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Join Date: 21 May 2010
Location: U.S.A.
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Questions from a first-time laminator


After careful perusal of this thread (thank you, crafty persons), I have come to the following conclusions:

1. Cold lamination's downside is that the adhesive eventually starts to wear off at the corners, which curl up and peel, and that application of glue dots can fix this. Hot lamination's downside is that the finished laminate material tends to be less flexible than cold laminate, and that one cannot cut directly up to the border of the card, because hot lamination only seals the edges of a pouch rather than adhering to the card/paper itself the way cold laminate does.

2. The cold laminating machines mentioned here (Xyron) are manual rollers that require one to churn the handle. There is danger in this in that, if one's energy or attention flags and they slow or speed the churning process, the finished product could have imperfections in it. All of the hot laminating machines I've seen on YouTube appear to be automated; one feeds the pouch in the same way one would feed paper into a fax, and it comes out the other side on its own.

3. For both hot and cold lamination, the corners of the card should be rounded before being laminated. Then you have to round them again once the laminate is attached.

4. Cold laminating machines use a contact paper-like adhesive sheet; hot laminating machines use non-adhesive pouches.

5. Hot lamination requires a pouch of a size that is very close to the item you're laminating. This is because only the edges of hot lamination pouches are sealed, which means one cannot cut close to the border of the card; this would cut away the sealed parts. If the excess laminate is too much owing to having used too large a pouch for the card or paper size, one can't cut away all the excess laminate; they're stuck with it.

6. My cards will be printed several to a page of 8 1/2 by 11 " paper. It is better (safer, faster) to laminate each sheet first, and then cut out the individual cards. Thus, I need a machine that is long enough to accommodate this size of paper. Do you agree?

Judging by YouTube vids, cold lamination seems to be less popular than hot. Alarmingly (for someone with little crafting skill), the one video I found of cold lamination involved manual application of a sticky contact paper/laminate to one side of the paper before rolling it through the machine. This is perilous for someone like me, whose slipshod application will invariably yield a flurry of unsightly air bubbles. Thus, despite my preference for cold lamination (because I can cut right up to the border of the card), it is probably "safer" for me to stick with hot lamination.

I'm considering this fellow here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9iX8FpVvUo

Any input you have on the conclusions I've drawn would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers.
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