How do I bind documents using Thermal Binding?

posted this on Jul 2, 2015

After purchasing a thermal binding machine, you might be wondering the best way to use it. While there are articles written specifically for each machine, here we will provide general tips and tricks for binding with a thermal binding machine. Even if you are simply experimenting, there are a few things you can do to simplify the process and improve your results.

  1. First, make sure that you have the right size thermal binding cover for your documents. Too many pages in a cover will result in the first and last pages not binding securely. As such, it is better to choose a cover that is slightly larger rather than smaller.
  2. Next, jog your papers thoroughly. They need to be as straight as you can possibly make them when you place the pages into the cover. Just before you place the entire project into the binding machine, fan them with your finger to break up any pages that might be stuck together. Square up the pages neatly in the thermal binding cover, ensuring that the first and last pages are in contact with the adhesive. Double check the front page especially, as static electricity can make it stick to the cover instead of the glue. If you spend a few extra minutes on this step, you can increase the quality of your finished product.
  3. Once the binding cycle has finished, remove your finished product and firmly tap the spine on a hard surface. This helps to ensure that the pages are securely lodged into the hot binding adhesive and that your binding will stay in place for years to come.
  4. Wait until your book has cooled completely and the adhesive has set before you open it; about three to five minutes should be enough time. Allowing the glue to harden is vital to ensure a solid, secure bind.
  5. The last two steps may give the impression that binding multiple books will take a large amount of time; this is not the case. With most thermal binding machines, you can bind multiple documents at once. And of course, as soon as one is removed to cool, another one can begin the binding process. If you’re looking to bind higher quantities of books, a machine that can handle multiple projects at once will help you to increase your productivity and time efficiency.
  6. Finally, here is a tip for binding documents that include photo or high gloss paper. Before you start the binding process, you may want to staple the entire book block together. Glossy stocks such as these are prone to working themselves out of the adhesive. Stapling provides a virtual guarantee that those wayward pages won’t ever come out of your document. Another option, if you don’t have a stapler that large, is to sand down the edges slightly so that the inner paper will adhere to the glue and get a more secure the bind.
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