The bindery scenario is this—you have an 8 page folded brochure, no stitches or glue, 8.5 x 11” trim size which folds again to 5.5 x 8.5”. If your press and folding machine (with right angle section) are large enough, you simply print the job as one 8-page signature then fold and trim to size, inline on the folder. The job becomes more difficult if your press is either too small to print the 8-page signature or your folder isn’t big enough or properly equipped to handle this type of folding work. Or maybe a customer supplies you with such a job.
One workaround to this problem is to first fold the two 4-pagers to 8.5 x 11, then insert them, and then do the final fold to 5.5 x 8.5 by hand. You can try the final fold on a machine but since the two 4-pagers are loose (no stitch or glue) there is a tendency for them to float apart as they feed and register, making it almost impossible to get a consistent fold. We’ve seen it done successfully, but much depends on the paper stock and the type of folder. A lot of things have to fall in place.
There is however, an easy way to do this in a semi-automatic fashion using the right angle section of your folding machine.
- First you fold as described above, but add a score down the middle of each 4-pager, right where the final fold will be.
- Next, insert the folded, pre-scored 4-pagers. Make sure they are all jogged up nicely.
- The last step is to use the right angle section to do the folding. Position the right angle so you can sit close enough to drop the inserted pieces on to the cross-carrier one at a time. Don’t be put off by the hand-fed aspect. The cross-carrier does most of the work as long as you drop the piece close to the side guide. With a little practice, hand feeding can be quite fast, netting several thousand folded pieces an hour.
One Bindery Success reader recently wrote looking for suggestions on finishing this type of job, being limited by his 14 x 20 press. Before we could reply he had figured out this exact technique and said it worked like a charm. (Print finishing deadlines wait for no one!)
Although this describes an 8 page brochure, it will work for 12 and 16 pagers too, as long as your stock isn’t too heavy.