Paper folding machines are a blessing to anyone who's ever used them. That holds especially true for church staff tasked with creating and folding church bulletins every week.
Paper folding machines are generally the size of a typical office printer. In fact, due to their size, modeling, and paper trays, they are easy to mistake for printers.
From a distance, the only giveaway is a paper basket that hangs from the end of some paper folding machines.
Like printers, paper folding machines come in all sizes and qualities. From inexpensive models to industrial, high-quality models, you can find a paper folding machine that suits your needs.
How To Use A Paper Folding Machine
Paper folding machines save staff members hours of time they'd otherwise spend just folding paper. Talk about monotonous!
These machines aren't quite as simple as "insert the paper and press 'FOLD.'"
Before we continue, let's review how to use a paper folding machine.
Familiarize Yourself With The Machine
Give your paper folding machine a look-over. Familiarize yourself with the power button, the feed tray, folding plate, and the post-folding tray.
Specifically, check out the printing diagram. You will likely find it on or near the feed tray. The diagram shows you how to set paper for different kinds of folds.
Checking your machine will give you an idea of what to expect when the machine is folding paper.
Depending on the size and type of the paper you're using, you may need to make adjustments to the plates. You'll find the adjustment knobs or settings on the side of the paper folding machine.
Look at the feed tray. In addition to the printing diagram, you'll see a set of guidelines. Adjust the guidelines to fit your paper's size.
Load The Paper
Now you're ready to load your first stack of paper.
Place the paper on the feed tray per the guidelines. Most feed trays can withstand up to 100 sheets of paper at once without printing or jamming issues. Higher-end paper folding machines can sometimes take up to 500 sheets.
Perform A Folding Test
Set the paper folding machine to fold only a few sheets of paper. Those sheets will indicate if your settings are correct.
If your paper folds incorrectly, examine the results against the settings. If the settings are correct, check the plates and amount of paper. Use your machine's cleaning supplies to clean the plates if need be.
Sometimes taking a few sheets off the stack or a quick wiping can prevent a jam.
Your test (or tests) worked! Excellent!
You're ready to fold your church bulletins.
How long each task takes depends on a few things. A large stack, a long set-up time, and paper jams can add several minutes to the process.
Regardless, you can expect to take much less time folding church bulletins.
With a paper folding machine, you can focus on designing and printing quality bulletins. You won't have to take into consideration the time crunch anymore.
How To Pick A Machine For Folding Church Bulletins
Like paper folding machines, church bulletins come in all shapes and sizes.
Some bulletins are one page folded in half. Others are folded into three spaces while others contain multiple pages.
Which paper folding machine you should buy depends on the type of church bulletin you want to make.
Printer And Software Considerations
A few different factors determine how your paper will print.
The first factor is your printer. Many smaller, simpler printer models don't print double-sized. If you want your church bulletins to print more than one side, you'll need to account for extra paper.
The second factor is your software. Your publishing software has a multitude of different printing styles available.
You should become familiar with both your software and printer capabilities. Once you know what you can do with both, you can determine a bulletin style.
Once you have a bulletin style, you can shop for a paper folding machine that accommodates that style.
Failing to ensure your printer, software, and folding machine settings align will result in ruined bulletins.
Thankfully, paper folding machines cover a variety of folds. Almost all of them can fold in half or three ways. Check the paper folding machine's information to double-check, though.
The information will also show you the other types of folds it is capable of performing.
It is important to be aware that some folds require a certain type of plate. If this is the case, you'll have to purchase an additional plate kit to accommodate that fold.
Printing paper comes in two sizes: letter and legal.
Letter paper is your standard printing paper. It measures 8 1/2" x 11". You use it for printing letters, reports, manuscripts, and other day-to-day papers.
Legal paper measures 8 1/2" x 14", making it three inches longer than letter paper. Lawyers typically use it to print wills, deeds, and other legal documents. The extended length distinguishes the documents as important.
The extra three inches gives you more room for your church bulletins' content.
If you choose to print on legal paper, you need to make sure your paper folding machine accommodates its size. The same goes for your software and printer settings.
There are certain types of paper that paper folding machines struggle to fold.
One of those types is glossy paper.
Glossy paper is slick. For that reason, paper folding machines have trouble gripping and folding it correctly.
The same goes for thick paper.
You may want to include more than one paper in your church bulletins. As such, you'll likely look for a paper folding machine that folds more than one sheet of paper at a time.
Unfortunately, no paper folding machine like that exists. They all fold only one sheet at a time.
You'll need to fold both pages separately and then place one inside the other.
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For more information, please don't hesitate to contact us!