provide one of the easiest methods for binding documents, especially extremely thick ones. Sometimes called Chicago screws or Chicago screw posts, these small document fasteners are usually made of Aluminum. They are commonly used to bind swatch books, photo albums, wine lists, menus, engineering plans and extremely thick reports or presentations. Overall, screw post binding is very simple. However, this article is designed to provide some simple tips and tricks for binding documents with Chicago screw posts. Here they are…
1. Most users who are looking to bind documents with Chicago screws simply use a standard 3 hole punch to make the holes for the screwposts. Although every three hole punch is a little bit different, most will produce a 1/4” hole that is recommended for use with screw posts. Users who bind large numbers of documents with screw posts might consider buying a paper drill which will be much more efficient than a traditional desktop 3-hole punch.
2. Most Chicago screwposts come in a plain aluminum finish. However, it is possible to find screw-posts in black, gold, antique brass and even steel. Depending on the binding application that you have, one of these other colors may be a good fit for you. However, keep in mind that the black, gold and antique brass screws are usually just coated aluminum and the finish may not be highly durable. Steel posts are the strongest and most heavy duty binding posts but don’t offer the same polished finish that aluminum ones offer.
3. Chicago screws are available in lengths as short as 1/8” and as long six inches. Additionally, extensions can be added to make the posts even longer and capable of binding thicker documents. In theory, it is possible to bind documents as thick as 8-10 inches with Chicago screwposts. No other system on the market is capable of binding documents greater than 3 inches. For huge documents, reports and archived documents, screwposts are the best option.
4. Screw posts are often used to bind materials other than traditional paper. One popular use for screwpost binding is for leather covered menus where the screw posts hold the pages into a wrapped foil stamped leather menu cover. The aluminum posts look excellent in this type of application and are easy to open and close when changes are required. Chicago screws are also used in binding other leather goods.
5. It is important to remember that the size listed for the different screw posts is the length of the binding post without the head on either side. This means that a 1/2" screw post is designed to bind a 1/2” document. If you choose too small a post the pages will not fit. If you choose too large a post the pages will be loose and the bind will be sloppy.
These are a few simple tips for binding documents with screw posts. This unique binding style is simple to use and does not require a special binding machine beyond the 3-hole punch that you already have. Try it out for yourself and see how simple binding with screwposts can be.