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Album Review: United States Albums

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United States
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Posted 03/17/2018   06:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
apastuszak - I wanted to email you but it appears I am forbidden to use the internal email (new user restriction). Is stamphacks your site? Are the "Community US Stamp pages" available to the general public?


Andy did not respond but it is his web site and he has made the pages posted available. He did not create many of community US pages.

Bill Steiner offers US supplements for free too at http://www.stampalbums.com/free_us.asp
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Al
Edited by angore - 03/17/2018 06:35 am
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United States
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Posted 03/17/2018   09:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sdtom to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wasn't aware of this probably because I don't use Steiner pages but good to know
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Posted 03/23/2018   01:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Asked about Lighthouse binders: "wondering what is the difference or comparison between springbuck, turn-bar, and ring binders? Can anyone proffer a good critique?"

Not quite sure what you want, but the three different Lighthouse binders all are designed to hold all standard LH pages all of which are now punched to fit the ring binder with two of the punched holes also fitting the turn-bar (or two post, if you prefer) binder. And, of course, the same pages can be "clamped" into a springback binder just a easily. All have their attractions. Since all LH pages fit all three binders, there's little point in comparing pages since they're all the same pages. The pages are made of a sturdy weight of paper which is much nicer than some other album makers like Davo whose pages are a little thinner, especially in Davo's non-mount version of their pages. LH pages are heavier than Scott pages, for example.

Springback binders are the old classic and look the part. If you see photos of older collectors and their collections, FDR for instance, you're more than likely looking at springback binders. The key to using these binders is that the pages must be able to bend smoothly in order to lie flat. The best method to do this is using linen-hinging, but such pages are now very expensive and rare, and I'm pretty sure none of the standard LH pages are available with linen hinges. The alternative method of getting pages to bend easily enough to lie flat in a springback binder is to either score grooves into the edge of the page to encourage smooth bending, or to punch a line of holes into the edge. LH punches five elongated holes in their page edges. I think it looks quite odd, and I don't necessarily find it very attractive -- but there is only this one page used in all three binders, so you're stuck with it, I suppose. And they work well in the springback binders.

One negative of springback binders is that you must forecefully bend back the covers of the binder to remove the pages. I don't find this very appealing, myself. And it's possible to break the spring steel located in the spine of the binder, and I've done this once, ruining the binder forever. I imagine this is pretty rare.

The turnbar binders used to be simply two-post binders, but LH has added a somewhat cheap plastic three-pin device which goes through three additional page holes, the idea being that it remains in the pages when you remove some or all of them, keeping them together neatly. It works, but the plastic device is not very sturdy and could break, I suppose. No big loss, though, as the two posts are metal and would still work fine in holding the pages. Older binders of this type have only the two round metal posts. The really clever idea, though, with this binder is that LH has developed a system of turn rods which hold the metal posts in place. The two long rods in the spine of the binder can actually be turned to engage the two posts -- or turned to release them to open up the cover and remove the pages. It works very well, much better than the more awkward Scott system with two rectangular posts and two wire rods which must be threaded through openings in the two posts. The LH system is neater and seems simpler to me. Pages in these binders fold back along the same holes cut out along the margin of the pages in order to lie flat. It works well.

The third type of binder is the ring binder, and it's the most popular, I believe. It operates the way all ring binders operate with the rings opening and closing to add or remove pages. Because there are more than a dozen rings, unlike the standard U.S. three rings, it looks much more appealing, holds the pages neatly without ripping the holes, and works well. But you have all those margin cut-outs designed for the other two types of binders which in the ring binder are completely useless but still there. I don't find it at all a good look. This is true of Schaubek albums, as well, where their holes (six instead of LH's five) are not needed in their own ring binders and so look a little out of place. People like ring binders because they are very simple to operate, pages can easily be added or removed with only a click of the rings and without removing any other pages as you have to do with two-post or springback binders, and the pages automatically lie completely flat which is also unlike the other two binders where the left margin bends. In a ring binder the left margin never has to bend.

I'd put the two-post (or turnbar) binder first because it looks best to me, the ring binder second because the pages lie flat and it's easiest to use, and the old classic springback third. Although I have a few springback binders and like them very much, their drawbacks in use bother me. However, a completed album in a springback binder does not need to be opened, and it will look very good in a classic way, so it's also a good binder.

Hope this helps a little!
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Edited by DrewM - 03/23/2018 02:01 am
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United States
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Posted 04/19/2019   10:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add vandal6 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I called Washington Press (the publisher of White Ace pages) and the gentlemen informed me that the company was out of business.
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Posted 04/19/2019   10:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add apastuszak to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Andy did not respond but it is his web site and he has made the pages posted available. He did not create many of community US pages.

Bill Steiner offers US supplements for free too at http://www.stampalbums.com/free_us.asp


I'm still deciding what I want to do with this. I spent a good deal of time "cleaning up" the Mystic Heirloom through 2000. 21st Century looked like a LOT of work, so I decided to go it alone and make my own pages.

Right now I am evaluating whether I should continue the Community supplements, switch back to the Heirloom or switch to the Scott Minuteman.
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Free Ukrainian Stamp Album and modified Mystic Stamp Album Pages - http://www.stamphacks.com
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Eire Philatelic Association Member #2869: http://www.eirephilatelicassoc.org/
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United States
5 Posts
Posted 04/29/2020   08:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jamesg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
SAFE albums are fantastic! I am surprised they're not mentioned more in this long thread - I suspect they're more popular in Europe than the US.

The main reason is that they are simple and easy to use without risking damage to your stamps. They slip less than any other album I've ever encountered and protect your stamps and there's no hassle placing or removing your stamps. They're sturdy, lay flat for viewing and look clean and elegant.

The downsides are COST, lack of scott (other) numbers and other descriptive information. They also do not offer very extensive Back of Book coverage but you can purchase blank pages in several forms to make your own albums if you wish.

For Regulars, Commemoratives, and Airmails through about 1970 you'd need 5 binders and slipcases ($625) plus the pre-printed foils/pages which new would run about $800. After 1970, the USPS has gone crazy producing stamps requiring 9 more albums of commemoratives to get you up to present day, which would cost you another $1125 for binders and slipcases plus $1800 for the pre-printed foils/pages. WOW - a very expensive hobby indeed!

You don't have to buy these new though and the savvy buyer can cobble together most of these on ebay if you're patient (I did), however the later, more expensive years (1970-2020) are harder to come by at auction.

I have 14 SAFE Dual albums to-date and am VERY happy with them. Stamps never fall out or look crooked when I show an album, and I rarely have the problem I would normally have fighting with a mount to add or remove a stamp!
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US Outlying Islands
6 Posts
Posted 05/26/2020   11:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rampg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello, I am transitioning to a new Mystic album after about 25 years with a previous one. My problem here in our tropical climate is the high humidity; album pages with smell moldy or develop spots and mint stamps will attach to the mounts or become yellowish even inside mounts. I am now considering collecting mostly older used stamps. I am also considering keeping albums inside plastic bags similar to ziplocks. Is this sound or crazy??
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Posted 05/26/2020   12:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add apastuszak to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You can try storing them in a box with rice on the bottom. To avoid mold, you can keep them in the refrigerator. When I worked at the National Archives we had a fridge setup for moldy books. The cold air wouldn't kill the mold, but it would make it go dormant. If any mold continued to grow, the book went into the freezer.
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Free Ukrainian Stamp Album and modified Mystic Stamp Album Pages - http://www.stamphacks.com
Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society Member #1212: http://www.upns.org
Eire Philatelic Association Member #2869: http://www.eirephilatelicassoc.org/
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Posted 05/26/2020   12:14 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The best solution is a environmentally controlled closet but they are pricey. It might be more feasible to control a single room.

You could make a 'dry closet' by gutting an old dishwasher (it is watertight) and a low wattage incandescent light bulb.

I would add be careful about 'ziplock bags'. Some are permeable to water vapor, oxygen, and other gasses. Others are not perfectly airtight or airtight only for a while. To test, put some salt in a bag and leave it in your environment for a month ro two, then check to see if the salt gets any moisture in it.

A better solution would be use a desiccant and a vacuum sealed bag.
Don
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Posted 05/26/2020   7:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My collection is in one room with de-humidiifiers and dessicant containers. You can purchase small dehumidifiers on Amazon. A few of them might be needed for a room. I use four in my stamp room. They're small, not the larger ones you often see, but you can also buy one of those to remove moisture from the air. I just consider it a cost of collecting.

People in tropical climates have to do this sort of thing or they'll end up with moisture-damaged stamps. Concrete floors can conduct moisture into a room. Rain does the same thing, obviously. Leaky pipes will do that. A nearby bathroom with its hot shower will make the air very moist. A kitchen produces lots of humidity, too. It's an ongoing struggle. Or have a whole-house dehumidifier installed into your home's ductwork. It's not cheap, but it will remove moisture and keep all the air in the house at a certain moderate level of humidity that is comfortable for humans but not so moist it hurts things like stamps. Either that or move to Arizona.
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Posted 05/28/2020   4:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add soccerfan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Harris and Minkus are my favorites.
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US Outlying Islands
6 Posts
Posted 05/29/2020   12:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rampg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the how-to-battle-moisture tips. This is my plan: I bought some 2 gallon ziplocs on eBay and a hand vacuum sealer pump with 1-quart bags at Amazon. I plan to frankenstein the 2 gallon zips into accepting the pump nozzle and after using each album store it in its bag and pump the air out. The idea of also using desiccant sounds like a good one: include some inside the bag before pumping the air out, Ill do the ziplock tests 51studebaker suggests, of course. I've heard about rice as desiccant, prob a good choice until all the hardware stores open up. Thanks again, everyone.
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US Outlying Islands
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Posted 05/29/2020   12:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rampg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
soccer fan, interesting that you mention the Harris albums. Harris was my first album in my late teens and I don't remember it ever getting mold smelly and spotty like the Mystic. Maybe the conditions were very different.
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