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A lot of you might recognize this problem. You are printing a booklet at home or at the office but you only have a normal stapler. With this normal stapler there is no good way to staple a booklet. There are special staplers for booklets, but they are very bulky and expensive (so nobody has them).

I was thinking that it would be possible to staple booklets with a small (and cheap) stapler when the head of the stapler would be turned 90 degrees. So I made some quick sketches.

This is my cheap way to make such a stapler.

You will need:
  • A stapler (I found myself a really nice small one for under 2,-)
  • Some metal profiles (I used aluminum) 
  • Bolts and nuts (I used M4)
  • A saw (could be a hacksaw, but I love my bandsaw)
  • Screwdriver
  • File (or sander)
  • A drillpress (or normal drill)


Step 1: The Donor

The donor stapler

To make it easy and compact I found myself a cheap, small and mostly plastic stapler. The plastic is easy to cut.
First you will need to cut of the bottom part of the stapler.
I had to cut off some sharp corners from the top part to clean it up.
From the bottom part I cut off the braces to make it smooth.

Step 2: Top Arm

The top arm

For the arms I used some aluminum rectangular tubing that I had lying around.
I marked the width of the stapler-top and cut that width from the tubing.
Next I cut the tube to length (I just cut where I liked without any measurements)

Step 3: Bottom Arm

The bottom arm

We want to make the bottom arm the same length as the top one.
Because I had to overcome the thickness of the material in the arms, I cut out the bottom arm in an angle.

Step 4: Prepare the Bottom Arm

To prepare the bottom arm

To make some room to fit the top-arm later, I had to sand (or file) off some extra plastic from the bottom part of the stapler.
Mark where the bottom arm will come and drill a hole trough the bottom part of the stapler.
Hold the bottom arm exactly in place and drill through the hole in the bottom part of the stapler all the way trough the bottom arm.
To make it possible to close the stapler, we need to use bolts that can be sunk. The hole in the bottom of the stapler needs to be prepared for this.
Now we can bolt the arm to the bottom of the stapler.

Step 5: The Hinge

Making the hinge

To make the hinge we will need an U-beam that just fits over the arms. I had some aluminum square-beam where I could cut the U-beam out of.
Again I eyeballed the size.
I put het U-beam under the end of the bottom arm
Drill a hole trough the middle of the U-shape, all the way trough the bottom arm.
In the top of the hole in the bottom arm we need to make the hole bigger so the bolt can be sunk.
Now we can bolt on the U-shape and the bottom part of the stapler to the bottom arm.

When we put the top arm on top of the bottom arm in the u-beam, we can mark where to drill the hole to make it hinge.
Clamp the two arms together with a c-clamp (or some duct-tape might also work) and drill the hole trough the u-shape, the width of the top arm, all the way trough the u-shape again.
If we would put in the bold at this moment, we wouldn't be able to open the stapler because the top arm is squared. To fix this we have to cut of the bottom corner of the top arm near the hole and file this round.
Now we can put the bolt in and the top will be able to hinge up.

Step 6: Adding the Top

Adding the top of the stapler

To finnish this of we just have to add the top of the stapler. Just hold the top of the stapler in a way that the slot where the staples will go trough (when you are stapling) align exactly with the part in the bottom that will bent the staples.
Now mark the hole in het stapler top on the top arm. (my stapler had already a hole in it. If yours haven't, you will need to drill a hole in it first)
Next you'll need to drill the hole. The marking and drilling of this hole must be precise or your stapler won't staple.
Again we need to widen the hole so we can sunk the bolt. The bolt will go in from the bottom.
Bolt the top of the stapler to the top arm and fasten it tight.
Because there is only one bolt in, we can still turn the top a little to adjust. I added some superglue to fix everything when it was in place.

Step 7: Finished

Now we can staple booklets with the small and cheap booklet-stapler.

Finished!!!

(This instructable will give you just the idea and show how I did it. I know that you might need to do things differently if you have a different donor-stapler of different materials to work with.)

nice one! we heeded one last December 2012 to bind some missalete for a sister wedding, we bought a new one!
Amazing! Thanks a lot!
Great idea and execution! Congratulations! :)
This opens so many posibilities, like hole punchers :D
That's a pretty cool hack. Wile E. Coyote would be proud!
This is a very clever, out-of-the-box way of doing it. I love the clear, well-lit photos. I did a similar Instructable, but more along conventional lines. It is linked at the right side of the page. I recently modified it to remove some side-to-side play that sometimes resulted in misformed staples, but there are no photos of the modifications posted. Thank you for doing this.
Good idea, clever solution.

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Bio: I'm a social-worker, working with 12 - 23 year-olds. I used to be a printer and I worked voluntarily in Romania for a couple of ... More »
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