Can I use my a thermal binding machine to rebind trade paperback books?

posted this on Feb 3, 2016

Library books take a lot of abuse and will eventually come apart. A common practice by many school and public libraries is to apply a clear self-adhesive covering to their paperback books. While this can slow down the rate of wear and tear, the cover will still eventually separate from the pages of the book. Fortunately, a thermal binding machine can easily repair worn out books.

Using a thermal binding machine to repair a soft cover book is a fairly simple process. In the beginning stages of wear, there may be a good amount of glue still in the spine. If so, you can repair it with only your binding machine. Turn on the device and let it warm up. Place the spine of the book into the machine, allowing the glue to warm up. Once the glue is properly heated, it will be soft and easily re-attach the cover to the book block. After the binding cycle completes, firmly tap the spine on a flat surface to ensure all pages are securely lodged in the glue and allow the book to cool.

In a perfect world, that process would work for every book. However, many times there isn’t enough glue left over to securely adhere to cover to the book block. In this case, you will need to use a thermal binding glue strip. These strips come 1 inch wide and 12 inches long and can easily be cut down to size with a pair of scissors, allowing them to fit any book. Once you’ve created the right size, insert the glue strip into your cover, followed by the book block and place the entire book into your thermal binding machine. Just as in the first process, the binding machine will soften the glue, allowing it to attach to the pages. Don’t forget to tap it on the counter and let it cool in the cooling rack so the glue can properly set.

While you can use just about any thermal binding machine to repair books, we recommend using the ProBind 2000 Thermal Binding Machine. Other machines will work just fine for this but only offer a maximum width of one inch. Since many books are thicker than this, the ProBind 2000 is a smarter choice, as it can bind up to two inches thick. Or if you are repairing multiple smaller books, this machine will allow you to do a few at once, saving you time.

The ProBind 2000 is constructed of all metal parts, which means it will last for many years to come. It costs under $700 and at only 10lbs, it can store easily when not in use. You can use the ProBind 2000 to repair books as well as bind both soft and hard cover books. The simple act of prolonging the life of your books will cause the ProBind 2000 to pay for itself in no time. It even includes a one year manufacturer’s warranty. We would highly recommend this machine to any library looking to repair their softcover books.

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