If you've had to bind thick documents on coil binding equipment, you know it's often a difficult and challenging process. Yet with top-notch machinery, the right binding elements and little know-how, you can bind even the thickest documents easily and successfully over and over again.
Have The Right Materials
For the best success in binding thick documents, be sure you have the proper binding elements such as wire coils. These bindings run from very thin to very wide and can bind very thick materials of 300 to 400 pages.
Next, decide if you'll put a cover on your document and, if so, how you'll punch them. Covers can be collated with your document and punched at the same time or be punched separately.
It's generally a good idea to punch covers of very dense material on their own rather than with the document. However, if you're worried about proper hole-alignment, you can punch the cover and document together, but you must reduce the number of pages under the front cover or between both covers when punching. This will increase the time of your overall punching and binding process, so be sure to take that into account if you're working under a deadline.
If you have covers that are larger or smaller than your document, they must be punched on their own and not with the documents. You'll need to readjust your paper stops to be sure you've centered the hole-pattern correctly on the cover, and this too will add time to your process.
Use The Proper Hole Pattern
The right hole-pattern, or pitch, is critical to properly binding thick documents. The pitch tells you the number of holes that will be punched per inch along the edge or a spine of the materials. For example, four holes per inch is a 4: 1 pitch or punch pattern, while 5: 1 represents five holes per inch. Be sure you always do a test punch to see that all holes are even spaced and that there are no partial holes before you punch your actual document.
Next, make sure your binding element is large enough to allow the pages to turn freely once bound and that the holes are the right size for your chosen binding material. In some cases it's good to set your coil binding equipment to punch larger holes than necessary for your binding or to punch oval rather than round holes. When you do this, make sure use the right punch pattern.
Thick documents usually are bound with a thick coil binding that can be hard to insert into regular-sized holes. Punching larger holes makes it easier to insert the binding and reduces the chance of pages being ripped or snagged on the element.
Inserting Bindings Manually Or Electrically
In most cases, an electrical coil binding inserter makes it much easier and faster to put coil bindings on documents. Start by manually inserting the coil into the first couple holes, then place the coil against the rollers of your electric coil inserter and it will automatically thread the coil through the rest of the holes.
However, you'll have more success binding thick documents manually. The speed of an electric inserter will often cause the binding to misalign or tear when working through thick materials. The slower, manual process all but eliminates this and gives you a beautifully bound finished document.
When you're inserting the coil manually or electrically, it helps to curve the binding edge as your start the process. You can also use a binding sleeve or a book former. Once the threading is complete, remove sharp edges at the top and bottom of the binding coil with crimping pliers.
Coil bindings come in a variety of colors that create a handsome bound document. It takes a little more time to bind thick documents with coil, but the look and sturdiness of the finished product are worth it.