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De-binding with a heat gun


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#1 kitsunebi77

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 08:56 AM

OK, so I keep hearing about people cutting magazines with exacto knives and adamantium claws and whatnot, and I just wanted to put this here for anyone wondering if there's a better way, because I think the answer is yes.

 

Heat guns aren't expensive.  I got mine for around $20, but they might be even cheaper in the US (most things are).  They're also pretty fast and are the ONLY way you're gonna be able to scan everything that was printed on the page, since cutting is going to inevitably lose some of the stuff in the gutter.

 

I took a short video of me debinding a mag, not because it's a complicated process, but just so you can get a sense of how much time it takes.  I've got the mag's front cover held down with a weight.  I'd normally use a heavy stack of something flat to avoid the risk of damaging the cover, but I'd already scanned it and was in a hurry, so whatever.  Also note the cardboard underneath everything.  Heat guns are really, really HOT, so the cardboard is there as a buffer so my carpet doesn't melt while I'm waving the heat gun it its general direction. :D

 

You'll notice that it takes a little while to get the first page.  There are several reasons for that which may be hard to tell from the video:

  1. I start by trying to separate the cover spine from the rest of the magazine before trying to peel off individual pages
  2. This particular mag has a plastic CD sleeve glued to the first page which I wasted a little bit of time heating up before realizing that it would be easier to just cut it off later rather than risk melting the plastic.
  3. The first page and last page always take a bit longer, since there is usually more glue holding those pages for some reason.

Anyway, once I get the first page off, you can see how easily the rest of the pages can be peeled off in succession.  I place all the pages in order in a pile, and they're ready to be scanned.  Sometimes, a few pages will have some glue residue near the edge.  If it's particularly excessive, it can cause problems when going through the scanner feeder by snagging on the glass and distorting the scan.  In those cases, the glue would have to be peeled or cut away before scanning.  But I'd say 98% of the pages come out completely glue-free.

 

Btw, I wasn't trying to make this video look nice or anything.  Getting my phone angled to see what I was doing was hard enough.  Pardon my messy floor, my jammies, and the fact that I was de-binding a Tech Gian, so you spend a good deal of time as I loosen the cover staring at the first page table of contents prominently featuring big bold print that reads "fetish illustrations" :lol:

 

Dunno how many other scanners here use the heat gun method, but I hope this video is helpful for anyone who was curious.



#2 Areala

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 05:01 PM

Hey! How come you aren't wearing the nice Care Bear jammies I got you for your birthday? I am a sad Warrior Nun. :(

 

All joking aside, is a heat gun basically an industrial-strength hair dryer? I always imagined something called a heat gun would behave like a small flamethrower, but that doesn't seem to be the case at all. Curse my imagination for promising more than real life could deliver yet again. :)

 

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#3 kitsunebi77

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 05:33 PM

Hey! How come you aren't wearing the nice Care Bear jammies I got you for your birthday? I am a sad Warrior Nun. :(

 

All joking aside, is a heat gun basically an industrial-strength hair dryer? I always imagined something called a heat gun would behave like a small flamethrower, but that doesn't seem to be the case at all. Curse my imagination for promising more than real life could deliver yet again. :)

 

*huggles*
Areala

 

Basically.  It came with a number of metal attachments to alter the shape of the airflow.  On the low setting (which I use) it comes to 500°C (932°F), and high is 600°C (1112°F).  So it would probably set your hair on fire and melt your face a little, but yeah, basically the same. :P
139934.jpg?v=1

 



#4 Sean697

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 10:03 PM

You basically do it the same way I do. Except I don't use any attachments. And haven't weighed the cover down. And have anothe cardboard box to place the removed pages in.

#5 marktrade

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 10:50 PM

All joking aside, is a heat gun basically an industrial-strength hair dryer? I always imagined something called a heat gun would behave like a small flamethrower, but that doesn't seem to be the case at all. Curse my imagination for promising more than real life could deliver yet again. :)

 

Mine became a flamethrower—when it broke! It might have been because I carelessly left it on the floor and some debris fell into one of the air vents when I wasn't looking. I turned it on and pop! A small fireball went out and the temperature gauge shot up past the stated maximum on the box.

 

It was pretty cool while it lasted, though. Here it is:

 

https://www.amazon.c...uct/B0106JNHMW/

 

Independently adjustable air temperature and air flow, along with that super useful digital temperature gauge (without it I would not have known it was getting dangerously hot, there might have been an even bigger explosion). These days an ordinary hair dryer works fine for me but I'll need a heat gun again to debind the stronger higher quality mags like Next Generation and the old Macworlds.

 

Anyway, do not leave your heat gun on the floor.

 

As for my method, I try to take the whole cover piece off first. That leaves the inner pages bound by a solid strip of glue. I let the glue side hang off the side of a box or whatever and then start removing the pages. If successful, then the last page will have a big honking strip of glue on it that I can just pull cleanly off as one solid piece. Worst case scenario the glue melts too much and gets goo over every page. That's why I figure it helps to err on a lower temperature, if you're not sure what temperature is appropriate.

 

500°C seems very high. Doesn't the glue get all gooey for you?



#6 kitsunebi77

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 04:03 AM

As for my method, I try to take the whole cover piece off first. That leaves the inner pages bound by a solid strip of glue. I let the glue side hang off the side of a box or whatever and then start removing the pages. If successful, then the last page will have a big honking strip of glue on it that I can just pull cleanly off as one solid piece. Worst case scenario the glue melts too much and gets goo over every page. That's why I figure it helps to err on a lower temperature, if you're not sure what temperature is appropriate.

 

500°C seems very high. Doesn't the glue get all gooey for you?

 

That's basically what I did.  I pull the cover away from all the pages so that the front and back cover are lying flat as a single sheet of paper - I just don't bother removing it till last. The glue is completely melted, but doesn't go anywhere as it stays attached to the strip at the spine you're talking about.  Looking at the mag I debound in the video, there is a big of glue still left near the gutter of the inside front and back covers, as well as the first and last page.  All other pages are completely glue-free. 

 

Of course, you notice I don't keep the heat gun constantly pointed at the mag.  That would possibly cause the glue to get messy, or even worse, singe/burn the pages.

 

 

You basically do it the same way I do. Except I don't use any attachments. And haven't weighed the cover down. And have anothe cardboard box to place the removed pages in.

 

Well the attachment just seemed like a good idea since it keeps the airflow long and narrow so I can focus on the place where the pages meet the spine rather than heating up more of the pages themselves.  And since they were already included with the gun, I figured why not use them?  But you're right, you don't actually need anything but the heat to melt the glue.

 

It would be a lot harder for me if I didn't weigh the cover down, though.  Since I'm holding the gun in one hand and pulling the pages out with the other, I need something to hold the mag in place, or otherwise every time I pull on a page held by a particularly stubborn patch of glue, rather than separating from the strip of glue at the spine, it would just pull the entire magazine along with it, if that makes sense?  Most pages come off incredibly easily with almost no pulling necessary, but there are usually a few pages that need a little more force to remove, and once you're nearing the last few pages, the mag itself weighs almost nothing, so any pulling force you exert on it will move the entire mag unless it's being held down.



#7 E-Day

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 07:45 AM

I tried using a heat gun before, but I ended up getting pages that were all curled at one corner and wouldn't go through my feeder. I ended up having to scan almost everything by hand. It ended up being more work than just using a knife to cut the spine off.



#8 kitsunebi77

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 08:14 AM

I tried using a heat gun before, but I ended up getting pages that were all curled at one corner and wouldn't go through my feeder. I ended up having to scan almost everything by hand. It ended up being more work than just using a knife to cut the spine off.

 

I've never had any curled pages.  There wouldn't be anything different about the paper itself in the corner that curled from the rest of the page, so I have to assume you had the heat on that one corner for too long?  As you can see in the video, once the super heavy glue holding the cover has been loosened and I actually start removing the magazine pages, the heat gun only hits each page for a very brief period of time as I run it from one end to the other.

 

Regardless, I hand feed all pages into my scanner anyway, whether the mag was de-bound with a heatgun or if it was a stapled mag that I cut.  I personally find doing that to be less work than running everything through the ADF, hoping that none of the pages get fed in crooked, and afterwards having to check through the finished pages for errors and scan lines and trying to pinpoint which page it was that a speck of dust got on the glass halfway through, ruining all the pages after, and I have to clean the glass and rescan it all.  The speed at which I scan by feeding page by page is nearly the same as using the ADF, anyway (the only difference being I have to be at the scanner and paying attention rather than across the room reading a book or whatever while it scans).  Yes, it takes about 30 minutes of solid attention to scan a 200 page mag, but I find myself taking longer in the long run if I try to use the ADF.  Obviously this doesn't apply to everyone as I probably just have a really dusty apartment.



#9 theassassin

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 03:10 PM

I use a heatgun occassionally for modelmaking. One thing I would say, is try your absolute best to get into the habit of NEVER touching the metal end where the heat comes out with your hands and NEVER setting it down on anything that even has a chance of setting alight or burning. Never ever. Not even when it's cold.

Reason being, I didn't do this and was only careful when it was actually on or being used in that moment. So I got used to picking it up any old how when it was cold and setting it anywhere when it was cold. Then one day I used it, carefully as I always did, turned it off, and set it down on the floor - which was all safe and fine. But then after maybe a couple of minutes I absent-mindedly moved it to the sofa cos it was in the way. Luckily I quickly remembered it was still really hot and grabbed it before it set the sofa on fire. But unluckily I grabbed it by the hot metal end and burned my fingers pretty bad. It's so easy to forget those things take a LONG time to cool down. Hence why now I make a habit of never touching the metal end or setting it down anywhere unsafe even when it's cold. It's just better to ALWAYS do the safe methods, then you're less likely to forget yourself when distracted.

#10 marktrade

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 08:49 PM

^Excellent advice. I gave myself a couple of first degree burns thinking that metal part would have cooled down faster too, but it stays hot a long while after.



#11 Sean697

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 12:37 AM

I use my heatgun in my garage on my workbench. No way I'm doing that in the house. I also make sure to unplug after every use. You could start a fire pretty easy leaving one unattended.

In reply to eday. I had the issue once or twice with the edge of the page curled a bit. But I manually scan all. Ynpages so not too big a deal for me. But it is a thing that can happen.

I kind of like the spine on when I debind because the glue will stay in one place on the spine. One time I took it off and the glue tended to want to stay on the pages.

I find once th glue is hot you just need periodic application of heat. A couple short passes per page and remove, repeat. You only need to lay the heat on in the beggining.

A far as the focused heat with an air guide, I'm somewhat worried about concentrating the heat in one spot, imoreffer the more diverse flow to heat the general are without haveing to worry about it concentrating on one spot and burning a page.

As far as the cover, I just bend it back till it stays open. It will lose its memory pretty quickly and not keep trying to close on you. Also generally once things are hot I don't need to use any force to have the page come out, even at the end. If I'm at the end and I pull and the whole mag comes with it I just keep using heat in a sweeping motion until it comes off with no force. I also try to keep the end of the heat gun at least 6 inches away if not closer to 9 from the pages.

#12 kitsunebi77

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 04:23 AM

I don't think there's really a wrong way to go about it so long as it works for you (i.e. don't do whatever it is that E-Day did  :D  ).

I agree with Sean that this should be done in a garage or someplace similar, away from flammable things/surfaces.  Unfortunately, I have no such place (tiny Japanese one-bedroom apartment), so I've just got to be extra careful.

The video is certainly NOT a "how to" video.  It was just meant to demonstrate how quick and easy using a heat gun is for the benefit of people who have never used one before, in case they were considering it.  I'd recommend that anyone using a heat gun for the first time should try de-binding a junk magazine to get a feel for it in case they make any mistakes, before trying to de-bind something they plan to scan for the site.



#13 Sternosaur

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 05:11 PM

OK, so I keep hearing about people cutting magazines with exacto knives and adamantium claws and whatnot, and I just wanted to put this here for anyone wondering if there's a better way, because I think the answer is yes.

 

Heat guns aren't expensive.  I got mine for around $20, but they might be even cheaper in the US (most things are).  They're also pretty fast and are the ONLY way you're gonna be able to scan everything that was printed on the page, since cutting is going to inevitably lose some of the stuff in the gutter.

 

I took a short video of me debinding a mag, not because it's a complicated process, but just so you can get a sense of how much time it takes.  I've got the mag's front cover held down with a weight.  I'd normally use a heavy stack of something flat to avoid the risk of damaging the cover, but I'd already scanned it and was in a hurry, so whatever.  Also note the cardboard underneath everything.  Heat guns are really, really HOT, so the cardboard is there as a buffer so my carpet doesn't melt while I'm waving the heat gun it its general direction. :D

 

You'll notice that it takes a little while to get the first page.  There are several reasons for that which may be hard to tell from the video:

  1. I start by trying to separate the cover spine from the rest of the magazine before trying to peel off individual pages
  2. This particular mag has a plastic CD sleeve glued to the first page which I wasted a little bit of time heating up before realizing that it would be easier to just cut it off later rather than risk melting the plastic.
  3. The first page and last page always take a bit longer, since there is usually more glue holding those pages for some reason.

Anyway, once I get the first page off, you can see how easily the rest of the pages can be peeled off in succession.  I place all the pages in order in a pile, and they're ready to be scanned.  Sometimes, a few pages will have some glue residue near the edge.  If it's particularly excessive, it can cause problems when going through the scanner feeder by snagging on the glass and distorting the scan.  In those cases, the glue would have to be peeled or cut away before scanning.  But I'd say 98% of the pages come out completely glue-free.

 

Btw, I wasn't trying to make this video look nice or anything.  Getting my phone angled to see what I was doing was hard enough.  Pardon my messy floor, my jammies, and the fact that I was de-binding a Tech Gian, so you spend a good deal of time as I loosen the cover staring at the first page table of contents prominently featuring big bold print that reads "fetish illustrations" :lol:

 

Dunno how many other scanners here use the heat gun method, but I hope this video is helpful for anyone who was curious.

Thank you so much for the video, I was looking for something like this!  I'll make sure to save this.





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