Archive for June, 2010

How To Make Your Own Calendar Using Wire Binding

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Calendar Wire HangersDid you know that it is possible for you to make your own calendars? This may be for personal use or for resale. Either way, it is easy to do and we carry everything you need to make this happen. Here is how you make your own personalized calendars.

Here are some of the items you may need and where you can find them on our site:

Step 1 – The first thing you will want to do is print out your calendar. This can be done by using a variety of calendar creation programs. Many templates can be found online. It can even be done using Microsoft Word if you want to go with something fairly simple. Printing out your own calendar allows you to add your own photographs, pictures and art.

Step 2 – The next thing you will need is a wire binding machine. These are sometimes referred to as twin loop or double loop wire binders. These machines will make it possible to wire punch holes in paper.

Renz TC 20 Thumb Cut PunchStep 3 – Now you will need to use a thumb cut calendar punch. We carry the Renz TC 20 thumb cut punch. The thumb cut punch will cut a special notch it the paper that will provide space for the calendar hanger. The notch looks like a half-circle (semi circle). Once you have punched all your paper, organize it so that all the holes are aligned. Be sure the last page of the calendar is on top of the stack.

Step 4 – Now you will need to take a pair of basic wire snips (found at any hardware store) and clip your wire binding element in half. This will allow you to put each of the two wire element halves on each side of the wire hanger.

Step 5 – Insert the wire binding elements into the punched holes. Make sure the wire hanger is aligned with the half-circle thumb cut. Now close the wire shut. Turn the last page of the calendar (currently on top) to the back. This will hide the wire binding seam.

Step 6 – Clip off any excess wire.

Wire Binding MachineYou now have a calendar! Congratulations. You’re now ready to make more.

Please note: If you want to create a smaller calendar, all you have to do is use a pair of wire snips and cut the wire and calendar hanger down to size. It is recommended to use a wire binding machine with a selectable punching die if binding a smaller calendar as this will eliminate annoying half-punched holes.

Still have some questions? Call us at 1-800-658-8788 or post your question in a comment. We are more than happy to help you make your first calendar.

Custom Master Paper Hole Punches from Martin Yale

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Master Series Paper Hole Punches from Martin YaleSo you want to punch holes in a specific place and don’t want to be tied down by a specific design? There’s a machine for that. They are called custom paper hole punches. They are very effective and can be used for one, two, three, four and five-hole punching.

A custom paper punch begins with some sort of punching base. This is usually consists of a metal base, a mounting bar and a lever. The mounting bar is where you place the punch heads. Punch heads are typically purchased separately.

These punch heads are available in different diameters. Simply loosen the mounting bar on the base and slide the punch head onto it. Secure the mounting bar and secure the punch head and you’re ready to start punching paper.  The punch heads can typically be positioned wherever you want them, as long as there is room on the mounting bar.

You can usually slide up to as many as five punch head onto a bar. Be aware, however, that the more punch heads you use, the fewer sheets of paper you can punch.

Custom paper punch bases are typically heavier-duty than a standard paper punch. Many people like to purchase a custom paper punch for that very reason, even if they will be punching paper in a standard three-hole pattern.

Some of the custom paper punch models we carry are the Master punch line from Martin Yale. This includes the 5000 series, the 1325B, the 1325PB and the 1340B. You can our custom Master paper punches here. You can find our entire line of paper punches here.

Akiles Diamond-1 Corner Rounder Review

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Akiles Diamond-1 Corner RounderDo you need a fast, effective and easy way to cut corners off of paper? What you need is a corner rounder. This useful machine makes corner cutting quick and easy. If you haven’t settled on any one machine, you should seriously consider the Akiles Diamond-1 corner rounder (found here). This is my review.

To begin with, Akiles is probably one of the best-known and reputable manufacturers we carry. They manufacture office equipment such as binding machines, paper cutters, corner rounders and more. Akiles equipment is known for having excellent build quality and usually holds up for years.

The Diamond-1 is a heavy-duty manual corner cutter. It uses a cutting die that is actuated by pulling a specially leveraged handle. The entire process is quick and easy. The Akiles Diamind-1 has a 0.4-inch cutting capacity, which equals out to be almost a ½-inch stack of paper.

You have your choice of one cutting die with the machine, but it can use multiple cutting dies. This means you can cut corners at a 1/8-inch radius, swap out the die, and then cut at a ¼-inch radius. The cutting dies are very easy to swap out.

The handle is long enough and leveraged well enough to be able to cut paper very easily. I have used this corner rounder and it really does require very little effort. It doesn’t only cut paper, but also cuts PVC, polyester, leather and polypropylene.

This corner rounder can be used to round the corners on business cards, report covers and playing cards. We have even had people use the Akiles Diamond-1 to cut corners off of laminated paper, photographs, ID cards and more.

I have personally used the Akiles Diamond-1 and can vouch for its quality and performance. The Diamond-1 is also available in an electric model called the Diamond-5, which has a cutting capacity of 1.97-inches. You can find the Diamond-1 corner rounder here and the Diamond-5 corner cutter here.  You can find our entire selection of corner rounding machines here.

CardMate Business Card Cutter Review

Friday, June 25th, 2010

CardMate Business Card CutterSo you think you want to take a crack at creating your own business cards? No worries. It’s actually pretty easy. I make my own business cards and you can too. One great way to do this is by using a business card cutter. Right now, the CardMate (found here) is one of the hottest things out there for doing just that. Here is my review.

To begin with, the CardMate is a very compact little machine. It easily sits on a desk or table. A great place to put it is near your printer. It only weighs about six pounds and is perfect for light to medium-duty use.  It is primarily designed to create business cards, but it can also be used to create teaching cards, labels, product cards and more.

To begin with, you will want to print your cards on a laser or inkjet printer. This is easy to do. The CardMate uses a 10-up pattern, which means you can print a total of 10 business cards per sheet of paper. You can create a business card template using software such as Avery Zweckform, Corel Draw, Microsoft Word, Data Becker, Sigel and others.  We have a CardMate template that you can use to help design your own cards found here.

CardMate Business Card SlitterOnce printed, the cards are fed into the machine. A total of two passes are required to create the cards. The machine itself is manually operated by use of a hand crank. It is very easy to do.  The entire process takes less than a minute.

One thing you will want to take into consideration when using the CardMate is that it is not designed to be used with slick or glossy paper. It may work, but it isn’t designed to handle that type of paper. This is because the CardMate uses rubber rollers to pull the paper through the machine. These rollers have habit of slipping on slick paper. I have had customers tell me that they had no problems where others said it seemed to slip on the paper a little.

I have personally used this little machine and have to say that I really like it. It is simple, yet effective. If you want to create your own business cards, and save some serious money in the process, consider getting the CardMate. You can find the CardMate business card cutter here. You can find our entire selection of business card cutters here.

Happy cutting!

Pyramid Technologies (PTI) Time Trax Bio Review

Friday, June 25th, 2010

PTI Time Trax Bio Employee Time ClockFinding a good, reliable employee time clock can be tough. There is a lot of cheap stuff out there and you need something that is going to last for years. One popular brand that a lot of people are using is Pyramid Technologies (PTI). One of their most popular models is the PTI Time Trax Bio (found here). Here is my review.

To begin with, the Tim Trax Bio is a biometric time clock that uses your finger to punch in and out of work. The employee has to be first set up with the time clock. This involves sliding a finger over the finger scanner. Once a name is associated with the finger scan, that employee can begin using the time clock.

So why use a biometric time clock? The biggest reason is convenience. They don’t require any special PVC ID cards or punch cards. All you need is your finger, and most people remember to bring that to work. There is no need to print replacement cards and buddy punching is pretty much eliminated.

We actually use this particular model for tracking employee time here at ABC Office. We have been using it for over two years now and we all enjoy it. It is very convenient, I don’t have to bother with a punch card and there is no need to carry around a separate ID card. The entire process is simple.

The time clock itself hooks up to a computer. Our accounting department is able to export the logged data from the time clock and use it for payroll purposes. It is very easy to do and “time worked” reports are very easy to generate. The Time Trax Bio can export data for use with ADP, Paychex, QuickBooks, Excel, and more.

The time clock can either be used on a flat surface (which is what we do) or be mounted to a wall. It is also available in a Serial/USB or an Ethernet version. The entire time clock is very small and compact.

Overall I enjoy using the Time Trax Bio and highly recommend it for use in just about any office or business. You will find the PTI Time Trax Bio here. You can find our entire selection of employee time clocks here.

Office Emergency 72 Hour Kits – Survival Packages

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Office Emergency 72 Hour KitsIs it truly possible to be prepared for an emergency situation or disaster? While being completely ready for a disaster may be impossible, it is possible to take proper precautions to make those disasters a little easier to cope with. One great way of being prepared for an emergency situation is to use a 72 hour kit, and this applies to the office as well.

Disastrous events such as floods, earthquakes, blizzards, tornados and other natural disasters are unpredictable. The chances of still being at the office when one of these events occurs are almost as likely as being at home.

At ABC Office, we offer a wide variety of emergency preparedness kits. Some kits are designed for a single individual where other kits are designed for a group of people.

Many of our kits include items such as first aid kits, food, personal hygiene, flashlights, matches, compasses and other items that may come in handy. All these items are designed to make an emergency as convenient as possible. These kits include bags and backpacks designed specifically for portability, convenience and mobility.

Office Porta Potty Sanitation KitWe even offer a sanitation porta potty kit (found here) that includes all the necessary toiletries needed when the office toilet is non-functional or you are in an area where one is not available.

We also offer an emergency office kit (found here) that includes enough food and supplies to support a group of as many as 30 employees. This is one of the more popular office emergency kits we offer.

You can find our entire selection of 72 hour and emergency kits here.

Cassida 5510 UV Bill Counter Review

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Cassida 5510 UV Bill CounterAre you in need of a solid, reliable bill counter? One model you may want to take into consideration is the Cassida 5510 UV bill counter (found here). This bill counter not only counts bills, but also includes built-in counterfeit detection. So is this the right machine for you? Read my review and find out.

To start with, Cassida is one of the best-known manufacturers of bill counters. They make a wide range of models, including coin counters. The Cassida 5510 UV is one of the best-selling bill counters we carry. Here are a few reasons why.

The 5510 UV can count up to 1300 bills a minute, which is pretty fast. This dramatically saves time and money versus manually counting bills. The 5510 is also dead on accurate. If you run the bills through the 5510 UV over and over, you will continue to come up with the same number.

The hopper on the Cassida 5510 UV can hold a total of 200 new bills or 100 old bills. Why the drop with used bills? This is because used bills have wrinkles, bens and tears which prevent the bills from laying flat. This machine will count the bills so quickly that you won’t be able to get another stack ready for counting before the counter finishes with the previous stack.

One big plus with the Cassida 5510 UV is its ability to detect counterfeit bills. It uses ultraviolet technology to scan bills as they are counted. If a bill does not pass the test, the machine will notify you and stop counting.

Another thing to remember with the Cassida 5510 UV is that it doesn’t have to count only bills. It can be used to count coupons, tickets and paper. It can also be used to count bills from other countries. As long as the bill is no smaller than 2 x 4-inches or larger than 4 x 7.33-inches, you’re good to go.

Be aware that while the Cassida 5510 is a bill counter, it is not a bill discriminator. This means it will give you the total number of bills counted, but not the total value of bills counted.

Overall I would consider the Cassida 5510 UV to be a great little counter. It is perfect for use in banks, businesses, schools, churches and other locations where bills are counted on a daily basis.

You will find the Cassida 5510 UV bill counter here. You can find our entire selection of bill counters here.

Best Machine for Shrink Wrapping CDs, DVDs and Video Games

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

I-Bar Shrink Wrap Machine for CDs, DVDs and Video GamesSo you want to shrink wrap CDs, DVDs or video games but don’t know where to start? You’re in luck. We offer several options for packaging and shrink wrapping DVDs and CDs. You have two options for doing this.

The first option is the all-popular I-bar system and the other is the L-bar system. The shrink wrap machine you use will depend entirely on how many you would like to package per day. Shrink wrap protects, presents and provides a tamper-proof way to sell products.

The I-bar shrink wrap system, sometimes called a straight-bar system, is the most common and popular method used for packaging CDs, DVDs and video games. This may be for re-packaging video games for “used” sales or for packaging an independent artist’s CD.

I-bar shrink wrap machines use centerfold shrink film, which is very affordable. Once encased in plastic, a heat gun is used to shrink the film. This can be used to package anywhere from a dozen to a few hundred items per day. The entire process can take 20 seconds to a few minutes, depending on the skill of the operator and the size of the item being packaged.

Minipack Galaxy Shrink Wrapper for DVD, CD and Video Game PackagingHere are two good I-bar sealers for packaging CDs, DVDs and Video Games:

L-bar shrink wrap machines are faster than I-bar systems. They use an “L” shaped sealing bar that completely encloses a CD, DVD or video game in plastic in one single pass. Many have a built-in heat tunnel. The entire process takes a few seconds. These can be used to package hundreds of disks a day. Little manual effort is needed.

Here are two good L-bar sealers for packaging CDs, DVDs and Video Games:

You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here. Good luck packaging your CDs, DVDs and video games!

How Long Does It Take A Laminator To Warm Up?

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Pouch Laminating MachinesI had a customer ask me the other day how long it takes a laminator to warm up. This is a tough question to answer because of all the variables involved. It is almost like asking how long it takes a “car” to go from 0 to 60. It all depends on the make and model.

I have come up with a list of basic rough estimates with regards to laminator warm-up times.

Entry-level roll or pouch laminators will typically take anywhere from 8-15 minutes to warm up. This is because the heating elements are cheaper to make and simply aren’t as efficient.

Mid-level laminators typically warm up in 5-8 minutes, which isn’t bad at all. These laminators will typically handle most everything people need to laminate. Mid-level laminators can handle low to medium-volume laminating.

High-level laminators can often warm up in as little as 1-5 minutes, which is phenomenal. These laminators use high-efficiency and high-quality heating elements to get the job done. These laminators are typically designed for medium to high-volume laminating and can be used throughout the day.

Keep in mind that these are estimates and will not always be the case with your laminator. You can find our entire selection of laminating machines here. Happy laminating!

Intelli-Fold DE-322AF Paper Folding Machine Review

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Intelli-Fold DE-322AF Paper Folding MachineSo you need a machine to fold some paper and are considering going with the Intelli-Fold DE-322AF paper folding machine. The only problem is you don’t know for sure if it’s the right machine for the job. I have personally used the DE-322AF and will post my thoughts on this paper folder in this review.

To start with, Intelli-Fold makes a solid paper folding machine. They are reliable, build quality is excellent and they are easy to service (should the need arise). Intelli-Fold paper folders do require some manual set up, but if you can get past that, they do a very good job.

So what are some of the biggest advantages of the Intelli-Fold DE-322AF? To start with, this paper folder can fold paper as small as 2 x 3-inches (wow that’s small) or as large as 11 x 17-inches. Because it has such versatility with paper sizes, it is perfect for use in a print shop, for mailers or other material. Few paper folders can handle that range of paper sizes. Be aware that the Intelli-Fold 322-AF is directly comparable to the Dynafold DE-322AF.

Another big plus with the DE-322AF is the paper thickness it can handle. It can fold paper ranging from 10# (wow that’s thin) up to 110# card stock. Again, as with the paper sizes, it has an excellent range in handling different thicknesses of paper. You could almost fold tissue paper all the way up to chipboard with this thing. That is pretty cool.

The Intelli-Fold DE-322AF is also capable of creating the most common folds required today. This includes the letter fold (C Fold), accordion fold (Z Fold), single fold (Half Fold), gate fold, double parallel fold and engineering fold. Not only does it create those folds, but the plates can be adjusted for custom folds as well.

The feed tray can hold up to 500 sheets of standard paper, which is quite a bit. As the paper is folded, it exits out onto a conveyor exit tray. Conveyor systems are nice because it keeps the paper neatly lined up and in order. This is especially nice if you are folding invoices that have to stay in order. Many other paper folders have a basic exit basket where the paper is tossed, which jumbles the paper.

One downside to the DE-322AF is that it is not designed to be used with glossy or slick paper. This is because the friction rollers used in the machine can potentially slip on the paper, causing a jam. This isn’t to say that it can’t handle some glossy paper, but it isn’t guaranteed. This is a problem that occurs with all friction-style folding machines. The only way to guarantee your paper folder will handle glossy paper is to use an air-feed machine.

Overall I am very impressed with the Intelli-Fold DE-322AF. It is a solid machine. I have personally used it and would recommend it to my closest friends. You can find the Intelli-Fold DE-322AF paper folding machine here. You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here.

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