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Re: [BKARTS] Thermal tape binding, Saw trimming, Rounded corners

           See The Exhibition Online, And Order Your Catalog.

>I am writing a "popular" science book and want to desktop publish, print,
bind, and sell the book myself for true On-Demand publishing. I have
researched thousands of bits of information on this topic including on the
Book Arts list. I also bought the book called "Book-on-Demand Publishing" by
Rupert Evans who has posted extensively here.

Thanks for the plug.

>Here is what I have figured out so far:
>(1) I bought Ventura Publisher 8 for desktop publishing my book and like it a
lot. I find it much better for publishing books than most other programs.

Quark or Page Maker are also good if you are including lots of photos or other
graphics. Word Perfect works fine for straight text and for rectangular

>(2) Rupert Evans has convinced me that laser printing can be durable enough
for books if done right. The fuser must work properly and Vinyl or such like
chemical surfaces next to toner must be avoided. A digital duplicator seems
nice but can't duplex and I don't want to hand collate. I'll buy a duplexing
laser printer.
>(3) Rupert Evans has convinced me that thermal binding of a book using hot
melt glue can be fast, flexible, and pretty durable. By thermal binding I mean
the process where a glue strip is heated next to the book block. Less glue can
be used in this process than in the typical paperback EVA hot melt process
which can result in more flexibility.

I agree, of course. However, I now do most of my binding using double-fan
gluing with EVA cold glue, since I developed a simple machine to help do the
work. In spite of the machine, it is slower than thermal binding, but is more
durable and just as flexible.

>(4) Looking at thousands of library books I have concluded that rounding the
free corners of a paperback book can dramatically deduce the dogeared look of
such books.

Rounded corners are a matter of taste. However, it is not easy to get the
corners rounded properly. A corner rounder that can handle books is rather

>(5) Thermal tape binding results in a book that is far more flexible than a
perfect bound book. It lays flat. The tape wrapping around part of the cover
greatly reduces the tearing of soft cover books at the binding. It opens much
better than the Otabind or RepKover type books which only lay flat really well
when opening the book at the center. The first and last pages don't lay flat
nearly as well on these. Many thermally bound books come apart because the
thermal binding is not done well. I'll make my books 8.5x11 inches so they can
lay flat.

The openability of thermal binding depends very much on the thickness of the
glue. Most perfect-bound books have a very thick layer of glue because the
binding machine depends on the glue to convey enough heat so that the glue is
still liquid after it hits the paper. If the glue is cool it will not adhere
well to the book block.

Don't forget to have the grain of the pages parallel to the spine of the book.

>(6) Bits of information on Book Arts suggest that I can use a saw to trim the
book pages with little paper waste. A small bandsaw could even cut rounded
corners on the book it seems. I dislike wasting paper using a guillotine which
needs 1/8" trim allowance. I've seen thousands of library books basically
ruined by guillotining too where text and pictures have been cut through.

Actually, a saw wastes more paper than a guillotine because the saw kerf is
converted to paper dust. I have tried using a bandsaw for trimming books, but
have had difficulty clamping the sheets of paper firly together as it is being
cut. I get good results with a fine-toothed carbide-tipped saw blade used in a
cut-off saw with a piece of plywood holding the sheets firmly together.
    The bad reputation of guilotine trimming is due to lazy operators using
dull blades.

>Questions, answer as many as you like:
>(7) I am toying with two laser printers at present. The HP 2200D 8.5x14
1200x1200dpi 40,000 pages/mo US$800 standard duplexer 5000 page toner 19 ppm
and the Kyocera Mita FS-1800 which has lifetime OPC drum for 300,000 pages and
refillable toner. Comments?

I use HP printers exclusively, after many bad experiences with other brands.
My HP 8100 has had only one paper jam in four years of heavy use.

>(8) Some people don't like the looks of rounded corner books. I have several
myself and like the look. What do you think?

See above.

>(9) There seems to be some dislike for the look of thermal tape binding. Some
consider it cheap. If the tape was hot stamp lettered on the spine and cover
designed to suit, I think it can look pretty good. One reference even
suggested that tape binding is more classy than perfect bound wraparound
covers. Has sort of the style of quarter bound hardcover books. What do you

If you can letter the spine satisfactorily, it looks good, but this is not as
easy as it might appear

>(10) Any comments on whether 8.5x11 inches is acceptable for technical books?

They don't fit well on standard book shelves.

>(11) Anyone with experience using saws or other power cutters to trim books.
As I am not making small books like 5.5x8.5 inches so I don't have to cut
books on half. I only want to trim off a perhaps 0.003 inches and the cover. I
have heard that thermal tape binding perhaps doesn't even require trimming
because separate front and back covers are used. What do you think? How would
one cut a laminated cover to the exact size?

.003 inches is too small. The paper sheets you buy are not cut this
accurately, so you will need to trim off about 1/16 inch to get a smooth edge.

Many thermal tape bound books are not trimmed, but I think they look better if
they are. Laminated covers trim well on a guillotine cutter, but the plastic
dulls the blade more rapidly than plain paper, I believe.

>(12) Any ideas on equipment to make thermal binding more durable or better?

Look for a used T320 Thermabind. It jogs the paper as it bonds it to the

>(13) Are the "Standard" thermal tapes pretty good. Saves me making them
Don't know about "Standard"

>(14) Any ideas on laminating or coating the separate covers for a thermal
tape bound book?
The Xyron 850 is a good, inexpensive laminating machine.
>Ben Wiens...applied energy scientist
>Ben Wiens Energy Science Inc.
>Coquitlam BC Canada
>Energy Website: www.benwiens.com

Best regards,

Rupert N. Evans
501-391 S LaPosada Circle
Green Valley, AZ 85614
Author of Book-On-Demand Publishing
I love to print and bind books

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