I am having trouble with my fastback binding machine, what should I do?

posted this on Jul 7, 2015

If you have a Powis Parker Fastback model 8, model 8x or model 9 and are having problems with binding quality this article is for you. It is designed to identify some of the most common problems faced by users of these machines and will help you to correct them. Although the list of problems in this article is by no means exhaustive it does cover the most common Powis Parker Fastback quality problems faced by users of models 8, 8x and 9.

Problem #1: The Spine Is Not Square

  • The LX strip may not have been folded to a complete 90 degree angle. The better that you fold your strip the more square the spine of your book will be.
  • After binding, make sure that the book is placed in the cooling rack and allowed to cool for at least ten minutes. During the first five minutes after the binding cycle is completed, the glue inside the spine is still hot and pliable. Attempting to use your book, open the pages or allowing the book to cool while laying down can sometimes cause your spine to form incorrectly resulting in a bind that is not square.

 

Problem #2: The Pages Protrude Past The Strip Or The Edges Of The Pages Are Not Even Fastback Model 9 Binding Machine

  • This problem is often the result of not properly jogging your book block before the binding process begins. It is extremely important to tap the top and left sides of the pages of your book while they are in the binding recess of your Fastback 9 machine. If the pages of your document are not completely flush on the top and sides when you begin the binding cycle your finished document will not be flush.
  • ages may protrude past the edge of the strip if you are not careful to make sure that the edge of your pages is lined up with the edge of the strip. The easiest way to accomplish this is to make sure that both your strip and the pages of your book are slid all the way to the right side of your Fastback binding machine. This allows you to use the side of the binding recess to align your book.

 

Problem #3: The Bind Quality Is Unsatisfactory; Pages Are Separating From Your Strip; There Are Gaps In The Pages Where The Strip Can Be Seen; Or There Is Thermal Plastic Adhesive Leakage.

  • The most common cause of these problems is that the Fastback machine is not set to the correct type of binding cycle for the type of strip that you are using. Your Fastback binding machine will have specific settings for running LX Strips, LX CP Strips, HalfBack Covers, Perfectback LF Strips and Perfectback PS strips. It also has a setting for editing documents. Check to make sure that you are using the correct setting for your book.
  • It is possible that there is adhesive buildup on the heating plate of your machine. It is a good idea to check this and if necessary remove any built up adhesive using a dry lint free cloth. For safety, be sure to only clean your machine when it is cool and unplugged.
  • If you have checked for excess glue and are sure that your machine is set to the correct setting it is possible that you may need a service call to further troubleshoot this problem. There may be an issue with a sensor inside your machine or with the heating or clamping unit. These are not repairs that can be completed by end users.

 

Problem #4: The Pages Are Not Adhering To The Strip Very Well (Some Paper Stocks And Some Heavy CoverMaterial Can Be Difficult To Bind

  • The bind may be improved by increasing the Spine bind time in the Setting Menu.
  • If you take a piece of sandpaper and roughen the binding edge of your book block you may get better adhesion between the glue and the edge of your book.
  • You may want to consider placing a few staples very close to the edge of your book. These staples will be hidden by the binding tape and will ensure that none of the pages fall out. Just be sure to use flat cinch staples.
  • You may want to consider purchasing the Powis Parker Edge splitter for higher volume applications. The edge splitter was specifically designed to solve this problem but is fairly expensive for low volume users.
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