Saturday, March 17, 2007

paper weights and thicknesses

I'd been wondering about the thickness of cardstock vs text weight paper. That question has come up again with regard to the Bind It All. I'd posted a chart that gave the approximate sheet capacity for a given coil size. That was for text weight paper. What about cardstock though? I decided to try to look this up. Whoa. What a can of worms!

Okay, so really be able to discuss this somewhat intelligently, you have to understand that papers have different weights. The weight of a particular paper is based on the weight of a ream of that paper IN ITS STANDARD SIZE. I emphasized that last part because, naturally, different papers have different standard sizes. No-o-o, they couldn't just go by the nice 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches that we often buy at the store. The good news is that the weights of papers are usually printed right on the package, so we really don't need to know what the standard size for a particular paper is at all.

Now, armed with that info, I found a chart that compared the weights of various papers and their thicknesses. Yes! The thickness is really what will determine what the sheet capacity of the coils will be for papers other than text weight paper, eh?

Here's the link for the charts: Paper Weight - Thickness Guide

I looked that over and determined that my typical text weight paper is about 0.0048 inches thick. Now how that will compare with some other heavier paper will, of course, depend on the weight of that paper. I could be really precise, but it's Saturday, I really just want a ballpark figure, and I have no desire to get into any complicated math. ;-) To me, it looks like my cardstock will fall in the range of 0.0090-0.0096 inches in thickness. Basically, that's twice as thick. Close enough for me! Now I haven't pulled out my text paper and cardstock and placed them side by side in piles to compare, but I might. This was just one way of trying to figure out what size coil I might need to bind a particular project. Oh, and while I'm thinking about it, I believe that chipboard is also measured by its thickness, so if you want to use chipboard pages you could do some math and come up with the coil size that you need, too.

Hope that was helpful and not too confusing. :-)

ETA: Please also see my more recent post about this: Coil Binding Chart - revised, which now includes the thickness attribute.

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