How to Create a Church Fold Using 11″ x 17″ Paper
We recently had an opportunity to have MBM, one of the leading manufactures of paper folding machines, stop by our office and demonstrate some of their equipment. While I am already very familiar with MBM machines, one of the folds demonstrated on the MBM 307A (found here) was the church fold. This fold isn’t as common as many other folds, but is still very popular for folding literature. So what does a church fold look like and how do you create one?
To begin with, the church fold is technically a modified C fold (aka letter fold). In a letter fold, all three panels are equal widths. With a church fold, one of the three panels is smaller than the other two. The end result is a nice looking fold that is unique and really stands out.
Here is a picture of what the church fold will ultimately look like:
All paper folding machines (found here) are designed different, so my measurements may not work with your machine, but this is a great place to start. Most paper folding machines have two individual folding plates. Depending on the brand, sometimes these plates are on opposite sides of the machine and on other machines they are on the same side. With the MBM 307A (which I was just playing around with), the folding plates are on the same side of the machine. With this in mind, my measurements are based on a top and bottom plate located on the same side of the machine.
While the church fold can be easily done with an 8 ½” x 11″ sheet of paper, most church folds are created using 11″ x 17″ paper. I will cover the 11″ x 17″ size of paper in this article. Once you understand the concept, doing this fold on smaller paper should be pretty easy.
The church fold I created has a 3.5″ panel with two 6.75″ panels. What I did with the MBM 307A is set the top fold plate to 3.5″ and the second folding plate to 6.75″. The 307A is complexly automatic. After punching in the numbers, the machine adjusted itself and in seconds I was creating church folds.
This fold can be easily modified. Keep in mind that the length of the paper I am using is 17″. This is the most important measurement to remember when doing custom folds. If I want the first fold to be 3″ instead of 3.5″, all I have to do is subtract 3 from 17. This leaves me with 14. I now need that remaining 14″ to be folded in half. This means I need the second fold plate set to 7″.
I have tried this variation of the church as well and it looks great. This simple math will allow you to easily create just about any custom fold you want.
So there you have it! A church fold. It is easy to create and literally takes just seconds to minutes (depending on experience) to set up and create. If you are having trouble setting up your church fold, or need a machine that can create one, please call one of our experts at 1-800-658-8788. They are more than happy to help you out. You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here.