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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

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Cattywumpuss
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The odds are good, but the goods are odd.
10 Aug 2015
04:01:07pm
Monday greetings! Just a quick question, I was wondering if folks would be willing to share a description of their favorite pair of stamp tongs / tweezers? There seem to be plenty for sale on the market out there but quality varies wildly. Some are real cheap and nasty with points / spades that barely meet when pressed together. Others are made to higher standards.

Thus I thought I might tap some of the expertise and knowledge present in this group. Could you please tell me a little about your favorite stamp tongs / tweezers? Whose make are they, what model? Where did you get them? Are they available to buy online? Just after some honest opinions.

I currently own a basic pair of 'spoon' type tongs that have nice rounded ends that do not prod or poke my stamps. I would like to get some more pairs though, perhaps different styles or better quality than that basic steel ones I have. Thank you all,

Paul.
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michael78651
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10 Aug 2015
04:13:33pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

NEVER USE TWEEZERS ON STAMPS!!!

Tweezers have ridges with which to grab, and will damage stamps. Stamp tongs have smooth tips that will not damage the stamps.


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cocollectibles
10 Aug 2015
04:13:47pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

I like the nice sharp pointed ones, at least six inches in length. I have three (one for each room where I may do "stamping") and after at least 10 years, all continue to work well (I dropped one point-down on the wooden floor once and the tip bent, but I straightened it out with pliers quite easily).

Peter

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"TO ERR IS HUMAN; TO FORGIVE, CANINE."
cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
10 Aug 2015
04:22:17pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

I prefer #908, pointed tongs, but warn new users, they are knick-named "Lethal" although in forty or fifty years I have never actually poked myself in the eye.

Image Not Found

Perhaps the "Spade or the "rounded" tipped ones are best for a while.

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cocollectibles
10 Aug 2015
04:30:01pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Charlie, that's the type I have too; couldn't remember the proper name for them.

I dislike the spade type as it is thicker at the end than the "lethal" points; sometimes I pick up a stamp by a single perf especially on selvage and find trying to "scoop" them is harder than carefully using the pointed tip. Never stuck myself either. Just don't put them in your pocket!

I like the 6 inch size as I find a longer size is easier to handle than a short "tweezers" sized one.

Peter

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"TO ERR IS HUMAN; TO FORGIVE, CANINE."
thebiggnome
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10 Aug 2015
05:00:55pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Quote:

"they are knick-named "Lethal""



I was told when I was a kid that the lethalness refers to new users tending to pierce their stamps with the new pointy tongs.

How many stamps have you killed with them? Winking

Chris

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Cattywumpuss
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The odds are good, but the goods are odd.
10 Aug 2015
05:38:25pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Gosh. Maybe I need to start a thread on appropriate first aid kits after reading your responses! Surprise

Do any of you happen to remember where you bought your tongs? Or can you recommend a good place to buy tongs? Thanks,

Paul.

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TuskenRaider
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10 Aug 2015
06:15:24pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Hi Paul;

Both of my pairs are like the ones shown by 'nl1945', also known as spade tongs. I also found
them to be a bit thick at the tips.

I modified mine with 800 grit wet sandpaper to thin them down and polished them further to
give a smooth finish. A time-consuming process but well worth it. Most of the ones you can buy
regardless of shape of the tips, are not thin enough, to slip under a stamp. My slip very easily
under a stamp and without any harm to perfs.

I don't know where I bought mine, and it was about 35-40 years ago. I do remember that I was
warned by my stamp mentor to test the force needed to close the tongs down on and hold a
stamp. You may be holding a stamp for long periods as you try to inspect and identify or find
an issue in the catalog, or compare using color guides. The lower the force to close the tongs
the better. Stiff tongs will result in often dropping stamps and cramps in your finger and thumb.

Keep on sortin'....
TuskenRaider

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Andrejs
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10 Aug 2015
08:22:53pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

I grew up calling tongs "tweezers" as well. Tomato - tom-ah-to. Now I just call them "where the hell did I leave them???" Confused

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fredcdobbs
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APS # 224327
10 Aug 2015
09:32:27pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Showguard 905

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cocollectibles
10 Aug 2015
09:50:59pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

I use tweezers to describe small sized tongs, roughly three inches or shorter. I find those hard to use and similar to the facial hair removing devices called tweezers; I was not disagreeing with Michael.

Personally, I like the straight long tongs with sharp end. As in any aspect of collecting, to each his own and to each his own description.

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"TO ERR IS HUMAN; TO FORGIVE, CANINE."
bobstew617
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10 Aug 2015
10:16:33pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

I have a number of different sets of tongs, but my favorite by far are the spade tongs described by nl1947. To me, they just do a better job picking up a stamp out of a stock book.

BOB

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michael78651
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10 Aug 2015
10:38:54pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

I have:

straight spade - use most of the time

bent spade - great for getting stamps out of a watermark tray

straight rounded tip - hardly use them

I had the pointed tip at one time, but didn't really care for them.


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nigelc
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11 Aug 2015
04:51:33am
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

I use bent spade end tweezers.

("Tongs" sounds silly to me in this context but vive la différence!) Happy

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michael78651
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11 Aug 2015
09:01:13am
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Quote:

""Tongs" sounds silly to me in this context"



Nigel, that's because you would never ask your queen if she used tongs. I'd have no problem asking Hillary Clinton if she used tongs. Well, now that I have that image in my head... No, I wouldn't ask her that. I Don't Want To See Now I lost my appetite for breakfast.

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Cattywumpuss
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The odds are good, but the goods are odd.
11 Aug 2015
04:03:04pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Thank you all for the great suggestions, advice, language lessons, nightmare-ish imagery (michael78651) and so on. I will be following up where I can and will investigate the makes and models folks mentioned. I think a 'bent spade' pair would be handy, for example.

I have one pair of tongs I currently rely on, and then several pairs that I have found are sub-par for one reason or another. I need to invest in some additional quality tongs because if anything happens to my favorite pair my sorting would grind to a halt! Sad

Paul

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cocollectibles
11 Aug 2015
05:23:51pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Quote:

"nightmare-ish imagery (michael78651)"



Welllll, he's actually not THAT bad. Happy



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"TO ERR IS HUMAN; TO FORGIVE, CANINE."
Bobstamp
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11 Aug 2015
06:07:46pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

If you'll pardon a tong in cheek diversion....

From my web page, Payday at Woodfibre:

Quote:

"Early in the history of Chinese immigration to North America, discrimination against Chinese forced them to organize self-protective societies called tongs. In Chinese culture, the word tong means 'hall' or 'gathering place'. In North America a tong is a type of organization found in Chinese communities. These organizations are described as secret societies or sworn brotherhoods and have historically been tied to criminal activity. Today tongs are, for the most part, members of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Associations, which are pro-Kuomintang (Nationalist Chinese) groups providing immigrant counselling, Chinese schools, and English classes for adults."



I wonder if Chinese collectors who were members of tongs used tongs or even, possibly, used tongs to facilitate their use of tongs, or visa versa? Tongs might even have threatened rival tongs with lethal tongs.

Chinese tongs in this context, by the way, are not off topic, because Payday at Woodfibre is based on an interesting postwar shipping tag franked with Canadian "War Issue" stamps. Here's your chance to read Payday at Woodfibre.

Bob



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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
11 Aug 2015
07:45:52pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

I never even thought to question... but now that I've looked, my tongs are Showguard 905s and I like them just fine. I got them at Hobby Lobby with my 40% coupon!

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smaier
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Sally
11 Aug 2015
10:10:36pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

I bought my newest pair of tongs at our local stamp show from the only dealer who sells supplies. My first pair is only about 3-4 inches long, and I liked it fine until I picked up this pair at the show. It is at least 6 inches and maybe longer: I can reach down inside big glassines and display envelopes. Both are spade tips and work just fine. I find myself using the longer ones all the time now, and the shorter one is stuck in my travel bag.

Recommendation: choose the tip style you prefer and then buy a nice one with the longer handles.

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doodles69ca
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Suzanne
12 Aug 2015
12:55:24am
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Just a quick funny, cute story about stamp tongs. When I first started showing my daughter Shelley the stamps and letting her start her own collection, she was about 2 1/2 years old. She had a world wide album that a friend gave her, that probably weighed more then she did, and a cookie box full of common world wide stamps.
She would lay on the floor for hours trying to match the stamps with the pictures in the album.

I started showing her how to use the stamp tongs a few months later. She would very carefully pick up the tongs in her right hand, and then the stamp in her left hand, and put it between the end of the tongs.
" Is this right mommy?" After a few times trying she finally got it right. Now she never uses them. hehehe!

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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it
20 Aug 2015
05:02:35pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

I have tried many different types but the only ones I like are Showgard 902 (6" pointy tip).
Whatever you decide on, I suggest you get at least 3 pair. They are very easy to lose in between stacks of pages, catalogs and albums. I've misplaced 2 pair in the last month.
I misplaced my third pair of 902's the other day which left be with only my 6" bent spade.
I ordered another pair of 902's and a few minutes later found the missing pair.
If they made some with a tracking device I would recommend them.
I think peoples preference is based on what they have tried and are use to. Without trying many different types they probably do not know what they would really like best.

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fredcdobbs
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APS # 224327
20 Aug 2015
10:40:13pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Quote:

"Whatever you decide on, I suggest you get at least 3 pair. They are very easy to lose in between stacks of pages, catalogs and albums. I've misplaced 2 pair in the last month."



With no backup you will go into a panic mode, how am I gong to sort and mount these stamps? They were right here an hour ago... maybe the dog took them,...... Kilo did you grab my tongs??? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacckkkkk, lucky for me I have a stucco and glass stamp shop within 5 miles of my house. I have done this before and after getting home I find my trusty 905 sitting right where I left it, in the bathroom.Surprise

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Bobstamp
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20 Aug 2015
11:39:30pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

My advice: Never take your own stamp tongs to a stamp show.

Somehow, one dealer at every show I attend somehow knows that I will arrive at his table and use my tongs. He will watch me while pretending to talk to other clients, waiting for me to put my tongs down. Then, if I sneeze, or blink, or have one of my seizures or brief catatonic spells, he will grab my tongs and put them aside, out of my sight. When I notice that my tongs are gone, and ask the dealer if he's seen them, he'll pretend ignorance, of course. And he usually asks me if I'd like to buy some tongs. And I do, of course. Curiously, the tongs I buy always look just like mine and probably are mine, but I can't prove it. It's happened at every show I've attended. Honest. Rolling Eyes

boB

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
21 Aug 2015
02:52:26pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

" .... look just like mine and probably are mine, but I can't prove it. ...."

That is easy to prevent. Do you have access to a grind stone or a friend who has one ?
Just make a small notch at the handle end and they can be identified and matched to other ones you will also have notched. Been there and have the tee-shirt. I enjoyed listening to the klepto-dealer explain that he thought a previous customer left one of his sets out. But that did not explain his initial denial of having picked them up and put them in a box.
What went unsaid was that I just happened to notice the motion of him leaning over to lift them up silently and in my opinion nefariously.
When I ran the auto repair shop all my then expensive tools had a series of long and short notches in the handle or some convenient spot; "Long-short-long-short", that is Morse Code for the letter "C" - Dah dit dah dit.
Once my tongs ere returned to me I fiddled around with a sizeable pile of stamps I had selected, stopping as if I had arrived at a total, rose and locked eyes with this guy and in my best Gilda Radner smile, said," never mind, " as I turned away.
I walked a few booths away to a dealer I knew quite well, sitting down and dared him to say a word.
I think I wound up spending a lot more at other tables just to add insult to injury.

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doodles69ca
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Suzanne
21 Aug 2015
03:03:45pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

I just wrap a piece of bright coloured tape around the end of mine. The end that I hold on to that is.

I am a part time dealer at our local club and a few local stamp shows as well, and I have tongs out for people to use. I also wrap a piece of tape around them as well, but I make a couple of wraps and then put another longer piece around it sticking the ends together to make like a flag and I put my name on it. It works.

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
21 Aug 2015
03:12:39pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

That sounds like the bright neon green duct tape I wrap around the handle of my luggage when I fly, adding a big "X" or "+" at the nether end. I can spot my bags as soon as they enter the baggage carousel at the pick-up.

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Cattywumpuss
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The odds are good, but the goods are odd.
21 Aug 2015
04:53:34pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

I have a couple of different types of tongs on order now, thanks to some of the suggestions here. I have not been to any stamp shows yet, so have not encountered the 'wandering' tongs problem. However, judging by comments here I am thinking if I do attend a show I should chain my stamp tongs to my belt loop, LOL.

fredcdobbs, I was left wondering why your stamp tongs were in your bathroom. Part of me was curious, and then part of me did not really want to know. My bathroom is too small to sort stamps in anyway.

I use the desk in our home office / computer room. Only problem is I have to clear them away every so often as we use the desk for other things. I am thinking of getting a separate desk in the spare bedroom so I can spread my stamps out there and leave them out, but so far it has not happened.

Paul

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Bobstamp
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21 Aug 2015
08:43:00pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

It seems like I succeeded in being too clever by half! Or maybe by a quarter. My "stamp show story" was apparently taken as gospel by some members, but the only truth in it is that my stamp tongs have more than once disappeared at stamp show. They weren't taken by kleptomaniac dealers — I've just absentmindedly left them behind! I guess I need to work on my tongue-in-cheek technique!

Bob


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Rob1956
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Member ACCC (Australian Commonwealth Collectors Club of NSW)
24 Aug 2015
02:58:07pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

I've tried many tongs and found that the curved spade version shown by nl1947 in my opinion is the better type.

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Stevo45
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25 Aug 2015
05:52:34am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

What ever you get --

Get the longer ones and I use Nail Polish on the "handle" end so no one else gets 'em..

Cheers

Steve.

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Ningpo
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25 Aug 2015
06:23:03pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Perhaps I have been a bit unlucky, but a few so called MNH stamps that I bought recently have shown to have been creased by clumsy attempts to remove them from (Hagner type) stock pages. It's quite obvious that these have been made by the pointy version of tongs.

It seems to me that the smaller the surface area of the tongs 'prongs', the greater the chance this sort of damage will occur.

PS

Just been thinking of a common name to bridge the divide of tongs and tweezers. Maybe twongs or perhaps tweegers?

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michael78651
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25 Aug 2015
08:53:21pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

I have seen instances where the spade-style tongs were used to force a stamp into a mount that was a bit too small for the stamp. The result was tracks left by the tip were impressed into the stamp. for mounts, too big is always better than too small. Also, don't use the tongs like a pair of vice-grips. Loosen the tongs if the stamp gets stuck, or pull the stamp back away from the obstruction.

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sheepshanks
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20 Oct 2018
05:36:21pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Was asked by a dealer today if I knew where he could get tongs/tweezers that were about 25cm in length for removing items from deep in Vario style sleeves. Preferably bent spade ends.
I've looked at various websites but not seen anything over 6 inches.
Does anyone know of a seller/supplier?

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Dakota
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20 Oct 2018
08:42:41pm

Auctions
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

I have tried several over the years. Occasionally I use the Showgard 902 but I prefer the bent spade tip.

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musicman
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APS #213005
21 Oct 2018
09:38:06am
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Showgard 902's are only 6 inches long;


Believe it or not, you can get 8 inch tongs at Walmart online!


Here's a link;


https://www.walmart.com/ip/8-Metal-Tweezer-tongs-Jewelry-Coin-Stamp-Collection-handling/857995860?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=18293&adid=22222222227159334499&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=269502085847&wl4=pla-448671442458&wl5=9017213&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=125198667&wl11=online&wl12=857995860&wl13=&veh=sem


(I'm not sure how to modify/shorten a link....guys?)

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musicman
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APS #213005
21 Oct 2018
09:57:48am
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

...and here are a pair of 10 INCH TONGS!


https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Reptile-Feeding-Tongs-Tweezers-10-25cm-Long-Stainless-Steel-Reptile-Feed-Tool/253055823956?hash=item3aeb4d7054:m:m-38TeDyOFz3szaiiZ6Vs2w:rk:4:pf:0


You can even use them to feed your reptiles!

Big Grin

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sheepshanks
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21 Oct 2018
01:51:23pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Thanks Musicman, have sent link to the dealer, down to him now.

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
22 Oct 2018
10:58:34pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Looking at the image it seems possible that these are grooved at the tips, which would not be so fantastic on
the treasured mint never stamps.

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Winedrinker
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23 Oct 2018
04:21:20pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Image Not Found

I prefer Lindner Falzlos with bent spade end. The tongs are meticulously constructed in the Bulkensteigen mountains of Southern Germany by retired Swiss watchmakers. The top line model (depicted) employs a lilliputian electronics system coded to the users fingerprints. Unauthorized users will receive a small, non-lethal, jolt of electricity, thus discouraging family members or small children from unwonted incursion.

Wine

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karlfry
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19 Dec 2018
09:11:50pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

I left a pair on the couch one day and my wife sat on them, she called them something other then tongs!!!Surprise

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Bobstamp
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19 Dec 2018
09:19:13pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

WIVES!

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ikeyPikey
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19 Dec 2018
11:32:43pm
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

Quote:

"... She would very carefully pick up the tongs in her right hand, and then the stamp in her left hand, and put it between the end of the tongs ..."



Smart kid. That's just how I use them.

Randy: In those very long URLs, the question mark & everything that follows can 'go'.

Or, put another way, take everything up to the question mark, to wit:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/8-Metal-Tweezer-tongs-Jewelry-Coin-Stamp-Collection-handling/857995860

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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"I collect stamps today precisely the way I collected stamps when I was ten years old."
musicman
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APS #213005
21 Dec 2018
09:11:41am
re: Stamp Tongs / Tweezers

got it, I/P - thanks!

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