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Subject: Lamination rss

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Eric Etkin
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Hopefully there's some laminatin' experts here.

I'm trying (hoping?) to protect some playtest chits and tiles, and I'm wondering if my wife's Scotch laminator will do the job.

Reference:

 

 


I've had the chit and tile master sheets (8.5 x 11) printed out on card stock ($13 at office max for only 19 pages... who knew this was so $$$?). I've also glued these to an additional piece of cardstock to sturdy them up.

What I'd like to do now is add some sort of protective coat to them. I'm assuming lamination would be what I'm looking for? So the questions are:

1) Can I laminate a thick two-ply piece of card stock?

2) Once laminated, can I cut the tiles (6" square) and chits (1.5" square) out of the master sheet without risking the lamination peeling off? I have no idea if there needs to be a "sealing" edge around it.

Help me Obi-wan, etc. etc.

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Robert Beachler
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You can laminate any piece of paper, cardstock isn't that thick no matter what, now something like a piece of chipboard might not work because of thickness. Also yes most heat seal laminate needs to have an edge to stick together which is part of why the thicker the item being laminated the more likely it will not work because the laminate isn't sealed together. So yes cutting something out of lamination will usually result in the lamination peeling off. There is of course sticky sheet laminate that you can use as well which is akin to a big sheet of tape, obviously that stays put because of the adhesive. Essentially it is just clear contact paper. Personally I just spray some clear coat on them and go from there.
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Eric Etkin
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Thanks!

Does the clear-coat run any risk of smearing or clouding the ink? What would you recommend? I'd prefer non-glossy if possible, since I may end up using these for photos.

Also... should I spray before I cut or after I cut? Any chance of cracking if I spray the 8 x 11 first, then cut it? What's the best practice here...?
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Chuck Meeks
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What weight of cardstock are we talking about here? If it is just standard, doubled up lightweight stuff, take a couple extra, non-printed pieces of the cardstock that has the tiles on them and run it through the laminator. I have laminated some tripled up cardstock with a Scotch laminator and it looks great. The key is not to use generic heat lamination packets. I have found that the adhesive on them doesn't look as nice when compared to the slightly more expensive, brand name stuff.

Test it out and see what you think.
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Eric Etkin
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Komodo wrote:
What weight of cardstock are we talking about here? If it is just standard, doubled up lightweight stuff, take a couple extra, non-printed pieces of the cardstock that has the tiles on them and run it through the laminator. I have laminated some tripled up cardstock with a Scotch laminator and it looks great. The key is not to use generic heat lamination packets. I have found that the adhesive on them doesn't look as nice when compared to the slightly more expensive, brand name stuff.

Test it out and see what you think.


Well - my concern with lamination is that I'd have issues witht he counters and tiles once I cut them off the base sheet - my understanding is I need a little bit of lamination "bleed" around the edge of whatever I'm laminating, right? If I cut counters out, that bleed is trimmed off.
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Chuck Meeks
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With the heat lamination packets I use it fuses to the paper, so I have never had them peel off and never needed the lamination to bleed over. I would just try it on a spare piece of card stock, cut out a square after you laminate it and see what you think.

I have done this with dozens of game aids and never had anything peel loose after cutting things out.

I guess it will depend on the kind of lamination packets you use. There are lamination packets that are used for heat sensitive items that will easily peel off but most have adhesive inside them.

Read the part on this page about using hot lamination:

http://www.heatlaminator.com/comparison.html

I have tried cold lamination before. That is the lamination that is like sticky tape and THAT kind of lamination you need to bleed over. It has a tendency to pull apart pretty easily. Also, if what you are laminating is too thick, you will have problems with heat lamination. Too thick and the lamination wont heat correctly.
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Chuck Meeks
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I used to create maps to use for intelligence planning in the Air Force before I retired. We liked to laminate them all the time. We had three different laminators that we used.

One was an 8.5" wide cold lamination setup, into which you inserted the paper you wanted laminated, turned a crank, and it fed the paper in between two rolls of sticky plastic tape that coated it. It looked okay but it was not durable at all and if you trimmed it to the paper edge it would begin delaminating if you looked at it wrong.

Next was probably similar to what you have with your Scotch laminator. Ours was 11" wide and had adjustable settings for heat and thickness of the lamination packet material. This one was very nice. This is also where you want to watch the type of packets you buy. Our supply guy, being in the military and all, bought the cheapest he could find. They had very little adhesive and looked like crap. I convinced the supply guys to buy me the more expensive ones (Scotch brand incidentally)and they worked great. Never an issue with trimming excess or peeling at all and they looked really nice.

The third kind we had was a 48" wide monster of a laminator that you had to buy supplies ONLY from the manufacturer for it to work. If you could fit it between the rollers it would laminate and it was never going to come off. We regularly laminated foam core presentation boards and when they came out of the machine they looked like they were dipped in molten plexiglass.
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Eric Etkin
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Update:

Well, I decided to give the lamination (vs. spray) process a whirl, mainly because I already had the stuff available.

I used the standard Scotch 9 x 12 pouches (3 mil?). Here's what I've discovered:

- Laminate the whole sheet first, then cut to smaller size. If you're using a paper cutter, there will probably be spots on your chits/tokens/cards where the laminate lifts up (usually close to the cutting edge). I found you can drop the piece back into the laminator and re-fuse it together, making it look perfect. The end result is a tight seam.

- The idea of gluing cardstock to an additional piece of cardstock for stiffening was a Bad Call. I used a glue stick to fuse the two pieces together, and said gluestick only provided a tight seal on about 50% of my pieces. I then needed to pry the bad ones apart and drop in some Elmers to re-glue them. It was a tedious, messy process that I could have avoided if I was happy with a 1-ply chit (which I should have been).

- If your pieces are 1-sided, send them through the laminator face-down... the device's interior roll seems to curve pieces "up," so by sending your laminate pages through face-down, you'll curve them downward so they don't bend upwards when laid flat on your board.

All in all? It looks GREAT (I'll try to post some pics soon, but the glossy laminate may reflect the lighting/flash too much). I LOVE my new format, and I'm fairly certain I will use the same tile/chit format for my next design.
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Joseph Chasse
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MOTHDevil wrote:

- If your pieces are 1-sided, send them through the laminator face-down... the device's interior roll seems to curve pieces "up," so by sending your laminate pages through face-down, you'll curve them downward so they don't bend upwards when laid flat on your board.


Hey Eric, concerning the rolling, try flipping it over then send it through again.

I just used my scotch laminator yesterday (5mil)to laminate some boards from "For The Win" (about 1.5 millimeters thick, think cereal box)
I was VERY happy with the results.
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Eric Etkin
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jchasse wrote:
MOTHDevil wrote:

- If your pieces are 1-sided, send them through the laminator face-down... the device's interior roll seems to curve pieces "up," so by sending your laminate pages through face-down, you'll curve them downward so they don't bend upwards when laid flat on your board.


Hey Eric, concerning the rolling, try flipping it over then send it through again.

I just used my scotch laminator yesterday (5mil)to laminate some boards from "For The Win" (about 1.5 millimeters thick, think cereal box)
I was VERY happy with the results.


Yep - I thought of that about halfway through the process. They straightened out great.
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