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laceybutterfly  laceybutterfly is offline
Join Date: 06 May 2006
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 137
Been there, done that!

Hi! I am new to the forum, have not even posted an introduction yet. I have been lurking about for quite some time... scoping out some of the threads... and happened to stumble across this one. I have had a bit of experience heat laminating "rack tags" for work and personal items for use at home. I also recently heat laminated my deck of Shapeshifter tarot cards. I have a fairly respectable inventory of laminating pouches (for personal use, I am not a retailer) in a wide variety of sizes and thicknesses. I have pouches with rounded corners and pouches with square corners. I also purchased a tool that can be used to round off a square corner. I am new to the world of tarot, only have fourteen decks, but all of my rectangular ones have rounded corners. First and foremost, I would suggest that when choosing a laminating pouch, get the thinnest one you can find. For my Shapeshifters, I used a 3"X5" pouch with rounded corners in a 3mil. thickness. This made the cards substantially thicker and harder to shuffle. I would have preferred a 1.5 mil pouch, but could not find one in the needed size. I DO have some 1.5 mil pouches, but they are 9"X12" so I will have to carefully place several cards in each pouch for lamination and then use my paper cutter to separate them and then use the corner rounder to round off the square corners. Or an acrylic ruler and a rotary cutter can be used to separate the cards in lieu of a paper cutter. Obviously, scissors would be an option, but might not achieve straight edges or even borders. Secondly, make sure you purchase a laminating machine that is capable of accepting the pouch size you are using... and is capable of getting hot enough to seal the pouch in the thickness you are using. Instead of having a bunch of machines in different sizes, I just have one that handles all of the basic sizes and will seal any thickness up to 10mil. In my search for laminating pouches, I have found that eBay is my best source: a huge variety of sizes and thicknesses, and when I do my homework, the very best prices as well. I feel I should also share this experience with you: the Shapeshifter cards have a smooth, shiny finish, and when I was laminating them, a couple of the cards shifted on me when I started feeding them into the machine. LOL (shifting shapeshifters...go figure!) As soon as I noticed that the card had shifted, I stopped the machine and pulled the card and pouch back out and was able to open the pouch, remove the card and put it into a new pouch and laminate it...without doing any damage to the card. Additionally, I have noticed that a few of the cards are showing signs of the pouch pulling away from the slick surface of the card. Nothing major, but I am considering putting them back through the laminator to see what will happen. My apologies for being so verbose, but I hope this was helpful. Cindy
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