Engineering pads kept tearing out in my padfolio

I love engineering pads: these are normally light green or beige, with a 5 lines/inch grid on the back surface so that the grid lines don't photocopy. I had to take class notes today on a regular ruled pad, and I thought I was going into withdrawal.

One problem with the pads, though, is that they're glued on the top edge, and not bound up like a legal pad. This makes keeping them in my omnipresent padfolio somewhat problematic: the sleeve that holds the pad in place will slice right through the glue. I'm not the only one to have this problem, and I hadn't found a good solution until recently.

The solution, as for so many other problems: duct tape. You have to cut the last sheet free if you want to use it, but otherwise works great.

(Updated 2008/11/01) Photos of the process are on Flickr, since my first attempt at explanation needed more detail.

This may be obvious to others, but since I didn't find any good solutions before, I figured I'd post some Google-fodder for anyone else with a similar situation.

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More legible images may be

More legible images may be found on Flickr.

duct tape

now that I see the image, this makes total sense and is a simple fix to a problem I am sure many have experienced.


thanks from another engineer

Wonderful idea. Thanks. Of course, I love any solution that involves duct tape -- than handy man's (or woman's) secret woman.

Unsure. Tell me if this is correct...

You duct-taped a piece of cardboard to the last page of the pad, down the long side, so that the cardboard slides into the pad-folio sleeve to hold the pad in place.
Is that it ?
Sounds like a simple, elegant solution.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Even simpler

The pads already come with the cardboard backing. So all I do is bend the whole glued stack of paper away from the cardboard, and tape the intersection of the last page and the cardboard (short edge of the page, since they're glued on the top edge, and since my padfolio is meant for ruled pads bound on the top edge). So yeah, ridiculously easy. I wouldn't have bothered to document this at all except that it didn't seem obvious to the other group of people on that Google answers thread (or to me, until I tried it).

Now I am totally confuzzled

Would some step by step pix on Flickr be possible ?
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

I think I get it.

Like most pads of that sort, it's a stack of paper on top of a piece of strawboard, and the lot is held together by only that paint on rubbery glue stuff.

Which is fine, normally, but when you slide the cardboard down inside the slit of a folder of some sort, then the edge of that slit is pushing against the seam between the cardboard and paper stack. Since it's only rubbery glue stuff, it quickly gives way, and then your pad of paper is detached.

So instead he flops the entire pad of paper up away from the cardboard and puts a strip of good old duck tape along the joining so it's part way on the paper and part way on the cardboard. Then fold the paper pad back down into normal position.

Now when he slides the cardboard of the pad into his folder, the edge of the seam is pressing on the duck tape instead of the glue stuff.

And we ALL know that duck tape is the strongest substance in the universe, so the pad of paper then remains attached to the cardboard.

Ta Da!

(Good hack, btw.)

Thanks for the explanation, SusanBeth !

That was very enlightening. I'd been trying to visualize that for the past several days, and finally see it! Thanks.

! Ping ! The light came on !

Thanks SusanBeth. Geez, I can be so dense sometimes :P
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Yeah, I guess the

Yeah, I guess the explanation was only obvious enough to those of us who live with those pads, and not to anyone else. I'd have taken more pictures, but I only had the one pad.

EDIT: made more pictures, posted to Flickr, edited original post.

Thumbs Up!

SMH that's a great idea!

Binder clip

One binder clip at the top of the pad should fit into most portfolios and seems an easier solution than tape. Sharp edges might dig into the leather if the cover is closed tightly I guess.

But then you'd have to

But then you'd have to remove the binder clip to peel a page off when you're done with it.

True, and

it's a solution to the original problem. I actually like the wide rubber band idea from Katrina too.

large rubber band

Another way to reinforce the top of a pad is to use a large flat rubber band.

Lift up the first 20 or so pages.
Then put the rubber band around the rest of the pad and the backing and slide it up to be almost at the top of the pad.
The band holds the pad together and the top 20 pages can still be torn off without moving the band.
Also, the band stops the pad sliding too deeply into a padfolio or compendium, so the pad's glue binding won't be pressured to come apart.

The flat rubber bands are best as rounded bands leave an indent on the padfolio

I like the duct tape idea

I've had the same problem too. I found that I needed two binder clips but then I was disassembling my portfolio every time I needed a clean piece of paper on top.

The duct tape solution is brilliant.