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  • Folder recommendation

    I've got a customer asking me for a job that would require a paper folder and I could use some recommendations on machine choices. I've wanted to get a folder for a while, so this is a convenient excuse to buy one.

    The job is an 8.5 x 14 landscape with a 3" perf section on the right, then creased and folded making it a 5.5 x 8.5 folded brochure with the 3" perf section folded in as well.

    I was thinking a folder with a right angle section would be appropriate. In the main section I would use something like a tri creaser to add the perf and crease, and then in the rignt angle unit fold everything together. Am I on the right track?

    Definitely looking for a used machine, pile feed is fine. Any brands or models that would work better for me than others? I see everything from $600 - $45k on ebay. Would prefer to keep it under $5k if possible.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    At what volume and frequency?

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    • #3
      How much floor space do you have available? the better folders with a right angle section take up some real estate . . . A new tri creaser setup will set you back about $1000.00 and a good quality folder would be in the 10 - 15 thousand dollar range . . . you might consider a trade bindery in your area if 15,000 is out of your price range . . . you would also need to learn how to run the thing . . . . folders can be "interesting"
      "If you think you are too small to be effective
      you have never been in the dark with a mosquito."

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      • #4
        Thanks for the follow up questions and input!

        Frequency: Maybe 2500 pieces weekly (Which is why I'm okay with used equipment.) Mostly coated stock, but I'm sure I'll run some 70lb offset text through it from time to time.

        We currently run moll folder gluers and also kluge letter presses so the idea of setting fold rollers and paper gaps and guides and all that stuff is already in our wheelhouse. I'm sure each machine has its idiosyncrasies, but we're not completely new to the concepts of moving and folding paper.

        I have a 10x12 space I can dedicate as long as a machine can get through a standard width doorway. I would prefer something that doesn't take up all that space though. Also would prefer 208 single phase.

        I primarily see baum, and stahl folders online. Anything else I could/should consider?

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        • #5
          We have had several Baums and Stahl . . . but the one we have now is an MBO and we are just loving it . . . seems to be a bit more friendly . . . but you will most certainly want a pile feeder rather than a belt feed - you just don't have the volume.
          "If you think you are too small to be effective
          you have never been in the dark with a mosquito."

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          • #6
            Are these pieces digitally printed?

            IMHO, getting a Baum, Stahl, or MBO folder with a tri-crease/perf wheel with the right angle to do perf & fold for 2,500 pieces a week is a little like taking out a shotgun to kill a fly.

            We're a medium-sized shop and have a MBO Continuous Feed w/right angle and inline spot glue and a MBO Pile Feed with right angle and several small folders.

            One of our applications is a piece like you're talking about (8.5 x 14 w/horizontal perf that folds to fit in a 6 x 9 envelope). It's a small volume run (only about 5,000 per week). So, for us, its faster and easier to buy the paper in bulk and have it pre-perfed at a local bindery with a micro/laser perf. Then we run the pre-perfed blank paper through our digital color printers and go straight to fold.

            We find this to be more efficient than spending a lot of time setting up the folder/perf/right angle just to run 5,000 pieces. It takes longer to set it up than it does to actually fold/perf.
            Last edited by MailGuru; 06-16-2017, 03:03 PM.

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            • #7
              Yes, digitally printed.

              I like the idea of pre-perfing the stock. I could add the perfing wheel to one of my moll folder gluers and pre-perf my own stock and have it sitting here ready to go. After printing I could run it through a folder w/o the right angle attachment and call it good.

              I get the occasional tri-fold job that we usually just fold by hand, so it would be nice to throw it on a folder and save some time.

              If I were going this route, would something like a baum 714 with air feed do the job? I feel like I've ready comments about people fighting with digitally printed coated stock with those machines.

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              • #8
                By doing that, you don't need the right angle (less space), AND, you can get away with buying a smaller less-expensive folder (even a table-top would work).

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                • #9
                  I don't know about the Baum 714. All of our folders are MBO, but, we've never had any problem running digitally printed coated stock.

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                  • #10
                    I've got to chime in here, for a long time we were printing menus for a local pizza chain 14 inch tri fold. We got a Baum 714 air feed just for that and ended up giving it away it was such a PITA. If you have the floor space go for a real folder you will be happier in the long run.
                    "If you think you are too small to be effective
                    you have never been in the dark with a mosquito."

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                    • #11
                      Ditto to what dabob says above. Our digital sheets just never ran well enough on the 714. We eventually got a Duplo creaser/folder and have been extremely pleased with it. These machines cost more than small folders, but if your job type varies, you never know what may need creasing prior to folding. You can turn off creasing or folding too. Vacuum belt feed handles digital prints very well. There are a lot of machines of this type (look for Morgana) that pop up on the used market.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Stickman42 View Post
                        Ditto to what dabob says above. Our digital sheets just never ran well enough on the 714. We eventually got a Duplo creaser/folder and have been extremely pleased with it. These machines cost more than small folders, but if your job type varies, you never know what may need creasing prior to folding. You can turn off creasing or folding too. Vacuum belt feed handles digital prints very well. There are a lot of machines of this type (look for Morgana) that pop up on the used market.
                        Love our duplo 646! It's great on creasing which makes hand folding jobs much easier. Only limitation we've really found is on 100lb gloss text and 70lb offset text... it's just too thin to really get a good crease on it. Beyond that, it's an amazing machine!

                        Thanks everyone for the great advice!

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