We recommend leaving at least a 1/8" border around laminated documents. This will allow the plastic to properly adhere both to itself and to your document; if you trim your project flush to the edge of the document, moisture and dirt can get between the lamination and damage your document, and the film can eventually start peeling away.
We recommend a rotary trimmer, a zippy cutter, a craft knife (like X-acto), or of course, a regular pair of scissors.
Heat wrinkles form when the film hasn't cooled properly before coming off the back of the machine. You want your laminated document to cool below the melt temperature of the film while it's still being pulled tight between the rollers—this is the main reason that laminators have fans on them—to cool the item, not to cool the machine down.The fix for heat wrinkles is to slow the machine speed down slightly so that the item has a chance to cool before exiting the back of the machine.
If your laminated item is curling up or down after it's gone through the machine, check your user manual for instructions for “film tension.” You'll need to adjust either the top or bottom tension to correct this problem (typically, if the film curls upward, you'd adjust the bottom tension; if the film curls downward, you'd adjust the top tension). If your tension is correct but you're getting waves toward the center of the web film as it comes out the back, you've probably got “heat waves,” and you'll need to turn the temp down or slow your speed down a little bit.
UV film is used specifically for outdoor use such as billboard or the sides of buses. UV film protects your document against the weather and the sun for 3–5 years longer than standard laminating film without the protective UV coating.
Yes! You can write on all of our laminating films. Permanent marker will stay on the material indefinitely; dry erase marker will wipe off just as it would from a marker board; pencil can be used on matte film only and can be erased off.
A mil is one-thousandth of an inch (0.001"or 1/1000"). The thickness of a single layer of laminating film (including both the film and the adhesive) is measured in mils. Because most lamination applications are double-sided, the actual thickness of the film is double (so a document laminated in a 3 mil pouch will actually be 6 mils thick). The smaller the mils, the thinner and less rigid the film once it's been melted.
A laminating carrier is a sheet of specially-coated heavy white card stock folded on one side and open on the other three sides. The item to be laminated is placed inside a laminating pouch and then placed inside the carrier before being fed through the pouch laminator. Not all pouch laminators require carriers, so consult your machine's user manual to determine whether yours needs a carrier or not. The carrier helps prevent adhesive from getting onto your machine's rollers.
If your pouch gets stuck inside your machine, try running a carrier through the machine. Many times, this will push the stuck pouch out of the rollers.
For cleaning and all other questions, we always recommend that you refer first to your user manual for information specific to your machine. In general, we recommend that you run a sheet of 80lb cover stock or an empty carrier through your machine while it's still hot, if you're just needing to pull adhesive off the rollers. You can also check out our cleaning kit, which includes denatured alcohol, a soft cloth, and a scrubbing pad. Additionally, you can purchase our cleaning erasers which you can use to “erase” adhesive from your machine's rollers. For additional information, you can also check out our blog post “Pouch Laminating: Perfect Results Every Time!”which has information on cleaning your pouch laminator.
*Note: Never use a straight edge, razor blade, or X-acto knife to clean your rollers.
Refer to your laminating machine manual for specific information on temperatures, but in general, you'll run 3 mil pouches at 275º, 5 mil pouches at 285º, 7 mil at 300º, and 10 mil at 340º.
On a 13"pouch laminator, you can laminate 120 large pouches or 300 small pouches per hour
You can tell when temperature adjustments should be made by how your pouches look. If your pouches come out of your machine cloudy, your temperature is too low and you need to turn it up. If your pouches come off your laminating machine wrinkled, bubbled, or curled, your temperature is too high and you need to reduce the heat.
You can usually eliminate squealing by reducing the tension on the supply roll, or by adjusting the machine's speed to a higher setting.
There are several causes for bubbles in your laminated documents:
Temperature set too low
Leaving the rollers open
Pushing items into the nip faster than the laminator can handle them
Pushing items through the laminator, or lifting them off the feed tray too quickly
If you see severe wrinkles on both sides of your laminated items, you probably have neglected to close and lock your laminating rollers. Check your roller opening/closing controls.
You may also get wrinkles if your rolls aren't tensioned properly. All laminators need a certain amount of resistance as the supply roll unwinds—this keep the film lying flat as it feeds through the rollers.
If the top of your document is unwrinkled but the bottom has a lot of bubbles and wrinkles, then check that your bottom idler is threaded per your user manual's directions. If you've checked your rollers and your idler but you're still having difficulties, here are three more suggestions:
Make sure the film path is correct for both the top and bottom webs
Make sure the film is threaded around both the top and bottom idlers
Make sure the machine is up to temperature before running items through
Heat shoes are cylinder-shaped “shoes” with an electric heating element inside them; the film is pulled across the heated shoes and the rollers then apply pressure, activating the adhesive on the film and causing it to adhere to the document. Heated rollers, on the other hand, contain an embedded heating element; as the film moves across the rollers, the heat activates the adhesive on the film and causes it to adhere to the document. Although rollers apply both heat and pressure, thus offering a slightly better bond than heat shoes, heat shoes have fewer moving parts, so higher volume commercial operations typically use heat shoes since they offer the benefit of being able to laminate more items faster.
For cleaning, we always recommend that you refer to your user manual for information specific to your machine. In general, you can use a little denatured alcohol and a mildly abrasive scrubber to clean your rollers. If you'd prefer an all-in-one set, we offer a roll cleaning kit which includes denatured alcohol, a soft cloth, and a scrubbing pad. Additionally, you can purchase our cleaning erasers which you can use to “erase” adhesive from your machine's rollers. For additional information, you can also check out our blog post “Get on a Roll with Your Heated Roll Laminator” which has information on cleaning your pouch laminator.
*Note: Never use a straight edge, razor blade, or X-acto knife to clean your rollers.
“Poly-in” means that the heat activated adhesive is rolled toward the inside of the film rolls—this is the most common arrangement.
Coverlam is a premium grade, low-temp melt, aggressive adhesive film used for specialty items. The adhesive on Coverlam melts at a lower temperature.
Thicker laminating film has a thicker layer of glue which requires a lower temperature.
Always refer to your roll laminator's user manual for information on temperature settings.
In general, however, these are the temperature settings you would use:
For general purpose film: 1.5 mil runs at 290º–315º; 3 mil runs at 275º–300º.
For premium films: 1.7 mil runs at 220º–270º; 3 mil runs at 220º–270º; 5 mil runs at 240º–275º; 10 mil runs at 220º–260º.
The maximum film gauge you can use is 10 mil; the maximum laminating thickness is 1/8".
You can run 1000'of 1.5 mil film and 500' of 3 mil film.
First, make sure you've emptied your “chip” tray (that's the receptacle that the chips you punch out of your papers go); if it's really full, it can be causing your die to jam. Second, try punching waxed paper—this will help lubricate the pins and should get them moving more smoothly.
See our post "Choosing a Binding Method" for an in-depth comparison of available binding methods.
You need 5/16"from the edge of the paper to the bottom of the half-moon notch.
Comb binding can be used to bind reports, presentations, cookbooks, albums, scrapbooks, manuals, inventory records, sales sheets, and so much more.
For specific pros and cons about different binding methods, see our post Choosing a Binding Method. In short, though, if you're looking for a binding method that can accommodate a large variety of sizes, ranging from ¼" to 2", then comb binding is for you. Also, combs are extremely durable and can be reused multiple times without showing signs of wear. Combs are available in eight different colors and can be personalized with screen printing.
In short, comb binding is perfect for reports, presentations, cookbooks, albums, scrapbooks, manuals, inventory records, sales sheets, and so much more!
Binding combs are the plastic strips with curved "fingers" that resemble the teeth on a comb (hence the name). They come in a variety of different colors and sizes.
Yes! Comb bindings can be recycled; they can also simply be removed from an unneeded document and reused on other documents.
Yes! We can create custom-printed combs with your logo or text using silk screening. Contact our office at 1-800-437-4787 for a quote.
Silk screening is a printing process in which a fine stencil of your design is created. The stencil is applied to the spine of the comb and ink is rolled over it. Silk screening creates perfect lines with no bleeds, giving you a sharp, attractive image.
Yes, you can use scissors to cut the length down. This is particularly useful when you need to bind the short edge of a booklet (for landscape orientation), rather than the long edge (for portrait orientation).
Both oval and round holes use a 4:1 pitch, but the oval holes allow you to have 44 evenly-centered holes on an 11"sheet, they allow easier page turning, and also allow the coil to be inserted more easily. Standard 4:1 pitch coil can be used with both types of holes. While oval holes may increase productivity by up to 40%, they aren't as common as round holes.
Pitch refers to the number of holes per inch. So 2:1 pitch would have 2 holes punched per inch of paper; 3:1 pitch would have 3 holes, and so on.
The 4:1 pitch is more common than 5:1 pitch and is able to accommodate a wider range of document thicknesses. However, a 5:1 pitch has tighter hole spacing (5 holes per inch, vs 4 holes per inch), making it ideal for thinner books and presentations.
The 36" coils should be stored horizontally in their original box to ensure that they remain flat and straight.
No. Most machines are unable to accommodate more than one pitch because each pitch requires differently spaced die sets. The 4:1 pitch will bind about 230 total pages because the holes are spaced farther apart; the 5:1 pitch will bind about 150 total pages because the holes are spaced closer together.
Coils come in 45 different colors—they'll match just about any project you have. For more information, you can check out our color chart.
Shipping time is determined by the carrier and method of shipping. If you select "2 Day Air" or "Next Day Air" (on eligible items), then you'll receive an estimated shipping time frame at checkout. Most of our other items ship UPS Ground. You can view the chart below to estimate when your item will arrive based on your geographical area.
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Yes! We offer quantity discounts on specific products when you order a minimum threshold of that product (the minimum threshold varies by product). You can call us at 800-437-4787 for additional information on bulk discounts.