Archive for the ‘Supplies’ Category

Why Should Your School Upgrade from 1.5 mil to 3 mil Roll Laminator Film?

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

 

3 mil Roll Lamination Film

3 mil Roll Lamination Film

 

 

There are several different types of roll lamination film available today. Customers often ask, “What’s the best film for me?” We ask them about their application before recommending the optimum roll laminator film. When new customers call from a school ordering lamination film, we typically ask them about the film thickness they are currently using. If they tell us they are using 1.5 mil film, that’s when the conversation takes an interesting turn.

 

Not only is ABC Office roll laminating film affordable, it’s also made from high quality materials. Our roll laminating film makes posters, banners, signs, maps and other similar school projects look professional and highly presentable. Unfortunately, there are some 1.5 mil (this is a measurement in thousandths of an inch) lamination films out there that are actually not 1.5 mil in thickness. Some manufacturers will market school grade film as 1.5 mil thick when the actual thickness is closer to 1.2 mil. This film is a low-cost alternative that indeed saves the school money, but also sacrifices some of the rigidity and durability that most schoolteachers need in a lamination film. This is why ABC Office often upgrades its education clients from 1.5 to 3 mil film.

 

When schoolteachers and other employees visit our offices and have the opportunity to see the differences between 1.5 vs. 3 mil film, the contest is immediately over. They upgrade to 3 mil roll lamination film and never look back.

 

What is 3 mil Clear Lamination Film?

 

Three mil thick roll lamination film is basically an everyday film that will adhere to most printed documents, signs and posters. Clear film is popular with schools and copy shops because it works very well on a variety of substances. When properly laminated, clear 3mil film gives your document a professional, glass-like appearance. It comes in widths of nine, 12, 18, 25 and 27 inches.

 

Roll lamination film also comes in other mil thicknesses: five and ten mil. Some roll laminators, especially models purchases by most schools, are restricted to a narrow range of lamination film thicknesses … typically 1.5 to 3 mil. Be sure you are using laminate film that is compatible with your laminator.

 

At ABC Office we have the best selection and prices on roll laminating film available online. Our lineup also includes matt film, UV lamination film, pressure sensitive laminating film and more. We mostly sell clear glossy film, which means we are able to provide you with some of the lowest prices available online. We also offer roll lamination film core sizes and widths that accommodate most roll laminators available on the market. Some of the major manufacturers we represent include: Ledco, Sircle, GBC, Tamerica and more.

 

Contact ABC Office today at 1-800-658-8788 to ask about our selection of clear 3 mil lamination films.

 

New Inspirations Creative Coloring Books for Adults from Alvin & Company

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015
adult coloring books

Adult Coloring Book

Why should there be coloring books just for kids? Why should they have all of the creative fun? That’s what Alvin & Company wondered, and instead of complaining about this obvious injustice they did something about it. Introducing: Inspirations Creative Coloring Books for Adults. Alvin & Company has crafted relaxing and creative coloring books with illustrations that tempt you to spend hours coloring (instead of doing the usual boring grownup stuff).

 

Coloring books are filled with rich, intricate drawings. Each pattern is smartly designed so you can’t color them the wrong way even if you tried. No art skills needed to personalize these babies. All pages in the book are pre-perforated for easy removal and display. Your kids will be jealous of your new creations proudly hanging on the fridge or bathroom mirror. Patterns and designs are printed on high-quality, extra-thick paper. That means your markers or pens won’t bleed through the page.

Sample Coloring Book Page

Sample Coloring Book Page

Adult coloring books from Alvin may be used with magic markers, colored pencils, watercolors crayons, gel pens … whatever you desire. Full-sized books for extended relaxation opportunities. Each book measures approximately 8 1/2 x 11 inches and is stuffed with 30 fun pages to color, plus 11 pages of instruction and inspirational quotes, such as the gem by Eleanor Roosevelt included with this article.

Adult Coloring Book Quotes

Adult Coloring Book Quote.

Be sure to ask us about Inspirations Creative Coloring Books for Adults by Alvin & Company (retail $9.99 each).

Is Thermal Lamination Film Universally Accepted By All Hot Laminators?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Pouch LaminatorsI recently had a customer ask me if you had to use the laminating film indicated in the laminator’s manual. The manual indicated brand, size, thickness and a few other things. Most manufacturers want you to use their laminating film. GBC is a prime example of this. What many people don’t realize is that most laminating film (found here), regardless of brand, will work in your machine. There are just a few numbers you will need to be aware of before placing an order.

So why do manufacturers want you to use “their” film? It’s all about money. It’s kind of like my Volkswagen’s owner’s manual, which indicates I should have my car’s oil changed by an authorized Volkswagen technician. In reality, just about anyone can change the oil on my car. So now that we have established that you can use other brands of film with your laminator, what else should you look out for?

First off, ensure that the film you are buying is thermal (hot) laminating film and that your laminator is a thermal (hot) laminator. Pressure sensitive film, aka cold laminating film, is not universally accepted in all laminators.

There are a few numbers that you will need to look up when shopping around for laminating film. The first is the mil thickness. A mil is a thousandth of an inch (1 mil = 0.001″). Laminating film usually comes in 1.5, 3, 5, 7 and 10 mil thicknesses. Most pouch and roll laminators can use 1.5, 3 and 5-mil film. The 7 and 10 are a little to thick for some laminators, so be sure your laminator specifically says it can use 7 or 10 mil film before purchasing it.

Roll LaminatorsIf you are using a roll laminator, be sure that the core diameter size of the film that you are buying fits the diameter of mandrel your laminator uses. The core of the film slides over the laminator’s mandrel. Most 8″ to 27″ wide roll laminators use a 1″ diameter core size. Larger wide format laminators use a 2 ¼” up to a 3″ diameter core size.

If you are using a roll laminator, ensure the roll width is the right size for your laminator. A 27″ roll laminator can typically use any laminator width up to 27″. This means you can typically use smaller width rolls as well.

If you are using a pouch laminator, I recommend using a pouch that is ¼” to ½” smaller than the laminator’s maximum width. If your pouch laminator is 12″ wide, and you use a 12″ wide pouch, the likeness of a crooked misfeed is high and can result in a jam. Cutting that width down by up to ½” allows a little room for error.

You can find our entire selection of pouch lamination film here and roll lamination film here. I understand that this may be a little confusing, so please don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Laminator Specialists at 1-800-658-8788 for answers to your questions. We have been in business since 1980 and know a lot about laminators. We can help match up the correct supplies for your machine.

Business Card Laminating Pouches – A Professional Finish

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Laminating Business CardsWhile many things in this world have gone digital, business cards still play an important role in helping establish contacts and promoting an individual or business. There are many ways to create, produce and print business cards. Some are glossy, some have a dull luster and others are created on a laser printer. Regardless of the style of business card you use, you can benefit from laminating them with a business card laminating pouch (found here).

Lamination adds a lot of qualities and benefits to a business card. Aesthetically, it looks great. A laminated business card has a nice shine and glossy “new” look to it. If you don’t like the glossy look, matte pouches are also available. Laminated business cards have several other benefits:

  • They have a longer lifespan.
  • They don’t get bent out of shape.
  • They are less likely to be discarded.
  • They have a professional sturdy feel to them.
  • They are waterproof.
  • They stand out from other business cards.

Business Card Laminating PouchesBusiness card laminating pouches measure in at 2 ¼” x 3 ¾” in size (5.72 cm x 9.53 cm). The standard business card is 2″ x 3.5″ in size. The laminating pouch adds a thin border around the card for added security and durability. This border is usually no more than 1/8″ wide. While most people are fine with a small border, it can be trimmed off by using a rotary paper cutter (found here).

Business card laminating pouches are typically sold in quantities of 100 per box and generally cost less than $5 per pack. They come in different thicknesses, referred to as mil thickness (1 mil = .001″). The higher the mil thickness, the thicker the pouch.

Which mil thickness should you use? In the business card size, there are 5, 7 and 10 mil thick options. The thickness you use really depends on the thickness of your card. If your business card is printed on card stock, you are probably going to be fine with a 5 mil thick pouch. Five mils is the most popular thickness. If you are printing your own business cards on thin stock or standard copy paper, I recommend using a 7 mil thick pouch. Once all is said and done, a 10-mil pouch will give our business card the thickness, weight and feel of a credit card.

Laminating a business card is easy. Place your business card in the pouch, place the pouch in a carrier and run it through a laminator (found here). Once done, you may want to consider rounding the corners by using a corner rounder (found here).

At ABC Office, we offer bulk quantity discounts. We offer price breaks at 5 boxes, 10 boxes, 25 boxes and 50 boxes of film. We are a wholesaler for laminating pouches, so we can typically get you the best price possible. If for any reason you find the price for less, we can almost always match it. You can find our entire selection of business card laminating pouches here. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

What is Laminating Film Made out Of? Lamination Composition

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Roll Laminating FilmWhen shopping around for laminating pouches (found here) or rolls of laminating film (found here), have you ever wondered what the film itself is made out of? Plastic…right? While laminating film is made out of certain types of plastic, it is usually a combination of several types. This article will go into great detail regarding the composition of laminating film.

The first thing you need to be aware of, when shopping for laminating film, is that a sheet of laminating film is composed of various layers of plastic. The harder layer is on the outside and the softer layer is on the inside. Combined, these layers make up the mil thickness, with a mil being a thousandth of an inch (0.001″). Outside the United States, laminating film is measured in microns rather than mils. A micron is a thousandth of a millimeter (0.001 millimeters).

Pouch Laminating FilmHave you ever shopped around for a laminating pouch (or roll) and saw 4/3 on the outside of the box, or perhaps 3/2 on the outside of the box? These are numbers displaying the ratio of hard to soft plastic used in the laminating sheet. A 4/3 would be 4 mils of hard plastic and 3 mils of soft plastic (glue), totaling 7-mils. A 3/2 pouch is a 5 mil thick pouch. This ratio can change depending on the amount of hard and soft plastic used, however, the ratio will always add up to the total “mil” thickness of the sheet of film.

So what kind of plastic is used in laminating film? While this isn’t always going to be the case, the harder outer layer is usually made from PET plastic (Polyethylene Terephthalate) and the softer inner layer is made out of EVA plastic (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate). Occasionally a combination of PET plastic, PE (Polyethylene Plastic) and EVA plastic are all used together.

PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) – This type of plastic is commonly used in food, beverage and other plastic containers. It is also used for producing synthetic fibers used in clothing. It is a resin of the polyester family. It can be easily formed into various shapes, and in the case of laminating film, it is formed into a thin sheet. The funny thing is that PET plastic doesn’t actually contain Polyethylene, which is why PET is sometimes simply called Ethylene Teerephthalate. In the case of laminating film, the PET is clear. It was especially popular in the 70’s for the production of polyester clothing.

Roll Laminating FilmEVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate) – This type of plastic is condiered to be extremely durable, stress resistant and is commonly used as a hot-melt adhesive. Have you ever used a glue gun? Glue sticks are made out of EVA plastic, the same material that lines the inside of a laminating sheet. EVA is also used in materials such as plastic wraps due to its “clingy” properties. EVA plastic is also used in expanded rubber or foam rubber for padding in ski boots, fishing reel handles and more.

PE Plastic (Polyethylene) – This is by far the most common plastic used today and is commonly used for bags, packaging and more. This isn’t as common in laminating film, although some may contain PE plastic.

I hope this helps you out. While this may not influence or change your mind on the type of laminating film you purchase, I still think it is helpful and educational to know what laminating film is made out of. Hopefully this will help you better understand how laminating film works and exactly what it is.

You can find our entire selection of pouch laminating film here and roll laminating film here. As far as machines go, you can find our pouch laminators here and roll laminators here.

If you still want to learn more, or need help finding the right film for your laminator, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-658-8788. Have a great day!

5 Mil Laminating Pouches – Best Universal Thickness

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

5 Mil Laminating PouchesWhen shopping around for laminating pouches (found here), you probably want to use the best thickness for the job at hand. While you may not know what thickness to buy, I can tell you that 5 mil laminating pouches are by far the most popular thickness. ABC Office offers a great selection of 5 mil pouches in a wide range of sizes. So why is the 5 mil thickness so popular? I’ll explain in this article.

To begin with, you probably need to know what a mil is. Mil is not short for millimeter, although many people think it is. A 5-millimeter pouch would be extremely thick. A mil is one hundredth of an inch (1 mil = 0.001″), where a millimeter is 0.039″ thick. In relation to what we are used to dealing with, a mil is pretty thin. A 1.5 mil pouch is about as thin as they come and a 10-mil pouch is about as thick as they comb. Five mils is a great compromise between price and durability.

At ABC Office, we offer 5 mil pouches in about 18 different sizes. These include:

  • Business Card (2 1/4″ x 3 3/4″)
  • Credit Card (2 1/8″ x 3 3/8″)
  • Driver’s License (2 3/8″ x 3 5/8″)
  • IBM (2 5/16″ x 3 1/4″)
  • Key Card (2 1/2″ x 3 7/8″)
  • Miliary (2 5/8″ x 3 7/8″)
  • School Card (2 1/2″ x 3 5/8″)
  • Jumbo (2 15/16″ x 4 1/8″)
  • Luggage Tag w/o Slot (2 1/2″ x 4 1/4″)
  • Luggage Tag w/ Slot (2 1/2″ x 4 1/4″)
  • Index Card (3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″)
  • Circulation Card (3 15/16″ x 5 11/16″)
  • Postal Card (3 9/16″ x 5 5/16″)
  • Extra Circulation Card (3 15/16″ x 6 7/8″)
  • 6″ x 9″
  • 9″ x 11 ½”
  • 9″ x 14 ½”
  • 12″ x 18″

These various size pouches can be used to create photo IDs, laminate photos, business cards, menus, cards, signs and much more. The 5 mil thickness is affordable, with 100 pouches per box costing very little, yet it still has enough stability to keep the item being laminated from being easily damaged.

Unlike other online dealers of laminating pouches, whose quality is often questionable, ABC Office’s pouch laminating film is fresh, new and high-quality stuff. It has a crystal clear finish with a glossy surface.

You can find our entire selection of pouch laminating film here and our entire selection of pouch laminators here. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Types of GBC VeloBind Strips / Number of Prongs

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

GBC VeloBind MachineIf you own a GBC VeloBind machine, you probably need to buy VeloBind strips from time to time. One thing you may have discovered, while shopping around, is that GBC (over the years) has released over 4 different VeloBind formats, with each format offering different sizes and capacities. With all this confusion, it’s no wonder customers often have no idea which supply they need for their machine. This guide should help you out.

I would like to start off by covering the most up-to-date and modern machines and supplies used today and ending with supplies / machines that are now discontinued.

11 Prong GBC Hot Knife VeloBind StripsHot Knife VeloBind:

The most common type of VeloBind machine is the 11-prong hot knife VeloBind machine. These machines use 11-prongs along the 11″ side of a sheet of paper, or 9 prongs (aka posts) along the 8 ½” side of a sheet of paper.

These are referred to as hot knife because a heated blade actually cuts off excess prongs and seals them to the back strip using heat. Once finished, the end result is an extremely permanent and very secure bind.

To date, GBC makes a 1″, a 2″ and a 3″ long prong. The following supplies can be used with the accompanying listed machines:

1 x 11 and 1 x 8.5 hot knife VeloBind strips (11 or 9 prong): GBC VeloBind System One, GBC V800pro, VeloBind System Two, GBC VeloBind System Three Pro, GBC VeloBind System Four, Tamerica SecureBind V2000-Pro

2 x 11 and 2 x 8.5 hot knife VeloBind strips (11 or 9 prong): VeloBind System Two, GBC VeloBind System Three Pro, GBC VeloBind System Four, Tamerica SecureBind V2000-Pro

3 x 11 and 3 x 8.5 hot knife VeloBind strips (11 or 9 prong): GBC VeloBind System Three Pro, GBC VeloBind System Four,

The 1 in 1 x 11 stands for 1″, the 2 in 2 x 11 stands for 2″ and the 3 in 3 x 11 stands for 3″ thick capacity. Larger machines, such as the VeloBind System Three Pro, can use 1″ 2″ and 3″ strips, making it completely backwards compatible. Smaller machines, such as the VeloBind System One can only use 1″ strips and not the longer 2″ or 3″ strips.

This is a video demo of the GBC VeloBind System 3 Pro in use:

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

4 Prong GBC Personal VeloBind Strips

Personal VeloBind 4 Prong:

This style of VeloBind machine is designed for temporary and light volume use. The machine, available in a manual and an electric punch, use a 4 prong strip. This equals 4 total holes along the 11″ side of a sheet of paper. As you might imagine, the 4 prongs, as compared to the 11 prongs used in a hot knife system, are not nearly as stable.

Once all holes have been punched, the 4 prong VeloBind strip can be inserted through the holes. The excess prongs are then bend over and snapped into the back strip. This format still looks nice, but is not ideal for thicker books.  These are all examples of 4 prong Personal VeloBind machines: GBC V50, GBC V100, GBC V110e

6 Prong GBC Personal VeloBind StripsPersonal VeloBind 6 Prong:

This binding format is no longer used, although supplies are still available. This binding format is very similar to the 4 prong format. Because 6 holes are used, it is a little more stable than the 4 prong systems. Once the 6 holes have been punched along the 11″ side of a sheet of paper, the 6 prong VeloBind strip is inserted through the holes. The excess prongs are then bend over and snapped into the back strip.

11 Prong GBC Cold Knife VeloBind StripsCold Knife VeloBind Machines:

These binding machines provided a very secure bind without the use of heat. While 11 prongs were used with Cold Knife VeloBind machines, no heat was involved. The top strip, which featured 11 prongs, snapped into the back strip much like a zip tie. The excess prongs were broken off, making them flush with the back strip. Cold knife strips were available in ½ x 11 (1/2″ thick) and 1 x 11 (1″ thick) sizes.

While not quite as secure as a hot knife machine, the snapping zip-tie style of the cold-knife machines were very stable. Unfortunately neither the machines nor the supplies are available any more.

You can find our entire selection of GBC VeloBind machines here and our entire selection of GBC hot knife VeloBind strips here. Feel free to call one of our binding experts at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions about VeloBind machines.

Affordable Perfect Binding Adhesive & Glue

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Standard Bind-Fast 5 Perfect Binding MachinePerfect binding is one of the most professional book binding formats out there. This is the process used to bind paperback books. Whether you are using a cold glue or a hot glue perfect binding machine, glue is probably one of the most costly operational costs involved. At ABC Office, we offer glue for Duplo perfect binding machines and Standard perfect binding machines.

The most popular perfect binding glue we offer is our Standard Bind-Fast 5 glue pellets (found here). This glue can be purchased in a ½ gallon container or in a 50 lb box. This glue is in a pellet form, with each pellet being about the size of a small ball bearing (3-5mm). These pellets can easily be poured into thermal perfect binding machines, where they later melt into hot glue for binding purposes.

Having used this glue myself, I can attest to the quality of it. While I don’t bind paperback books, I do use our in-house Bind-Fast 5 all the time to bind pads of paper. The glue holds up well, is pliable enough not to crack, dries quickly and gets the job done right.

Duplo DB-280 Perfect Binding MachineWhile the Bind-Fast 5 has been discontinued for several years, the clear adhesive glue seems to universally work on most thermal perfect binding machines. I have spoken with many customers that like the hot glue pellets we offer and continue to purchase them for their non-Bind-Fast 5 machines.

Another popular glue option is our adhesive glue for the Duplo DB-280 and DB-250 perfect binding machines (found here). This glue is available in a 50-pound package.

Regardless of what perfect binding machine you use or operate, we probably have the thermal glue pellets that you need. Our perfect binding machine glue is extremely affordable. Please feel free to contact one of our Binding Specialists at 1-800-658-8788 for answers to your perfect binding machine supply questions.

Most Popular Book Binding Supplies by Diameter

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Book Binding Machines & SuppliesIf you are binding a book, whether it is coil, comb or wire, you have to select a specific supply diameter to finish the process. Many customers get a little frustrated not knowing what size of supply they should get. Comb, wire and coil binding supplies are typically sold in quantities of 100. So which diameter of comb, coil or wire should you use?

If you don’t do a lot of book binding, yet need to order supplies for your machine, you have a few options. We offer a capacity guide on our supplies that will give you an approximate amount of sheets that can be bound for any given diameter.

Is there a well-rounded diameter that you can use for a lot of stuff? I have found that most customers purchase a ¼” diameter element for typical report, presentation and booklet binding. The ¼” size can handle up to 20 sheets, yet doesn’t look funny when binding 10.

Here is a good list of binding supply diameters and their binding capacities:

  • Binding Machine Diameter Capacities3/16″ — Binds up to 12 sheets
  • ¼” — Binds up 20 sheets.
  • 5/16″ — binds up to 40 sheets.
  • 3/8″ — Binds up to 55 sheets
  • 7/16″ — binds up to 70 sheets
  • ½” — binds up to 90 sheets
  • 9/16″ — binds up to 100 sheets
  • 5/8″ — binds up to 120 sheets
  • ¾” — binds up to 150 sheets
  • 7/8″ — binds up to 170 sheets
  • 1″ — Binds up to 200 sheets
  • 1 1/8″ — Binds up to 220 sheets
  • 1 ¼” — Binds up to 230 sheets
  • 1 ½” — Binds up to 290 sheets
  • 1 ¾” — Binds up to 360 sheets
  • 2″ — binds up to 425 sheets

These diameters and capacities apply to comb, wire and coil. These capacities are based on 20# paper, so if you are using card stock or clear covers you may need to scale that amount back a little.

Be aware that while you can use a larger-than-required diameter to bind fewer sheets, you don’t too few sheets as the end results may look odd. An example would be binding only 5 sheets using a 5/16″ binding element.

You can find our book binding supplies here:


Not only do we offer a great selection of book binding supplies, but we also offer an excellent selection of machines. If you need a machine, you can find our entire selection of book binding machines here.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 to speak with one of our book binding specialists. They are more than happy to help answer your questions.

Twin Loop Wire Binding Supplies and Wire Gauges

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Wire Binding SuppliesI had a customer pose a really good question to me this morning. They asked me, “Do your twin loop wire binding supplies get thicker as the diameter increases?” I had never thought of that before and had to do a little research to find the answer.

According to this customer, they have purchased wire of varying gauge qualities, with some wire staying the same thickness even when the diameter increased. They claimed that with “cheaper” twin loop wire, the wire gauge was so pathetic that the books got all bent out of shape after only being used a few times.

I decided I needed to go out to the warehouse and investigate this for myself. I broke out a box of ¼” wire, ½” wire, 7/8″ wire and 1 ¼” wire. I broke out a micrometer (although the difference was visually evident) and can confirm that the gauge thickness of our wire does get thicker as the diameter increases.

Wire Binding Supplies

I figured our wire had to get thicker as we carry the highest quality wire available for wire binding machines. The 7/8″ and 1 ¼” twin loop wire was dramatically thicker than the ¼” wire. This makes sense. The thicker the book, the more strain that is being put on the wire.

Not only is our twin loop wire (both 2:1 and 3:1 pitches) high quality stuff, but it is available to you at an excellent price. You can find our entire selection of twin loop wire supplies here and our large selection of wire binding machines here.

Good luck and happy binding!

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