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Top Load Stamp Mounts From Taiwan

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Posted 10/04/2020   2:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add jabber to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi folks,

So, another oddball stamp-supply-related topic. <g>

A few years back I had occasion to travel to Taiwan annually on business, and while there I discovered a stamp shop I frequented a couple of times. (In Taipei, a few blocks from the Postal Museum, are a few stamp shops, a sort of mini-stamp district.) Great source for ROC and PRC stamps -- and it was heartening to see a few young collectors in the shop sorting through singles! -- but more to the point, they had racks up front of stamp mounts in strips.

They were about 70 cents (USD) a package for 20 strips - wildly cheap by USA prices for these things - and in a moment of weakness I bought about 75 packages of them on the spot since I didn't know when or if I'd ever be back there again.

So I only checked them out when back in the States and they are...well, different than what I'm used to. There were two brands but both seem to be the same make of mounts inside the package. Here are examples of the two...

One as you see says the mounts are "polystyrol" ... The red ones say at the bottom "Made in C-T, W-A-G" which I am guessing is "made in China - Taiwan" but no idea what the W-A-G might stand for.

So, my point in posting - these mounts are odd. They have the following traits:

1) They are all top-loading (like Hawid mounts) but quite thin/floppy so I'm wondering how well they will hold anything in place. Until today I'd only used split-back mounts. I'll experiment on some scrap pages.

2) They have no glue on the back of the mount to adhere to the album page.

As a test, I tried using a Hawid glue pen I had around to "seal" the tops of one these mounts, but the mount was having none of it - the glue just spread/smudged, didn't want to dry, and definitely did NOT stick. That pen is supposed to have a solvent action on compatible mounts, correct? I suppose this is a different plastic formulation.

So my question is....has anyone ever seen/used any such mounts or similar ones? I have seen some similar no-adhesive mounts on eBay now and then by what I think are sellers importing them from Asia, at 4X higher prices than what I paid, but no one online seems to have ever used these things...

If I end up adopting these, I was thinking of trying a tape runner to stick them down, or maybe the Hawid mount adhesive Hawid sells in little tubes (though I suspect that may not stick, either).
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Posted 10/04/2020   2:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jabber to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Experimented with these Taiwan-made mount strips a bit last weekend, putting some slightly curled 1949 UPU issues in the strips just to see how they lay, and this is the result this weekend - the mount's natural "spring" seems way too flimsy to resist the stamps' natural curl....

Disappointing. Hmmmm.

Also worth noting, these strips don't seem to have the little "margin" of adhesive that other mounts like Prinz and Scott have at the bottom and top (the split-back kind). They just seem fused together at the lower edge with almost no your stamp goes all the way to the bottom of the mount.

I have never used Hawid top-load mounts, do they tend to have a bit more "spring" to hold your stamp in place? I could see stamps flying out in all directions as I flip through an album using these.

John B
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Posted 10/05/2020   8:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
They must be held together by something or other at the bottom. Why not tear a few apart and try to see what it is? They can't just be folded over at the bottom since they're clear on the front and black on the back, so presumably they're two different pieces held together by something. I'd sure want to know what's holding them together since that's what the stamp may be touching.

As for the curling of those stamps, I'd imagine they'd flatten out a bit if they were inside an album due to the weight of the pages. Do other mounts hold curled stamps flat outside an album?

As for the lack of adhesive on the back, I'd try them on some scrap album pages using every kind of adhesive I could find, including double-sided tape, glue pens, and others to see if anything works. Leave them for a few weeks and see if they hold well or if the glue comes loose, migrates, ruins the pages , or other problems. No stamps inside, of course, while testing adhesive. This wouldn't be a very long-term test but would at least give you some input before deciding if they might be okay to use.

I wonder if they're actually designed to be glued to the page in the first place? Lack of adhesive makes me wonder. Maybe they're designed to be used some other way? I have no idea what that would be, though.

I'd read up on "Polystyrol" (is it the same as Polystyrene?) or whatever this plastic is to find out what's good and bad about it. Does it accept adhesives? Does it affect what it touches over time? And so on. It would make me a little nervous to put my stamps into something that hadn't been proven to be good for stamps as other mounts have.

Also, someone in Taiwan must know about these mounts. Maybe the seller? A Chinese stamp society? Chinese stamp publications? Of course there's a language problem, but if you had the company's email address, a request might turn up some information (assuming you got it translated going in both directions -- use Google Translate for that).
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Edited by DrewM - 10/05/2020 8:15 pm
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Posted 10/05/2020   8:30 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If I spent $50 on unknown mounts as they are described above, I would simply write them off as a bad investment and move on. I would not risk investing more time in them and I would not risk my stamps in them.
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Posted 10/05/2020   10:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add moneil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hopefully there may be forum members from Taiwan who will see this thread and be able to respond to you from experience.

Drew gave an excellent suggestion of writing to a philatelic source in Taiwan, perhaps the manufacturer, or the stamp shop if you have contact information. There may not be that much of a language barrier, I'm guessing a lot of Taiwanese probable have some English language ability. I notice that one of the two packages pictured appears to have mostly English language text. Wikipedia has the following note about languages in Taiwan: English is widely taught as a foreign language, with some large private schools providing English instruction. Taiwan's government proposed to make English a second official language by 2030.

I agree with Drew that the "curling" will probable flatten out from the weight pressure of being in an album.

I use mostly Hawid top load mounts (or Scott and Showgard cut down the middle to make a top mount), which all have adhesive on their back. However I often use stamp hinges to affix the mounts to an album page so I can reorganize those pages later. This has worked well for me.
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Posted 10/05/2020   11:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add No1philatelist to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Generally, I dont believe any mounts manufactured today are joined by adhesive, but would expect all stamp mounts to be heat/pressure welded when being manufactured. As for being flimsy and no gum I would not want to use them in any books in my collection.

Just use them to mount stuff your selling. A collection your selling at auction, or in stock books or cards to highlight better issues. The purchaser probably wont use the mount anyway.
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Posted 10/06/2020   2:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Coastwatcher to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If you end up deciding to use these mounts, you might wish to try Elmer's Craft Bond repositionable glue sticks to mount them. I have used them with great success to remount mounts that have come loose. They are available in most craft stores.

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Posted 10/06/2020   6:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As with all suggestions about using a particular brand of glue in a stamp album environment, I hope you'll do some "long-term" teasting to see what happens. Does the glue bleed through the page? Some early hingeless albums, including those by Scott, had a major problem with this. Does the glue remain attached over time? Does the glue migrate at all? And any other questions you can think of.

At one point I tested maybe 20 brands of stamp hinges just to see which worked well and which didn't. It was very revealing -- and extremely simple to do. All stamp hinges hold stamps just fine. But nearly all stamp hinges are very difficult to remove from the page and from the stamp. Some are so bad they are likely to damage both. This helped me decide how to mount my stamps.

You might glue some mounts to a scrap album page using this glue (and others, if possible) and then subject the page to heat, cold, page flexing, and time. After a few months, you'll have at least a partial answer. Might be very useful. And it couldn't be easier to do. Obviously, waiting years would be even better, but at my age I'm no longer recommending that anymore!
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Edited by DrewM - 10/06/2020 6:32 pm
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