Whoever invented this little machine is my hero! I love making all kinds of logbooks and journals with this and it is surprisingly very easy to use. It is called the Bind It All and the website I got mine from is this site http://bonniesbest.com/. Be careful when perusing this site, you may find lots more stuff to spend your money on. It also has all sizes of coils to make very small logbooks all the way up to large journals. I buy my coils in bulk and share different sizes with my friends. This machine has become so popular that it is now available in some craft stores. There is also a tutorial video available here if you are having trouble understanding me or would like to see the latest upgrades and accessories for the Bind It All.
First make sure that you pull out the stablizer bar. It is pushed in for easy storage and you will need to have it pulled out in order for your machine to stabilize itself when you pull the handle down to punch your papers and covers.
In order for your pages to be punched correctly and evenly, your paper must be cut to inch or half inch lengths. For example, your punches will be even on pages that measure 1", 1 1/2", 2", 2 1/2", and so on. The punches will not be even if your paper measure 1 1/4", 1 3/4", and so on. Trust me, I found this out the hard way. I line my pages up using the groove in the end of the punch slot. Lining it up this way will make the first punch reach all the way to the end of the page leaving about 1/8". You can line the page up to the edge of the machine by moving the paper to the left and it will give you a gap on the end of about 1/2". Whatever you prefer is where you can place the end of your paper.
I will be making a logbook that is 3" x 5" using blank notecards as an example. This size fits perfectly in the punching groove with no overhang. Center your page in the punching slot and pull the handle down. The punching will go more smoothly if you only punch about 5 sheets at a time. Any more and it is difficult to pull the handle down and you will have to use more effort to punch your holes. As you punch all of your pages, check and make sure that the groove is free of punch scraps. If you have scraps in the groove, your paper will not sit flush and you will get a crooked punch.
This is what the page looks like when it is punched. See how the punched holes reach all the way to the end of the pages? This makes a sturdy logbook. I would recommend having your punch holes at the ends of your pages for smaller logbooks. The larger the logbook or journal, the better you can get away with not having the holes all the way to the ends because you will have more coils supporting your binding.
When all your pages and covers are punched, you will need to load them onto the coils a certain way so that when you pinch the coils together, you get a nice finished back to your book and to hide a portion of the coil. The easiest way to explain this is to put your pages and covers together the way you want it to look with one cover on the front and one cover on the back with the insides of the covers facing the pages. Pull the back cover out and place it on top of the front cover as shown above. When you lay your pages over your coils, you will have the pages on the bottom and both covers on top with the right sides facing each other.
Line up the bar with the size of the coil that you are using. The size of the coil will depend on how many pages you are using and the thickness of your covers. You can also use the hard plastic cards that come with the machine to measure. If you are wondering how many pages you can fit in the coils, here is a great chart to help you decide:
Loop the coils through the punch holes starting with the pages on the bottom, the front cover face up then the back cover face down. Cut the coil with your wire cutters in the middle of the loop at the end of your pages. I usually trim the ends of the coils so that there is no metal sticking out for someone to get injured.
Place your pages and coil down into the space and pull down the handle to squeeze the coils closed around your pages and covers.
Flip the back cover back and it will conceal the back of the coils for a nice finished look to your logbook.
This is what it will look like when you have completed the process. I will be posting more about using the Bind It All for more projects as I make them. In the meantime, anyone need any logbooks?