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My Homemade "Vario Style" Album Page

 
 
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Valued Member
United States
49 Posts
Posted 04/30/2019   01:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add moneil to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
At one time I had considered using Lighthouse VARIO stock pages for my non U.S. collection but subsequently decided to use a traditional album (a used Harris Citation).

I could still appreciate the utility of the VARIO pages, which gave me an idea. On a blank 9" x 12" page I attached six rows of a top load stamp mount in a continuous strip. In this case I used Prinz 280 x 84 split back mounts and cut the strip at the split to get two 42 mm strips, then trimmed 30 mm off each strip (which I can later use to mount individual stamps).

My first trial was on a standard Harris blank page – worked but those sheets are probable only a 20lb. weight and it wasn't ideal. Today I used Neenah® Creative Collection™ 11 x 17 paper, 32 Lb. (trimmed down to 9 x 12), pictured below. I've just ordered Neenah® Bright White Premium Card Stock, Ledger Size, 65 Lb. which should work best.

This approach costs more at $1.32 per double sided sheet versus the VARIO S6 at $0.75, plus my time to put it together. In my circumstance I find it worthwhile as I can have a "Vario style" page in a Harris 2 post 9 x 12 album (not having to keep part of the collection in separate 3 ring binders), I will have the versatility of making rows of different mount heights when needed, and there is a strip of bare page between the rows where I can pencil in the catalog number and issue year. I am also finding that the stamps stay put (i.e., don't move around or tilt as I find they can do with VARIO, they are easier to insert, and there is less potential for perforation damage.



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Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
681 Posts
Posted 04/30/2019   03:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ringo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great idea. How about using black paper? or clear mounts against white paper?
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United Kingdom
4070 Posts
Posted 04/30/2019   05:10 am  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Have you tried using Lighthouse Grande sheets, which are very marginally over 9" x 12", and hole-punching them as necessary?
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Valued Member
United States
82 Posts
Posted 04/30/2019   06:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Moschophoros to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Love homemade album pages. Nice idea. BTW, The stamp in the bottom left corner is one of my favorites!
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Posted 04/30/2019   07:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It is more a Hagner style page when using the regular mounts split in half on a larger page.
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Al
Valued Member
United States
49 Posts
Posted 04/30/2019   2:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add moneil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for the replies and suggestions.

There have been a couple of threads about black vs. clear mounts. I've always used black background mounts for single stamps and have thought that the black background makes the stamp stand out more, so that is what I ordered to try with this. I am thinking that I might try clear mounts next time, especially as I'm leaving a strip of bare page under each row, and clear may give a better page appearance.

I didn't know about the Lighthouse Grande sheets and they may be worth consideration. A packet of 5 @ $6.75 = $1.35 per page, equivalent to my "homemade" page cost of $1.32 … neither calculation includes any shipping cost.

At the moment the advantages I see with what I did are 1) A stock page that fits perfectly into a Harris 2 post album with 9 x 12 pages; 2) With the sides open it easier to insert / extract stamps and there is less likelihood of accidentally damaging a perforation (not really a problem if one is always careful); 3) I like having the page strip under each row to pencil in catalog number and year (rather than having to tuck a slip into the Vario pocket with that information; 4) I could build a page with different row heights if needed; 5) The stamps seem to stay put (not tip or slide) better in the Prinz mounts than they do in a Vario pocket.

The disadvantages are the time to make the page and, as the clear front of the mount is thinner and not attached at the sides, care is needed to not have it catch and get bent, as the crease is rather permanent.
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Posted 04/30/2019   3:00 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Black or clear Grande pages are £4 per pack from Nordfrim, which is around $5.20. Postage is free if you buy enough!
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United States
138 Posts
Posted 05/01/2019   07:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Coastwatcher to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting idea, very creative.
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Posted 05/01/2019   5:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Any home-made album pages are very interesting to me. Even if this idea has been used by some of the major album makers who sell pages with clear strips on them. I think Lighthouse sells some, and Scott does, as well. And they work fine.

I know lots of people swear by Vario and similar album pages, but I'm not a big fan of all that plastic. I prefer "real" paper album pages, so your system is appealing.

One downside is cost, as you've figured out. But even though a normal printed or blank album page might sell for only, say, 50¢ a page, when you add the cost of mounts it gets more expensive, a dollar or more for a page full of mounts whether cut as singles or, as you've done, as strips. So "a little more than $1.00" seems like your per page cost. I'm not sure what album manufacturers sell their similar pages for, but one note I have for "Scott stock sheets" says $2.00 per page. These Scott pages have clear plastic strips and are designed for Scott Specialty albums with hole-punching to fit those albums. I'm sure the size and hole punching are different from Harris albums.

Another issue is paper weight. Loading a page with strips of mounts -- plus stamps -- is going to get pretty heavy pretty fast. A thin page won't support all that weight. But a 50-65# page weight will. Lighthouse, Schaubek, Scott, and other album makers generally use a heavier weight page. Harris Standard blank pages are much lighter weight than most other album makers use. I have a Harris Standard album, and its pages always seem too lightweight even for all the stamps -- without any mounts. Putting the mounts (and stamps) on only one side of the page would help, of course. Or add fewer mounts.

As for black or white, unlike most collectors, I generally prefer clear mounts over black. Black mounts do make the stamps stand out, no doubt about it, and it's a good look. But they also show your cutting imperfections in the mounts very clearly. And I can see finger smudges on black mounts much more easily than on clear mounts. Even more importantly to me, clear mounts can be mounted on the page without worrying too much about getting them precisely located down to the tiniest degree to match all the other mounts on that line of mounts. Thats' because they disappear more into the background of the page than black mounts do where you see very clearly if a mount is slightly off center. Mounting black mounts on an album page nearly always leaves a few mounts tilted slightly forever. Clear mounts also allow you to see the stamp illustration underneath as well as any other information in the stamp box -- which black background mounts don't. These are why all major album makers use clear mounts on their pages. Nothing wrong with black mounts if you prefer them, but there are trade-offs.

Good luck with your pages!
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Edited by DrewM - 05/01/2019 6:19 pm
Valued Member
United States
29 Posts
Posted 05/03/2019   07:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Germania to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I use Lighthouse blank pages. They make plastic pages with different numbers of strips and a blank paper background but I don't like them. Too heavy and thick and adding notes is very awkward. Here are two pages from one of my collections. The first page is the standard layout for a set of Germania with watermark, War Printing. The second page is the homemade stockpage with color varieties of one denomination from the same set.

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Valued Member
United States
408 Posts
Posted 05/03/2019   09:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add modernstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Looks Great! Very Impressive.
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Pillar Of The Community
558 Posts
Posted 05/06/2019   12:51 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, that looks very good. Can you tell us how that stock page was made? Are they regular strips of clear mounts with the adhesive on the back side?

I have someone else's home-made stock page using single-sided clear strips scotch taped to the page. Nothing could be a worse approach as the stamps sit beneath the clear strip with their perfs in the glue from the tape at the bottom. Do not do this. You can imagine how that can damage every single stamp. As you try to remove them from the page, you have to pull them out of the adhesive. Not well thought through at all.
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Valued Member
Austria
111 Posts
Posted 05/06/2019   05:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add tommtomm to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I found another way instead of those expensive transparent pages:
Some years ago - some of you may remember ;-) - everyone used negative strips. Professionals kept and still keep them in pages that can be filled with 7 strips.

If you buy 100 pcs, they cost about 20 Cent per page instead of more than 1,50 for e.g. the safe ones.

Here's a picture of it and how my German perfin collection looks like.

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Edited by tommtomm - 05/07/2019 02:03 am
Valued Member
United States
49 Posts
Posted 05/10/2019   12:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add moneil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Germania, I enjoyed seeing your pages, I was thinking I would switch to clear mounts for this in the future. However, I recalculated the value engineering for my album page with mount strips … IDY how I came up with $1.32 as I overwrote the original spread sheet calculations, but wish now that were true.

Neenah® Bright White Premium Card Stock, Ledger Size, 65 Lbs. (cut down to 9"x12" to fit a Harris album: 250 sheets @ $29.99 = $0.12 per sheet. Hawid 210mm x 39mm Top Loading Mounts: 25 strips per package @ 11.99 = $0.4796 per strip. Paper cost for one page = $0.12; Twelve mount strips per page (six each side) = $5.75.
Cost per page (double sided) = $5.87

By contrast, a Lighthouse Grande double sided stock sheet (5 – 8 rows) = $5.40 per package of 5 (Subway), or $1.08 per page … *sigh*.

I "might" be able to make it to PIPEX in Portland, OR this Sunday, which is 150 miles west of where I live. I've never been to a big show like that but I'm assuming that with 41 dealers there will supplies as well as stamps and it would be an opportunity to look at what's available in person, plus pick up some supplies without shipping costs.
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Valued Member
United States
49 Posts
Posted 05/22/2019   2:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add moneil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
An update:

I was happy to learn of the Grande size stock sheets (9-1/2"x12-1/3"), I was only familiar with the Vario size sheets. Angore mentioned "It is more a Hagner style page when using the regular mounts split in half on a larger page" – and off I went to look up Hagner pages – the outside vertical edge of the strip is unattached, which is a feature I like about my concept, they being easier to work with than the Lighthouse pockets which are only open at the top.

I wasn't able to make it to PIPEX to check out all the options but I went ahead and ordered the Grande 7 S ($5.29 for a package of 5 from iHobb). I have a guillotine style paper cutter with which I sheared 1/3" off the top and ½" off the outside edge, to have a sheet that is the 9"x"12 size of a Harris album page, and the pocket strip is unattached on the outside vertical edge, like a Hagner page. This cut does not appear to affect the integrity of the bottom weld of the strip to the sheet – I'm testing two before I "stack and whack" a bunch.

I think this will be a very workable solution, and more economical than my first approach.
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Valued Member
United States
29 Posts
Posted 05/23/2019   11:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Germania to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I made my "stock page" using a Lighthouse blank page with a quadrille background. That's my standard album page so everything matches. On sale 50 sheets cost $35 or $0.70 per sheet. Hawid strips cost $9.20 per 25 strips so 6 strips per page are $2.21. Total cost per page is $2.91. That's about the same as the Lighthouse LB page with the strips. My primary goal was not to save money but to save thickness and be able to easily write on the page.

By the way, the $0.70 per page looks like a bargain compared to buying a yearly supplement of 15 pages for $20 or more.
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