When binding hard back books with a thermal binding machine the final step is to place the cover into the crimper and tighten it down. Although this step is unnecessary when using standard thermal binding covers, it is very important when binding hard cover books. The hard back book crimper accomplishes several important tasks that are essential in providing a high quality finished book. Specifically, the crimper is designed to do three primary things:
1. The Hard Cover Crimper helps to ensure that the pages of your hard bound book are securely bound into the book. Immediately after removing your book from your thermal binding machine, place it in the bindit hard back book crimper. At this point the glue is still hot and pliable and process of crimping helps to force the glue up into the base of your book block ensuring a strong and permanent bind while securely holding the pages in place. If you don’t use a crimper the pages may fall out of your hard cover books after some use.
2. The hard back book crimper is designed to properly form the spine of the hard bound book. If you look at a finished product you will notice that at the base of the spine there is an indented area that serves as a hinge allowing your book to open and close easily. The crimper takes your book while it is still hot and properly forms the spine, giving it a finished look and ensuring that your cover operates correctly.
3. The crimper is also designed to act as a cooling rack for your thermal hard bound books. This gives users a place to safely allow the hot spine to cool while ensuring that the book has enough support along the spine to achieve a superior bind.
Currently, there are two types of crimpers available. A Manual Hard Cover Crimper simply uses a lever and some muscles to tighten the grip on the spine. However, a recently released pneumatic version of the hard cover crimper is designed to provide a more accurate and faster crimp for high volume users. The Pneumatic hard cover crimper uses a small air compressor to provide the power for crimping and works by simply hitting a switch.
In the absence of a hard cover crimper I have seen some customers use an oven mitt to attempt to manually form the spine. It works, but it doesn’t look great and all of them have ended up buying a crimper in the end.