Got my Rollabind Kit!!!

Hi.

Got my Rollabind Crafter's kit today! Hooray! I bought it for roughly $10 cheaper than the Rollabind site itself, from a new site called "KeepOnCrafting.Com". They're having a grand opening sale, and with shipping the total cost was just under $49 for the Crafters Kit 500.

On opening the kit, here are my thoughts:

  • The personal punch is OK, the little alignment gizzy works but it took a minute for me to understand how to operate it. The Rollabind site has photo instructions for it that I read a week or two ago. The alignment thingy does have a paper clamp so your paper stack doesn't wiggle, which works fine for the small amount of paper you can punch. It also has a disc liner-upper that helps you get the punched paper onto the rings. This is helpful and does work. One bummer: you have to fold the ring liner upper out to line up your paper, then tuck it under to punch, then fold it out again to line up the rings. This is not a good workflow. This gizzy really isn't for 'on the fly' use like you'd have in the office adding a new sheet to your ring binder.
  • The kit itself is not really necessary. The plastic box I saw in the picture had a lid, what I got instead was a drawer organizer with no lid. All the discs were held in the organizer with shrinkwrap. So now I'll have to repackage the discs in little boxes or bags to keep them from escaping, since I don't have a drawer to put the organizer in.
  • The 120 discs it came with stack up this way: 60 discs of the microscopic size, 20 each in three colors. I got baby blue, baby pink, and black. Also 60 discs of the next size up, 20 of each in three colors. I got black, red, and transparent. There were no samples of any larger sizes at all. So, this package is slightly useful, but may not actually fit the gizmo I wanted to make, which may have as much as an inch of paper to bind. We'll see how it works out, I might separate the components into individual books, not sure. However, I will be able to use all of these teeny discs, because I have come up with a bundle of different ideas for books to bind up--from a gardening log to a wine log to my kids' artwork..
  • The puncher will punch .020" rigid vinyl, but only just barely. I have a bunch of this stuff lying around from previous projects, and I'm going to use it for covers! Whee! It will punch about 5 sheets of 24lb paper comfortably. I have to line up the puncher twice to do my quarter-letter books, which could make the punching process tedious, but I need to get some mileage on it before I spring $50 for the desktop punch.
  • I am WAY impressed with how the rings and punched paper interact. I looked at the Rolla notebooks in my local Staples and was totally underwhelmed. The rings fit too tightly in the holes and the notebooks were stiff. Likewise there was a lot of shredded paper around the punches making the situation worse. But this, with the personal punch and my own good paper, is far superior. I am so pleased. I took about 20 pages of scraps, punched them up and bound them in a very short time (with pink microscopic rings) and the book was basically perfect. Easy to move the pages, easy to open and close the book. Awesome. Less than 15 pages, though, is a bit floppy for this kind of binding, even with the microscopic rings. At that point you're probably better off with a staple or stitching.
  • OK, so final impressions. The personal punch is worthwhile, but you'll get tired of fiddling with the alignment thingy if you have too many pages to punch. You might get more discs for your money with this grouping, but it probably won't be the bunch of rings you'd buy if you picked your own colors. It also might not be the sizes you'd pick.

    My suggestion: Get the personal punch if you're doing hipsters or small books. The desktop punch is probably better for the bigger books, higher volume punching, or if you want the flexibility to remove punches in an artistic way. The kit is a nice sampler, but it's definitely not a color scheme for the office unless your office is very creative. :) You might be better off grabbing a few a la carte boxes of rings if you want dignity and sobriety, or if you have bigger stacks of paper in mind.

    Anyway, love it! I'm so excited and I can't wait to get my 'hipster' done! And all the other books I've got on my mind now..

    shris

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Good for you

Welcome to "The Club"
-----------------------------------
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

yeah shris!

I am excited you got your kit, but sorry you are "underwhelmed" with the discs and paper punch. The punch is pretty weird, but you get used to it and it gets faster! Really the tough part is getting all of your initial pages punched, after that it is usually just a few at a time. Also, with the little puncher, if you do a 3X5 hipster and punch it on the 3 inch side, you do not need the thing that lines up the paper, you just punch away! I made one this weekend - it is pretty cute!
Well, have fun and post some pictures of your different books!
Smiles,
nay nay

underwhelmed

Hi.

Don't get me wrong--I was underwhelmed with the notebooks I saw at Staples, not the booklet I made when I opened the box.

I am stoked! I am punching my 'hipster' now.. I'm doing a quarter letter size, which is 4.25 x 5.5. I thought about doing the flipbook style punching instead of 'binder' style, but I didn't want to keep flipping it upside down to see the backs of the pages. I might change my mind later, dunno.

So I'm doing the long side, 5.5 inches. So five rings, two punches. Not a big deal. Once the initial punching is done, I won't have a whole lot of messing around to do with the punch.

I am very happy with the quality of the puncher and the alignment tool. They seem to be robust and well made.

Hopefully I can get my punching done before the kids get home from daycare. :)

shris

Update

Hi.

I have been having a blast with my Rollabind kit. I punched up a quarter-letter hipster, a pad of 'inbox' forms, a book for contacts, another for web page password hints, and two books of my kids' artwork (construction paper is 9x12, a stupid size!).

I'm using .015 and .020" transparent vinyl for covers. The .020 is almost too thick, the .015 is more comfortable in the puncher. Paperboard would also work--the stuff on the back of a legal pad, for example.

I've done all these separate books because the rings in the kit are small and medium, I believe. Too small to fit everything in one book.

On my kids' artwork, I tried punching just two sets of holes rather than holes all the way up the spine, and it's not that hot on construction paper. Two holes at each end of a 9 inch span isn't quite enough.

Using the alignment gizzy is cool, but I have discovered a tendency for the paper to slip occasionally, especially if I'm trying to punch the maximum pages multiple times. This results in some holes being slightly shallower than others. That is, some holes are nearer to the edge of the page than others. It leaves smaller 'tabs' to grab the rings, which means a weaker bind. Gotta work on my technique. You could have the same effect with a desktop puncher if you don't shove all the paper all the way in on both ends before you punch.

I have plans for a gardening notebook, a wine log (what we've tried and how we liked it), and maybe re-binding the Sudoku puzzles I have lying around into something easier to carry to the dentist's waiting room. :)

I found a semi-local rubber-stamp store that carries Rollabind stuff, so I might try to make my way over there to get some bigger rings sans shipping charges.

I'm still very pleased with the set in total. Haven't run out of rings yet! Do I care that they're not precisely business colors? Nope.

Buy it again? In a heartbeat. Even hubby said it was cool when he saw the kids' art bound up with plastic covers. :) He thinks I'm nuts to get excited about a paper puncher and plastic circles.

shris