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Experience With/Advice Around Scott Binder Repair?

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Valued Member
United States
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Posted 10/06/2020   4:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Greaden to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I used black duct tape to reinforce the spine of a black Ceres album about 15 years ago. Reading this thread I went to check up on it. Some glue seems to have oozed out of the tape, but there is no other sign of damage. The interior of the album is unaffected.
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Pillar Of The Community
925 Posts
Posted 10/06/2020   5:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Let me add a (much shorter!!) comment about how to repair a bent spine on these albums. If your album falls on the floor, the top or bottom of the spine will likely get severely bent. Here's what I use:

Needle-nose pliers.

That's all you need. These are the longer, narrower pliers. Use them to gently bend back any bent metal. Won't regular pliers work? They might, but my experience is that they have more aggressive "teeth" and so they tear up the covering more than smoother needle-nose pliers. Anyway, whichever you use, this can fix bent spines easily and quickly.

Also, Steve is correct that adding page "spacers" will spread the pages out more. This helps somewhat with the curving of pages that makes mounting stamps more difficult. I imagine extremely curved pages also stresses stamp mounts and stamp hinges more which may make them less likely to stay attached. Spacers also have the benefit of taking up some room, so you end up with fewer pages in the album.

Nevertheless. . . you solve the problem of a huge number of pages in your album most effectively by not having so many pages in your album in the first place, and you do that most easily by starting with a smaller album.

Finally, one correction to what I wrote. If the outer hinge on an album is where the tear is, that's the hinge you'll have to cut. Don't slice open a good inside hinge. Then apply glue and tape. If the inside hinge is torn, cut that hinge open, then add glue and so on. What I wrote was a little too insistent that you should slice open only the inside hinge. What matters most is where the tearing has happened. But I'd still much prefer the tape go on the inside hinge, not the outside. Based on my experience, it will just work better there.

Maybe I should have been a librarian?


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Edited by DrewM - 10/06/2020 6:10 pm
Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 10/06/2020   7:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Drew wrote: "and you do that most easily by starting with a smaller album....." In hindsight, the regular sized Internationals would have been the better way for me to go back in the 1980s. By going Jumbo, I saved money, which was in somewhat short supply at the time.
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United States
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Posted 01/21/2021   5:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jabber to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi folks,

So, an update on this repair/reclamation project - repairing or replacing 9 badly damaged Scott Jumbo binders. I finally got up the courage to attack this and examine each of the binders in detail to see what could be done with them the last few weekends. What I learned: Do NOT drop a full Jumbo binder from 5 feet to a hardwood floor. Especially, don't drop a shelf full of them!

I realize now why the binders split so badly on the hinges- the actual metal spines of the binders are flattened/bent/dented where they hit the floor. As I opened each of them in turn to take the pages out and see what could be done to repair them, they tended to split even more. Several have covers now just hanging by the cloth portion, and repair with binders/gaffers tape will be impossible without reshaping the actual spine to the original ")" shape.

On some of them, the binder's ")" shape is curved like that at the binder bottom, but near the top it's more like a "|". Not good! Also, the impact was hard enough that many of binder rods and tubes are bent enough in place to make removing them pretty tough without pliers, and putting them back in, impossible.

I've resigned myself to buying a bunch of the Scott Regular/Small binders, new and used, and starting over, with the aim of getting this collection into the smaller binders. Having played with a few of those, they are indeed SO much more manageable.

That said, I'm still thinking to try and bang these Jumbo binders back into shape as I empty them, for use as "beaters" for duplicates and the like. (And will slowly divest myself of the rest of the undamaged Jumbos.) The tricky thing is, I think I may need to use a rubber mallet or something like that, and mock up a wooden template or form, to beat the spines back into their proper ")" shape. Improvising how to un-dent a Scott binder is going to be a weird weekend project; ideas welcome!

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Posted 01/21/2021   5:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jabber to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I also wanted to say a huge thank you to all of you for your suggestions (DrewM, especially, for your detailed replies regarding repair strategy!), which I hope will help others trying to repair these fragile buggers down the line.

DrewM, I did try some needle nose pliers on one of the most-dented binders (I first wrapped the spine surface with a rag as a buffer to avoid tearing up the plastic), but the problem is that these "dents" are so big/wide, they really extend across the whole binder spine width. The best analogy is probably, the car didn't just get rear-ended, the trunk ended up in the back seat. Pliers just bend a small portion of the spine back, and leave a wavy/lumpy spine, in this case.

The only thing I can think of is to create a curved jig in wood that matches the curvature of the spine, top to bottom, and try and tap these back into shape with a mallet!

I think, ultimately, these are the Scott binder equivalent of "totalled". <g> And DrewM, you are right about the size of these things. Even the Regular size are hefty; I won't miss lifting these Jumbos at all once they are gone.

I actually have an old Ikea liquor cart in my living room that I would use to transport these Jumbos from the shelves to the couch, they are so heavy! (With Scott catalog set stowed on the bottom shelf of the cart, by the way. No room for actual booze.)

John B
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