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Finishing Services

3-Hole Punch

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A hole punch (known also as a hole puncher, paper puncher, holing pincer, or rarely perforator) is a common office tool that is used to create holes in sheets of paper, often for the purpose of collecting the sheets in a binder or folder.

The origins of the hole punch date back to Germany, where two early patents for a device designed to "punch holes in paper" have since been discovered. [1] Friedrich Soennecken made his patent on November 14, 1886 for his Papierlocher für Sammelmappen.

A typical hole punch, whether a single or multiple hole punch, has a long lever which is used to push a bladed cylinder straight through a number of sheets of paper. As the vertical travel distance of the cylinder is only a few millimeters, it can be positioned within a centimeter of the lever fulcrum. For low volume hole punches, the resulting lever need not be more than 8 cm for sufficient force.

Two paper guides are needed to line up the paper: one opposite where the paper is inserted, to set the margin distance, and one on an adjacent side.

Hole punches for industrial volumes — hundreds of sheets — feature very long lever arms, but function identically.

Another mechanism uses hollowed drills which are lowered by a screwing action into the paper. The paper is cut and forced up into the shaft of the drill to be later discarded as tightly packed columns. This method allows a small machine to cut industrial volumes of paper with little effort.


Comb Binding

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comb_bindComb binding

Comb binding is one of many ways to bind pages together into a book. This method utilizes round plastic spines with 19 rings (for US Letter size) or 21 rings (for A4 size) and a hole puncher that makes rectangular holes. Comb binding is sometimes referred to as GBC or Ibico binding since GBC manufactures a lot of binding machines and supplies.

Binding Process

To bind a document, the user first punches holes in the paper with a specialized hole punch. Pages must be punched a few at a time with most of these machines. If hard covers are desired, they must be punched as well. In bulk applications, a paper drilling machine may be used.

Then the user chooses a spine size that will match the document. Standard sizes are 3/16 inch (for 10 sheets of 20# paper) up to 2 inches (for 425 sheets). Spine lengths are generally 11 inches to match the length of letter-size paper.

The rings on the spine open and insert into the holes in the page, then rest against the body of the spine, resulting in a closure that can be opened again for making changes to the book.



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Connolly Printing Brochure Folding Guide

We offer printed brochures in several different sizes and folded several different ways. The following guide explains the different folds we offer and what you need to know about folding before laying out your folded brochure design.


Single Fold Brochure

A single fold brochure is made by folding a printed page in half. After folding it consists of four panels, two on the front and two on the back. 


Tri-Fold Brochure

A tri-fold brochure is made by folding a printed page in thirds. After folding it consists of six panels, three on the front and three on the back. 


Double Parallel Brochure

A double parallel brochure is made by folding a page in half and then folding each folded page in half again in the same direction. After folding it consists of eight panels, four on the front and four on the back. The last two panels need to be slightly narrower than the outer panels so that they fit inside when folded. 


Double Gate Fold Brochure

A Double Gate Fold brochure is made by folding the ends of a page inward so that they meet in the middle and then folding the folded page in half in the same direction. After folding it consists of eight panels, four on the front and four on the back. The panels on each end need to be slightly narrower than the outer panels so they will fit inside the others when folded. 


Accordion Fold Brochure

An accordion fold brochure is made by folding a page in equal parts in front of and behind itself. After folding it consists of six panels, three on the front and three on the back.


Barrel fold

Consists of two or more parallel folds, each folding in the same direction, with the panels nesting into each other. The most common example of a Barrel Fold is an 8.5 x 11" letter, folded into a mailing envelope.


Barrel Fold is also known as Letter Fold, Roll Fold, Spiral Fold, or Tri-Fold.


French Fold Brochure

A french fold brochure is made by folding a page in half in one direction and then folding the folded page in half again in the opposite dimension. After folding it consists of eight panels, four on the front and four on the back. 




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Roll_Laminator_KitA laminate is a material that can be constructed by uniting two or more layers of material together. The process of creating a laminate is lamination, which in common parlance refers to the placing of something between layers of plastic and glueing them with heat and/or pressure, usually with an adhesive. However, in electrical engineering, lamination is a construction technique used to reduce unwanted heating effects due to eddy currents in components, such as the magnetic cores of transformers.


Perfect Binding

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Thermally activated binding

Some of the different types of thermally activated binding include:

  1. perfect-binding1Perfect binding is often used, and gives a result similar to paperback books. National Geographic is one example of this type. Paperback or soft cover books are also normally bound using perfect binding. They usually consist of various sections with a cover made from heavier paper, glued together at the spine with a strong flexible glue. The sections are rough-cut in the back to make them absorb the hot glue. The other three sides are then face trimmed. This is what allows the magazine or paperback book to be opened. Mass market paperbacks (pulp paperbacks) are small (16mo size), cheaply made and often fall apart after much handling or several years. Trade paperbacks are more sturdily made, usually larger, and more expensive.
  2. Thermal Binding uses a one piece cover with glue down the spine to quickly and easily bind documents without the need for punching. Individuals usually purchase "thermal covers" or "therm-a-bind covers" which are usually made to fit a standard size sheet of paper and come with a glue channel down the spine. The paper is placed in the cover, heated in a machine (basically a griddle), and when the glue cools, it adheres the paper to the spine. Thermal glue strips can also be purchased separately for individuals that wish to use customized/original covers. However, creating documents using thermal binding glue strips can be a tedious process which requires a scoring device and a large format printer.
  3. A cardboard article looks like a hardbound book at first sight, but it is really a paperback with hard covers. Many books that are sold as hardcover are actually of this type. The Modern Library series is an example. This type of document is usually bound with thermal adhesive glue using a perfect binding machine.
  4. Tape Binding refers to a system that wraps and glues a piece of tape around the base of the document. A tape binding machine such as the Powis Parker Fastback or Standard Accubind system will usually be used to complete the binding process and to activate the thermal adhesive on the glue strip. However, some users also refer to Tape Binding as the process of adding a colored tape to the edge of a mechanically fastened (stapled or stitched) document.
  5. Unibind is a variety of thermal binding that uses a special steel channel with resin rather than glue inside of it to give it a more sturdy bind to hold the pages in place. Unibind can be used to bind soft covered documents with a look that is similar to perfect binding. It can also be used for binding hardcover books and photo books. Like Thermal Binding, unibind usually requires you to purchase a one piece coverset to bind your documents. However, Unibind also offers SteelBack spines that allow you to use your own covers in the binding process. The majority of Unibinds covers can be printed on as well to give documents a unique finish. (Unibind is also the name of a International binding company)


Saddle Stitch

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Bookbinding/Saddle stitch


A saddle stitch is appropriate for small booklets and, in general, for volumes with only a few pages. Most magazines that are not glued are saddle stitched: that is, they are held together by staples that run through the gutter. Once the pages are aligned and in the right order, this type of binding is quite straight forward. Staplers with extremely long jaws, designed specifically for saddle stitching, are available in office supply stores. Some photocopiers produce saddle-stitched volumes automatically. 

If neither of these options is readily available, an improvised saddle stitch can be accomplished by using an ordinary stapler in "tacking" mode. This usually requires swinging the anvil away from the bottom, or detatching the lower jaw of the stapler. The working surface should be reasonably soft and durable, such as carpeting or a cork board. Staples can be driven through the centerline of the pages to be bound, and then bent down individually using the cap of a pen.

Saddle stitching can also be done to the individual codex, using a needle and thread, as part of the process of binding them together into a larger book.

Shrink Wrap

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Shrink wrap, also shrinkwrap or shrink film, is a material made up of polymer plastic film. When heat is applied it shrinks tightly over whatever it is covering. Heat can be applied with a hand held heat gun (electric or gas) or the product and film can pass through a heat tunnel on a conveyor.

Shrink wrap is commonly used as an overwrap on many types of packaging,ph-shrink2 including cartons, boxes, beverage cans and pallet loads. A variety of products may be enclosed in shrink wrap to stabilize the products, unitize them, keep them clean or add tamper resistance. It can be the primary covering for some foods such as cheese and meats. It is also used to cover boats after manufacture and for winter storage. Heat-shrink tubing is used to seal electric wiring.

Shrink bands are applied over parts of packages for tamper resistance or labels. It can also combine two packages or parts.


Spiral Binding

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Coil binding 

Coil binding, also known as spiral binding, is an extremely popular book binding style for creating documents, reports, presentations and proposals. This binding style is known by a number of names including spiral coil, color coil, colorcoil, ez-coil, plastic coil, spiral binding, plastikoil and coilbind. Documents bound with spiral coil have the ability to open flat on a desk or table and offer 360 degree rotation for easy note taking. This binding style is extremely durable and is a logical choice for documents that need to be mailed. Spiral coil binding spines are also available in more colors and sizes than any other binding style.

Coil binding hole patterns

The most common hole pattern used with coil binding is a 4:1 pitch hole pattern (6mm outside the US). This simply means that there are four holes per inch on the edge of the document. The holes for this style are usually either round or oval shaped and depending on the size andspacing of the hole pattern, there will be 43 or 44 holes on an eleven inch binding edge. Supplies for binding documents with 4:1 pitch spiral coil are available in sizes ranging from 6mm up to 50mm in diameter. This allows for binding documents that are up to two inches thick.

Although not as common as four to one pitch coil, some printers and binderies prefer to use 5:1 pitch coil (5mm overseas). With five holes per inch, 5:1 pitch coil is more tightly wound and provides a neat and tidy appearance. However, the tight spacing of the coil and the smaller size of the holes used by this pattern limit the size of spines that are available. Five to one pitch spiral coil is available in diameters ranging from 6mm up to 25mm. This means that documents larger than one inch thick can not be bound using this hole pattern.

3:1 pitch spiral coil is less common than either 5:1 or 4:1 pitch coils. It is designed for use with the hole pattern used in Wire Binding or with GBC Proclick. Three to one pitch spiral coils are slightly easier to use for large diameter books because there are fewer holes to insert the coil through. Supplies for this hole pattern are available in sizes ranging from 6mm up to 50mm.

2.5:1 pitch coil is also known a 0.400 pitch coil and is used with a hole pattern that has 2.5 holes per inch. However, many users choose to use this hole pattern with the hole pattern that is produced for 2:1 pitch Wire Binding. This type of spiral coil uses a larger filament diameter and is specifically designed for binding thick documents. Spirals in this pitch pattern are available in diameters ranging from 20mm up to 56mm. This means that 2.5:1 pitch coil can be used to bind documents that are thicker than any of the other pitches of spiral coil.


Tape Binding

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tapeBindTape Binding refers to a system that wraps and glues a piece of tape around the base of the document. A tape binding machine such as the Powis Parker Fastback or Standard Accubind system will usually be used to complete the binding process and to activate the thermal adhesive on the glue strip. However, some users also refer to Tape Binding as the process of adding a colored tape to the edge of a mechanically fastened (stapled or stitched) document.


UV Coating

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Ultra-violet cured coatings can be applied over ink printed on paper and dried by exposure to UV radiation. UV coatings can be formulated up to 100% solids so that they have no volatile component that contributes to pollution. This high solids level also allows for the coating to be applied in very thin films. UV coatings can be formulated to a wide variety of gloss ranges. UV coating can be most conventional industrial coating applications as well as by silkscreen.

Due to the normally high solids content of UV coating/varnish the surface of the cured film can be extremely reflective and glossy. 80 text and heavier weights of paper can be UV coated, however, cover weights are preferred. UV can be used on smooth, uncoated papers.

UV can be applied by flooding the page. This coating application can deepen the color of the printed area. Drying is virtually instantaneous when exposed to the correct level of UV light so projects can move quickly into the bindery. Like the other coatings, consult the bindery for projects requiring gluing. Using a strippable coating blanket can eliminate glue issues. New, Innovative coating blanket solutions have been developed recently that allow for this to be done.

A printed page with UV coating applied can be very shiny or flattened to a matte finish. A good example of UV coated paper is photo paper sold for home printing projects. UV coatings that are not fully cured can have a slightly sticky feeling. 



Velo Binding

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velo3_1056_generalVeloBind is a type of book binding often offered at copy and print shops. Velo binding involves punching several small holes along the edge of an unbound book. A strip of plastic with rigid tines is inserted into the holes from the top of the book, and a strip with corresponding holes is placed on the back with the tines protruding through. The book is then placed in a machine that holds the book tightly while the excess length of the tines is cut and the tips melted to seal the bind. The term "VeloBind" is a trademark of the General Binding Corporation, but is regularly used generically to refer to this process, though strip binding is also sometimes used.

Though velo binding is intended to be permanent, the binding can be carefully removed using a utility knife or the special cutting tool included with the binding machine. 

Hardcover books can be created using the VeloBind process. Two adhesive inner covers are bound with the prospective contents. These adhesive pages are applied to the inside of a paperboard hard case, itself decoratively covered and containing an adhesive strip that matches with the spine. Book information can be embossed onto the cover with a contrasting foil. VeloBind hardcovers are often used to preserve theses and dissertations. It is possible to take a soft covered Velo-bound book, remove the old binding and cover, and re-bind it with a hard cover, which may be pre-embossed for more a more impressive appearance. This rapid up-grade was the cause of the short-lived motto "Soft to hard in 30 seconds!" This was first done when the firm was located in Sunnyvale.

There are a number of different styles of Velobind that are available from GBC. The most common style of Velobind strips have eleven pins that are equally spaced across the spine. This style of strips is used by a hot knife binding machine such as the GBC V800pro, Velobind System 2 or Velobind System Three Pro. All of these machines use a heated knife to permanently weld documents in place.

Other styles of Velobind binding strips include four pin reclosable strips and six pin reclosable strips. Four pin Velobind strips are designed for use with either an eleven hole pattern or with a four hole pattern. Six pin strips are designed for use with the personal velobinder which has now been discontinued. Both of these styles of strips allow users to edit their documents by simply snapping the excess portion of the pins into the back of the receiving strip.

One other style of GBC Velobind strips is the 111 or One Eleven binding strips. This style uses a strip with serated pins. The machine compresses the spine together locking the pages in place and then cuts the excess portion of the pins off to finish the document. The GBC 111 Velobind machine has been discontinued for many years and the supplies for this binding style are becoming difficult to find.


Wafer Seal

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If you've ever received newsletters or brochures in the mail, chances are they were held together by wafer seals. Wafer seals are self-adhesive paper disks used to prepare self-mailing materials for delivery or to seal envelopes securely without glue. Some wafer seals are perforated to prevent damage while opening, while others may be serrated for decoration or embossed for personalization. Many stamp collectors also have an interest in certain vintage or historic wafer seals.

 The use of wafer seals for envelopes and self-mailing documents was most likely derived from the earlier practice of using wax seals. Official wafer seals could also be commissioned in order to verify the authenticity of a decree or military order. Any hint of tampering or unauthorized reading could be detected by examining the wafer seals. It is these elaborate wafer seals which most interest stamp collectors today. As other forms of document protection, such as the self-sealing envelope, became more common, the use of official wafer seals declined. The practice is now mostly used during ceremonies or as official seals on formal invitations.


Today, most wafer seals are sold on rolls through office supply stores and party shops. The more generic wafer seals may also be called mailing tabs. Their main functions are to seal self-mailing newsletters and other bulky brochures and to provide a decorative seal for envelopes.

Changes in the postal system have resulted in an increased need for wafer seals and mailing tabs. Folded newsletters and other self-mailers can no longer be sealed with metal staples. The approved solution is to use one or two wafer seals along the bottom or top edge of the folded material for security. The wafer seals or mailing tabs must be placed in specific areas, usually near the edges, so they do not block any official mailing bar codes or address information.

Wafer seals come in a variety of styles and colors, from utilitarian butterfly tabs to elaborately embossed invitation seals. Some are clear in color, while others can be shiny or metallic. There are also wafer seals suitable for specific holidays or other occasions. Prices for wafer seals can vary widely from supplier to supplier, so it pays to do some comparison shopping if you need to buy wafer seals in bulk.


Wire Binding

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Wire binding

Wire binding is one of the most popular commercial book binding methods used in North America and is known by a number of different names including twin loop wireWire-odouble loop wire, double-o, ring wire and wirebind

altWith this binding method, users insert their punched pages onto a "C" shaped spine and then use a wire closer to squeeze the spine until it is round.[1]. Documents that are bound with wire binding will open completely flat on a desk and allow for 360 degree rotation of bound pages.

Hole patterns and pitches

There are three common hole patterns used in binding documents with double loop wire. Each hole pattern has specific sizes and applications where it is best suited. Here is a quick overview of the different options.

3:1 pitch (3 holes per inch)

The three to one pitch hole pattern is most commonly used for binding small sized documents with double loop wire. Spines for this binding style are available in sizes between 3/16" (48mm) and 9/16" (140mm) in diameter. Three to one pitch wires are not available in sizes larger than 9/16". The size of the holes used with this pattern simply does not allow for larger spines to be manufactured. The hole pattern used for 3:1 pitch wire binding can use either square or round holes.

2:1 pitch (2 holes per inch)

Although a two to one pitch hole pattern is most commonly used for binding larger sized documents it can also be used for binding smaller diameter books. Two to one pitch wire is most commonly found in sizes ranging from 5/8" (1.59 cm) up to 11/4" (3.2cm). However, a couple of manufacturers make special small sized 2:1 pitch wire for binding documents as small as 1/4" (64mm).

19 loop wire

In the past, some comb binding machines would come with a wire closer. These machines were designed to be used with 19 loop wire. Nineteen loop wire is designed to be used with a plastic comb binding pattern. This hole pattern will have longer rectangular holes that are 9/16" on center. This style of binding used to be referred to as Ibiwire which was Ibico's name for this style of binding. However, when Ibico was purchased by the General Binding Corporation this type of supplies was discontinued. Today, 19-loop wire is commonly called Spiral-O Wire.


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