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Mint stamps glued together  
 

 
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Valued Member
Canada
232 Posts
Posted 04/07/2012   3:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add EasyOne to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
My first post. Recently a friend gave me several hundred used stamps along with an envelope that contained 8 to 10 mint stamps. Unfortunately, the mint stamps are glued together - some more than others. Does anyone know a method, short of soaking them in water, to separate the stamps? Any help is appreciated.
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United States
566 Posts
Posted 04/07/2012   6:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kehess to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome EasyOne!

If they're not too badly stuck you could try a sweat box. The saturated humidity will loosen the gums and then you can very gently pull the stamps apart with your tongs. Carefully remove any excess gum from the tops of the stamps with a moistened cotton swab. If the adherence between the stamps is minor the results will be almost as good as they were before they were stuck.

If your stamps are really badly stuck together soaking may be your best option.


In case you are unfamiliar with this technique, this is my sweat box.



You moisten the absorbent paper that's below the screen, place the stamps on the screen, put the lid on the box and leave it overnight.

I'm sure you could make your own box using a plastic container, something absorbent such as a paper towel to hold the moisture, and something to separate the stamps from direct contact with the water. Toss the paper towel after use so you prevent the growth of mold.

Good luck!

Karen
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Rest in Peace
Canada
6750 Posts
Posted 04/07/2012   8:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Puzzler to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Easy One, welcome!

Karen's idea is the best one. There is a thread / topic on here SCF that describes how to make one somewhere, use the search button perhaps. I am lazy tonight sorry.

Sometimes putting the stamps in the freezer helps pop them apart also, but for well stuck stamps the sweat box is best.
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United States
29 Posts
Posted 04/08/2012   11:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Black_Jack to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Welcome "EasyOne" to SCF




Quote:
In case you are unfamiliar with this technique, this is my sweat box.


@Kehess

I like the idea of sweat box
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Valued Member
United States
432 Posts
Posted 04/08/2012   3:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ajnabii to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I didn't know that actually sweatboxes were manufactured and sold! Pretty neat. I
do the same thing but with a sponge and a small plastic butter container. It works
just as good, I think.
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Posted 04/08/2012   8:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kehess to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've been using this one since I was 7 years old. It was a gift from my grandfather.

K
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Valued Member
Canada
232 Posts
Posted 04/09/2012   10:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EasyOne to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'll stick them in the freezer first and see what happens. If I can't find a sweat box at the Toronto show this weekend, I'll use Karen's suggestion to build one. I wondered if a high humidity atmosphere would help and now I know. Thanks again
EO
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United States
9 Posts
Posted 06/17/2017   11:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add thestampguy1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What size is this sweat box? Will a block fit?
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United States
41 Posts
Posted 06/17/2017   2:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You can make your own sweat box. I have made a couple, one large enough to handle a full pane. You need a pan, a sponge, a mesh shelf to elevate the item in the box and a cover, mine are clear. The largest one was made from the rectangular aluminum baking pan a bent heating vent cover for a shelf and a clear baking pan cover.

Put wet sponges in the bottom of the pan
Put the mesh shelf in above the sponges but not touch them.
Lay the item on the mesh (Gum up).
Put the lid on
If the lid is not clear you can set the pan in the sunlight.
Optionally - You can put the pan on a heating source like a warming tray (NOT a hot plate)...

That will raise the temp and humidity in the box which softens the gum. You should practice on a couple inexpensive pieces first.

It does not take long.

After the gum has softened carefully separate them with tongs then let the stamps/item dry.

Starting out many moons ago, I bought a "Stamp Lift". Same principle but I don't think these are made anymore. Might find one on eBay though. It is large enough for a block. I still use mine for singles.



I have not used stamp lift fluid but I know Supersafe makes some.


Jeff
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United States
13 Posts
Posted 06/18/2017   12:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Filechaser to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Starting out many moons ago, I bought a "Stamp Lift". Same principle but I don't think these are made anymore. Might find one on eBay though. It is large enough for a block. I still use mine for singles.


They're listed in the current Subway catalog for $6.95.
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United States
41 Posts
Posted 06/18/2017   3:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Filechaser - Good to know. Thanks
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United States
409 Posts
Posted 06/18/2017   5:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jarnick to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Over the years, I've tried numerous methods to separate mint stamps from each other or paper to which they have adhered. I've found nothing that worked satisfactorily and have invariably ended up soaking them and ending up with ungummed stamps.
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Canada
6082 Posts
Posted 06/18/2017   9:22 pm  Show Profile Check jamesw's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jamesw to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've tried the freezer method with some success, but never tried a sweatbox. However, in my humble opinion, if they are stuck together, once they are unstuck, they are no longer mint. If they're not too old (i.e. rare) they might just be considered postage.
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United States
41 Posts
Posted 06/19/2017   06:51 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I generally consider them "Mint - Disturbed Gum" unless there is damage to the face. Although it can leave the gum intact, sweating can change the gum's appearance.

jamessw - I've heard of the freezer method but never tried it. Does that work with heavily stuck stamps or just stamps that are lightly stuck? In you're experience what's the effect on the gum's appearance?
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