Archive for May, 2010

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas – Paper Cutters, Laminators & More!

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Mother's Day Gift IdeasIn need of a gift for your mother, but have run out of ideas? No worries. We have a few great gift ideas that our customers, and some of our employees, have used to put a smile on mom’s face for Mother’s Day. Here are just a few of those ideas:

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas:

Laminators: Laminators are always popular with mothers who like to collect photos of children or grandchildren. Laminators can be used to protect and preserve photographs. Consider the Sircle HQ-230 (found here) or the Fellowes EXL 45-2 (found here).

Paper Cutters: Paper cutters are very popular with mothers who like to scrapbook, cut photographs and create crafts. Carl brand cutters are especially popular (found here). Our Carl RT-200 is especially popular (found here).

Emergency Preparedness Kits: With all the earthquakes occurring throughout the world today, you can never be too safe. Let your mother know how much you love her by getting her a 72-hour kit. You can found all our 72-hour kits here.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Heat Shrink Tunnels vs Heat Guns

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

There are several different types of shrink-wrap machines in existence today. Regardless of whether you are using an L-bar shrink wrapper or a straight-bar system, both machines will eventually require a heat source to shrink down the film. There are two ways of doing this. One method is done by using a heat shrink tunnel and the other is done by using a heat gun. Both machines have their pros and cons. Here is a breakdown on the two different methods.

Heat Shrink GunsHeat Shrink Guns – A heat gun looks very similar to a hair drier, but produces several times more heat. Many heat guns have the capability of being turned up to produce 1,000+ degrees of heat. A hair drier doesn’t even come close to that. I do, however, get people that ask if they can use their hair drier to shrink the film. I usually tell them, “If your hair drier is capable of burning off your hair, it ‘may’ work.” I say that in jest.

Heat guns are manually held and manually aimed to shrink the film. It usually requires a couple of passes. When shrinking film around a box, it is usually necessary to flip the box over to shrink the other side. A skilled heat gun operator can complete the entire shrinking process in 10-30 seconds, depending on the size of the product being packaged.

Heat guns are ideal for low to medium-volume use. They are perfect if you are packaging a few dozen items per day, but if you will be packaging hundreds (or more) a day, you will probably want to upgrade to a heat tunnel. You can find our popular HotShot heat gun here.

Heat Shrink TunnelsHeat Shrink Tunnels – Heat shrink tunnels are used for medium to high-volume packaging. Volume output can range from hundreds to thousands of products, depending on the machine. While many shrink-wrap systems now incorporate a built-in heat tunnel, many modern systems still use a separate heat tunnel.

Heat tunnels require a lot less manual interaction than a heat gun and can shrink film around an entire package in one single pass. The entire process can be completed in just a few seconds, depending on the machine and tunnel being used.

Once a product enters the heat tunnel, hot air is blown around the entire package. Because the air is so evenly distributed, and so quick, heat tunnels can often be used to package heat-sensitive products. You can find our selection of heat shrink tunnels here.

Still have questions about using heat shrink tunnels and guns? Post a comment here and I will answer your question. Have a great day!

Introducing: New Wooden Oak Fire Extinguisher Cabinets

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Wooden Mallet Oak Fire Extinguisher CabinetsI don’t know about you, but to me a bright red fire extinguisher clashes with existing furniture. Unless your favorite color is red, they are pretty unsightly. I understand that they are necessary and required by law. Currently most people either have them bolted to the wall, using a metal strap, or in an aluminum cabinet hanging on the wall.

There is now another option when it comes to safely hanging fire extinguishers on the wall while keeping them accessible and complying with safety code. This new alternative is Wooden Mallet’s fire extinguisher cabinets. These wooden oak cabinets are clearly marked, available in multiple wood stains and fit in nicely with existing furniture.

These new cabinets come with a wooden cabinet door, marked Fire Extinguisher, or with a clear acrylic window. These wooden extinguisher cabinets come in a 5-pound and a 10-pound design, depending on how heavy the extinguisher is. All wall-mounting hardware is included.

You can view these new wooden oak fire extinguisher cabinets here.

Pouch Laminating Sheets – Best Mil Thickness

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Pouch Laminating SheetsPouch laminating sheets, often referred to as lamination pouches, are used to laminate business cards, menus, photographs and more. These sheets of lamination film come in a variety of different sizes and thicknesses. So what thickness should you look for when laminating documents? This article will go into detail about hot laminating film.

Mil Thickness – The mil thickness is the thickness of the pouch itself measured in thousandths of an inch. Laminating pouches typically come in 5, 7 and 10 mil thicknesses. A 5-mil pouch is a total of 10 mils thick, with each side of the pouch being 5 mils. This means a 7-mil pouch is in fact a 14-mil pouch laminated (7 & 7) and a 10-mil pouch is in fact a 20-mil pouch laminated (10 & 10).

To get an idea on how thick a 20 mil pouch is, a credit card is 30 mils thick. Five-mil pouches are typically used for surface protection, a 7-mil pouch is used for surface protection and support and a 10-mil pouch is used for surface protection, maximum rigidity and support.

Most of our customers purchase 5 mil pouches. This is due in part because they cost less, but also because most people only require the finish and protection a 5-mil pouch provides.

Keep in mind, however, that the thickness of the pouch doesn’t take into account the thickness of the item you are laminating. If you are laminating thick card stock, you may only want a 5-mil pouch. If you are laminating very thin paper, you may want to go with something a little thicker.

You can find our entire selection of pouch laminating sheets here.

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