Rollabind punch question

First of all, thanks to everyone in the "mynd vs rolla vs circa" thread who helped me figure out what to buy for what I need. Everything came today from both Levenger and Rollabind and it's all perfect.

Here's the question. I'm trying to create my own junior-size pages. I'm using letter-size paper cut in half, which of course yields 8 1/2"-long sheets. Since the covers are exactly 8 1/2" high, the paper seems too big. But the real problem is I can't get the holes to be centered on the page; i.e., the smurf on one end is closer to the edge of the page than the smurf on the other end.

The instructions say "paper size indicator markings are located on both ends of the lineup rule." But I don't see those markings. So I'm lining up the edge of my paper with the edge of the lineup rule. But then the holes end up closer to one end of the sheet than the other. Alternatively, when I center the page between the "8 1/2" markings (not the same markings referred to in the instructions), the holes end up perfectly centered, but there's 1 too many and they don't line up with the discs.

Is this clear? (If my camera batteries were charged, I'd post pix. If necessary, I'll charge 'em.) Can anyone help?

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Lining up pages with punch

I always had a problem with this as well. I found that if you lay the paper all the way down to the bottom edge of the punch, it will punch it wrong. So, put the punch in front of you vertically, now lay your notebook or paper on the left and line up the "notches" of the punch with how you want them to be punched on the paper. Now, make a mark on the punch with a pencil or something and this will be where you line up your junior size pages.

I have no idea if that made ANY sense! The main deal is you need to mark your own spots for each size of paper you will be punching (at least, I had to).

Good luck! nay nay

See my Flickr photo which may help envision all the junk I wrote above:

Thank you! That makes

Thank you! That makes perfect sense. And it turns out to be even easier than you say. For 8 1/2" sheets, if you align the end of the sheet with the right-side edge of the 1st notch space -- in other words, with the left edge of the first "tooth" -- you get perfectly punched junior sheets.

Does that make sense?


I do the same. Although, because of where my punch sits, it's easier for me to line up with the bottom tooth. Either way it punches correctly!

[ web site ]


I'm a rebel. I just take a prepunched something and then eye ball it with the one I'm doing... then I check. If I'm good to go then I just keep going.

I have freakish skills I think... from working in an art gallery and all that jazz during college. things MUST be straight! lol.

my artwork | my blog

The question is are you a

The question is are you a rebel and a perfectionist? Because unless you have one damn good eye, the sheets in your notebook may end up the tiniest bit uneven. And we just can't have that, now can we...?

I have been called both :D

I must have a darned good eye :D that and a smidge off won't set my pantaloones ablaze :D

You could always leave a lil play and then do a final trim to neaten all the edges at the end hehe.

my artwork | my blog


Get some low tack tape (painters or drafters) and align a prepunched page with the punch, mark the edge and then use that guide meticulously :)

my artwork | my blog

What kind of punch?


A key bit of info is missing from your original question--which kind of punch are you using? It sounds as though you might be using the portable doohickey, but it really doesn't matter.

For utter perfection in punching, make your own marks thusly:

Take one sheet of the paper of the correct size. Fold it in half so the crease runs perpendicular to the edge you want to punch, bisecting it. For non-geometry buffs, that means fold your classic sheet in half like you need to stick the page in your back pocket.

Then line up that crease-mark exactly in between the two smurfs nearest the center of your punch (or punch guide). You can use a ruler to figure out where that ought to go. This is for your classic page. For a letter size page, you'd line the crease up smack in the middle of the center smurf.

Before you move the paper, mark where the edges line up with a pencil. This will allow you to do future punching without folding.


If you regularly punch lots of different paper sizes, say index cards, classic pages, letter pages, etc. You can tweak this concept to make yourself two 'universal marks' that work for almost every standard factory paper size. This works because the smurfs are one inch apart (well, nearly).

First, find your marks for a letter-sized piece of paper (the 11" edge). Use that mark (either one) for any paper size where the length is in whole inches. That is, you can use that mark for 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 inch paper. [edit: Well, OK, it doesn't work quite that well, the smurfs on the desktop punch aren't quite 1 inch apart. So a 3" card needs to be moved *slightly* off the mark to be perfectly centered. But it's really close.)

Now, carefully cut yourself a 10.5" long piece of paper and find the marks for that one (using the method described above the --- for the classic size sheet). It will be roughly a quarter inch from your 11" marks. You can use this mark for every paper size ending in 1/2 inch. So, 10.5, 9.5, 8.5, 7.5, etc.

When I say 'use the mark' I mean line up your paper edge with ONE of the marks you made. If your paper is shorter, it won't reach the other mark of the pair. But it will still work, unless the paper size is hugely different from what you used to make your original marks.

Done and done.


punch guides

Thanks so much for taking the time to write those tips. Yes, I am using the portable punch.

Your first suggestion, if I understood it correctly, is equivalent to one of the strategies I described above. I.e., both yours and mine involve centering the page on the punch. (I was able to use the markings on the punch to know where to place the paper, but without them, your way is very clever.) The problem is that method didn't work with a classic page. As I mentioned, I ended up with too many smurfs and they didn't align with the discs (although they were perfectly centered). How do you get it to work?

punchy smurfs

I'll try to explain how I smurf the 8 1/2 size pages with the portable punch.

I put the top edge of the paper on the bottom edge of the first notch that's made for lining up the discs.
______ notch
top edge of paper here

I really hope my little diagram comes through understandably.

I think that's the same

I think that's the same thing I was describing in the post above titled "Thank you! That makes." I couldn't figure out how to illustrate it though . . .

I thought that was what you

I thought that was what you were saying.

It took me from seeing your first post yesterday 'til I posted today to figure out the illustration! ;-)

Number of smurfs


First, decide whether you have an even number of smurfs or an odd number of smurfs in your paper size. For a Classic page, you have an even number of smurfs. Therefore, there won't be a smurf at the center crease--it will be exactly between two smurfs.

For a letter page (or any page with a whole number of inches in length) you'll have an odd number of smurfs, and there WILL be a smurf on the center crease.

You have to look at where the smurfs go, not the 'notches' in your portable punch. I'm using a desktop punch these days, so there are no 'notches'. I just look at the smurf-punchers themselves. On your portable punch, this corresponds to the 'teeth' on the bit of the punch that folds underneath. That's where the smurfs will be, because the 'teeth' are actually guides for you to use to place your discs after you've punched. It allows you to more easily insert a disc into a stack of paper.


notches and numbers

I think we're all talking about the same basic process with different terms. Your "teeth" are my "notches" on the portable punch.
The 'notch' method-putting the paper's top edge at the bottm of the opening of that disc liner-upper puts the edges of the pages right at the edges of the cover.
(Did that make any sense? I'm in chemo-brain mode right now.)

I've had the portable for about 6 years and got the desk punch about a month ago. I played with the position 'til I got it right. (Just like everybody else, of course. ;-) ) Then I marked that dude!!

I've converted someone at church to using Circa for her music (for singing) and she has my Portable punch. She said she loved punching all those smurfs and saved all the little "confettis"! I think she's hooked.

mushroom confetti

i'm sure we're talking about the same process, though i'm distinguishing between "notches" and "teeth." For me, the notches are the spaces between the teeth. The teeth are the 10 roughly 3/4"-wide pieces that stick out of the portable punch lineup rule.

i have several musician friends to whom i'll suggest the circa/rolla method -- great idea. and i, too, really love punching smurfs. i even love the confetti, though i can't say i save it.


My notches are the open spaces!!

Happy Smurfing!!