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[BKARTS] Thermal tape binding, Saw trimming, Rounded corners



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I am writing a "popular" science book and want to desktop publish, print, bind, and sell the book myself for true On-Demand publishing. I have researched thousands of bits of information on this topic including on the Book Arts list. I also bought the book called "Book-on-Demand Publishing" by Rupert Evans who has posted extensively here. 

Here is what I have figured out so far:
(1) I bought Ventura Publisher 8 for desktop publishing my book and like it a lot. I find it much better for publishing books than most other programs.
(2) Rupert Evans has convinced me that laser printing can be durable enough for books if done right. The fuser must work properly and Vinyl or such like chemical surfaces next to toner must be avoided. A digital duplicator seems nice but can't duplex and I don't want to hand collate. I'll buy a duplexing laser printer.
(3) Rupert Evans has convinced me that thermal binding of a book using hot melt glue can be fast, flexible, and pretty durable. By thermal binding I mean the process where a glue strip is heated next to the book block. Less glue can be used in this process than in the typical paperback EVA hot melt process which can result in more flexibility.
(4) Looking at thousands of library books I have concluded that rounding the free corners of a paperback book can dramatically deduce the dogeared look of such books.
(5) Thermal tape binding results in a book that is far more flexible than a perfect bound book. It lays flat. The tape wrapping around part of the cover greatly reduces the tearing of soft cover books at the binding. It opens much better than the Otabind or RepKover type books which only lay flat really well when opening the book at the center. The first and last pages don't lay flat nearly as well on these. Many thermally bound books come apart because the thermal binding is not done well. I'll make my books 8.5x11 inches so they can lay flat.
(6) Bits of information on Book Arts suggest that I can use a saw to trim the book pages with little paper waste. A small bandsaw could even cut rounded corners on the book it seems. I dislike wasting paper using a guillotine which needs 1/8" trim allowance. I've seen thousands of library books basically ruined by guillotining too where text and pictures have been cut through. 

Questions, answer as many as you like:
(7) I am toying with two laser printers at present. The HP 2200D 8.5x14 1200x1200dpi 40,000 pages/mo US$800 standard duplexer 5000 page toner 19 ppm and the Kyocera Mita FS-1800 which has lifetime OPC drum for 300,000 pages and refillable toner. Comments?
(8) Some people don't like the looks of rounded corner books. I have several myself and like the look. What do you think?
(9) There seems to be some dislike for the look of thermal tape binding. Some consider it cheap. If the tape was hot stamp lettered on the spine and cover designed to suit, I think it can look pretty good. One reference even suggested that tape binding is more classy than perfect bound wraparound covers. Has sort of the style of quarter bound hardcover books. What do you think?
(10) Any comments on whether 8.5x11 inches is acceptable for technical books?
(11) Anyone with experience using saws or other power cutters to trim books. As I am not making small books like 5.5x8.5 inches so I don't have to cut books on half. I only want to trim off a perhaps 0.003 inches and the cover. I have heard that thermal tape binding perhaps doesn't even require trimming because separate front and back covers are used. What do you think? How would one cut a laminated cover to the exact size? 
(12) Any ideas on equipment to make thermal binding more durable or better?
(13) Are the "Standard" thermal tapes pretty good. Saves me making them myself.
(14) Any ideas on laminating or coating the separate covers for a thermal tape bound book?

Ben Wiens...applied energy scientist
Ben Wiens Energy Science Inc.
Coquitlam BC Canada
Energy Website: www.benwiens.com

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