a large collection, which I'm gradually melding into my own albums. Unfortunately, the previous owner used Crystal Mounts, so some of the stamps, particularly blocks, have been affected by shrinkage and need to be remounted. Showgards are my natural first choice, but there are LOTS of low value mint stamps in this collection; transferring them all to Showgards would put a serious dent in my philatelic budget. Just for fun, I started fiddling around with ways to make my own stamp mounts, and after a good deal of trial and error, have worked out a method which seems satisfactory. It seems almost TOO satisfactory, in fact, and I suspect there is some reason that what I'm doing is not a good idea.
The process requires 1) top mounting archival clear sheet protectors, 2) a steel ruler, 3) a lightweight soldering iron, 4) self-adhesive paper labels, and 5) a metal surface to work on. All these items were already at hand, so no cost was involved. The stamp or block is inserted in the sheet protector against a crease, and, using the ruler as a straight edge, the soldering iron is used to seal the other three sides closely around the item, taking care not to touch the stamp itself with the hot iron. A small gap is left open on one side so the stamp can 'breathe'. One quickly learns at what speed to move the iron, so that the material seals without melting through. A scissors is then used to separate the sealed items. Small pieces of the self-adhesive stickers are applied as backing, upon which a stamp hinge is affixed for mounting to the album page.
So far I've mounted several hundred stamps this way without damaging any of them or burning myself.
At the risk of exposing myself to ridicule, I submit this idea to the forum as something to consider, and perhaps to generate discussion and get some tips from others who may have already tried it. You are invited to tell me all the reasons why I shouldn't do this.