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Falling Apart Again

Discussion in 'AP Magazine Feedback & Suggestions' started by Roy5051, May 21, 2013.

  1. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    Alright Dave!
  2. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    I am afraid I am having to return to this subject again, i.e. the magazine falling apart every week.

    I first brought this up some time ago, and, for a while, the situation improved. For the past few weeks it has started again - every week, when I get to the centre pages, they are pulling through the staples, and every week I have to repair the damage with Sellotape.

    I have come to the conclusion that the staples that are used by the magazine collators are just not sharp enough, because all around the staple hole, the paper is torn. I understood when the magazine was revised earlier this year, that a better quality paper would be used; this is obviously not the case, the paper is much too thin, and the construction of the magazine leaves a lot to be desired.

    Can you please finally sort out this problem; it is not as if I mistreat the magazine in any way, I do not even fold the pages back on themselves any more, because of this problem. It is so annoying.
  3. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member


    I was just about to post a contrary reply - saying that I never experienced this problem; that, maybe, once a year I would experience the centre pages coming loose.

    But, to check on the robustness of the stitching, I picked up this week's issue and examined it closely.

    In the course of my - quite gentle - examination, the centre pages did come loose. All three staples - or rather the paper beneath all three staples - failed to hold.

    But here is the conundrum - although the centre pages came loose very easily, the remaining pages seem to be very secure indeed and even quite heavy tugging will not detach them from the stitching.

    I think I see why. The staples are actually slightly too long. When the stitching takes place, the ends of the staples are turned inwards and, effectively, cut into the paper of the centre pages midway between the staple holes. What I can see in the (now detached) centre pages is that the staple holes, as you suggest, are oversize - perhaps 2mm long. Then there is a third, similarly sized hole midway between them, caused by the in-turned points of the staple. It does not take much abuse to "join up" those three holes and cause a slit. The next set of pages does not have this problem.

  4. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member


    Thanks for that; it does, indeed seem to be just the centre pages that are affected, and the staples do seem to be very long (not helped, I suppose, by the smaller magazine). But this problem has been going on for some time, my original post being in 2013. Since then, an extra staple has been inserted, but the problem still seems to exist.

    I have in my cupboard a Special Collectors' Edition, dated 12 February 2000, which has 114 pages and the problem does not exist - the magazine is still in one piece, with just 2 staples, and has been read innumerable times over the past 15 years. The paper stock also seems to be slightly thicker, but that may just be my impression.

    I admit to not knowing the answer, but there must be better brains than me out there who could perhaps investigate the problem.

  5. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    The stitching heads used in print finishing equipment use continuous lengths of wire which form the stitches as they are inserted.
    These heads need to be adjusted for leg length and evenness of legs as well as the flatness of the resultant stitch. These factors are set for the thickness of the final magazine.
    Life is short... and magazines of various thickness follow each other on a tight schedule. so stitching heads are not always adjusted as often as they might be.

    Stitches that are too tight or ones too loose where the tips turn inward can both tear the paper as you describe.
    The lightweight and crisp papers used in magazines like AP are more prone to tear than the paper used in top fashion Magazines.
    Interestingly I have never had this problem with ComputerActive which has a somewhat thinner paper (.043 mm) as against AP (.049 mm) including ink (my measurement).

    The centre stitch in my copy of this weeks Ap had one leg completely unformed. and the centre page was loose on arrival.
  6. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    Sounds like the chaps and chapesses in the Blue Fin Building are spending too much on staples. Slap the printers wrist, because someone'll be paying for the extra length and it will not be the printers.

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