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Spine Filler Strips For Scott International Regular Binders...

 
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Posted 01/21/2021   6:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add jabber to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Two questions on filler strips for Scott International...

(1) Were/are these strips actually manufactured specifically for the Big Blue 2-post round binders? (The only ones I tend to see sold are for the square-post Specialty-style binders.)

(2) Anyone had experience making their own? (Seems like it can't be that hard - thick cardboard and a hole puncher? - though I worry about the aesthetics.)

(3) Thoughts on whether these filler strips are really needed in the Regular size (300 page rated) Scott International binders (vs in the Jumbos)?

(Giving them some thought since I am moving 21 Jumbo binders into smaller Regular binders.)

Best
John B
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Posted 01/21/2021   6:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Spacers will help any peg-bound album when it comes to bulging and lying flat. You'll barely see them, so the look shouldn't be much of an issue.
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Posted 01/21/2021   6:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, speaking from experience you will want to use spacers in the 300 page Specialty binders. I ended up purchasing mine from scrapbook supply places, Amazon and Palo also stocks foam spacers.
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Posted 01/21/2021   10:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add No1philatelist to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Gentlemen, if you cannot easily find or access fillers or replacements for your cardboard damaged or discolored ones you can easily make your own. Great for replacing those foolish foamy ones they put in FDC albums too.

Coroplast or corrugated white plastic sign board, available in black also, can be accessed at home depot, craft stores and sign shops; and just about everywhere. Lots of used Election signs available for free now in the US.

It can easily be cut to size and shape with scissors, utility knife or fine blade. Lay the old one on plastic, draw the outline of old one including holes, and cut with use of steel straight edge. Then punch the holes you need with a hole punch or die cut to shape.
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Edited by No1philatelist - 01/22/2021 10:03 pm
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Posted 01/21/2021   10:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have a project waiting for me at home right now. I bought some cardstock, a hole punch, and some hole-reinforcers, and I will be re-arranging my Big Blues. I figured since I was going to be re-arranging things anyway, I ought to get another binder (my 1st 10 volumes are getting 'bulgy') and put the pages in the order that ***I*** want them to be, spread the 10 volumes out between 11 binders, add glassine interleaving between the 'busiest' pages, and add spacer strips to take up the slack at the 'base' of the pages. It really isn't a big deal to make your own spacers, and like GeoffHa said, they are mostly hidden. I see some of the prices on some of these philatelic supplies (pre-made filler strips are a good example) and I just figure I can do it myself. I can use the thickness and color of my choice, and I can do any other custom work that I may want.

If you have the rectangular-shaped 'posts' (can't remember the technical term), I have found that two or three overlapping round hole-punches (like a 2 or 3 'sphered' snowman) get the job done just fine. You will never see the holes while flipping through your albums. I find these 'side-trips' through philately to be fun. If you see this type of thing as work, go with the pre-mades!
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Posted 01/22/2021   12:15 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Walmart sells the spacers, 12 for $1.95. Cheap. Or you can take the science project route which some people like to do. It burns time and you get to work with your hands.
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Posted 01/22/2021   02:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
To answer your first question, I don't remember ever seeing "filler strips" (I call them "page spacers") sold for the blue Scott International albums, and Amos Media doesn't sell them today. They do sell spacers for the green rectangular post Specialty albums, so I've always wondered why in the world they don't make them for the other album? I've even written to them asking this (and other) questions. Good luck getting an answer.

Yes, you can make spacers, (sorry "filler strips"), but be aware that whatever color of cardboard you choose WILL be visible to some extent between the pages. At first I just used whatever cardboard I had lying around and while that works fine, grey cardboard spacers don't really improve the look of an album with white (or off-white) pages. I'd use white cardboard which is what they use for the Scott Specialty album spacers. Spacers for the Scott Specialty albums aren't a bad bargain, by the way, since you get a couple dozen in an envelope for maybe $10, and they're cut well and have the holes properly cut.

You can punch a few round holes to produce a "sort of" rectangular hole, but honestly that doesn't end up looking very good. Actual rectangular holes also won't slide around. But that's for Specialty albums, and we're talking about International albums now which have round posts, and round holes can be made with any hole punch. To punch the holes accurately, use a filler strip or an album page as your template.

As for which cardboard to use, you want something like white shirt cardboard (from the dry cleaners -- do they still do that?) or maybe you can buy some at an office supply store. Don't use thick cardboard. It's much too hard to hole punch, and it will space the pages too far apart and look very strange. It's best to use spacers more often than to use fewer spacers less often.

A paper cutter will make cutting the cardboard strips much easier and you'll get the widths more accurate that way than if you have to resort to using scissors. And get ready for painful hands that way. Hole punching is a good workout for your hands, too, so think of the health benefits. What else do you have to do during a pandemic, anyway?
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Edited by DrewM - 01/22/2021 02:31 am
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Posted 01/22/2021   3:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
DrewM wrote: "I don't remember ever seeing "filler strips" sold for the blue Scott International albums....." Big Blue International spacers did exist.

They were made by a Chicago company called Harco. I have a box of 24 that I've used for my Big Blue albums. The Harco spacers are darker cardboard, but are unobtrusive, and are 1/10 CM thick.

I did a browser inquiry for Harco in Chicago and all I came up with was an eBay seller of Vintage Harco coin albums. Harco also made some liners to protect your page holes, and I have some of those. I recall, vaguely, getting the spacers in the 1980s, since I bought my Big Blue albums around 1983.

I have some of the Scott spacers made for specialty albums. And I also have some good hole punchers to convert them for use in my International albums.
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Edited by Climber Steve - 01/22/2021 3:04 pm
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Posted 01/22/2021   3:55 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Using cardboard is not good stewardship advice, carboard will become acidic over time and can cause damage. There are many examples of the carboard spacer strips toning album pages.

There are many archival websites and online resources which can help further our understanding on proper paper conservation. Of primary importance is the environment that we should be maintaining reduce potential damage or loss. The variance between environments is one of the reasons why anecdotal posts are of limited value. I recommend doing discovery and research on paper conservation (use something like Google Scholar search engine rather then general search engines https://scholar.google.com/ ).
Don
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Posted 01/23/2021   11:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"using cardboard is not good stewardship advice......." Which is why I use glassine interleaving on each side of a spacer. Have not seen any sign of toning in 3+ decades. But, as noted above, one does need to take steps. I also live in a fairly dry, semi-arid, climate.
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Edited by Climber Steve - 01/23/2021 11:28 am
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Posted 01/23/2021   12:59 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Direct contact is not need to result in damage. The acidic environment is the issue, paper breathes and is constantly trying to equalize with the surrounding atmosphere. I agree that it is likely that your stable southwest environment greatly helps in limiting these kinds of issues.
Don
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Posted 01/24/2021   2:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jabber to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the advice, all. Another alternative I was thinking of was a thin plastic, as an alternative to the cardboard (originally I was thinking of slicing up white poster board on a paper cutter) but I suppose I should look into the reactivity of any such material in close contact with the pages, especially as they'll be tightly packed.

I'm in a more variable climate than the Southwest, for sure (New York area, so a distinct four seasons and humid at times.)

Anyone have any thoughts on what an ideal ratio of spacers to pages might be? (1:20, 1:50, 1:100?) Depends on just how "full" the pages are?

Also for those who have used/handled the Harco Scott International Blue and Scott Specialized fill strips, how would you describe the thickness of the material used? DrewM suggested shirt cardboard, is that the approximate thickness you are seeing?
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Posted 01/24/2021   2:56 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Avoid any plastic with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), also known as vinyl.

Acrylic plastics or ABS plastics are considered inert and a should be good choice for this purpose.
Don
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