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Subject: Laminating rss

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Robin
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Hello, everyone,

I'm considering laminating character sheets from games such as TI3, Eclipse, and some others.

While I could take these to a shop to get them done, I'm thinking I may do it myself.

I have a couple of questions though.

1. Is it worth me doing it myself, or would the shop do a good enough job of it? I worry about them having dirty hands, and leaving thumb prints under the lamination etc

2. If I do it myself, what is the recommended laminating machine?

3. Are there any general tips - how to get rounded corners; how to avoid bubbles etc

4. Is there a high success rate with laminating, or am I likely to mess up? Is it pretty straight-forward?

Thanks in advance!

Robin
 
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maf man
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1- depends on what options you have locally. Do you prefer to do it yourself? What price would you call fair? If your paying them they should be professional enough to not leave marks.

2- sorry, I havent used them enough to know. Be sure whatever your looking at can laminate something as think as you need though. I've seen some nice roller types where you just manually roll your sheet through but it wouldn't do anything thicker than card stock.

3- laminate edge to edge. I remember I was laminating something for the first time and I thought I would have more control (and avoid bubbles) starting at a corner but then I ended up with creases and bubbles.

Unless otherwise stated when you laminate something it needs a boarder to have a seal so leave enough of just the laminate around your sheet when you trim it. If you don't give it that seal it will just open and peal away as it sticks to itself not to the sheet your covering

4- after a few shots practicing its easier than you may think

 
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Jerrod Carpenter
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1. Depends? How many do you want done and what desired thickness of the laminate. If you are only going to be doing a 5-6 sheets and nothing more then it is worth a few stops to get some prices on what you want. If you plan on doing more or doing it long term then I'd consider investing in a machine. As someone who worked in a print shop I wouldn't worry about the dirty hands or prints under the laminate.

2.Can't help you with this. You'll have to do some research.

3.You can get laminate with rounded corners (used to anyway). To avoid bubbles don't overload your laminate with stock that is too thick, also feed it straight. In the print shop we used a large folded piece of card stock that would help keep things flat and protect from burning the laminate (probably not necessary with a consumer machine). I would stay away from the adhesive laminate.

4. With the heat sealing laminate, success is pretty easy, with the adhesive it can be tricky if your not careful depending on what you are laminating.

I cannot speak for current prices but when I was involved with a print shop it was only a couple of buck per sheet to laminate. I can't imagine it would be that expensive to have a few sheets done, but it can add up if your not careful.
 
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Robin
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mafman6 wrote:
1- depends on what options you have locally. Do you prefer to do it yourself? What price would you call fair? If your paying them they should be professional enough to not leave marks.

2- sorry, I havent used them enough to know. Be sure whatever your looking at can laminate something as think as you need though. I've seen some nice roller types where you just manually roll your sheet through but it wouldn't do anything thicker than card stock.

3- laminate edge to edge. I remember I was laminating something for the first time and I thought I would have more control (and avoid bubbles) starting at a corner but then I ended up with creases and bubbles.

Unless otherwise stated when you laminate something it needs a boarder to have a seal so leave enough of just the laminate around your sheet when you trim it. If you don't give it that seal it will just open and peal away as it sticks to itself not to the sheet your covering

4- after a few shots practicing its easier than you may think



Thanks for your reply.

1. Well I meant would I add value in quality or what not - would doing it myself enable me to have more options, better results, and things like that?

3. I'll be sure to do that! Thanks!

4. I would like to have a go...but whether it's also worth it by the fact that, for a relatively small cost, someone can do it professionally, and hopefully with almost no chance of errors
 
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A. Mandible
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Hobby-quality home laminators are incredibly cheap in the US-- I got mine for $15 and it's great; I don't recognize any of the brands listed on amazon.co.uk, but the pictures of the ones costing 15-20 UKP look very much like the ones I've seen here.

Probably not worth it if you're only doing 2 or 3 sheets, of course.

For the one I've used, you aren't getting rounded corners unless you cut them yourself, but bubbles haven't been an issue. The main learning curve for me was figuring out how to properly support the document as it comes out the other side; if it is gently curved for those few seconds it's cooling, it will be curved forever.

I haven't tried many different varieties of sleeves, so I don't know how much those vary in quality.
 
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Robin
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liquidus letum wrote:
1. Depends? How many do you want done and what desired thickness of the laminate. If you are only going to be doing a 5-6 sheets and nothing more then it is worth a few stops to get some prices on what you want. If you plan on doing more or doing it long term then I'd consider investing in a machine. As someone who worked in a print shop I wouldn't worry about the dirty hands or prints under the laminate.

2.Can't help you with this. You'll have to do some research.

3.You can get laminate with rounded corners (used to anyway). To avoid bubbles don't overload your laminate with stock that is too thick, also feed it straight. In the print shop we used a large folded piece of card stock that would help keep things flat and protect from burning the laminate (probably not necessary with a consumer machine). I would stay away from the adhesive laminate.

4. With the heat sealing laminate, success is pretty easy, with the adhesive it can be tricky if your not careful depending on what you are laminating.

I cannot speak for current prices but when I was involved with a print shop it was only a couple of buck per sheet to laminate. I can't imagine it would be that expensive to have a few sheets done, but it can add up if your not careful.


Thank you for your reply too!

1. As well as monetary value, I was thinking also of value as in, will doing it myself mean I have better/more options open to me, and will it also mean I'm more likely to get better results.

Is thickness a quality factor? What thickness would likely be best?

3. It does sound like in the print shops, they do a great job of avoiding any issues...perhaps that would make it worth doing in a shop over at home...The last thing I'd want is to botch it

4. Is the heat sealing one a quality thing - as in, the better machines use heat sealing, and therefore get better results?

 
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Robin
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grasa_total wrote:
Hobby-quality home laminators are incredibly cheap in the US-- I got mine for $15 and it's great; I don't recognize any of the brands listed on amazon.co.uk, but the pictures of the ones costing 15-20 UKP look very much like the ones I've seen here.

Probably not worth it if you're only doing 2 or 3 sheets, of course.

For the one I've used, you aren't getting rounded corners unless you cut them yourself, but bubbles haven't been an issue. The main learning curve for me was figuring out how to properly support the document as it comes out the other side; if it is gently curved for those few seconds it's cooling, it will be curved forever.

I haven't tried many different varieties of sleeves, so I don't know how much those vary in quality.


So you don't have to pay a lot for good quality? Perhaps rounded edges is something you'd get by spending more money. Do you have a trimmer for the edges or something like that?

I guess also the more expensive ones may have a support to avoid that bend?
 
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Robin
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I guess another thing is sizes...a print shop round the corner only seems to deal with standard sizes for laminating...

Is this an advantage doing it myself would have - I could do whatever size I wanted?

Or do most print shops usually do bespoke sizes, and my local one is just not very good?
 
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maf man
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TickTockRob wrote:
1. Well I meant would I add value in quality or what not - would doing it myself enable me to have more options, better results, and things like that?

I am never able to tell a difference between laminates in terms of quality. I don't think you gain any versatility ether option as the capabilities are decided by the machine.

+1 to that keep it flat as it rolls out. If you have a roller type, it is worth whatever hassle setting a table right behind it because trying to hold the sheet coming out as your working the machine will be more of a hassle and trying to grab it and flatten it after it goes all the way through you will probably be too slow.

heat sealing is how most do it. Its like taking something like saran wrap and melting it together. The cold laminate is basically thick tape. It's a little trickier to use successfully and I would call it a lower quality (the corners and its sealing ability that is, the stuff itself feels great).
 
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Jerrod Carpenter
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1. Your options would be about the same. You can purchase anything they are working with. You can get comparable quality from a home machine. It's a matter of if you want to invest the time and money to do it.

2. Thickness has more to do with how flexible the finished product is. The thinner the sheet the less heat you need to laminate and the more flexible the finished product will be. If you are doing standard paper stock, then you don't need anything special for thickness.

3. Remember you don't have to accept the finished product if it's not up to your standards either. You are paying them to do a job, if they don't do it correctly then they keep the product and you keep your money. It worked like that in all the print shops I worked in.

4. Heat sealing lamination is far better than adhesive. But you don't need a machine for adhesive. When most people think lamination they think heat sealing but the adhesive is another option, but I wouldn't recommend it.
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Karl
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mafman6 wrote:

Unless otherwise stated when you laminate something it needs a boarder to have a seal so leave enough of just the laminate around your sheet when you trim it. If you don't give it that seal it will just open and peal away as it sticks to itself not to the sheet your covering


This is usally an indication that the machine you use isn't hot enough. The pastic sticks just fine to the paper without any border on my home machine. But I have to wait quite some bit longer then stated in the manual for it to reach proper heat.
 
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Robin
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mafman6 wrote:
TickTockRob wrote:
1. Well I meant would I add value in quality or what not - would doing it myself enable me to have more options, better results, and things like that?

I am never able to tell a difference between laminates in terms of quality. I don't think you gain any versatility ether option as the capabilities are decided by the machine.

+1 to that keep it flat as it rolls out. If you have a roller type, it is worth whatever hassle setting a table right behind it because trying to hold the sheet coming out as your working the machine will be more of a hassle and trying to grab it and flatten it after it goes all the way through you will probably be too slow.

heat sealing is how most do it. Its like taking something like saran wrap and melting it together. The cold laminate is basically thick tape. It's a little trickier to use successfully and I would call it a lower quality (the corners and its sealing ability that is, the stuff itself feels great).


ahh, well perhaps doing it at a shop is the right way then...

I guess the things I'm going to be doing it for are not standard size...does this basically mean that I'll have to use a trimmer to get the laminated card down to the size I want (it will be laminated with massive margins, so will need to be shorter)...is a guillotine the way forward with this, and some corner rounding trimmers?

I'll stay away from the cold sealing then! Is there basically two options when you have a machine, cold or warm?
 
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Robin
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liquidus letum wrote:
1. Your options would be about the same. You can purchase anything they are working with. You can get comparable quality from a home machine. It's a matter of if you want to invest the time and money to do it.

2. Thickness has more to do with how flexible the finished product is. The thinner the sheet the less heat you need to laminate and the more flexible the finished product will be. If you are doing standard paper stock, then you don't need anything special for thickness.

3. Remember you don't have to accept the finished product if it's not up to your standards either. You are paying them to do a job, if they don't do it correctly then they keep the product and you keep your money. It worked like that in all the print shops I worked in.

4. Heat sealing lamination is far better than adhesive. But you don't need a machine for adhesive. When most people think lamination they think heat sealing but the adhesive is another option, but I wouldn't recommend it.


Thanks for this! Yes, thickness will basically be quite thin then, as I'm not really wanting it to be rigid.

As for taking it back, well it'll be board game components that I'll want to laminate, so I'd not have another to replace it with!!
 
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Robin
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kilrah wrote:
mafman6 wrote:

Unless otherwise stated when you laminate something it needs a boarder to have a seal so leave enough of just the laminate around your sheet when you trim it. If you don't give it that seal it will just open and peal away as it sticks to itself not to the sheet your covering


This is usally an indication that the machine you use isn't hot enough. The pastic sticks just fine to the paper without any border on my home machine. But I have to wait quite some bit longer then stated in the manual for it to reach proper heat.


How do you get such a precise size? I thought the sheets come in standard sizes...so you'd have to do it slightly bigger, and then trim down, unless you're laminating a standard sized thing yourself?

I guess it could be dangerous to go right to the edge if you don't get it right/have the right heat
 
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maf man
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kilrah wrote:

This is usally an indication that the machine you use isn't hot enough. The pastic sticks just fine to the paper without any border on my home machine.

How long does that last? If you don't have a boarder you don't have a seal, its just sticking plastic on top.
 
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Larysa J
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I have an inexpensive laminator from OfficeWorks (in Australia) and it works fine. I have, however, found that it's better to have it on a lower temperature than the maximum, otherwise it tends to warp the sheets.

With regards to rounded edges - if you want more deeply rounded edges than you can buy in laminator sheets you can buy edge-rounding stamps from any scrapbooking retailer. Something along the lines of this tool will do the trick for you: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=4&cam...gpI0AAOSwmLlX8qbD

Incidentally, just slightly off topic... I have quite a few games which have player sheets. One of the first things I do when I get such a game is to go and play on Excel and recreate the sheets. Then I put the originals away. I find this much better than using the sheets in the game and it appeals to the OCD part of my nature..
 
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Vander Dlonk
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mafman6 wrote:
kilrah wrote:

This is usally an indication that the machine you use isn't hot enough. The pastic sticks just fine to the paper without any border on my home machine.

How long does that last? If you don't have a boarder you don't have a seal, its just sticking plastic on top.

It lasts forever. You don't have to leave any border at all.

Unless you are throwing it in a rain barrel for months or into a deep fryer, it will stay good as new. Believe. Or not. Your choice.

 
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Chris Forrest
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBE40YqvXfg

I can highly recommend matte lamination. again no border is required, it sticks to the paper after being heated.
 
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Jim Hill
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dlonk wrote:
mafman6 wrote:
kilrah wrote:

This is usally an indication that the machine you use isn't hot enough. The pastic sticks just fine to the paper without any border on my home machine.

How long does that last? If you don't have a boarder you don't have a seal, its just sticking plastic on top.

It lasts forever. You don't have to leave any border at all.

Unless you are throwing it in a rain barrel for months or into a deep fryer, it will stay good as new. Believe. Or not. Your choice.



In humid areas like mine the humidity creeps in through the paper layer and can delaminate it. But it depends on the paper type too.
 
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maf man
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dlonk wrote:
Unless you are throwing it in a rain barrel for months or into a deep fryer, it will stay good as new. Believe. Or not. Your choice.

I shouldn't need to believe, this isn't santa.
Everywhere I look about how to properly use this stuff it says to leave a border. I want to know why I'm told to always leave a border if its not needed.

That youtube video quite clearly has a border!
 
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Vander Dlonk
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mafman6 wrote:
dlonk wrote:
Unless you are throwing it in a rain barrel for months or into a deep fryer, it will stay good as new. Believe. Or not. Your choice.

I shouldn't need to believe, this isn't santa.
Everywhere I look about how to properly use this stuff it says to leave a border. I want to know why I'm told to always leave a border if its not needed.

That youtube video quite clearly has a border!

When you have conflicting information, test it both ways and decide for yourself.


 
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