Posts Tagged ‘How do Binding Machines Work’

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.

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