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Make Your Own Stamp Mounts

 
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Posted 03/01/2021   6:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add clearsig to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I inherited 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.


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Posted 03/01/2021   7:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Obviously it works for you. I would question the "archival" claims made by sheet protector purveyors. What is the unit cost to mount one stamp? I use Hawid top mount strips. Most of the strips are 215mm long and come in packs of 25. I fit 4 horizontal commemoratives in one strip for a total of 100 stamps per $7 package which is a per stamp mount cost of 7 cents. Considering my time it is a no-brainer. It also makes for a very "clean: presentation. No offense but your welds are pretty obvious and the heat has browned the plastic. It is your hobby however and I applaud your ingenuity.

PS: Have you thought of using a heat sealer to make long quick welds along an entire line and then cut as desired?
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Posted 03/01/2021   11:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Hal to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
HI Clearsig....

Make sure to leave one full-side of your mount open --not just a small gap~! Some air needs to get into the mount. Paper needs to "breathe"..there are usually made from "natural fibre" and wood" -- especially with gum or adhesive on the reverse side have to out-gas, otherwise, over time, the paper will degrade, especially if the plastic is not acid-free. If the paper is gummed, and your mount is sealed on four sides, the water and chemicals in the ink and coating on the paper (and plasticizer, if any) will react (leach) across the paper reacting with the gum/adhesive causing it to "glaze." or degrade. Anyone having experience with buying old collections mounted in "Crystal Mounts" can tell horror stories on how stamps have been ruined by stamps "sealed" in plastic.

Have fun!
Hal





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Edited by Hal - 03/01/2021 11:57 pm
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Posted 03/02/2021   05:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You made customized sleeves similar like those used for cover holders that are also made of polypropylene.
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Al
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Posted 03/03/2021   09:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As Roger said, it works for you.

For me, seems like a lot of work to protect what you describe as low value mint stamps. If they are "low value" as never hinged, I would be hinging mine.
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Posted 03/03/2021   10:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
To each his own, but this seems like investing a LOT of time into the mounting logistics which have already been solved with hinges, various brands of mounts, Vario pages, etc. - and probably at minimal cost savings - and a loss especially when the value of one's time is calculated.
I might use it occasionally for an odd-dimension item, but don't have the time otherwise.
Gut feeling, this method seems to be asking for trouble in the long run.
And, I'd rather spend my time with my stamps than manufacturing mounts.
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Posted 03/03/2021   10:25 pm  Show Profile Check docgfd's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add docgfd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Clearsig, your end product is attractive and I congratulate you on a job well done.
With not enough hours in a day as it is, were I in your shoes and hell-bent on not applying hinges even to low value MNH stamps, I would have searched thru various auction listings for lots made up of supplies. These type of lots, many consisting of just mounts, appear fairly regularly at auction, and the savings can be dramatic.
For me, I would rather spend my time differently, but if you're enjoying adding this personal touch to your collection, by all means have at it!
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Posted 03/04/2021   05:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
and a loss especially when the value of one's time is calculated.


Some think stamp collecting is a complete waste of time.
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Al
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Posted 03/09/2021   09:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add soccerfan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Congratulations; if you have the extra time it is beneficial. Perhaps you could sell the mounts and make some extra money.
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United Kingdom
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Posted 03/28/2021   07:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Goodwin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Innovative but pretty ugly I'm afraid. I'd stick to Davo Easy mounts for mint and hinges for used unless the stamps are valuable in which case it's Davo Easy again.
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Italy
31 Posts
Posted 04/02/2021   11:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add MaryMonty to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Bumping this DIY topic with an experiment I was trying with remains I had in my house. I used card sleeves for Magic or other similar collectibles (there are a ton of different brands of varying sizes and quality, I used these: https://ultimateguard.com/en/suprem...e#Data-Sheet )
They look rather fine to me (there is room for improvement in my cutting skills) and they have the advantage of coming in a very wide variety of sizes, colors (I used grey here), glossiness (I used a matte finish, but there are also fully transparent sleeves) etc. The plastic quality should be fine since they're made for storing cards well above the value of the two Romania stamps pictured here
Doing some calculations: the cost is something like 0,5-1 cent per stamp depending on the sleeve size and the packet size. They could be used for storing CTOs or other dirt cheap mint stamps that they're not mount-worthy

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Posted 04/03/2021   9:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Why? There are fairly inexpensive mounts already made by many manufacturers, they're easy to use, and they look good. I just don't see any advantage to making your own mounts. If mounts disappeared, ingenuity like this might be really useful, but they haven't.
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