Archive for September, 2010

Intelli-Lam IL400 Pouch Laminator Review

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Intelli-Lam IL400 Thermal Pouch Laminator from Intelli-ZoneAre you in need of a solid, metal-built thermal pouch laminator that can be used to laminate photographs, menus, signs, business cards and other material? One model you may want to consider using is the Intelli-Lam IL400 thermal pouch laminator (found here) from Intelli-Zone. I have had a chance to use this laminator and this is my review.

The Intelli-Lam IL400 (from Intelli-Zone) is a 13-inch wide laminator that can be used to laminate letter-size documents, menus, photographs, signs, business card and other material. As long as the document fits within the 13-inch wide throat, you should be fine.

This laminator can handle most laminating pouches out there. It has an adjustable temperature dial that goes up to about 320 degrees Fahrenheit (160C).  It is able to accept laminating pouches up to 10 mils thick (250 microns) without any problems.

I actually have this laminator sitting next to me right now as I am writing this review. It is a pretty solid laminator. Everything is made out of metal, which is a rarity with pouch laminators.

While not all plastic laminators are bad, the metal housing definitely holds up well. Metal housings often indicate quality mechanical components inside. I just took out the screws on this laminator and took a peek inside. Everything in this laminator seems to be made from high-quality parts.

I am picking this laminator up now, and it definitely has a hefty feel to it, but I don’t think anyone should have a problem moving it from desk to desk. The power cord is extremely thick, but can be detached or replaced if needed. The IL400 weighs 20 pounds shipped, which isn’t too bad.

The laminator sits on four rubber feet that helps keep the laminator stable. It is sitting quite nicely here on my desk. I know this ultimately doesn’t play into how the laminator operates, but I think it is a nice looking machine.

It has a built-in fan that helps cool down the laminating film as it exits the machine. The finished laminated results appear to be crystal clear, smooth and glossy.  A total of four rollers helps with this process and means you shouldn’t ever have to re-run material through this laminator a second time.

The control panel is arranged nicely. The adjustable temperature dial is clearly laid out. There is a power LED light and a “ready” LED to let you know when it is ready to be use. A rocker switch lets you turn the motor on, off or put it in reverse. Reverse functionality in a pouch laminator is great in the event of a misfeed or jam.

Overall I consider the Intelli-Lam IL400 to be a great laminator. For the price, and everything you get, it is a great deal.

You can find the Intelli-Lam IL400 thermal pouch laminator here. You can find our entire selection of pouch laminators here. Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions on laminators.

Formax FD 305 Desktop Letter Folding Machine Review

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Formax FD 305 Letter Folding MachineAre you looking for a compact letter folding machine that can be used on a desk or table for mailing letters, invoices and other documents? One machine you may want to look at is the Formax FD 305 desktop letter folding machine (found here). This is my review.

Many people are aware of the fact that Formax makes a wide variety of heavy-duty, commercial paper folding machines, but did you know that they make a compact letter folding machine for use on a desk?

The Formax FD 305 is a letter folding machine with a purpose. It is completely designed to create the letter fold (C Fold). This is the most common fold used for mailing letters, invoices, receipts, bills and other material.

The FD 305 is not only compact, but it very well may be one of the simplest letter folding machines that we offer. It doesn’t require any folding plate setup or any special fine tuning. It is ready to use right out of the box. Simply plug it in, put the paper in and press the start button. The machine does the rest.

The motor on the FD 305 runs at about 20 folds per minute. This is far more sheets that you could fold manually. It is designed to only work with 8 ½ x 11 sheets of 20# paper. It has a manual bypass slot that will allow you to fold up to 3 sheets of paper at a time, which is pretty impressive.

Pictures often say more than words, so here is a video demonstration of the Formax FD 300:

The FD 305 only weighs about 10 pounds. This means that it is extremely compact and very portable. You will easily be able to unplug this and move it to another desk for various folding jobs.

The downside to this folding machine is that it only creates a letter fold. It cannot be used to create a Z fold or a V fold. For what it is designed to do, however, you really don’t need those other fold types.

One thing I really like about the Formax FD 305, besides its simplicity, is the fact that it features Formax’s quality. This thing is tough, yet very affordable for what it does. If you have to choose between a desktop letter folding machine that is half the cost and this machine, I would choose the FD 305 hands down. It will last you for years.

You can find the Formax FD 305 desktop letter folding machine here. You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here.

Cutting Sticks Critical For Proper Stack Paper Cutter Operation

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Cutting Sticks for Stack Paper CuttersThere’s one thing that many people don’t realize or take into consideration when it comes to proper stack paper maintenance and operation. What they’re missing is the fact that cutting sticks will wear out over time. A damaged or failing cutting stick will lead to incomplete cuts.

Many people, including myself, recommend keeping an extra cutting blade on hand to prevent downtime while the other is getting sharpened. I argue that people should also keep extra cutting sticks on hand for their stack paper cutters.

For those of you unfamiliar with cutting sticks, here is a brief description of what they are:

Stack Paper CuttersCutting sticks provide a pliable and non-damaging surface for stack paper cutting blades to rest on after completing a cut. These sticks are typically made from resilient plastic materials, however, they will eventually wear out over time. A cutting stick can be rotated a total of 8 times (two times per side) before they need to be replaced.

Cutting sticks assist in the cutting process by not only preventing damage to the cutting blade, but also allowing the blade to easily cut through the last couple of sheets of paper. If you notice your stack cutter having trouble cutting the last few sheets of paper, you may need to replace your cutting stick.

At ABC Office we carry cutting sticks for all MBM Triumph, Dahle, Martin Yale, Standard and Duplo stack paper cutters. You can find a comprehensive list of Triumph and Dahle cutting sticks here. You can find our entire selection of stack paper cutters here.

Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions about changing or finding cutting sticks for your machine.

Lassco-Wizer Score II Paper Perforator & Scorer Review

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Lassco-Wizer Score II Paper Perforator and Scorer (W630 / W635)Finding the right paper perforating machine or scorer can be difficult. This is because there are so many options out there. If you need something for light-volume perforation and scoring, and don’t need a higher-end electric machine, you may want to consider using the Lassco-Wizer Score II paper perforator and scorer (found here). This is my review.

Lassco-Wizer makes a wide variety of office equipment. This includes numbering machines, perforators, corner rounders, paper drills and more. Their perforator line includes both electric (Count Auto Pro Plus) and manual (Score II) perforators.

The Score II manual paper perforator and scorer is available in two versions. These versions are the W630 and the W635. These both pretty much the same machines, but are slightly different sizes. The W630 perforates and scores up to 19 1/2″ long and the W635 up to 25″ long. I have used both and they feel and operate exactly the same.

The first thing you may notice upon seeing these machines is that they look remarkably similar to a rotary paper trimmer. The truth is, they are mechanically very similar. This is because the perforating and scoring wheels sits in a head that slides along a bar. Sound familiar?

The perforator wheel used by the Score II creates 10 perforations per inch. This is enough to easily tear paper, but is not fine enough to be considered a micro-perf. This style of perforation should be good enough for coupons, tickets and promotional material.

The scoring wheel does a nice job of putting a strait, consistent crease down a sheet of paper. The score looks good and is easy to do.

Using this machine is pretty easy. Place your paper on the base, adjust the guide to where you want the perforation or score and roll the wheel along the paper. After one pass the job should be complete. The Scorre II can perforate and score paper from 16lb up to cover stock.

I have had people ask if multiple sheets can be perforated at a time. To be honest, I have heard mixed results. The machine is designed to perforate one sheet at a time, although I have had customers tell me they have been able to get away with multiple sheets. I cannot, however, guarantee that this will work.

A common problem that many customers experience is that the rail has to be flipped for scoring or perforating. Many people use the perf wheel with the scoring rail and vice versa. The score rail has an “S” on it and the perforating rail has a “P” on it. As long as everything is set up correctly, you should be good to go.

One thing I wish the Score II had is an alignment grid. There is no grid printed on the base of this machine. There is a guide, that slides along a ruler in inches.

As long as you realize that this perforator & scorer is manual, you should be plenty happy with it. Most complaints I have received are from people who wish it could perforate paper at a faster rate. Remember, this machine is completely manually operated.

I have used the Score II and really like it. The build quality is nice and replacement perforating wheels are available.

You can find the Lassco-Wizer W630 Score II paper perforator & scorer here and the W635 here. You can find our entire selection of paper perforators here.

Manual & Electric Paper Perforators – How To Choose

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Manual Paper PerforatorPaper perforators are useful machines when it comes to making coupons, tickets, promotional and marketing material. The tiny perforated holes make material very easy to tear. The type of perforator you use will depend entirely on what you are perforating, how many items you need to perforate and your budget. Here are a few tips that may help you choose a perforator.

To begin with, there are two main types of paper perforators. These are manual perforators and electric perforators. Here are a few examples of each:

  1. Lassco-Wizer Score II Paper Perforator (Manual) – This manual perforator uses a rotary-style bar and wheel to perforate paper. Simply place your document on the work surface, position the paper where you need the perforation and run the perforating head across the paper. The result is  a perforated document. A guide makes it easy to position paper for repeat perforating.
  2. Martin Yale 3800AP AutoPerf Perforator (Electric) – This electric perforator uses a series of perforating wheels mounted on a bar to perforate paper. Multiple wheels can be used for multiple perforations. It can use 3, 7, and 10-tooth perforating wheels. Because it is electric, it will automatically pull in one sheet at a time and perforate them. This is fast and efficient.

Manual paper perforators are ideal for low-volume use. This may involve a few dozen to perhaps a few hundred perforations a day. Electric perforators are ideal for medium to high-volume perforating and can create hundreds to thousands of perforations a day.

You can see examples of manual and electric paper perforators here. Keep in mind that your budget will come into play. Manual perforators, by nature, are going to be cheaper. Electric paper perforators will be more of an up-front investment, but can ultimately save a lot of time and money over the long run.

I have personally used both manual and electric paper perforators and find them both be efficient ways to perforate paper. The biggest difference is simply the speed and the effort involved.

You can find our entire selection of paper perforators here. Feel free to call 1-800-658-8788 to speak with one of our paper perforating specialists.

The Proper Shop Stool Makes Work Easier

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Interthor Shop Stools / Work Stools with CastersIf you have ever worked on a car, you know how much strain can be put on your back and knees. This is especially the case when working on the wheel of your car, whether it is changing brakes, calipers, struts, ball joints or tie rods. When kneeling is involved, you should really use some sort of a shop stool, preferably one with casters. These wonderful devices have been a lifesaver for me.

Another thing that shop stools are great for is keeping tools organized and close. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have worked on a car, only to find the tools are on the other side of the car, under the car or I’m sitting on them. It’s almost as if they are able to get up and walk away. Shop stools usually have convenient shelves where you can place tools.

Just yesterday I was changing out a leaky rear brake caliper on my ’87 VW GTI mk2 (great car by the way). Having a stool to sit on kept me cleaner, kept my box wrenches in reach and made the entire process simple. Shop stools are a great time saver.

At ABC Office we currently offer two great shop stools, known as People Positioners, which are made by Interthor. One of these stools is the People Positioner 02, which is compact, basic and simple (perfect for me). It features an adjustable seat and has a nice tray underneath for tools. It can be adjusted in height from 13 1/2″ to 18 1/2″.

The second work stool we offer is the People Positioner 05. This work stool is designed for working on taller machinery and has an adjustable height of 20″ to 30″. This work stool has two shelves for tools.

Both of these shop stools are great for what they do and feature a premium build quality, far higher than what you normally find in a shop stool. Both of these work stools feature casters that can be locked in place. This makes moving around a garage, shop or warehouse easy.

You can find our People Positioner shop stools here.

Lassco Spinnit FM-2 Paper Drill Review

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Lassco Spinnit FM-2 Paper DrillDo you need a quick, efficient and simple way to drill holes through a stack of paper? The best way to do this is by using a paper drill. If you are in the market for a paper drilling machine, one model you should consider is the Lassco Spinnit FM-2 paper drill (found here). I have used this machine and this is my review.

Lassco’s Spinnit line of paper drills are some of the most widely used and most recognized paper drill manufacturers around. They make a wide variety of single and triple spindle designs. This includes floor and workbench models.

The Lassco Spinnit FM-2 is a freestanding paper drill that has a manually activated press (foot operated) and an electric powered single-spindle drill. While this paper drill only drills one hole at a time, three-hole drilling is quick and easy. It takes a total of three passes for three hole drilling. It can be used with paper up to 14″ long.

Because this machine only drills one hole at a time, I would rate this paper drill as being a medium-volume machine. Don’t let this fool you. It can still drill through 2″ of paper at a time. This is still far more than any paper punch, and thanks to a foot-operated pedal, hands-free operation is simple.

Having moved this paper drill around our showroom floor, I can vouch for the fact that this thing is heavy-duty. It is made out of metal components and it weighs in at 260 pounds shipped.

This paper drill is heavy-duty enough that it can easily be used continuously throughout the day without suffering any ill effects. It is perfect for printing presses and other businesses that need to drill holes through paper.

Simply set the guides, place your paper on the bench and turn the drill on. Pushing down on the foot pedal brings down the drill itself. The entire process only takes a few seconds and very little effort is required by the operator.

The drill bit on the FM-2 (Style A Bits) are hollow. This allows the drilled pieces of paper to travel up the bit into a waste tray that can later be emptied. Even though a lot of paper cutting is involved, there is very little mess.

Overall I really like this paper drill. If you are in the market for a single-spindle paper drill, and you are fine with drilling one hole at a time, this is a great option.

You can find the Lassco Spinnit FM-2 paper drill here. You can find our entire selection of paper drills here. Do you still have questions? Feel free to call one of our paper drill specialists at 1-800-658-8788. Have a great day!

Paper Folding Machine Troubleshooting Tips

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Paper Folding Machines from ABC OfficeThere are few things more frustrating than trying to fold paper and constantly running into issues. I have used dozens of different models of paper folding machines and if there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that every machine has it’s own little quirks that you have to figure out to get everything to run smoothly.

Here are some of the most common issues I have faced using paper folding machines. I am going to touch base on some of the most common issues. Hopefully this will help you.

Machine Pulling Through Too Many Sheets

  1. This is often a result of the retarder wheel (if so equipped) being too loose. This allows too many sheets of paper to be pulled in at a time.
  2. A paper jogger may help with this issue by helping break up paper, preventing sheets from sticking together.
  3. On some paper folding machines, you may also need to fan the paper prior to placing it in the machine.

Folding Machine Won’t Pull In Any Paper

  1. This can be a result of glossy or coated paper with a friction-feed folding machine. The friction rollers simply cannot grab glossy paper properly.
  2. The rollers may be coated with dust or leftover ink. You may need to clean the rollers using roller clear (found here).
  3. Try fanning the paper. Some folding machines require paper to be folded prior to being placed in the machine.

Folds Are Crooked

  1. It’s possible that you may not have your paper tray guides properly adjusted. If the friction wheel isn’t centered, it may be pulling the paper in crooked. This often causes crooked folds.
  2. This may be a result of a badly set skew. Many folding machines have a skew wheel that can be adjusted, resulting in more precise folds.

Folds Aren’t Accurate

  1. Are you using an automatic paper folding machine? If so, turn of the paper folder and let the folding trays reset to their neutral position. Sometimes automatic folding machines get thrown out of whack and simply need to be reset.
  2. Are you using a manual paper folding machine? You may simply need to make some fine-tuned adjustments to the folding plates.
  3. You may be using paper that is too thick or paper that is glossy (in a friction-feed machine). Folding paper that is too thick causes all sorts of issues and glossy paper causes many issues with friction-feed machines.

If you are still experiencing problems, or think you may have a broken paper folding machine, you should call our Service Department. They are well-trained and very skillful at fixing paper folding machines. You can reach them by filling out this form.

You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here.

What Is A Cross Fold / French Fold?

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Dynafold Paper Folder DE-322AF (Cross Fold Capable)I have seen an increase lately in customers asking me what a cross fold / French fold is. This type of fold is considered to be one of the toughest folds to do on a paper folding machine. These are the steps involved in creating a cross fold.

To start, you will need a paper folding machine capable of doing a cross fold. This type of fold is sometimes called a cross fold, a right fold or a French fold. These are all the same types of fold. Most paper folders will indicate in the specifications the types of fold they are able to handle.

This is an example of a cross fold:

Example of a Cross Fold / French Fold

The first step in creating a cross fold is to do a single fold (aka V Fold). This is what a single fold looks like:

Example of a V Fold or a Single Fold

The second step involves taking the single-folded document and running it through the paper folding machine again, doing another single fold. The end result is a cross fold.

There are some very elaborate variations of the cross fold. One I have seen is a letter-folded document that is then folded in half again. Keep in mind that the more folds created, the more strain that is placed on the paper folding machine.

A map is a good example of a custom cross fold:

Cross Fold / Map Fold

If you are curious about whether or not a folding machine can create your custom cross fold, you can either call us at 1-800-658-8788 to speak with one of our paper folding specialists or you can have us try out the fold on the machine in question.

We stock most of the paper folding machines we sell. This means we can easily break one out of a box and try your custom fold prior to you making a purchase. This way you will know for sure that the machine will work for you.

You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here.

Wooden Fire Extinguisher Cabinets & Fire Codes

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Wooden Oak Fire Extinguisher CabinetsA customer recently asked me a question about whether or not wooden fire extinguisher cabinets complied with fire code. Initially I didn’t know. I assumed that they did comply with fire codes or they wouldn’t be made in the first place, but I wanted to check to be certain. This is what I discovered.

After speaking with Wooden Mallet, a prominent manufacturer of wooden oak fire extinguisher cabinets, I discovered that there are no fire codes preventing the use of wooden fire extinguisher cabinets.

I was informed, however, that cities can impose their own building and fire codes. It is recommended to check with the local fire marshal if there are any concerns.

Also take into consideration as to where the fire extinguisher cabinet will be mounted. Wooden fire extinguishers are mounted to a wall and do protrude. Some locations, such as halls, require that fire extinguisher cabinets be recessed into the wall regardless of whether they are wood or metal.

To date I have never had a customer complain about one of our wooden fire extinguisher cabinets or an issues with codes. You should be in the clear when it comes to using wooden fire extinguisher cabinets.

You can find our entire selection of wooden fire extinguisher cabinets here.

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