Archive for April, 2009

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Sous-Vide: Cooking Food With Vacuum Sealers

Posted by: Office Zone on April 29th, 2009

Cooking has come a long way over the past few centuries. We are no longer limited to cooking over a fire, and the range of food available today is amazing to say the least. People are now deep frying turkeys and ice cream, cooking food in aluminum foil and microwaving dinners before the big game. Another new trend, at least over the past several years, is sous-vide.

Sous-vide literally translates to mean “under vacuum.” It is a way to cook food by heating it over a long period of time. Although the method of cooking is similar to a slow cooker or crock pot, sous-vide uses lower temperatures. Essentially food is placed in an airtight bag, or vacuum sealed bag, and cooked in hot water (around 140°F or 60°C).

This method of cooking was created by Georges Pralus in the mid 1970s in Roanne, France. He discovered that cooking food in this manner allowed the food to maintain its original appearance and texture, which appealed to customers. It also helped maintain flavor, improving the flavor of the food.

Although sous-vide has been around for 30+ years, it is beginning to grow in popularity. Many amateur cooks are now experimenting with different recipes and ingredients to create new cuisines. Many people like to simply create several meals in bulk quantity, vacuum seal them and freeze them for later cooking.

There are now even cook books available online offering sous-vide recipes and cooking tips. A few items cooked using sous-vide include turkey, beef brisket, pork chops, eggs, ribs and much more.

In a February 2008 issue of Wired Magazine, Nathan Myhrvold (former CTO of Microsoft) had this to say about sous-vide, “I love to cook short ribs at 130 degrees Fahrenheit for 36 hours,” Myhrvold says. “They become very flavorful and have a different texture than most braised meats.”

Sous-vide can be done with a wide range of vacuum sealers, including both chamber and external models. When dealing with liquids, one does still have to be careful not to make a mess. Chamber sealers have been found to be cleaner due to the way the bag is sealed and the air is removed. Once the food, meat, liquids and vegetables are placed in the bag, the air can be removed and the bag sealed.  Office Zone carries a wide variety of vacuum food sealers that can be found here.

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How To Stuff Envelopes: And Make Legitimate Income On The Side

Posted by: Morgan on April 27th, 2009

I hate to shatter your hopes and dreams here, but most envelope stuffing jobs are a sham. You typically see an ad where a company promises you lucrative opportunities to supplement your income. Most of these

Envelope Stuffing Machine

Envelope Stuffing Machine

opportunities are simply schemes to take your money. However, I do have some good news for you about envelope stuffing jobs. You can actually make a fair amount of money on the side if you have the right equipment. Office Zone carries a wide assortment of envelope stuffing machines that can handle most mailing tasks.

Actually, the industry term for such a machine is a letter folder/inserter, but we don’t want to split hairs here. What we want to do is let you know that these machines will literally save you hundreds of hours of tedious work folding letters, stuffing envelopes, and licking them shut.

Indeed, folder/inserters require a significant investment up front. However, these machines are not commonly found in most office environments. This creates a perfect opportunity for you to create and market a letter folding and stuffing service to your local business area.

What do companies typically mail that would require such a machine? Most need to mail out multiple items in a No. 10-sized envelope. There’s usually an 8-1/2″ x 11″ letter, business reply card, business reply envelope, some sort of flyer or brochure … you get the picture. Huge cost savings happen when labor is slashed processing a direct mail campaign consisting of folding letters, inserting them into an envelope, and then licking the envelopes shut.

Yes, there are a lot of envelope stuffing con artists out there, but you really can create a legitimate small service business helping local clients with their mailing needs with a letter folding/inserting machine. Be sure to contact Office Zone to talk to a letter folding, inserting machine specialist for more details.

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How To Oil A Paper Shredder

Posted by: Morgan on April 21st, 2009

If you’d like to keep your paper shredder running like a brand new machine, then you need to oil it with paper shredder oil. Shredder oil simply smooths out the daily wear and tear your paper shredder endures when it’s used. Office Zone recommends you oil your shredder at least every time you change the bag, or each time you empty the shred bin container. Cross cut shredders require more frequent lubrication than strip cut models, however.

Paper Shredder Oil

Paper Shredder Oil

Oiling a shredder is simply done by squirting a thin, zigzag pattern layer of shredder oil on a sheet of paper. Then, shred the oil-soaked paper with your shredder. Turn off the shredder and run it in reverse mode for a few seconds. This helps evenly distribute the oil onto the shredder heads.

Use only light-grade lubricants formulated specifically for paper shredders. Other oil grades could cause problems with the operation of your shredder, thus voiding the warranty. Consistently using paper shredder oil preserves the cutting heads of your shredder and other moving parts, thus extending the life of your machine for years to come.

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What Is A Bankers Box And What Is It Used For?

Posted by: Morgan on April 20th, 2009

Does your office have an archive room? Most businesses have some kind of room or closet where past receipts, invoices, and other important documents are stored. Office Zone has just the right item for your archive

Bankers Box

Bankers Box

and filing needs: Bankers Boxes.

What are bankers boxes, you say? They simply help you keep important documents and files in your office stored and organized in an efficient way. We recently added a new bankers box line from Fellowes called the Bankers Box High-Stak Storage Drawer.

These storage drawers, or bankers boxes, can stack up to 10 units high. You can lock them together vertically and horizontally. The boxes, designed to withstand day-to-day usage, are constructed with corrugated cardboard and metal brackets. The box supportive frames make it easy for full drawers to open and close with ease. You can view our entire line of bankers boxes, and other related items, here.

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Binding Machines: Facts You Should Know

Posted by: Morgan on April 15th, 2009

Are you looking for a binding machine for your business? If so, there are a few important factors you should consider before making your purchase. First of all, what is it you need to bind? If you’re binding simple documents such as business proposals, school assignments, or other presentations

Comb Binding Machine

Comb Binding Machine

that need a semi-professional look, then comb and coil binding machines may be the answer.

Comb binding machines are relatively simple to set up and operate. Most models let you punch a set number of sheets and then join, or bind, them together with a binding element — in this case a plastic binding comb. The biggest advantage of using a comb binding machine is cost savings. Comb binding machines are easy on your budget and so are the binding supplies. The punching and binding process with comb binding machines is quick and simple, when compared to other binding methods.

Coil binding machines enhance the overall appearance of your document. Do you remember those old spiral wire notebooks from your school days?

Coil Binding Machine

Coil Binding Machine

Well, coil binding looks very similar, except the coil itself is now made of plastic. Plastic is much more durable than metal. It’s nearly impossible to crush and it keeps its shape almost indefinitely.

Another factor to keep in mind with coil binding is time. It does take more time to punch and then bind your documents with a coil binding machine. However, the end result is well worth it. And, with a little experience you will be able to punch and bind most documents in a short amount of time.

Comb and coil binding machines are available in manual and electric-powered models. Our next blog entry will examine wire binding machines, a popular binding method used today that gives your documents a highly professional look. Be sure to take a closer look at Office Zone’s comb and coil binding machines today.

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Foil Stamping Machines: What’s The Best Model For You?

Posted by: Morgan on April 14th, 2009

First of all, what exactly is foil stamping? Foil stamping is simply the process of using a heated foil stamping machine to print text, logos and other symbols onto something. People typically foil stamp their names

Foil Stamping System

Foil Stamping System

onto books, especially leather-bound books such as a Bible. High schools often foil stamp a student’s name onto their yearbook. You can also stamp pencils, napkins, matchbooks, photographs, award ribbons and much more.

Foil stamping systems come in a wide variety of formats and sizes for different volumes and styles of printing. Office Zone offers both manual and pneumatic foil stamping machines.

Consider what you will need to stamp and estimate your production volume. You definitely want to avoid purchasing a foil stamping system that will not handle the volume and types of jobs you need to do.

Where do you want to place your foil stamper? Office Zone has both countertop and floor models. With some models you’ll need space and access to compressed air. If you have a home office, be sure to keep your machine out of reach from children.

Typically with foil stamping machines, the larger the machine the higher the volume it can produce. Office Zone sells manually operated foil stampers that can stamp as fast as you can pull the handle on the machine. Pneumatic hot foil stamp machines, intended for high-volume jobs, work

Pneumatic Foil Stamper

Pneumatic Foil Stamper

with the simple push of a button or foot pedal.

Most foil stamp models are available with various type holders. Foil stamp type holders are adjustable and hold the lettering or other symbols in the machine. Type holders come in different sizes and shapes, depending on how much lettering you plan to use.

A friendly customer service rep at Office Zone will can help you pick the correct foil stamping machine for your needs.

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Dynafold Paper Folders: Bargain Machines With High-Quality Results

Posted by: Morgan on April 7th, 2009

Have you heard of Dynafold paper folding machines? No? Well, chances are you’ve probably seen one of these best-selling models in an office or copy shop, but didn’t know it was a Dynafold. The style of a Dynafold chassis won’t win any design awards. The look and feel is something out of the 1970’s. Most Dynafold letter folders have a light tan-colored body Dynafold DE-202with a trademark orange horizontal stripe.

But looks can be deceiving. Dynafold letter folders may be weak on design, but they are tough enough to handle most paper folding jobs. Some prefer a fully automatic paper folding machine that adjusts the folding plates and other minor settings.

You won’t find any fancy automatic features such as these on a Dynafold. But not to worry, Dynafold letter folders are simple to set up and operate. Some of our customers tell us that they had their machine up in running right out of the box in minutes.

The Dynafold paper folders are a popular choice with our customer service staff, thanks to the machine’s reliable track record. This means that very few of the Dynafold models that leave our building ever come back.

If you’re looking for consistent performance in a paper folding machine and not concerned about how attractive it is, then be sure to take a closer look at the Dynafold letter folder line. Office Zone proudly carries all Dynafold models. You can view them here.

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Paper Shredders: Facts You Should Know

Posted by: Morgan on April 6th, 2009

We often hear the following question: “What’s the best paper shredder out there?” We typically follow that query up with one of our own: “That depends, what are you shredding?” If you plan to do some light-duty paper shredding at home, typically in a home office, then any one of our Home Office & Deskside Shredders will do.

Paper ShredderHowever, if you have a slightly tougher job in mind, like shredding CD’s, DVD’s, ID badges, and so on, then one of our CD and DVD shredders should work. If you’re working in an office and your shredding needs are high, then a Departmental Heavy Duty Paper Shredder is the right choice for you.

Do you work for the government? If so, most government offices have high-security shredding standards, especially in the military. Be sure to take a look at our wide selection of High Security Paper Shredders. These reach all the way to shred level 6, the most secure shredding level available today.

Finally, if you have enormous shredding requirements, the kind of shredding that that requires large waste bins or an outside shredding service, then you may want to consider an Industrial Paper Shredder. Be sure to take a closer look at one of the largest paper shredder selections available online today, only at Office Zone.

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Employee Time Clocks: Traditional Punch Cards To Biometric

Posted by: Morgan on April 3rd, 2009

Employee time clocks are a critical necessity in today’s business environment. Employee time clocks are used to keep track of time worked, overtime and payroll. Most systems are easy to set up and install. The most popular model of time clock system used today is the old tried and tested punch system. Most of Biometric Time Clockthese machines are simple to use.

Today, biometric time clocks are rapidly growing in popularity. They use a unique identifier to log an employee in and out of work. These are time clocks that scan a biological part of an employee to sign in and out of work, typically the scan of an index finger. Biometric time clocks may be found in small to large organizations. With biometric time systems, there is no longer the need for a traditional punch card.

Another benefit of converting to biometric employee time technology is the elimination of buddy punching. Buddy punching, a common problem with most businesses, happens when a fellow employee punches in and out of work for another employee. This money-saving feature alone makes biometric time clocks worth the investment. Be sure to visit Office Zone today to view our entire selection of employee time clocks.

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Stackable Chairs: Easy To Set Up, Take Down And Store

Posted by: Morgan on April 1st, 2009

If your office hosts several events, such as training workshops, seminars, or other special meetings, then seating requirements are no doubt a concern. You may need chairs that are easy set up, take down and store, and stay out your way when not in use. Stackable chairs just may be the answer. Now, you can not Stackable Chaironly easily and comfortably seat attendees at special events such as these, but you can conserve valuable office space as well.

Office Zone carries several easy-to-store stackable chair models. We have a wide variety of styles, designs and colors that you may choose from. Most chairs are built on sturdy metal frames that provide optimum support. These versatile stackable chairs may also be used in offices, lobbies, waiting rooms, conference rooms, foyers, halls and more. Some chairs are equipped with padding and available with several covering options including fabric and vinyl. Formed plastic stackable chairs are a popular choice as well. Be sure to take a look at our selection of stackable chairs today.