How do you Laminate Book Covers?

AP90

Well-known member
So I have a problem. We have been getting more and more request for laminated book covers. We generally don't do anything laminated, but when we do we just buy pouches and us a small desktop laminator to seal it. We recently tried it with some book covers. Results were, as you can imagine, terrible. The biggest problem was curling of the covers. Wouldn't lay flat and the ends curled up like none other.

So I want to know what your guys' process is for laminating booklet covers? We used to have a wide format laminator that we did some laminating on. but it was extremely time consuming cutting out each sheet. So aside from having a big D&K laminator with automatic finishing how are you guys doing it? If I could find a cheap Fujipla id be willing to throw some money at it but right now we just don't have the volume to justify any type of big purchase.
 

pippip

Well-known member
Yes we would generally laminate book covers for stapled on perfect bound.

We're only a small print house so we bought this single sided laminator (it also does sleeking which is a benefit).

It's manually fed but on average speed would laminate an SRA3 sheet every 8 seconds approx. It will run alot faster which i'd do if no bleed.
We use digital film which isn't too expensive either.

We'd also laminate nearly all our business cards, menus, memorial items etc so it does get quiet alot of use at small runs.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
For book covers, which I imagine are typically full bleed and heavy coverage, you need a laminator with pneumatic pressure and, as the laminate is just to one side, anti-curl.
Not sure what's available your side of the pond... if D&K money can't be justified, then look at Vivid's Matrix range, also Morgana have a product introduced recently.
 

AP90

Well-known member
Thanks for the input @pippip and @Ynot_UK. Definitely don't want to get too much money involved in this in case something doesn't pan out. But was looking at something along this line. Our labor is pretty cheap so manual feed isn't out of the question. I guess I didn't realize that to just "burst" the sheet apart by hand all you need to do is perforate the laminate? At least that's what the video below makes it seem like. And something like this laminator would be well worth the investment for us right now.

 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
I'm assuming your book covers are digital - in which case using the more expensive digital OPP film that is engineered to better adhere to toner, will help. However with heavy solids and full bleed, a combination of using OPP film and pneumatic pressure will give a 'belt & braces' approach.

The Matrix Duo that you have linked to does have an anti-curl bar, which is all important with single sided work... and moreso with books, as the last thing you want is a curly cover.
 

pippip

Well-known member
Thanks for the input @pippip and @Ynot_UK. Definitely don't want to get too much money involved in this in case something doesn't pan out. But was looking at something along this line. Our labor is pretty cheap so manual feed isn't out of the question. I guess I didn't realize that to just "burst" the sheet apart by hand all you need to do is perforate the laminate? At least that's what the video below makes it seem like. And something like this laminator would be well worth the investment for us right now.

We had similar model to that video before our current one. It was handy to do two sides at once and you can also encapsulate with that one. But even doing two sides at once it's very slow. They are rubber heated rollers which don't allow the speed. They also wear over time and split and need to be replaced which isn't cheap. Above that you're into steel heat roller which is alot better and allows the speed.

You also have to carefully feed them in time with each other to manually create an overlap which is a real pain. Between feeding and manually seperating you have to keep the speed slow. Just note in the video the perfing gear is an extra. Our current one is manually fed but has a gate which stops the sheet entering until it raises at a precise time to give the overlap. A light goes on to tell you to push in the next sheet. Fairly fool proof and the other end seperates using the perf and a rotating bar.
 

AP90

Well-known member
There's a great channel on Youtube called Just a Printer. In this video, he shows how to do this process.
Thanks! I actually watch his video's pretty regularly. Id love to have a setup like him (and his volume). But right now can't justify that much money on equipment like his. We are getting 1 or maybe 2 orders a month that include a laminate cover. We have a shop that can do it for us locally that runs $.22/cover plus set up fee. Not terrible so we can do that until we have our own. Just more of a hassle and less flexibility.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
'Just a Printer' Dan is an amazing guy, as well as being an astute businessman, his mechanical and electronic engineering skills are second to none, clearly paying great dividends in terms of machine uptime, cost saving and creative workarounds. As well as running a one-man shop, he also finds the time to make great videos. There's always something to learn from this guy. Great stuff.
 

RonHuang

Member
See this
Same thing.
 

narseman

Well-known member
So I have a problem. We have been getting more and more request for laminated book covers. We generally don't do anything laminated, but when we do we just buy pouches and us a small desktop laminator to seal it. We recently tried it with some book covers. Results were, as you can imagine, terrible. The biggest problem was curling of the covers. Wouldn't lay flat and the ends curled up like none other.

So I want to know what your guys' process is for laminating booklet covers? We used to have a wide format laminator that we did some laminating on. but it was extremely time consuming cutting out each sheet. So aside from having a big D&K laminator with automatic finishing how are you guys doing it? If I could find a cheap Fujipla id be willing to throw some money at it but right now we just don't have the volume to justify any type of big purchase.
Outsourcing Lamination is also an option ! Just be sure they offer a "de-curl" function on single sided covers. Then you don't have that big nut to pay off.
 

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