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Separating Pages From Stamp Booklet

 
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Valued Member
9 Posts
Posted 10/23/2022   5:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add wonfish to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I've searched this topic and saw discussions from 10-15 years ago. But have so far seen no really good solutions.

I am the beneficiary of stamp booklets from the 1940's to the present. I really would like to separate the sheetlets. Of course, different books use different types of adhesives. (I'm not concerned about the real old ones that were stapled.) I tried the freezer method with total failure. As a polymer chemist, I know that water-based adhesives won't separate in the cold. Some polymer-based ones (like rubber cement) might but haven't tried that with those.

Is there really a solvent for water-based adhesives that will work in general while leaving mint stamps completely untouched.
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Edited by wonfish - 10/23/2022 5:40 pm

Bedrock Of The Community
Australia
37418 Posts
Posted 10/23/2022   6:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Can you not keep the booklets intact,
and find exploded views of each online ?

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
3052 Posts
Posted 10/23/2022   7:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If there were a solvent to leave water-based gum intact, it would have been discovered and heavily touted long ago.

I'm sure you have found that panes are often very securely attached. To be more manageable in albums, usually the cover cardboard is sacrificed/destroyed to keep the selvage intact. Sure, you end up with a strip with some cover remnant on the back of the selvage. Sometimes covers are glued weakly and panes can be easily detached.

If you are collecting these, at least by the early 1990s, unfolded booklet panes (without covers) were made available from the philatelic bureau. So, the fragility of (say) the 1990 Indian headdress booklet panes is avoided.
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Edited by hy-brasil - 10/23/2022 9:24 pm
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United States
1620 Posts
Posted 10/23/2022   8:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You can pull the staples, cut or tear covers off or just tear off the stamps from the tab. Some just fold the cover back flatten and mount covers and stamps. For booklets with just one folded pane, those are merely opened and displayed cover and all. But why? Except for C10a where the value of the two NH panes equals the value of the complete booklet with two panes, intact booklets are more valuable than when exploded.

Allow me a slight exaggeration but what you are saying is I have been given a sets of complete sheets of both the Columbians and Trans-Mississippi so what is the best way to remove the plate blocks for my plate block album.

Frankly, if you post trades, you could just trade the unexploded booklets for the one or two different panes contained within. Or, asking at you stamp club would work too.


Quote:
Is there really a solvent for water-based adhesives that will work in general while leaving mint stamps completely untouched.


But sadly, you have only stumbled upon the secret wish of every collector of mint stamps, living or dead.

Edited for one "is" only.
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Edited by Parcelpostguy - 10/23/2022 8:44 pm
Valued Member
Switzerland
6 Posts
Posted 10/23/2022   9:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add drkohler to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
First question would be: Are your booklets US booklets? If yes, before you start, make sure you do not explode a rare(r) cover variety..
And the second question would be: "Do you want to keep the covers?

That brings back memories of Robert E. Kitson who was the "How to remove panes from US booklets" guy, back in the dark ages of US booklet collecting.
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Edited by drkohler - 10/23/2022 9:42 pm
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1106 Posts
Posted 10/24/2022   3:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is the main reason (besides cost) I don't collect booklets anymore. With stapled booklets, you can gently rmove staples. And anyway they rust, so that's probably a good idea. With sewn booklets, it's not hard to snip the threads carefully and remove the separate pages. I never much cared about the covers or the value. I'm a stamp collector, not a stamp investor. But it's an ongoing problem I never could quite resolve as some booklets defy separating well. Plus there's the bulk of booklets, meaning their thickness which I never liked. Not trying to discourage you, but I have empathy with the eternal struggles of booklet collectors. How do you even mount them except in those slots or pockets on plastic pages since normal album paper doesn't work well? And if you mount the booklets closed, don't you then have to open each booklet to view the stamps? That seems a little counterproductive. And so on . . . . which is why I'm settling for a single pane from booklets and letting someone else do the removing.
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Learn More...
9446 Posts
Posted 10/24/2022   3:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If anyone wants an album to store complete booklets G&K produces them in both vertical and horizontal format.

https://www.subwaystamp.com/Booklet...oducts/1669/
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Valued Member
9 Posts
Posted 10/24/2022   4:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wonfish to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Actually, as a physical chemist who spent decades in the study of surfaces, I know it should be theoretically possible to find a solvent to separate the two. An adhesive is tightly bound for example to a paper fiber but does not dissolve the fiber. Paper fibers will bond to polar surfaces like water and to non-polar oily surfaces. The problem is that there will not be one solvent to break the paper and adhesive bond of all stamps and substrates because it will depend on the adhesive and the type of paper coating. (Almost all papers are coated.) Or damage the stamp ink of course or the original gum.

I was just hoping there was a miracle solvent that has come along recently.

Also, I would never explode booklets with any real value. I have been collecting for about 65 years and can't count the number of stamps I have soaked off of paper.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
3052 Posts
Posted 10/24/2022   8:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There's more to paper than just compressed paper fibers, so any solvent would have to be able to deal with all the parts. There are also sizing and binder chemicals, perhaps including some of the same chemicals in the glue used.

This is why off-the-drugstore-shelf 3% hydrogen peroxide is never recommended for cleaning/bleaching stained stamps. Not only are paper fibers weakened but the sizing appears to be thoroughly removed as well. Even a brief trip through a bath of peroxide and washing with water leaves a very limp and fragile result. You may have experimented with this yourself.
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