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Hingeless Album Choice

 
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Posted 10/04/2019   5:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Soda Ant to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I'm just getting back into collecting after a long absence and would like to move my collection of mint U.S. commemoratives from stockbooks into albums.

I think I'd like to get a set of hingeless albums to cover up to 1975 (the cutoff date of my collection) to avoid having to buy various size mounts. I've found two potential candidates: the Mystic Hingeless American Heirloom Album and the Schaubek US Scott Hingeless albums.

The Schaubek albums are about twice the price as the Mystic albums. Are they worth the extra cost? Are they more comprehensive or is the quality better?

I notice that both of these use clear mounts--are there any hingeless albums with black mounts?

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Posted 10/04/2019   6:29 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There are several other manufacturers, including Lighthouse and Yvert/Marini. Manufacturers don't use black mounts because they obscure the information in the box where the stamp is positioned.
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Posted 10/04/2019   6:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Palo
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Posted 10/04/2019   8:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Coastwatcher to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have the first three volumes of Mystic's American Heirloom hingeless albums, which go to 1984, and couldn't be happier with them. For the cost, they can't be beat. I also have Palo and Lighthouse hingeless albums for other countries and the Mystics have one thing that they do not. They have information about the stamps on the back of the preceding page which, I feel, takes advantage of wasted space. Mystic is also licensed by Scott to include Scott numbers in the album, something which, to my knowledge, no other hingeless US albums offer. If you end up trying the Mystics, I don't think that you'll be disappointed.
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Edited by Coastwatcher - 10/04/2019 9:02 pm
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Posted 10/04/2019   10:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Oracle of Delphi to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've tried three U.S. hingeless albums - Palo, Schaubek, Mystic. As I've posted previously, I've had problems with the pages in the Mystic albums starting to curl as more stamps get mounted and with the Schaubek split back mounts which left marks on some of my mint stamps. Although I still use the Mystic albums for my more modern stamps, I now use Palo for my older and/or more valuable stamps. Although the lack of Scott numbers makes it a bit more challenging and the descriptions on the Mystic pages are very helpful, I've used all that as an opportunity to educate myself more about each stamp. Good luck.
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Posted 10/06/2019   12:51 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add poofo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have my European collection in a Lindner hingless albums, and my US on in Safe hingless albums. The illustrated pages have black borders on the illustrations, so the stamps have a black border on a cream colored page. The Lindner albums follow the Michel catalog nubers, and the Safe ones follow Scott -- which works well for me because I find Michel better for Europe and Scott better for US stuff. For both albums I mount used examples on the background pages under the film.
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Posted 10/11/2019   3:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Soda Ant to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Is there a resource that lists the types of mount (top-open or split-back) used by each of the hingeless albums. For some reason, album manufacturers don't seem to include this information on their websites.
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Posted 10/11/2019   5:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Walkman82 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Soda Ant,

Here's a long discussion about the different types of albums to consider:

http://goscf.com/t/17127&whichpage=1

Hope this helps.

Scott
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Posted 10/11/2019   7:47 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Although I still use the Mystic albums for my more modern stamps, I now use Palo for my older and/or more valuable stamps. Although the lack of Scott numbers makes it a bit more challenging and the descriptions on the Mystic pages are very helpful, I've used all that as an opportunity to educate myself more about each stamp. Good luck.


Even though the Scott numbers aren't printed on the pages, Palo lays out the pages in Scott listing order, which makes things MUCH easier than navigating Lindner, Safe, Lighthouse, or Davo hingeless albums, at least for those of us that are U.S. collectors and are used to Scott's organization.
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Posted 10/11/2019   9:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Oracle of Delphi to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
revenuecollector - Good point. In fact, when I was transferring my stamps from the Mystic albums to the Palo, or when I'm mounting new stamps, I had them side by side since the organization of each followed the other almost exactly except for a few items, so I was able to use the Scott #s in the Mystic album as a guide.
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Posted 10/13/2019   12:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Be sure to include paper quality as part of your consideration of which album to use. Heavier weight paper will withstand years of use better, and it will deal with the weight of mounts and stamps better, as well. Pages that tear, holes that rip, paper too thin to support the stamps are not going to endear you to that album. I'm not sure what paper weight the Mystic albums have. ore expensive albums tend to use heavier paper for these reasons. Often you can request a sample page from an album manufacturer -- unless you're in a big rush to buy. Most do-it-yourself albums seem to use about 65 pound paper which is a good deal thicker than normal printer paper. Heavier than that gets into the lighter versions of cardboard which are even sturdier. Some collectors use 100 pound paper.

My experience with Schaubek pages has been very good. Their paper is high quality, somewhere around 65 pound weight, give or take, they're sturdy in use, and the feel of the paper is smooth and pleasant. But my Schaubek pages are blank pages. I'm not sure what the Scott/Amos Media/Schaubek U.S. album pages are, but they're probably the same.

Since hingeless stamp albums cost a lot of money to manufacture (I think the mounts are attached by hand), I'd want to know where the manufacturer of the cheaper album was cutting corners. Do they supply cheaper binders, use cheaper paper, and so on, to keep their price down.

Also consider the binding system used. Most people who choose loose-leaf or ring albums do so because they prefer having pages lie flat rather than curved as they use the album. They also make adding and removing pages much easier. On the other hand, having large metal rings staring you in the face may not appeal to your sense of all that is beautiful. I find rings unappealing as they look industrial and inelegant. Or maybe they remind me too much of school notebooks! I prefer post-bound albums where the binding system is less noticeable.

If you're sold on ring binders, there are alternatives to the U.S. 3-ring format. Various numbers of rings are used by different album manufacturers. To me, more and smaller rings generally look better than three large rings. I don't want to feel like I'm storing trucking invoices. It's a stamp album. I've used the European 22-ring binders a few times which look a lot better to me. They're sold by European dealers and blank or printed pages are easy to get from the UK and elsewhere. Add a little for shipping costs, of course. But they would only be options for your use if you purchased a Marini (Italian) hingeless U.S. album (uses 22 rings). Lighthouse and other manufacturers all use a different number of rings. Shaubek's is 6 rings. Go figure. All will be expensive.

Ditto for Palo albums which are also very expensive. They use their own (somewhat strange) 5-ring format. Their page layouts are from Bill Steiner's pages sold mainly for do-it-yourself album makers but with a different border. Perhaps other changes have been made, as well. You can buy Palo album pages in color (but why?) or b&w. Another seller of hingeless albums for U.S. stamps is Davo. Also expensive and only available as a 2-post album, not loose-leaf with rings. They don't do ring binders. From stamp #1 to the present, some of these albums will eventually set you back a cool $2K for "just" an album. But having stamp mounts already on the pages costs a lot of money. One binder and one set of pages every month or so will spread out the expense, though, instead of buying it all at once.

For a printed U.S. hingeless album like you want, you have a lot of choices from very expensive like Lighthouse to Mystic's less expensive album. I use a Scott National album, but it's not hingeless. Scott/Amos Media uses the Schaubek hingeless to fill a gap in their merchandise since they don't normally sell Hingeless albums (They once did, but it didn't' work so well). The Scott/Schaubek album is pretty expensive but very high quality. And you should have no problem getting annual supplements later. Between it and the Mystic, on the whole, it's probably a better quality album. You could always buy it one volume at a time to spread out the expense. Sometimes there are used albums for sale on eBay which might be worth looking for.

Good luck.
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Edited by DrewM - 10/13/2019 12:50 am
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Posted 10/16/2019   4:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Soda Ant to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for all the replies, everyone.

After spending about fourteen hours this past weekend researching hingeless U.S. albums on this site and elsewhere, I've concluded that none of the available options are right for me, so I've decided to make my own album. I've been an Adobe InDesign user for almost twenty years and have all the equipment to layout, print, punch, and mount the pages. The only downside is the amount of time needed to research the material for the pages (I intend to put more than just stamp outlines and catalog numbers on the pages).

Since my printer is only capable of 8-1/2x11, I'm restricted to that size, although I'd prefer something larger. The 12x12 size used by scrapbookers would be ideal, but I have no way of printing that size.

I noticed in my research that many commercial albums use more than three rings--sometimes up to thirteen or more. I can see the advantages of this. Anyone know of a source of binders in this pattern, along with a punch? A quick check of Amazon, Staples, etc., didn't turn up anything.

Since I prefer black mounts, creating my own album will let me choose this option over the clear mounts used by all of the commercial hingeless albums (that I've seen).
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Posted 10/16/2019   5:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Walkman82 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Soda Ant,

Good choice to make your own albums, that's what I decided to do 10 years ago when I restarted my collection. My pages are 8 x 11 and stored in Lighthouse 3-ring binders. I also chose black mounts and recommend a good guillotine cutter for the mounts. I have a Showgard orthomatic (guillotine) cutter I've been using for 20 or 30 years now. If you have any questions about page production, let me know. You can check out my website at the URL below for more info.
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Posted 10/16/2019   5:51 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
22-ring is the closest to a generic binder, and is used by Gibbons and Yvert/Marini. However, I've never found a 22-ring hole punch on eBay uk or Amazon UK. Lighthouse, Lindner and others use their own ring formulation for their albums, presumably to prevent mixing and matching by collectors.
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Posted 10/16/2019   7:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add moneil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Since my printer is only capable of 8-1/2x11, I'm restricted to that size, although I'd prefer something larger. The 12x12 size used by scrapbookers would be ideal, but I have no way of printing that size.


I started to update and organize my collection last winter after 15 years of mostly acquiring but not mounting so much. I really like the larger Harris 9" x 12" page size that my existing albums have, I decided on Steiner (modified from 8.5x11 to 9x12 with Libre Office Draw) pages or designing my own over buying supplements (much more economical and I can choose my preferred layout and paper quality), but like most I had no way of printing them.

I would take pdf files on a thumb drive to Office Depot or FedEx Kinko's and get my pages printed for US $0.15 a piece, bringing my own paper. At first I was buying Harris blank pages from Whitman Publishing but starting buying better quality paper in ledger (11" x 17") size and cutting it down myself with a guillotine paper cutter, which I already owned.

Then I noticed the HP Officejet Pro 7740 Wireless Color Wide-Format All-in-One Printer, which lists at $279.00. That's way more than I wanted to pay for a printer, but I would need a new printer soon and this one periodically goes on sale, I purchased mine for $199.00. It will also allow me to scan my larger album pages.

So far I've been very happy, having printed about 50 album pages so far, on the size paper I prefer.

Just another option to consider.
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Posted 10/16/2019   8:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Andyrich74 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just another voice adding to the conversation; but went with Steiner pages for my Ecuador collection, and just printed Lundy Island; with French West Africa/French Guinea and hopefully Japan and early Philippines later this year to follow all on 8 1/2" x 11" on 65 lb. card stock. Quite happy with them, and with the heavier card stock, do not have any of the issues with a standard 3-ring binder wearing the holes in pages out like with my US collection in ye olde Harris Liberty albums. Black Showgard mounts work pretty well on said stock, and I use a pretty inexpensive HP laser printer.

I did go with the Davo Luxe hingeless for my Israel collection; they are fantastic in terms of quality and appearance; really more showpieces (in my opinion) than working albums. Volume 3 probably has more value in the book than the stamps!

Moneil, I too would have liked to have gone with the 9" x 12" size, but could not seem to find a binder to accommodate that size, other than the off the shelf Harris 3-rings. What do you use?

Soda Ant, would like to see what you end up doing though; and best of luck!
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