If you haven’t already done so, you should think about binding your own documents. This is one task that can be very efficient, cost-effective, and rewarding – especially once you hold a finished book in your hands. Most of the bookbinding devices on the market are really designed for letter-sized paper that measures 8.5” x 11” which can be problematic if you ever need produce documents that are legal-sized (8.5” x 14”). Luckily, there are things you can do and supplies to stock up on so you’re prepared. Let’s take a look at three of the most common binding methods and how you can use them to assemble legal-sized books.
1.) Coil coil. Binding with color coils is really popular because the coils can be used to bind books of different sizes. They’re also available in almost any color you could ever want, from black and white to pastel and neon shades. Coils are pretty affordable and they’re available in various lengths including ones that are 15” long. (That’s the recommended length for a legal-sized book.) To process your documents, you’ll need a punch that can handle larger pieces of paper. And when you’re ready to spin the coil through your work, you can use a spine former to align the pages and then insert the coil by hand. You can then fold the coil ends in with a pair of crimping pliers. That’s all there is to it.
2.) Plastic comb. Plastic comb binding has been around for a long time and it’s still incredibly popular thanks to its simplicity and low cost. Combs are great for thicker documents since they can be used in books that contain over 400 pages. And, best of all, it’s pretty easy to find combs that are the right-length for legal-sized works. There are comb binding machines available that can process larger documents and they tend to have disengageable punching dies and an open throat. The disengageable dies will help you punch the correct number of holes for documents of different sizes so you can use the same machine for large and small books.
3.) Twin-loop wire. Twin-loop wire binding requires the use of a machine with disengageable dies, just like the plastic comb method. The main difference between the two methods (aside from their look – wires look more sophisticated than plastic combs) is that you need to custom order wire spines. Thus, they need to be ordered well ahead of when you’re going to be binding. Needless to say, this can be inconvenient, especially if a big project just fell in your lap. However, books that are bound with wire spines look great, so the inconvenience can be worth it.
Binding legal-sized documents isn’t really that different from working with smaller documents. You just need to make sure that you select a machine that’s compatible with your paper and order your spines ahead of time, if necessary. If you do that, you’re well on your way to producing documents of which you can be proud. Good luck and happy binding!
About the Author:
Jeff McRitchie is the Vice-President of Marketing for MyBinding.com. He regularly writes articles, reviews, and blog posts on topics related to bookbinding, laminating, paper shredding, and office equipment. More than 2,500 of his articles have been published in thousands of locations on the Internet. If you’re looking for information about binding machines his articles are a great place to start.