Posts Tagged ‘Binding Machines’

How Does a Binding Machine Work?

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Book Binding MachinesHave you ever toyed around with the idea of binding your own book? Have you ever wondered exactly how a book binding machine works? Having used binding machines (found here) for well over a decade, I can safely tell you that anyone can use one. I would like to cover exactly how a binding machine works and what all is involved in the binding process. Read on for more information.

Book binding machines come in all shapes and sizes, but when all is said and done, they all work on a very similar way. The three most commonly used binding formats are comb, wire and coil. Many people also like using VeloBind. Each of these binding formats are designed to hold multiple pieces of paper together using a binding element. The binding element is much like a staple, but one that goes along the entire edge of the paper to create a book.

Most binding machines operate in a matter of just 4 steps.

  • Step 1 – The first thing you’ll want to do is set up your machine. This usually adjusting the side margin control to ensure the holes are punching where they should. I personally like to take a single sheet of paper and punch it to ensure everything is set up and operating correctly. If the holes are off, I make further adjustments.
  • Step 2 – Once the machine is set up, you will begin to punch holes in the paper you wish to bind. The amount of paper a machine can bind can range anywhere from 5 to 40 or more sheets, depending on the machine. Binding your book may require multiple passes of the punch depending on how thick you want your book to be.
  • Step 3 – Once all of the holes are punched, you can begin inserting the binding element into the holes. With comb this involves using a comb opener to open the comb for insertion. With wire you will manually insert the twin loop through the holes. With coil you will spin the spring-like elements through the punched holes.
  • Step 4 – Once the element has been inserted through the hole, you will need to finalize the book. With comb this involves closing the comb. With wire this involves closing the wire. With coil this involves cutting off the excess coil and crimping the ends.

Here is a video of a comb binding machine being used:

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As you can see, the binding process is extremely easy. Most people can bind a ¼” thick book in a matter of a minute or two. Most machines can be used to bind a book anywhere from a few pages up to an inch or so.

Binding machines come in a variety of different configurations depending on the volume you intend to bind on a daily basis. Features that may speed up the process including things like an electric motor (versus manual) for punching the paper.

Here are a few additional features you may want to consider when buying a binding machine:

  • Disengageable Dies – If you have ever used a binding machine, you may have run into the issue of a half-punched hole at the edge of the paper. While this can often be fixed by adjusting the side margin guide, sometimes the size of the paper makes this very difficult. Machines that use disengageable dies (aka selectable punching pins) allow you to choose which holes punch or don’t punch. If you are running into half-punched holes, you can simply disable that die to prevent that from happening.
  • Adjustable Margin Depth – If you are punching books of varying thicknesses, you may want to consider using a machine with an adjustable margin depth. This allows you to select how far into the paper the holes are punched. People binding thicker books often need to punch a little farther into the paper to prevent the pages from accidentally tearing out.
  • Diameter Selector Tool – Matching the binding element with the size of the book you want to bind can be a tricky thing to do. Many binding machines now come with a diameter selector tool that makes it easy to determine the size of the supply you need based on the amount of pages you are binding.

At ABC Office we have decades of experience with binding machines. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any binding related questions. We can help you find the correct supplies for your machine, find the right machine for the job and we can help track down parts.

Five Things to Bind with Your New Binding Machine

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Have you recently purchased a binding machine and now aren’t quite sure what to do with it? Whether you are using it at home or in the office, there is always something that can be bound. Having dealt with many customers over the years, I have heard of a lot of things (normal and strange) that people have bound. I would like to share five of the top things people bind with their machines.

Binding machines come in a wide variety of formats. The three most popular are comb, wire and coil (found here). All three of these binding formats, while different, can be used to bind many of the same things. The nice thing about binding machines is that they are very easy to use, can be used with most types of paper and the supplies are relatively cheap.

Five Things To Bind With Your New Binding Machine

  1. Custom Bound BookBooks – Many people use binding machines to bind their own books. This is sometimes for retail sale purposes and other times for hobby purposes. I have had parents even call up wanting a machine so their kid could bind their own book. The nice thing about a binding machine, especially those with selectable pins, is they can be used to bind books in all different sizes and thicknesses. I have seen people bind children’s books, automotive manuals and much more.
  2. Bound Scrapbook or Photo AlbumScrapbooks / Photo Albums – Over the past five years I have seen a huge increase in customers buying binding machines to bind their own scrapbooks. Those scrapbooks have to be put together somehow and a comb, wire or binding machine allows you to customize the book in your own way. Comb, wire and coil is also all available in a variety of colors and sizes, allowing you to easily match or compliment your scrapbook or photo album’s cover and design. Binding machines can be used create baby scrapbooks, family scrapbooks, memory books, photo albums and much more.
  3. Bound CookbookCookbooks – I can’t begin to tell you how many people I’ve spoken with have used their binding machine to make a cookbook. It is often for personal use, to create something for the family, a church or a neighborhood. Coil and comb are probably the two most common formats used for binding a cookbook. Coil is especially popular because the pages can be wrapped around, freeing up counter space during cooking. While coil is popular, comb is also very popular simply because it is extremely affordable and can be reopened for adding or removing pages.
  4. Bound Presentation or ReportReports / Presentations – I can’t leave out reports and presentations. This is what most businesses use binding machines for. They are excellent for creating quick presentations and reports in a professional way. Twin loop wire is probably most common for binding a professional report. These books are usually no more than ¼” thick at the most. They are also excellent for binding promotional sales material.
  5. Bound School AlbumSchool Albums – Many schools like to use binding machines, especially comb, for binding school projects on an elementary school level. They can be used to bind English assignments, art projects, journals and much more. Kids love to bind their own material and it really gives them a feeling of accomplishment when they see their own material in a bound format.

At ABC Office we have been selling binding machines for decades (since 1980). We are extremely familiar with all the binding formats out there and would love to help you out. You can reach us by calling 1-800-658-8788. You can find our entire selection of binding machines here.

Can A Binding Machine Handle Clear Covers, Card Stock and Chipboard?

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Intelli-Bind IB850 Electric Comb Binding MachineI recently had a conversation with a customer who was buying a comb binding machine (found here). They asked me if the comb binding machine they were looking at could be used to punch non-standard paper items such as clear covers, card stock and chipboard. While capacities can vary from machine to machine, my answer to them was yes. I did have a few bits of advice, however, that you should take into account when punching thicker materials with your binding machine.

  • Binding Clear Covers (found here) – Most wire, coil and comb binding machines can handle clear covers. All binding machines have a maximum sheet capacity that they can handle. This sheet capacity is based on standard 20# bond paper. Because clear covers are made of a different material and are sometimes thicker, you may not be able to punch as many at a time. I recommend you start by punching just one clear cover to start with. See how that goes and increase the amount until it starts to become difficult. The most important thing is to not strain the binding machine.
  • Book Binding CoversBinding Card Stock (found here) – Card stock, often called binding covers or report covers, are often used on the back and sometimes the front of a bound document. As is the case with clear covers, I recommend that you scale the punching back to just one sheet until you can get a feel for how your machine handles it. Most binding machines can handle card stock. I have punched everything from paper-based card stock up to synthetic polypropylene covers without issue. I have even punched laminated paper without a problem. If you are concerned your card stock cover may be too thick, send in a sample and we can test it out.
  • Binding Chipboard (found here) – Punching chipboard with your binding machine can be iffy depending on the machine and how thick the chipboard is. The chipboard we offer is about 20 mils thick (0.021″), which is thin enough that most binding machines can handle it. The only downside is that some people out there offer some very thick chipboard that will not work with all machines. As far as chipboard is concerned (unless you are buying ours), I recommend sending in a sample to have tested prior to making a binding machine purchase.

The best thing about using clear covers, card stock and chipboard for binding books is you can add your own touch and personality to the finished product.  Most book binding machines are very versatile and you shouldn’t have any problem. We stock much of what we sell, so please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-658-8788 to have your samples tested or to ask a question. You can find our entire selection of binding machines here.

Do Comb Binding Machines Exist with Electric Comb Openers?

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Electric Comb Binding MachinesAbout 11 years ago I used to work for the Federal Government. In the mailroom they had a comb binding machine. I believe it may have been an Ibico, however, I was unfamiliar with makes and models (nor did I care) at the time. It looked like something from the 80s. I do remember that binding machine had an electric comb opener. I used the machine to bind a few reports and presentations as needed. One thing I do remember is that the motor that powered the electric opener was pathetically underpowered and had a bad habit of stopping in the middle of the process.

As fate would have it, I have had customers ask me if we offered a similar machine. Just today I had a customer looking for a comb binding machine that had an electric comb opener. The problem they ran into is that they couldn’t find any machines with that capability. Comb binding machines were aplenty, but models with an electric opener weren’t around. She asked me if I knew of any.

Having researched this myself, I can tell you that some models do still exist with an electric comb opener, but none from well-known manufacturers that I’m aware of. There is a good reason for this. It is faster to use a manual comb opener than an electric comb opener.

While the punching portion of comb binding requires a lot of effort (hence the advantage of an electric punch), the comb opener requires little effort. Even with the electric comb openers the operator is still required to place the comb on the opener’s fingers by hand. The only difference is that with the electric opener you push a button and wait, where the manual version requires you to tilt a tiny lever.

Even the most robust and complex Akiles, Renz, Tamerica and Intelli-Bind electric comb binding machines still have manual comb openers. This is because, as I have mentioned earlier, manual comb openers are faster and have fewer issues.

You can find our entire selection of manual comb binding machines here and electric comb binding machines here.

Manufacturer Spotlight: Tamerica Binding Machines

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Tamerica Office EquipmentIf you’re shopping around for a binding machine, or even a laminator or paper cutter, one manufacturer you may want to consider using is Tamerica. Established in 1985, Tamerica Products Incorporated (TPI) has been manufacturing and distributing office machines for over 24 years. ABC Office has been selling Tamerica products for decades and they are considered a customer favorite.

Tamerica states that they operate under process-oriented principles of Kaizen, which is Japanese for “improvement” or “change for the better.” In true form, Tamerica is always making improvements and increasing the performance of their machines.

Tamerica is best known to our customers for their line of binding machines. Their 190PB, 210PB, 213PB and TCC 210EPB comb binding machines are particularly popular. These binding machines all utilize durable metal components and are known for their rich features for little cost. You can find our entire selection of Tamerica comb binding machines here.

Tamerica V2000-Pro SecureBind Binding MachineA few years ago Tamerica released one of the first-ever alternatives to the GBC VeloBind bookbinding format known as SecureBind. SecureBind, found in their V2000-Pro, uses the same hole pattern and thermal process as standard GBC VeloBind machines, but at a fraction the cost. The V2000-Pro has an impressive 2″ binding capacity.

While Tamerica is extremely well known for their binding machines, they also manfacture an impressive line of stack paper cutters, roll laminating machines, pouch laminators, business card cutters, paper folding machines, laminating film and workstations.

Here are just a few of Tamericas most popular cutters, laminators and folding machines

Tamerica is continually developing new machines, so be sure to check back often to see what’s available. You can find our entire selection of Tamerica office equipent here. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Best Binding Machines for Children’s Books

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Binding Children's BooksIf’ you’re binding children’s books, you probably want to use a format that is durable, tough and resilient. My 3-year-old son was recently given a book that was bound in twin-loop wire. As you might imagine, that book isn’t in such good shape anymore. When it comes to children’s books, a lot more needs to be taken into consideration than just looks. I will cover in this article the best binding machines you will want to use for binding kid’s books.

If you will be binding a child’s book using a binding element (i.e. Wire, Coil or Comb), you need something that is tough, can take an impact and will cut down on page tearing. The two most resilient binding formats are comb and coil. I’ll explain why I would personally use these binding styles for a kid’s book.

The one format I would never use is twin loop wire, unless you’re binding a teenager’s book. Wire, to put it simple, bends and looses its form when stepped on, thrown on the ground, stacked on with other books or is thrown in a backpack.  I have seen some books bound in thick-gauge twin loop wire. The thicker gauge stuff seems to hold up much better than your standard gauge twin loop wire.

As mentioned earlier, I would use comb or coil for a children’s book. Let me explain the benefits and the disadvantages of both.

Comb Binding Children's BooksCOMB BINDING – This is my second choice for binding kid’s books. This format is made from tough plastic and will rarely break or bend. Comb binding supplies are cheap, costing very little for a box of 100 elements. Comb is also available in dozens of colors, making it a colorful choice for binding children’s books. The individual comb fingers are wide, providing added support to pages, making them tougher to accidentally rip out.

The biggest con to comb binding is the fact that combs can be re-opened, even without a machine. It is tough to do, and extremely unlikely to happen, but it is possible. I still don’t think this should count out comb binding.

Because you may be binding books smaller than 8 ½” x 11″, I would recommend that you use comb binder with selectable punching pins.

These are some comb binding machines I recommend for binding kid’s books:

Coil Binding Children's BooksCOIL BINDING – Coil binding is my first choice for binding kid’s books. Binding coils are made out of extremely durable PVC plastic. These coils won’t bend or break and can withstand the unforgiving wrath of a child. Binding coils are colorful, which kids like, and can be used to bind thick or thin books.

I personally recommend using 4:1 pitch coil for children’s books (4 holes per inch) as the wide hole pattern makes the pages harder to tear out. A 5:1 pitch hole pattern (5 holes per inch) have the holes too close together for kids, making the pages much easier to tear out.
As you will probably bind books in a wide range of sizes, I recommend using a coil-binding machine with disengagable punching pins and an electric coil inserter.

These are some coil binding machines I recommend for binding children’s books:

Hopefully these recommendations help you in your book binding endeavors. We have decades of experience with book binding machines, so please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions. You can find our entire selection of binding machines here.

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.

Akiles WireMac 2:1 / 3:1 Wire Binding Machine Reviewed

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Akiles WireMac 2:1 / 3:1 Wire Binding MachineCreating your own product is fun and fulfilling. One hobby that I enjoy, and many businesses perform on a daily basis, is bookbinding. It’s fun to produce something that is tangible and looks professional. One of the best-looking binding formats is wire binding. It’s clean, looks great and is ideal for the most important presentations and reports. One machine I personally recommend using is the Akiles WireMac wire binding machine (found here). I have used this machine myself and this is my review.

To start with, I have to say that Akiles is one of the best binding machine manufacturers around. They manufacture comb, wire and coil binding machines and they almost always turn out to be high quality products. The reason I bring this up is because if the WireMac doesn’t fit your bill, you should still consider an Akiles Machine.

The WireMac wire binding machine is designed for low to medium-volume book binding. That isn’t to say that it is a low-volume machine, but it features a manual punch. That means the WireMac’s biggest limiting factor to speed is the operator. The machine itself could stand up to higher-volume binding, but the operator would probably get tired.

You can get the Akiles WireMac in two different designs. One design comes with a 2:1 pitch hole pattern and the other comes with a 3:1 pitch hole pattern. The pitch you use depends entirely on your preference. I can say, however, that the 2:1 pitch has been more popular, due in part to the fact that a 2:1 pitch hole pattern can bind more paper.

Using the WireMac is extremely easy. Simply take a stack of paper (up to 20 sheets of 20 lb paper) and punch it. Keep punching paper until you have the designed amount punched. You then insert a wire binding element into the punched holes and close the wire shut using the built-in wire closer. Sounds easy, right? It really is an easy machine to use.

Don’t let this machine’s simplicity fool you. It is also packed with features. One of my favorite features is the selectable punching pins (aka disengageable dies). This allows you to shut of any of the 40 dies (3:1 pitch) or 27 dies (2:1 pitch). This eliminates half-punched holes and makes it possible to bind books of varying sizes. This machine has a 14″ punching length. Because it is open ended, you can technically punch paper even longer than 14″.

I also really like the adjustable margin depth and diameter selector. Both of these features make it extremely easy to bind books of varying thicknesses.

The WireMac has been around for years and we have sold untold amounts of these machines to customers. Akiles has a great track record with our customers and the WireMac has proven to be extremely reliable, lasing for years without any issues.

Having handled this machine myself, I can tell you that it is solid. The all-metal construction really helps improve the book binding experience. I highly recommend this machine for those interested in binding books, reports and presentations.

You can find the Akiles WireMac wire binding machine here and our entire selection of Akiles book binding machines here. You can find ABC Office’s entire selection of binding machines here.

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