appropriate sheet following each doctor’s visit, and you’ll find that keeping your medical records organized is easier than ever.
  4. Original Storybooks – Creating original, one-of-a-kind storybooks for your children will make reading extra special. Whether you choose to involve your child by letting them help you write the story and provide illustrations, or write your own story that features your child as the lead character as a surprise gift, you’ll find that making your own professional-looking bound storybook is easy. Just prepare the pages using a word processing program or graphic design program (or a combination of the two), and then bind them together using your favorite binding style. You can even leave some pages blank to allow your child to illustrate the story as they go.
  5. Vacation Activity Book – Traveling with small children can sometimes be stressful, but planning ahead and creating a vacation activity book will help provide entertainment during long car rides or flights. Print sheets featuring their favorite paper-based games, such as tic-tac-toe, mazes, word searches, or coloring book images (either create your own or find them online), and bind them together using your binding machine. These simple and inexpensive vacation activity books make traveling a breeze!

What is Pre-Punched Binding Paper Used For?

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.

Four Ways to Get Organized with Binding

If getting organized is one of your resolutions this year, then you’ll love these four organizational ideas that utilize your binding machine.

  1. Custom Day Planner – Using your favorite word processing or page layout program, create a blank template that is tailored to your specific needs. Unlike mass-produced planners, these custom pages give you the ability to add sections that are specific to your business or activities. Once the template is completed, print out as many double-sided copies as desired and bind them together to create the ultimate custom planner.
  2. Training Materials – Every organization has a set of training materials that have been created over the years. Make it easy for your employees or coworkers to stay on top of company procedures by binding your own training manuals. Simply gather the most frequently referred to documents, such as price lists, product brochures, and company policies, and use your binding machine to create easy-to-use guidebooks for everyone in your office.
  3. Calendars – Did you know that you can use your wire binding machine to bind your own calendars? Using free, downloadable calendar software or your favorite graphics program, create the pages for your calendar, add a notch to the center on the binding edge with a half-moon punch, then bind them together with twin-loop wire (inserting a wire calendar hanger before closing the wire). This is especially useful for organizations that need unusual calendar layouts (such as Monday through Sunday or work week-only).
  4. Log Books – Have you found yourself having difficulty keeping track of company-specific expenses or appointments in past years? Try creating your own custom log books to help you stay on top of your own information or that of your employees. Use your favorite word processing or page layout program to design a blank template for tracking expenses, listing client information, appointment notes, or whatever other information you may need to log, then turn it into a booklet with your binding machine.

What is a Modular Binding Machine?

modular binding machine is a specialized type of binding system that allows the user to easily change between different punch patterns within a single machine. Instead of having a built-in punch, modular binding machines have self-contained punching dies that are inserted into the machine. The punching dies are available in a wide array of punch patterns, including common patterns such as 4:1 coil, 19-hole comb, 2:1 wire, 3:1 wire, and 3-hole, as well as specialty patterns like 5mm coil, 6mm coil, 11-hole VeloBind, wire with half-moon notch (for calendar-making), and round-hole wire. Because they are capable of punching all of the most common binding hole patterns, modular binding machines are an excellent choice for quick-print shops and offices that perform a variety of binding styles.

The only limitation of these machines is that they generally only have punching capabilities and do not offer any inserting features. There are many cost-effective add-on modules – such as wire closerscomb openers, and coil inserters – that can be used in conjunction with your modular binding system to provide a complete binding solution. If you have a need to bind in multiple different styles but don’t want to purchase separate machines for each method, then a modular binding machine is definitely worth the investment.

What are the Most Popular Varieties of Clear Binding Covers?

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.

What are the Punch Patterns of the Most Common Binding Styles?

Each binding style has its own distinct hole pattern, which only works with the spines that correspond to that specific binding method. In this post, we’ll take a closer at each of the punch patterns to help you distinguish between each of the styles.

There are two separate punch patterns used for wire binding, 2:1 (two holes per inch) and 3:1 (three holes per inch). The 2:1 pattern uses slightly elongated, rectangular holes, and has a total of 21 holes per 11″ sheet. The 3:1 wire binding pattern uses square holes, and has a total of 32 holes per 11″ sheet. Unless your wire binding machine is dual-function or modular (which would allow you to change out your punching dies), it will only punch one of the two pitches. Being aware of which punch pattern your wire binder is capable of producing will ensure that you purchase the twin-loop binding wires that match.

Coil binding ultilizes only one punch pattern – a 4:1 (four holes per inch) pattern made up of 4mm circular holes. Standard plastic binding coils are available in 12″ lengths with a total of 48 loops, which allows you to create crimped ends when binding your 11″ document. Some coil binding machines also offer oval holes instead of circular holes, which makes the pages of the document turn more easily with less resistance from the coil itself. (Note: The 4:1 pitch pattern is the most common coil binding pattern in the United States and Europe, but other some other countries, including Canada, use a 5:1 pitch when binding with coils).

The comb binding pattern is made up of 19 rectangular holes per 11″ sheet. These rectangles correspond to the 19 prongs present on comb binding spines. Each rectangle measures 8mm x 3mm, which provides extra room to turn the pages when the binding comb is inserted.

VeloBind (also called hot knife binding or strip binding) has an 11-hole punch pattern that consists of 1/8″ circular holes, and is designed to work with 11-pin VeloBind strips.  There are also four- and six-pin styles, but those are far less common than the traditional 11-hole pattern. The four-pin VeloBind spines can be used in conjunction with the 11-hole punch pattern or the actual four-pin pattern, but the six-hole hot knife strip only works with a specific binding machine model from GBC (which has been discontinued).