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Folding Jewel Case C-Cards - tips?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by zemlin, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    sorry if this is the wrong forum - couldn't figure out the right place for this one.

    I do some low volume CD duplication. I print liner notes on nice, glossy paper and have a good system for folding and cutting. I now want to start printing jewel case inserts.

    I don't want to use perforated inserts because
    a) they cost a lot more
    b) perforated edges look cheap (IMHO)
    c) the paper does not give me the quality print I want
    d) tearing out perforated inserts is a lot slower than a paper cutter

    Printing and cutting is no issue for me - but I haven't figured out a good way to fold up the spines on the end. I can either fold before cutting or after - but cutting first seems to make the most sense as I'd need to unfold to trim the spines.

    Anyone have a fast, accurate way to fold up 1/4" spines? I have a pretty well equipped wood shop, so making a fixture is certainly an option, if I can figure out a good design.

    One of the concerned I've had is having a robust enough sharp edge on a folding fixture. As I was typing this message I realised I could use a scrap of Formica counter top - the laminate edge could be cut back at 45 degrees and probably give a good fold.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts.
  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey Karl!

    I'm glad to see that someone else does their own production too.

    Personally, I spent a long time looking for the right stock for the inserts and finally found it (and then bought 10 cases of it.)

    Then, I wrestled with the paper cutter option and found just the one I wanted - one that would cut all the way through 200 folded pages. I found it and it only cost $1000. So, I found the identical one brand new on E-bay:
    and only paid $180

    After much trial and tribulation regarding the back (j-card ?) insert (including trying to cut to size, then fold (a practical nightmare), folding first (even more of a nightmare)) I decided that the only solution was one of 2 -
    *Live with the perforated stuff (afterall, many commercially released CDs even use perforated stuff.
    *Find a Dye-cutter in the area (which would have cost me tons more)

    So, I order all of my J-cards in bulk from http://www.neato.com Their relatively nice cards and when bought in packs of 500, the cost is managable.

  3. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    We do the cut, then fold for all of the projects I oversee at the high school I teach at (choir director, piano player, recording engineer, mixer, producer, etc)
    We're pretty state of the art in recording equipment(for a school anyway), but not so much with regards to the other stuff. We have free student help so it doesn't matter too much.
    If your printer is accurate (our Risograph isn't accurate enough) run a faint score line on the fold (inside or outside depending on your artwork. Cut a piece of plexiglass to size( this is all we started with and it worked fine). Put a precut trayliner under it, fold the edges up and Voila! We have since modified it, adding a cabinet handle to one side and attaching the plexiglass via a doorhinge to a piece of wood with the outline of the trayliner drawn on as a template on where to place the paper. A student can complete a few hundred in an hour of "study" hall and we get them done quite quickly.
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hmmm... The Wisconsin Sweat Shop. Is Kathy Lee the manager?

  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey Karl,

    Just by happenstance, I came across this and thought you'd find it useful.


    I just ordered a similar product off of ebay - if it can do the same thing, it might be cheaper to keep an eye out for it on ebay.

    BTW, the product in the link above runs about $1K. Not too bad considering it will do all the work for you (auto cut, split and perf)

  6. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    hey Karl, Cucco, what kind of glossy paper you use and where can I get it? I am using card stock for my Cd's but its matte and it does not work right for eveything... also you guys using printable CD's? If so what brand, where you get it? I also do limited runs and am looking to improve the product. I also fold the cd's Phil style. except i don't have study hall labor...
  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey Xavier!

    I use MeadWestvaco Sterling Ultra Gloss Text Long grain 100 pound paper. This is no lightweight stuff, so you'll want a good printer to print with. I don't think inkjet will do. This is the same paper many of the large CD manufacturing warehouses use. It's a tad pricey at over $70 a box, but considering that's 5000 sheets, it's worth it. BTW, hire someone to help you lift the box. If you're like me and starting to feel the effects of age, you will immediately burst internal organs upon trying to lift it. I purchase the stuff at a paper supplier called XPedX.

    I use two color laser printers to print on the stuff -
    First is a Xerox Phaser 850
    Second is a Oki C5150n (BTW - this printer is available at office depot and is frikkin cheap considering that it's a network color laser printer. The 850 is not so cheap, and is hell for maintenance but the quality is friggin amazing.)

    As for the printable CDs, I use discmakers premium with the silver matte surface. I find that the white surface looks good if I cover it entirely with graphics, but since I usually title the disc, put the copyright info, my logo, and a few other items, the gray/silver matte looks cool - much more professional than the white ones.

    For printing on the discs, I have an Epson Stylus Photo 960 and a Primera Bravo II workstation.
  8. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    thanks Jeremy!

    where can I find this paper?- sounds like what I am looking for!- I have discmakers catalogue, thanks for recommending the cd's.
    I also have the epson printer and am happy with it (though a tad slow...
  9. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Call XPedX at:

    They'll send you a free catalog. Or you can simply order the paper over the phone and they'll ship it or courier it to you.

  10. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    the only idea i have for "scoring" (folding) the liners is try a print shop, they use scoring machines, like round pizza cutter tool to put a score in the business card so you can fold it,,

    Once you print up your sheets, either have them score it for you, or see how cheap those types of machines are,,

    hope this helps with ideas,,,

    or heck lol try it by hand, buy a pizza cutting wheel, and run across the lines you want folded,,,


  11. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    more on this idea

    actually spacing two wheels with washers, and making a handle would work better then one score at a time,

    since you do have a wood shop , you could make template to hold the precut inserts, have a slot in a peice of wood to run your scoring tool thru on right spot and voila!!!

    could also make a tool with some 1 1/2' washers spaced with smaller washers, just bevel the two outside washers on a grinder, , not too sharp tho, attache to some handle, let it spin

    I'm thinking by now, you got the idea I have, so if it does work out for you, let us know please

    hope this " Magiver" idea works out :)

  12. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    thanks so much! :D
  13. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    For my CDs, I had the covers professionally printed and cut with my logo on it. I then just feed it through the laser printer and I've got a great looking cover and my clients know how to reach me. I'm not a graphic artist so generic is what the clients get.

    For the backs, (when I use them- more often than not I use clear trays or 2 CD trays so it isn't needed) I get laser perf from Polyline. I figure the edges on the back card don't need to look quite as good as the front where people are holding it. If you don't know about Polyline- they are a pretty cool duplication supply place. I've been ordering from them for years and their prices are good and their service is excellent. (http://www.polylinecorp.com)

    For the CDs, I got one of the Primera Z1 thermal printers and I use TY gloss silver discs. It isn't the best looking printing, but the clients think it looks great and it means I don't have to use inkjet (which I refuse to use).


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