Archive for the ‘Binding Machines’ Category

Troubleshooting: Pages Keep Ripping out of Bound Book

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Wire Binding Machine TroubleshootingWhen you bind a booklet, presentation or report, you typically expect that book to hold up for some time…right? You certainly don’t want paper ripping out as you turn pages. If your comb, coil or wire bound document is experiencing pages tearing out, premature wear, pages binding or overall difficulty in using a book bound in these formats, you’ll want to read this guide.

Comb, wire and coil binding are all three very distinct binding formats, but they all suffer from similar issues when a book is bound incorrectly. While binding a book is extremely easy to do, there are a few minor settings, if left ignored, can result in a complete failure of a binding job. Here are the two most common issues:

Pages Keep Tearing Out:
If you have pages that seem to be tearing out of your book, you are probably experiencing issues with your margin depth, which is how far holes are punched into the paper. As a general rule, you want to punch holes deeper into the paper when binding thicker books. Thinner books can have the holes punched closer to the edge. If you punch holes close to the edge, while binding a thicker book, pages will eventually begin to tear out.

Many modern binding machines have a margin depth selector that will allow you to adjust how far into the paper the holes are punched based on the thickness of the book. Akiles machines are especially easy to use when it comes to adjusting the margin depth.

Unfortunately not all binding machines have a margin depth adjustment. If this is the case, you will either need to deal with the occasional page ripping out, bind thinner books or upgrade to a different machine.

Here are three great binding machines that feature an adjustable margin depth:

Paper Binds When Turning Pages: If you’re experiencing issues turning the pages in your bound document, the guilty culprit is the binding element itself. What you are probably doing is using a binding comb, wire or coil that is too small for the paper you are binding. What you need to do is use a slightly larger diameter binding element.

Many binding machines now include a diameter selection guide. If you’re binding machine doesn’t have this feature, you can get a good idea on the diameter you need by looking at our supplies pages. Our binding supply pages feature the diameter and how many sheets it can bind.

Binding Supplies

Hopefully this guide helps you out and helps cut down on frustrations. If for any reason you need a new machine, you can find our entire selection of binding machines here.

How to Use a Comb Binding Machine Video Demo

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Intelli-Bind IB400 Comb Binding Machine from Intelli-ZoneIf you use, own or are planning to purchase a comb binding machine, you probably want to know how to use it. Because many of the binding machines out there are made out of the country, the “English” manuals are often very difficult to follow. Many people simply lose their manuals. We recently filmed a “How to Use a Comb Binding Machine” video demo.

To begin with, this demo covers the Intell-Bind IB400 comb binder from Intelli-Zone. This is because the IB400 is a fairly simply and common style of binding machine. You punch the paper, open the combs, insert the combs through the paper and you’re done (in very simplified terms). Once you know how to use this binding machine, you’ll easily be able to use a GBC, Fellowes, Akiles, Renz or other brand of binding machine.

While there are a few design differences between machines, the are almost all the same in operation. Hopefully this video helps you set up your own machine.

How to Use a Comb Binding Machine Video Demo

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As you can see, the process is very simple. I have found that it takes about a minute to bind a basic book. The speed varies, depending on the machine’s capabilities, and electric machines are faster. There is definitely no reason to be intimidated by a comb binding machine. They can be used to bind presentations, reports, books and much more. The spines are available in a wide range of sizes and colors.

We also offer a great selection of binding machines. You can find our entire selection of new comb binding machines here and all our binding machines here. Good luck and happy binding!

Book Binding Workstations, Desks and Tables – Organizational Bliss

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Binding machines, whether it be comb, wire or coil, are wonderful to have, but they do pose a problem to many businesses. “What problem is that,” you might ask? Desk space. Many of us are strapped for desk space. Heaven knows my desk is stacked with magazines, papers, monitors and other stuff. The last thing I need on my desk is a binding machine. There is, however, a great piece of furniture that should help you out. It is commonly referred to as a binding workstation.

Binding workstations, often called binding desks or tables, are designed with the sole purpose of making binding more organized and saving space. Two of the most popular binding workstations we offer are the Akiles Utility Station and the Tamerica WS Workstation.

Akiles Binding Machine Utility StationAkiles Utility Station – The Akiles Utility Station is designed from the ground up to be portable, easy to use and is perfect for organization. The bench height is placed at an ideal height for using a comb, wire or coil binding machine. The bench is wide enough for most machines and can even be used to support electric punch machines. It has a combined supportive weight capacity of 550 pounds.

Below the bench are 3 shelves that can be used to hold boxes of supplies, binding covers or even paper. An additional top 2 shelves can be used to hold additional supplies. Everything is easy to access and organize. The four supportive casters make this cart easy to wheel around the office.

Tamerica Model WS Binding WorkstationTamerica WS Workstation – The Tamerica WS Workstation is smaller than the Akiles Utility Station and is perfect for limited office space. This workstation is at about desk height and can be wheeled up to a desk for easy book binding from the convenience of a chair. A total of 7 wire (transparent) drawers can be used to hold binding supplies of every diameter and color. These drawers are easy to pull out, easy to access and keep everything in one easy-to-find place.

The Tamerica WS is also easy to move around the office thanks to 4 locking casters. This binding station, unlike the above-mentioned Akiles model, only has a weight capacity of 50 pounds. That makes this station excellent for most manual binding machines and some electric binding machines.

We offer a great selection of other binding stations including other models from Akiles, Tamerica, Alvin and other manufactures. You can find our entire selection of book binding workstations here.

Why You May Want to Use Coil Binding

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Coil BindingAre you binding a cookbook, an instruction manual or perhaps even a photo album? One book binding format you should consider using is coil binding. Coil binding, often referred to as spiral binding, is the fastest growing binding format today. There are many reasons for this and I would like to cover all the pros and cons. I would also like to show you, with a video, how a coil binding machine works.

Coil binding is a format that uses tiny coils that look a lot like springs (found here). Other than the fact that coil binding coils are made from PVC plastic, they look almost identical to the spirals used in traditional spiral notebooks. PVC coils are available in different diameters, based on the thickness of the book you are binding, and come in a wide range of colors.

I personally think that coil binding looks very professional. I have personally used coil binding to bind instructional booklets and I have in my possession several cookbooks (family and neighborhood) that are bound in coil. Coil binding machines are affordable and can even be used at home. Popular brands include Akiles, Intelli-Bind and Tamerica.

Coil Binding MachinesI would like to now go over the pros:

  • Durability – Because coil-binding elements are made from PVC plastic, they are extremely durable. The hold up well with continued use, easily survive being dropped and can even be stepped on without suffering any damage. Durability alone is a huge reason to consider using coil binding.
  • Color – I have already mentioned this earlier, but coil binding comes in a variety of different colors. Popular colors include red, white, brown, green, blue, black and clear.  Custom colors are also available.
  • Page Turns – A book bound in coil is extremely easy to use. The round holds, combined with round-shaped elements, make page turns extremely easy. Pages can be wrapped around a full 360 degrees and pages lay extremely flat.
  • Speed – Binding a book with coil is extremely easy, especially if you have a machine that has an electric coil inserter. Simply punch the holes, insert the coils and crimp off the excess coil.

These are what I would consider to be the cons:

  • Modifications – You cannot add or remove pages to a coil bound document without cutting off the end of the coil and spinning the coil back out. The coil cannot be re-used. If you are removing or adding pages, a new coil would have to be used. On the bright side, this makes coil binding semi tamper proof.
  • Stability – Because coils are floppy and unstable, they don’t provide a lot of added stability to a book like comb or Velobind does. Your books stability is dependent entirely on the pages being bound. This isn’t a huge deal for most people.

Here is a video demo of a coil binding machine in use:

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In conclusion, coil binding is one of my favorite formats. It looks good, is functional and can be used for binding books as simple as a cookbook or as professional as a business proposal. You will find coil binding machines in schools, churches, homes and businesses.

You can find our entire selection of coil binding machines here. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Is Cerlox Binding and Comb Binding the Same?

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Cerlox Binding SuppliesI had a customer ask me a few days ago if we sold Cerlox binding supplies. The question floored me. I thought I had heard about every style and type of binding ever made. After digging around, and doing a little research, I discovered that I was not only familiar with Cerlox binding machines and supplies, I had used them for over 10 years.

To my surprise, I discovered that Cerlox (sometimes spelled Surelox or Surlox) binding is actually 19-ring comb binding. Same thing. No difference. If you ever have someone ask you to purchase or track down Cerlox binding supplies, you now know that comb binding supplies will do the trick. It’s much like calling a car an automobile and vice versa.

I can now safely say that we offer Cerlox binding supplies (found here). At ABC Office we offer a huge selection of comb binding machines, both manual and electric. Popular Cerlox brands (can’t help myself) include Fellowes, GBC, Ibico, Akiles, Tamerica, Intelli-Bind and Renz.

This style of binding is extremely popular because the supplies are cheap, readily available and can re-used over and over. It allows for pages to be added and removed and the supplies come in several different colors and diameters.

I have seen people use comb for binding cookbooks, presentations, photo albums, short stories, reports and books. Binding combs come in 11” lengths (19 rings) for letter-size paper and 297mm lengths (21 rings) for A4 paper. You can find our entire selection of Cerlox binding machines here and Cerlox biding supplies here.

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!

4:1 Pitch PVC Spiral Binding Coils

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

4:1 Pitch Coil Binding MachinesCoil binding looks good. It’s classy, can be used to bind a wide range of documents and is extremely functional. Coil binding (aka Spiral Binding) is available in two different hole patterns. These are 4:1 pitch (four holes per inch) and 5:1 pitch (five holes per inch). Four-to-one pitch coil is the most popular format used. Why is this? I’ll explain.

Let me go into a few more details about specifically what the differences are between 4:1 pitch and 5:1 pitch coil. I’ll start off with 4:1 pitch coil.

4:1 Pitch Coil Supplies4:1 Pitch Coils (0.25″) – When used on 11″ paper, you typically end up with a total of 43 to 44 holes, depending on how the punching die is aligned. Outside the United States, this pattern is referred to as a 6mm hole pattern. Supplies are available in diameters ranging from ¼” (6mm) up to 1 ¼” (32mm). Some larger diameter coils are available, but less common.

5:1 Pitch Coil Hole Pattern5:1 Pitch Coils – This hole pattern produces about 54-55 holes along the 11″ side of a sheet of paper. Outside the United States this is known as a 5mm hole pattern. Supplies are available in diameters ranging from ¼” (6mm) up to 13/16″ (20mm). While some larger diameter coils are available, they are generally not used or recommended due to the tight hole alignment of the 5:1 pitch pattern.

So why is 4:1 pitch more popular?
The 4:1 pitch hole pattern is more widely used because it can be used to bind more paper. The wider gap in the holes makes it possible to bind thicker books without the pages binding together (easier page turns).

Which hole pattern should you use? The hole pattern you use will depend on personal preference and functionality. If you like the tighter hole pattern, and are aware of the 13/16″ diameter limitation, you may want to consider a 5:1 pitch pattern. If you are unsure and don’t have a preference, 4:1 pitch is more versatile and more common.

Oval or Round?
– Akiles, one of the best-known manufacturers of coil binding machines, recently released a 4:1 Plus pitch hole pattern (0.248″). These holes are oval in shape. The advantage to the oval shape is that coil supplies are supposed to more easily spin through the holes. While they may be easier for coil insertion, you probably won’t notice a huge difference.

Metal or PVC? While you can buy spiral notebooks that are bound using metal coils, in-house coil binding is done by using spiral PVC coils. PVC coils are now the most prominent and widely used supply used for coil binding. PVC coils are popular because they are available in a wide range of colors, are extremely durable and are easier for use with a spiral binding machine.

I hope this helps clarify coil binding for you. If you still have questions, please feel free to call one of our book binding specialist at 1-800-658-8788.

You can find our entire selection of coil binding machines here and our entire selection of coil binding supplies here.

Intelli-Bind IB150 Personal Comb Binding Machine Review

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Intelli-Bind IB150 Comb Binding MachineIf you’re not a bindery, or an office that binds dozens to hundreds of books a day, you may be fine with a binding machine that’s a little lower key. This may be 1-10 books a day. If this sounds like you, consider looking at the Intelli-Bind IB150 comb binding machine (found here) from Intelli-Zone. This is my review.

Intelli-Bind (by Intelli-Zone) is one of the most affordable and feature-per-dollar lines of binding machines available. Intelli-Bind binding machines cover the comb, wire and comb binding machine lines of bookbinding.

The Intelli-Bind IB150 is one of the cheapest (as in price) binding machines available online. As of this review, it costs just $52. While inexpensive, it can still be used to bind a 2″ book. It really finds its place with those who only need to bind a few books a day.

Using the Intelli-Bind IB150 is pretty straightforward. Take your paper, place it in the horizontal punch and pull the handle. The IB150 can punch 12 sheets of paper, although I would probably keep that around 6-8 sheets. Once the holes are punched, you can place your comb element in the comb opener fingers. Once the comb is opened, your punched paper can be inserted and the comb can then be closed. Voila! You have a bound booklet.

The Intelli-Bind IB150 can be used to bind presentations, reports, booklets and more. I have seen people use the IB150 to create cookbooks, phone directories, promotional literature and more. While the punching capacity isn’t extremely high, it can be used to punch report covers, clear covers and card stock (1 sheet at a time).

The Intelli-Bind IB150, unlike many similarly priced machines, can be used by lefties or righties. This is because it utilizes a “U” shaped handle that can be used from just about any angle. It can also be used by both hands, for faster paper punching. Just be careful that you don’t get over confident and start punching more paper than the machine can handle. That’s a quick rout to a broken machine.

This machine is fairly light, weighing in at 13 pounds shipped. What’s nice about the weight is that this machine can easily be picked up and moved around. This is especially nice if you need to store the binding machine and break it out every so often for the occasional job.

I have to say that I wish it had disengageable punching pins, however, if you are only binding letter-size presentations (8 ½” x 11″) you should be fine. It is designed to work with 19-ring plastic binding combs.

The build quality on the IB150 is actually pretty good. While it does have a plastic shell, a lot of the internal components are made out of metal. If treated well, and used to bind low-volumes of books, this machine should easily hold up for some time. I also have to mention that it looks pretty nice.

You can find the Intelli-Bind IB150 comb binding machine here and our entire selection of Intelli-Bind book binding machines here. We also carry a great selection of other binding machines found here.

Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any book binding questions.

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