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10:32am on Friday, 14th May, 2010:

Stapling Problems


As I've mentioned before, I've been getting this silky-smooth brilliant white inkjet paper of late. It produces excellent copies, although it's not ballpoint-friendly if you want to write on it (I think it has some kind of microdust on it that bungs up the ball). It's not the writing on it that's the main problem, though, it's the stapling of it.

I print off physical copies of every academic paper I read, on the grounds that the only things of any permanence on the Internet are those embarrassing private details you want to disappear forever. Things you want to keep have a habit of just vanishing. Anyway, this means that I usually want to staple together the sheets I've printed off. Sadly, this silky paper is very resistant to staples; I could staple my earlobe more easily than I can staple this. Two to four sheets is normally not a problem; five to ten sheets is worth trying; beyond that, it's more a case of hope than likelihood.

I've become quite adept at bending it to my will, though, and have honed my technique quite well. Originally, as I mentioned in my original post on the subject, I used to hammer panel pins into it to make a hole; this worked, but meant the holes had to be in exactly the right place to get the staple through.

Here's what I do now.

First, use Plan A: try to get a staple through the (in this case 13) sheets anyway. You never know, the gods could be with me.

As you can see, today the gods weren't with me, but they were close enough that I tried three times to get a clean staple through and almost made it:

On the third attempt, though, the stapler jammed and I had to go get a pair of pliers to remove the mangled metal:

Since I was now at my workbench, I decided to go with Plan B. I picked up my trusty two-inch oval nail and hammered it into one of the holes the stapler had made in its feeble effort to pierce the silk-on-the-outside-leather-on-the-inside paper:

I then repeated this with the matching hole. As you can see from the random piece of wood I was hammering it into, I've done this on many occasions now:

Finally, I stapled the paper through the oval holes, which have more room for maneuver than small circular ones yet are easier to hammer in than large circular ones:


Now I guess I should go read the paper...

Referenced by Old Documents.

Referenced by Bradawl.

Referenced by Stapler.

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Copyright © 2010 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).