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Subject: Laminate then cut? or Cut then Laminate? rss

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Hank Panethiere
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Festus
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Any opinions? It seems that when I print out a print and play game or prototype with cards that are printed next to each other, laminate them, and then cut them out...the laminate tends to peel away from the cards easier, especially at the edges.

If I cut out the cards then laminate them individually it's hard to get a consistent size, but allows for an "edge" of laminate around the cards that stays sealed.

Any tips?

By the way, I use a Xyron 900 for laminating

Thanks

Hank
 
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Tuomas Riekkinen
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cut-laminate-cut works nice
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Marshall Miller
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Just cut then laminate. You want the protective seal.
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Geo
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If you use hot lamination you need some space around the cards for the lamination sheets to stick together. In that case it's cut-then-laminate.

If you use cold lamination the laminating sheet sticks directly on the card so you can laminate-then-cut without any problems.





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Kevin Bourrillion
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Because I'm only a dabbler, I use the laminator at the local FedexKinko's. I have always done laminate-cut, and I've never once had a problem with edges peeling up. As long as the heat setting is set right, the plastic melts and "soaks in" to the paper and makes a night tight bond.

And I think it looks a lot better without the border of plastic all around.
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Steve Duff
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Laminate / Cut. Looks way better than having that silly border.

Only problem is that it gums up the cutter a bit, so you have to clean it more often. Not a big deal.
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Paul Dale
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Laminate then cut also has the problem that the edges of the cards aren't protected against spills etc. I have long since decided that cut then laminate is the best for protecting the cards. If you're not interested in protecting the cards, don't bother laminating.

Of course I use individual sleeves for the cards so that they all end up the same size but it ought to be possible to make up a simple jig to ensure a reasonable level of consistency.

- Pauli
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Bob
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I laminate and cut. After doing this a ton as a school teacher here is why:

If you cut before you laminate it tends to not seal as well around the edges--that means leaving a border of lamination around the outside is mandatory, and I hate how that looks! If you trim the lamination to the edge, it is much more likely to start to peel. The thicker the material, the worse the seal at the edge.

If you laminate then cut the lamination seems to adhere to the edge better. Yes, it can peel, but it is fairly resistant unless you are constantly flexing whatever you laminated close to the edge.
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Steve Sisk
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Laminate then cut.

I've done both cold (with a xyron 900) and hot lamination with good results for both. What kind of laminate are you using? If it's the permanent adhesive laminate, then it shouldn't delaminate on you. If you're using a repositionable laminate, then it's possible that the seal isn't permanent and will let go over time (I've never used it so I can't be sure).

Are there unusual circumstances in which your projects are delaminating? Excess heat (left in car)? High humidity (stored in basement, etc.)?

GeoMan wrote:
If you use hot lamination you need some space around the cards for the lamination sheets to stick together.


This is a common misconception that I've heard about hot lamination.

In actuality, there is a thin layer of adhesive (like polyurethane) on one side of the plastic. The heat actually melts this adhesive and bonds it to the paper. This is why you have to be careful that you put the right side facing the paper to be laminated, otherwise you get the adhesive all over your laminator!

Because of this, you can laminate and then cut with no problems (and none of the tacky edge that you get with cold laminating)!
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Les Haskell
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At stores like Staples you can buy small lamination sheets for luggage tags or convention-type name badges. If your cards are about the size of business cards these would probably work nicely. The only problem would be the slot for the fasteners but it would minimize the cutting needed as you would only need to trim one edge. You can also buy a corner cutter for rounded edges.
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Keith Meyers
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I've been making numerous card prototypes each year for nearly a decade. I have always (heat) laminated then cut. Mostly because there is far less cutting to do if you set the cards 8-up or 9-up per page. I've never had any problems with peeling, and I too, don't like the extra plastic edge around the cards.

For me, I am making prototypes for game companies to consider licensing from me, so the games get a fair amount of play but not a ton of play... so possibly peeling could become an issue over time, I don't really know.

I use a GBC Docuseal, and a Dahl rotary cutter.
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Thomas Heaney
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Cut, then laminate. Then cut and insert into card sleeves. Then laminate and cut. Then laminate again for good measure.

But seriously, I use a heat laminator, and I used to cut then laminate. But I got tired of those annoying, uneven little clear margins left behind just to ensure the laminate stays. So, I started cutting after laminating. I like the results much more and so far there hasn't been a problem.
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Karl
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GeoMan wrote:
If you use hot lamination you need some space around the cards for the lamination sheets to stick together. In that case it's cut-then-laminate.


If this is happening to you then the laminator wasn't properly heated up yet (no, the indicator on the machine is lying) or it doesn't apply enough heat.
I only do hot lamination and I always go the laminate then cut route. Actually I go laminate, cut, then put the stuff into the laminator again (without a new aleeve) to have the edges that might have been damaged by the scissor resealed again.
I never had anything peeling off.

It happens fairly often with cold lamination however in my experience. Especially once the glue either gets wet or dries out.
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Miguel
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Laminate then cut is definitely faster, but when I laminate something I want it to last for a looooong time, so once I decide something deserves lamination and accept to make the effort, I cut then laminate.

But I hate the uneven margins around! I have recently found a perfect solution: don't know the name in english, is some semi-soft support on which you can cut with an exacto knife again and again, with a mm grid printed on top of it. I just align the laminated card along a line, set my metal ruler alogn the line X mm away, and cut with the knife.

Here is an example:


The margin depends on the size of the cards I'm doing, here I think I was very conservative and took 4mm, but now I'm working on smaller cards and I'm taking 3mm.
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Todd Lang
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Quote:

But I hate the uneven margins around! I have recently found a perfect solution: don't know the name in english, is some semi-soft support on which you can cut with an exacto knife again and again, with a mm grid printed on top of it. I just align the laminated card along a line, set my metal ruler alogn the line X mm away, and cut with the knife.


Are you talking about these? My wife is a graphic designer, so it's always amazed me that people don't know about self-healing cutting mats. And that people still actually try to cut things out with scissors. shake


Edit: Fixing markup
 
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Miguel
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Yes, a "self-healing cutting mat"!

Mine has the whole grid in mm, quite handy for small cards, you don't need to align the ruler along the whole mat. I saw it once but thought it was not worth to buy it, how wrong I was!!! Only 5€ and it IS self-healing.


EDIT: I've just realized that mine appears on my gallery:

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What preview button?
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Kiyote wrote:
Are you talking about these?


That is the coolest thing I've ever seen. Well, maybe not ever, but it's still pretty cool.
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Johan Haglert
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GeoMan wrote:
If you use hot lamination you need some space around the cards for the lamination sheets to stick together. In that case it's cut-then-laminate.

If you use cold lamination the laminating sheet sticks directly on the card so you can laminate-then-cut without any problems.
Counter-intuititve that cold is better!
 
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Joseph Leonard
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I'm doing the same thing (and it's taking forever!). I have a clear self-healing mat with a grid on it. I put the outline of my card (in tape) on the underside, left the desired space, and then put a border (in tape) on the underside. The topside has a piece of Hugo's tape to hold the cards down, and I trim around it. It is, however, a lot of work (PnP Santa is still working!)
 
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Tom McThorn
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BoardGameGeek » Forums » Gaming Related » Do It Yourself
Re: Laminate then cut? or Cut then Laminate?
I've used the peel off laminate sheets in the past and would laminate then cut cards/info boards. I then decided to try something different and used flat spray clear coat on my cards and it works great. I'd print the cards on 100# paper then spray on the clear coat. After it dried there was a slight "dusty" feel to the cards so I wiped the sheets down with a clean rag and then cut the cards. Works great.
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Jacob Cadena
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Starfury wrote:
I've used the peel off laminate sheets in the past and would laminate then cut cards/info boards. I then decided to try something different and used flat spray clear coat on my cards and it works great. I'd print the cards on 100# paper then spray on the clear coat. After it dried there was a slight "dusty" feel to the cards so I wiped the sheets down with a clean rag and then cut the cards. Works great.


Any body have any tips of how to best cut? I'm really anal and so I'd like to try and keep the cut as straight as possible. I laminated my hero sheets for Darkest Night. and I have a good 2 inches all around that I'd like to cut off for storage and aesthetic purposes. Any ideas would be appreciated, thank you!
 
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Daniel Grant
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As another poster mentioned, you can try using Spray Sealant. The sealant chemically bonds with the paper. I think it preserves the feel over lamination especially if you printed on textured paper like linen stock. I spray sheet then cut as spraying individual cards is a pain. Also you can hang the sheet to dry easier than a bunch of single cards.
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Daniel Grant
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SirKittyJuice wrote:
Starfury wrote:
I've used the peel off laminate sheets in the past and would laminate then cut cards/info boards. I then decided to try something different and used flat spray clear coat on my cards and it works great. I'd print the cards on 100# paper then spray on the clear coat. After it dried there was a slight "dusty" feel to the cards so I wiped the sheets down with a clean rag and then cut the cards. Works great.


Any body have any tips of how to best cut? I'm really anal and so I'd like to try and keep the cut as straight as possible. I laminated my hero sheets for Darkest Night. and I have a good 2 inches all around that I'd like to cut off for storage and aesthetic purposes. Any ideas would be appreciated, thank you!


I use a sharp razor blade, self healing cutting mat, and a metal ruler. Never had any problems with ruler slip but I have had a cut drift away from ruler when I didn't apply enough force to keep blade next to ruler.
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Laminate, then cut, I've used cutting mat, sharp blade and scissors for rounding the edges, sample below:

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Aly Cupcakes
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What about pre-cut laminate pouches?

Found these on Amazon, deeply considering them. It does need a heat laminator machine though.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NAFO6RK?psc=1&redirect=t...

http://www.amazon.com/Clear-Laminating-Pouches-5mm-UNV84642/...
 
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