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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : Unhinging Stamps? Need Advice...

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cshahar
06 Dec 2016
02:52:32pm
I found a collection of old (19th century) used Spanish stamps, hinged, in fact, placed quite close together. I really like them. Is there any way to get them unhinged? I don't want to do it myself. I am not that manually inclined (in fact quite awkward actually). First, is it worthwhile to unhinge them (if not, I probably won't buy the collection because I would eventually like to mount them into a hingeless album)? Second, at the risk of sounding naive, is there anyone I can send them to who would provide such as service? Third, if not, I was thinking of contacting the local stamp club. But I am not sure I would trust them, unless they were quite experienced.

Thanks for any advice:

-Charles
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seanpashby
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06 Dec 2016
03:07:12pm
re: Unhinging Stamps? Need Advice...

If they are all used with no gum, then just soak them off. It should leave no residual hinge marks. Be sure to check the catalog to make sure they are not printed with water soluble ink or a special paper that would be damaged by water. It is very easy and something that if you couldn't perform, your kids should be able to do.

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smauggie
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06 Dec 2016
06:16:52pm
re: Unhinging Stamps? Need Advice...

You won't get any experience unless you try. Keep in mind not all hinges are created equal. I find especially with Spanish stamps that poor quality hinges are the norm. If a hinge does not want to peel off the stamp, do not force it.

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phos45
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06 Dec 2016
08:12:46pm
re: Unhinging Stamps? Need Advice...

PRINZ hinge remover preserves full gum on mint stamps ... restores damaged gum


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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..
06 Dec 2016
08:49:22pm
re: Unhinging Stamps? Need Advice...

For an album with relatively common stamps I just swipe a baking tin or glass bowl from the kitchen and add slightly tepid water and a drop or two of Dial soap. Small drops.
The pages should fit in the bowl and be flat..
In no time, the stamps will float free of the pages and the hinges will float free of the stamps. The pages can be removed carefully from the bowl one at a time pushing the stamps aside and the stamps can be moved into a second Tupperware type bowl for a clean water flushing with water from the sink.
I like a square or rectangular bowl so I can drain the clean water bowl by tilting it to the side and using the three longer fingers as a strainer in the corner as the water runs through them, then refilling once or twice. That eliminates any dissolved gum residue from the clean water bowl. Carefully, of course, so the stamps do not float out of that bowl.
Then I lay the the stamps, one at a time, separated face down, to dry on newspaper page folded into a letter sized segment. Setting them aside to dry I can continue the process till all the stamps have been removed.
A few stamps will try to curl, but they can be flattened and the dry stamps can be slid into one of those large Priority cardboard envelopes from the post office and weighted with a SG Commonwealth catalog for the night.
Then, with the dried stamps sort and use stock pages or glassines to hold them till you are ready to mount them with new hinges in a new album or where ever you are going to store your stamps.

Dealing with cleaned dry stamps that curl is easy. Take the stamp in your one hand and drag it slowly over a pencil or one leg of your stamp tongs almost creating an opposite curl. If you do it right (carefully) it will be flat for a while, lone enough to put in the Priority cardboard envelope which will keep it flat till you are ready to sort and mount.

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michael78651
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06 Dec 2016
10:15:33pm
re: Unhinging Stamps? Need Advice...

Quote:

"PRINZ hinge remover preserves full gum on mint stamps ... restores damaged gum"



I haven't heard of this product. Mack, what do you mean by "Restores damaged gum"? What is this remover made of?
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cshahar
06 Dec 2016
11:23:29pm
re: Unhinging Stamps? Need Advice...

This is really good advice. I might actually try it given the encouragement here, particularly the details given by Charlie. I too am interested in learning more about the product mentioned by Mack.

Further Question: How do you deal with mint stamps that still have the original gum? There are a few of these in the collection.

-Charles

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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..
07 Dec 2016
01:17:45pm
re: Unhinging Stamps? Need Advice...

" .... How do you deal with mint stamps that still have the original gum? ..."

That depends on the apparent value of the stamp. I collect postally used world wide, so gum is not a big concern to me. What mint I come across, I usually hinge anyway and at times just wash that "Glutinous mixture" away.
Others are devoted to mint, never in the same room as a hinge examples, which requires a much different methodology.
If the stamps you have acquired are stuck to the album pages by the original owner it might be necessary to trim the page into sections that can be confined within a sweat box and handled very carefully.
Chances are, from your description, it is likely stamps on a page are already hinged and are hardly worth all the effort trying to preserve that unblemished "mint" condition that affectionados of MNH expect.
But that decision is one you have to make.

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phos45
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07 Dec 2016
01:46:33pm
re: Unhinging Stamps? Need Advice...

PRINZ formula ...

check label

I had some japanese stamps where gum was cracking, risking paper tear

saturation in PRINZ, then placed in hingeless mount to dry .... gum smoothed

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HungaryForStamps
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07 Dec 2016
04:25:30pm
re: Unhinging Stamps? Need Advice...

There are three methods (other than soaking) I use to remove hinges, but they are not recommended if you don't have confidence in your manual dexterity or are unwilling to practice. These methods presuppose you have removed the stamp from the album page with the hinge intact. There should be a YouTube video showing this and probably some videos showing these methods (just search). Also, its hard to apply these methods if there is not some part of the hinge available to grab with stamp tongs to do the "peeling" I suggest below.

First method: Try to carefully peel the hinge from the stamp. Some high-quality hinges peel quite nicely, so no further steps needed. If this fails I move to method 2.

Second method: Using a set of stamp tongs with curved end (Lighthouse calls them "Bent Tip"), carefully rub the hinge back and forth where the hinge is attached to the back of stamp. I do this against a surface that has some give to it, so not a solid table top, but not too soft a surface. Rubbing generates some heat and combined with the pressure it often breaks the adhesive bond. If you are lucky, the hinge will peel off nicely. You might need to do this multiple times.

If this fails move to method three.

Third method: Carefully apply a Q-tip lightly moistened with saliva to the hinge where it is stick to the stamp. Rub Q-tip back and forth to wet the hinge ever so lightly. After a bit (30 seconds) try to peel. If not successful, continue to moisten lightly. This method always works over time except in very extreme cases where the hinge has no place to grab for peeling or a something other than a hinge was used. If successful, dry the gum side by rubbing against some semi-hard plastic surface and/or by blowing. I have used this method successfully even when there was no hinge surface available to grab with tongs and when there were multiple hinges and non-hinge artifacts, but its not something I recommend for beginners.

If all methods fail, you could soak if not a gummed stamp (e.g., not MH) and if not a valuable stamp you don't want to mess with. Best to just leave it be if valuable or MH stamp.

In all three methods a gummed stamp will have disturbed gum and would be classified as hinged, possibly qualified by other terms (e.g., "lightly", "disturbed", "heavy").

Of course you should research these methods and practice on worthless stamps. Don't attempt the methods with valuable stamps until you are expert. Again look on YouTube for videos.

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cshahar
08 Dec 2016
09:29:00am
re: Unhinging Stamps? Need Advice...

Fantastic advice Lewis. Thank you for taking the time to assist me!!

-Charles

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