Binding Documents Longer Than 11 Using Plastic Comb Binding

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Most of the comb binding systems and supplies on the market are designed for binding letter sized documents. However, I occasionally have customers call and ask if there is a way to comb bind documents that are longer than 11″. Binding these documents is possible with many of the different plastic combbind systems on the market. However, there are a number of things to consider when attempting to comb bind such documents. Here is a quick review of the three things you will need to bind these oversized documents with plastic combs.

First, you need a binding comb that is the appropriate length. Other lengths of plastic combs such as A4, A3 or legal are also available but may require minimum orders and or custom order charges. Generally speaking, black and white comb binding supplies are cheaper and easier to find in custom lengths than colored plastic binding combs. However, if you need a custom length colored comb you really need to call and check on availability and lead time.

Second, you need a way to punch the documents. Depending on the length of your binding edge, there are a number of binding machines that can assist in accomplishing this task. If you are looking for a way to bind legal sized documents, there are several low cost binding machines with 14″ punches on the market.

For instance, both the 240PB comb binding machine by Tamerica Products or the Megabind by Akiles support 14″ binding combs. If you need to bind longer documents such as 11″ x 17″ sheets or large format calendars, there are two options. You can use one of the many open ended comb binding punches on the market and punch your books in two sections (simply punch one side, then flip the book over and punch the remainder of the document). Alternatively, Rhin-O-Tuff makes the HD7500 is the only commercially available 24″ wide punch on the market. It is specifically designed for punching large format documents such as calendars and blueprints and a plastic comb binding die is available for it.

Third, you will need a plastic comb binding opener to open your comb bindings in order to complete the binding process. Once again, if you are looking to bind documents that are 14″ or smaller, the legal sized comb binding machines on the market will include a comb binding opener. Alternatively, there are several reasonably priced 14″ stand alone comb binding openers available on the market that won’t break the bank.

Unfortunately, there are currently no comb openers on the market that are longer than 14″. This means that inserting documents onto combs that are longer than 14″ is a two step process. You simply use your comb opener to open the left hand side of the book and insert your document onto the rings that are opened and then repeat for the right hand side of the book. This can be a little bit tricky when trying to insert the document on the middle rings of the comb but isn’t too bad once you get the hang of it.

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