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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : Hinge Questions

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lisagrant87
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09 Mar 2012
07:01:49am
As many of you know, I am brand new at stamp collecting and inherited a small stamp collection. I have a couple questions about hinges. Are hinges the best way to go for common and/or used stamps? I will be getting a group of US Mint stamps with one of the catalogs I ordered. Is it foolish to hinge Mint stamps? And finally, my inherited collection is 20+ years old and some of the hinges are failing causing stamps to come out of the book but the hinge is still attached to the stamp itself. Is it damaging to remove these hinges and re-hinge?
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michael78651
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09 Mar 2012
08:31:35am
re: Hinge Questions

The problem with hinges is that they tend to cause damage to the stamps. The old Dennison-brand hinge was the perfect hinge, causing little damage, but those went away a long time ago. They can still be found in auction lots, but generally command high prices. There are no real good hinges on the market today like those.

The problem with buying mounts is that many times the mounts cost more than the stamps. However, damage is minimized and the presentation is much better. All of the stamps in my collection are in mounts.

I have a web page that I created that offers newer collectors a guide to the hobby. Here is the link.

http://www.bidstart.com/shop.php?userid=101871&storePage=515

Also, check out the APS web site. I provided the link in a reply to one of your other posts.

It's great you're trying to learn what you can. Knowledge leads to better enjoyment and less disappointment.

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amsd
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09 Mar 2012
03:09:28pm

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re: Hinge Questions

Lisa, I follow the adage that common stamps can be hinged and high value stamps, even used, should be mounted. My albums are used more for storage than display, so I don't mind inconsistency. I NEVER hinge a mint stamp. I also don't care one whit about the MH vs MNH debate.

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Bobstamp
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09 Mar 2012
04:23:17pm
re: Hinge Questions

On way out of the dilemmas of "to hinge or not to hinge," and "to use stamp mounts or not use stamp mounts" is to forget both and use stock books or stock pages to display stamps. You can even do short write-ups about stamps and tuck them behind the transparent strips alongside or above or below the stamps. One beauty of using stock books or stock pages is that you can rearrange stamps at will. If varieties or nicely cancelled copies of stamps you already have come into your possession, you can easily make room for them, which certainly isn't the case with pre-printed albums.

Bob

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michael78651
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09 Mar 2012
04:38:16pm
re: Hinge Questions

Definitely is an advantage to stock books if you are not concerned with collecting entire countries. One thing, though is when you use paper for notes, make sure that you use acid-free paper. The acid in paper will leech into what it touches. It will turn the paper on the stock pages brown, and stamps as well. Can't fix a stamp ruined like that.

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sponthetrona2
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09 Mar 2012
05:49:45pm
re: Hinge Questions

GREAT QUESTION!
I never use hinges for mint or used stamps. Regardless of the price of a mount it is better, for me, to preserve the the stamp in a flat air tight chemical free situation. Dealing with books a stamp can get bent, torn or ruined if not properly preserved. Hinges remove old gum from a stamp and can cause thins which pretty much devalues a stamp completely. Good luck on your collecting and enjoy!!!!!

Perry

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musicman
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APS #213005
09 Mar 2012
09:13:12pm
re: Hinge Questions

As you can see, there isn't one definite answer to this question; the only thing that has been decided is this - you do it how YOU want to do it.

If you want to keep your mint stamps mint, then use mounts or hingeless pages.

If you want to use hinges on the low-valued stamps, go ahead.

If you want to put all your stamps in stockbooks, you're free to do so!

All we can give you is our best advice, according to how we - each individual - does it.

How do YOU do it? THAT'S YOUR CHOICE. You have to weigh the pros and cons of mounts, hinges, vario pages, stockbooks, preprinted albums, custom-made pages....and on and on.

Don't take my advice; don't take David's advice; or Perry's....or Bob's....or anyone alse!
Take our ideas into consideration, decide what you want to do, then do it YOUR way! That's the beauty of stamp collecting.



Randy


P.S.
Oh, yes - for me personally, I'm similar to David;
I use hinges on low-value used, mounts on higher value, mounts on all mint, whether MNH or MH, and also use vario pages, stockbooks and other various collecting styles of storage/mountings....I guess I'm all over the place....LOL

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lisagrant87
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It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. - Aristotle Onassis
10 Mar 2012
10:05:28am
re: Hinge Questions

All of you give me so much to think about! I appreciate all the advice and it helps me to decide what method will become "My way of doing things." As always, many thanks!

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cdj1122
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10 Mar 2012
10:18:33am
re: Hinge Questions

Randy's point is the most important; " ... you do it how YOU want to do it..."

It is your collection and should give you pleasure. How and what you do needs to only answer one question " ...Is what I am doing enjoyable or do I find some aspects more of a chore than not ?... "

Now for me, I have used hinges for about fifty years. New, used, gummed or not, even souvenir sheetlets get hinged, often needing three ior fiur hinges across the top. Yes Dennisons were/are the finest. I have one unopened package left that sits in the hinge envelope waiting for the day when I acquire another set of Zeps for the USA section.
But of course they are no longer available and despite valiant efforts the equipment and gum solution seems to be unable to be reproduced. I tried Dennis' Sons or whatever they were and found that about half the 1,000 hinges in that envelope were defective, mostly cut very irratically. In recent years, I get "GK Hinges" from a local dealer and find them acceptable despite the aggravation that every so often it seems that the process left the gum off a couple of hinges.

I do keep the Machin reference collection on those black Vario Pages so that I can insert new discoveies as th collection grows. One day I expect to start with the Stirlings and mount the whole shebang in a separate album and yes, they will be hinged.
But the rest of the world gets hinged and what someone does with the stamps, the hinges or the album pages after I'm gone will not bother my ashes one wit.

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michael78651
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10 Mar 2012
12:12:34pm
re: Hinge Questions

I remember those "Dennis Sons" hinges. Truly a disaster. One brand was for used stamps and the other for stamps with gum. Didn't matter which type one used, it was 99% guaranteed to tear the paper on the back of the stamp if the hinge ever had to be removed.

I rarely use hinges now. When I do, I use Prinz. If the tab that goes on the stamp is very lightly whetted, the hinge will generally work well. They do curl, so it is necessary to lift the stamp after placing it on the page and move a finger across the part of the hinge that is on the page so that the hinge will lie flat on the page.

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George
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10 Mar 2012
11:31:23pm
re: Hinge Questions

Since I mostly collect low-value stamps, I find hinges an economical and practical option that lets me arrange stamps with great flexibility.

One word of advice if you choose to use hinges is that you must use the least amount of moistening necessary to make it stick. I find that hinges will usually flake off easily if attached with the barest amount of moisture. You also usually only need to moisten a small portion of the surface of the hinge.

You probably should practice on low value stamps first until you get the hang of it. Try to keep reducing the amount of moisture you apply until you find the minimum that makes the stamp stick.

Also, you need to wait several minutes before a hinged stamp can be moved. If it is not completely dry, it won't flake off, and you can tear the album page or the stamp.

But I'll reiterate what others have said, (1) use acid-free paper for your albums, and (2) this method is not recommended for stamps with original gum.

(NB I do hinge unused stamps with no/damaged gum if I can't get hold of a used copy. Not sure what Randy's concern is with hinging MH.)

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musicman
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APS #213005
11 Mar 2012
12:14:55pm
re: Hinge Questions

George,

My only reasoning for not hinging a MH stamp that has no gum is that - if I should eventually replace it with a MNH copy, the mount is in place to hold it; just a personal preference.

(I have an album for used stamps and an album for mint stamps; I don't actively persue only mint - I prefer postally used. I do, however, prefer to use only mounts in the mint stamp album. It just makes it look much neater (...more neat??)

...but as I said - just a personal preference....it's mine, it's how I like it, so that's how I do it!

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Logistical1
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11 Mar 2012
04:59:55pm
re: Hinge Questions

I prefer to use mounts for both mint and used. I know they are expensive but if I find a better example of a particular stamp I can put the better example over the top of the stamp currently in the mount. I simply note next to the stamp 2X, 3X etc for the number of stamps in the mount.

For me the hinges are difficult to manipulate and attach correctly adding a level of frustration to a hobby I use to relax.

I inter-mingle Vario pages in my albums for plate blocks, mint duplicates, FDC, covers or other interesting tidbits. My albums are standard 3 ring binders so they are readily available and affordable. I picked up 100 assorted used pages for $25.00.

Ask a hundred stamp collectors and you will get a hundred opinions...

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michael78651
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11 Mar 2012
11:08:48pm
re: Hinge Questions

You got that right. You'd think we were all attorneys!

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wallypm
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22 May 2012
05:32:44pm
re: Hinge Questions

What is the best way to remove hinges from gummed stamps. On cancelled stamps I just soak in water but there must be some way to remove a hinge remnent from a gummed stamp???

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DaSaintFan
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22 May 2012
07:27:40pm
re: Hinge Questions

To be honest.. as i've gone through some of the stamps i have hinged that I want to remove from the pages, but want to remove the majority of the hinge... I have no problem leaving the hinge portion of the stamp on the stamp, and just cut (yes, cut!) the longer hinge portion off... then when if i rehinge it for whatever reason (If I'm not moving it to a hanger, vario or stockbook page), I just rehinge it over top of the old hinge.

I know it's not the 'prettiest' way to do it, and its definitely not the 'purist' way to do it.. but if I want to do as little damage to the stamp as possible, to me thats probably the most (IMO) economical way to rehinge a stamp without further damage.

Logical, if you got 100 pages for $25.. I want to know your dealer Best I've managed for that many pages overall was somewhere about $49+ tax..

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PeterG
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23 May 2012
04:19:49am
re: Hinge Questions

"What is the best way to remove hinges from gummed stamps"


I hope you don´t hinge gummed stamps

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michael78651
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23 May 2012
09:42:48am
re: Hinge Questions

Peter, that is the best solution to the problem.

Yet, many older stamps (and plenty of newer ones) do have those old non-peelable hinges. Saint Fan has the best solution to avoid further damage where the damage has already been done. Anything else, such as trying to pull the hinge off will most certainly cause a paper thin. Soaking the stamp, using a sweat box or moisture just to the hinge area will ruin the gum.

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ramanandn
23 May 2012
03:09:41pm
re: Hinge Questions

Hi all,

I'm new to this forum; thought I'd pop in and contribute my 2 cents to the original question .
I use hinges (Prinz mostly) on used low value (less than $2 Scott value) stamps. Stamps which are MNH, MH or higher than $2 SCV are mounted. I use Showgard clear mounts, ones with the split back. Clear mounts work better for me since they're not obtrusive and pages don't look too terrible if you mix hinges and mounts on the same page, unlike black mounts.

Cheers
Ram

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DaSaintFan
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23 May 2012
03:35:16pm
re: Hinge Questions

Quote:

"I use Showgard clear mounts, ones with the split back. Clear mounts work better for me since they're not obtrusive and pages don't look too terrible if you mix hinges and mounts on the same page, unlike black mounts"



I dunno if I agree with you on the clear mounts, Ramana (but that's personal choice again). To me the black mounts tend to look more professional, unless you get someone who uses a simple "slice" of a black-mounts and then stick it right over the middle of the stamp as a holder in the center of the stamp. (i have yet to figure out why they did that.)
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ramanandn
23 May 2012
03:37:57pm
re: Hinge Questions

SaintFan,

Don't you think a page might look a little more 'non-uniform' if some stamps were hinged and some had black mounts? As I said, it is pretty subjective.

Ram

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DRYER
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24 May 2012
01:04:15pm
re: Hinge Questions

Ram:

If a stamp album is "uniform", in my opinion it would be dull, boring and unworthy of further attention.

The stamp albums I have found most interesting are those that reflect the character of the stamp collector.
Those collectors with the wildest imaginations have, again in my opinion, the most fascinating albums.

Personally, I have never tried to compile a collection within a rigid format or layout, and don't think I could do it if I tried.

Some doors have to be pushed, some pulled, some rotate, some slide, some lift and some fold. I like a door that challenges me - the same goes for stamp albums.

John Derry


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ramanandn
25 May 2012
02:53:32pm
re: Hinge Questions

John,

I agree with what you're saying. The point I made was only aesthetic, which is subjective.

I do think there is no 'wrong' way of doing things... unless you start clipping off perfs to make the stamp look pretty

Cheers
Ram

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michael78651
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25 May 2012
05:11:21pm
re: Hinge Questions

I have seen collections where the collector trimmed the stamps (perfed and imperf) to fit in smaller mounts.

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George
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25 May 2012
07:43:29pm
re: Hinge Questions

As for hinging over an existing hinge, I've heard that it can damage the stamp if it is subject to compression as it would if you put it in a fully packed album and wedged it between other albums on a shelf.

I've tried removing a hinge from a gummed stamp by soaking just the back of the hinge with a cotton bud. It minimizes how much gum is affected, but I find that because part of the stamp gets moistened and then dries in the air, the paper tends to bend rather than drying flat. Obviously if it's got gum you can't press it dry like a soaked used stamp.

I think you need a method of applying the minimum of moisture to loosen the hinge so you can slide it off while keeping the stamp paper as dry as possible.

Anyone tried using alcohol instead of water? Would it loosen a water-activated hinge?

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lisagrant87
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25 May 2012
08:12:42pm
re: Hinge Questions

When I soak stamps off of kiloware, I sometimes have some that come off with a bit of gum still on them. If I miss them and press them, I'm still okay because of the way I press. I put a clean sheet of paper on the counter and place stamps in a single layer, face down. I then put half of a ziploc freezer bag on top. I cut it myself and throw away the seamed edges so there are no wrinkles and it fits perfectly on an 8.5x11 piece of paper with a little overhang. I then repeat with another sheet of paper, more stamps and another half of a freezer bag until all my stamps are stacked. I stack text books on top and leave for at least 48 hours. When complete, stamps that still had some gum are lightly stuck to the plastic but are removed easily without damaging any remaining gum. I then dust with corn starch and move on. This may work for you if you do need to pressed gummed stamps.

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PDougherty999
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26 May 2012
08:52:26am
re: Hinge Questions

Ziplock Freezer Bags... I like it.

---Pat

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roy
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26 May 2012
10:34:04am
re: Hinge Questions

Acetate sheet protectors are better -- less chance of wrinkled plastic, can be cut into 2 x 8.5"x11" pieces in a second, and I get an unending supply free from buying collections!

Roy

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Gerald
26 May 2012
07:00:04pm
re: Hinge Questions

In my experience, residual gum left on stamps after soaking can give problems years later by causing the stamps to stick to album leaves or stockbook pages. For this reason, I think it's better to give all stamps an extra soak in clean water before drying them.

I myself start with a soak of, say, 30 minutes to an hour, long enough to ensure that the stamps are nicely coming away from the paper. I then transfer the stamps, minus the paper, to a container of clean water. If there are many stamps or they have lots of thick gum, I drain off that water and give the stamps another soak or two with more clean water. Finally, I place the stamps between sheets of newsprint for drying. By that stage, there's no danger that any modern soakable stamp would stick to anything, either during drying or ever again....g

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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..
14 Jun 2012
09:07:56pm
re: Hinge Questions

Heresy unveiled !!!
In my opinion the best way of dealing with the various gum issues that are so often the bane of some collectors is to soak all traces of any "glutinous wash" away.
Problem solved.

My rule is to collect stamps, not gum.

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Poodle_Mum
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20 Jun 2012
11:50:51am
re: Hinge Questions

I just wanted to add a tidbit on using hinges. I use a q-tip dipped in water to moisten the hinges. I'm allergic to latex and most (no matter what kind of glue) either has latex in it or has been exposed to latex so I can't have any contact with it (same as sealing envelopes). When using this method also you can gauge the amount of water being applied to the hinge. I use minimal water on the q-tip and re-use it until it is dry before I apply more water to the q-tip. Just an alternative method for people using hinges.

Kelly

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Sujit
12 Jul 2012
08:46:40pm
re: Hinge Questions

I nowadays buy small lots of stamps that come hinged on album pages. I need to transfer many of these stamps to my Scott albums (traditional hinge type). Do I just clip off the old hinges, or is there a way I can re-use the old hinges to save the stamp from being disturbed a second time?

Any suggestions on the best way to hinge once already hinged stamps?

Thanks.




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Poodle_Mum
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12 Jul 2012
09:30:24pm
re: Hinge Questions

Often when you take the stamp including hinge from the paper there is still a remnant of the hinge left. Depending on how much moisture the person originally used, there can still be gum on the hinge. Since I use a q-tip to moisten hinges, I've been able to re-use many remnants. Note that the old Dennisons - the green hinges peel away from the stamp without leaving hinges on it so that's good & you can just put on a new one. Some of the other white ones peel too. But if you take the stamp off the paper, test the hinge remnant with a moistened q-tip, you might be surprised at how many you can re-use without detaching the stamp.

Kelly

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michael78651
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12 Jul 2012
10:09:27pm
re: Hinge Questions

One should never reuse an old hinge. Think of a hing as toilet paper. Use it once, then...

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Poodle_Mum
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12 Jul 2012
10:46:07pm
re: Hinge Questions

Michael - I agree with you if you lick the hinges - then absolutely never do that with previously used hinges.

I personally do not do that because I'm allergic to the latex in gums (stamps, envelopes, hinges), etc so I never touch a hinge with my fingers at all - I even use my tongs to handle hinges because of potential latex in them.

My advice for anyone who wants to re-use hinges that are still attached to the stamp is to moisten it using a q-tip - never ever lick it!

Kelly

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michael78651
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13 Jul 2012
01:34:30am
re: Hinge Questions

A used hinge no longer has all the gum on it. The hinge may not adhere properly to the page and you risk having the stamp shift, fall out, become creased or otherwise damaged. Also the weakened hinges will tend to curl easier thus attaching themselves to both the top and bottom against the back of the stamp, risking more damage. Given that hinges cost about 1/4 of a penny, why take the risk? Use a new hinge. It's cheaper than replacing a damaged stamp.

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cdj1122
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15 Jul 2012
07:15:23pm
re: Hinge Questions

" .... One should never reuse an old hinge. ..... "

I remember laughing almost to the point of destraction when I see posts about used hinges being so unsanitary they should never be reused.
About fifty years ago I bought a nice used world wide album from a dealer in Portugal. It had taken me all morning to find a comfortable stamp dealer in Lisbon. Eventually on a side street somewhere away from the popular tourist area I found a small shop run by someone with whom I could chat using his broken English and my even more disturbed recollection of High School Spanish. At least it was something he seemed to partly understand.

After a good hour or so picking used Portugese stamps colonials from a packed stockbook, mostly those colorful "Ships and Explorer" and "African animals" sets from Angola, and Mozanbique with many other older colonials thrown in, we were sitting there peparing to tally up the stamps. I guess I was enjoying the ambiance and the dealer probably mentally totaling up the likely purchase I was making, when an elderly lady came in the shop with a fat album under her arm.
She spoke far better Portugese than I did and some English with a distinctly German accent and rhythm. The dealer looked through the album and made some comments that must have been pointing to some flaws or missing key values but eventually they settled on a price that I believed was about $200.00 or so, in Escudos, of course. He paid her in the local currency and began to look at some covers she also had, probably FDCs that he didn't seem interested in at that point.

However, the album lay on the counter inches from my grubby hands and so I calmly began to look though it myself as they finished the second part of the transaction. Finally the woman left and I quietly asked the dealer what he wanted for the whole album. He "hemmed and hawed " for a minute or two trying to decide what this crazy American was thinking. I had already reached what was equivalent to about $100 with the stamps I had already chosen and that lay in a pile on the counter.
Finally to end the suspense as I was becoming very excited with the stamps I was seeing that were carefully mounted in this somewhat bulky album as I turned more and more pages. I suggested what I thought was double what I had just seen him pay out. I watched his face and realised he was weighing the possibilities, one was that, over time, he could possibly sell the stamps for more than that, against probably the time and effort that would be involved. Was a quick doubling of his money worth it ? Perhaps the rent was due later that week, or his children needed some new shoes.

It was a struggle but interesting to watch and finally I opened my inside wallet that contained greenbacks and said "How about $450.00 cash, US dollars for everything. Keep in mind that this was in the 1960s when the US dollar ruled the trade world and often a fifty or hundred dollar bill could be exchanged on a black market for a decent premium over the fixed bank exchange rate.
His eyes lit up and we shook on it. He offered me a glass of 'Vinho tinto" which was of course a red wine and before long I was on my way back to the harbor to board the ship and examine my treasure. The more I looked through it over the next several months the happier I was with the stamps, mostly from European nations and their former possessions.

In those days I carried a heavy Harris Citation Worldwide album all over the world that eventually grew to needing a second binder also stuffed, despite my habit of culling out the Iron Curtain pages, the Sandunes and anything else that seemed to me to be excessive and exploitive.
In my stateroom aboard whatever ship I was sailing on, I always kept a roll of the original heavy duty duct-tape, plus at least two heavy plastic bags as well as a spare lifejacket so that should things have started to look dicy I would have been able to tape both albums together, insert them into the first bag, fold and seal it, then all that into a second bag, also taped shut as securely as possible. Fortunately that emergeny never occurred so I never discovered if the bags would float or the life jacket with its 21 thread manila lanyard would be sufficiant to prevent the whole shebang from drifting off.
Over the next year or so the stamps from this purchase as well as several other purchases were removed and mounted in what I considered the right place in the Citation Album or on blank pages inserted where appropriate.

What sturck me as humorous about hinges being reused occurred some time later when we were returning from one of my Vietnam trips in ballast to the USA. We were destined for San Francisco, although we were more than likely to be rerouted to some other West Coast port or even to transit the Panama Canal for the East Coast. That happened quite often once we were close enough that the military shipping authorities had to make a final decision as we were sailing under contracts to carry supplies usually to the war zone.
The German ladies album must have been assembled over years by what I assume was her recently deceased husband and he had mounted the stamps very carefully with quality hinges that usually came off both the page and the stamps without leaving any damage. On this return voyage, after almost three months, I was running low on hinges and began to absent mindedly use some of the hinges that had adhered to the stamps in one piece and seemed to have been undamaged. Then the thought came up that the collection's previous owner must have licked the hinge with his tongue, Ugh !!!
The very same icky reaction that some have expressed in this thread about once used hinges. So that evening, I put the stamps aside and did what sailors do best for the next three hours, I caught a nap before my next watch that would start about ten minutes before midnight when I would relieve the 8PM-12PM watch standing officer once I climbed to the vessel's wheelhouse,

The mid-Pacific was calm and clear as it is so often and the sky was full of those twinkling lights that we now know are not single stars but galaxies so far away that, to us, their millions of separate stars seem to be but one glimmering light. After performing the required navigational routines that alerted me to our position and particular details I walked out onto one of the bridge wings to just stand and enjoy the sight. Under such circumstances the mind often dreams of th next planned port stop or begins to recall the more interesting details of the adventures at the last port.
Inside the wheel house one of the ship's regular seamen stood at the helm slowly guiding the ship on as close an approximation of the desired course as was possible and we had exchanged the normal courtesies but previous attempts to engage in interesting conversation had exhaustd the possibilities.

Then the thought about the hinges and the tongue of the previous owner licking them hit me. I never censidered that he might have used a dampened Q-tip. Suddenly a thought stuck me and I began to laugh. I remembered the places where my tongue had been and the things that had occurred. There was no sense of getting delicate about the tiny tip of the hinges at all. I remember laughing at loud and struggling to keep control as I passed through the wheel house to go to the opposite side of the ship to examine the horizon from that vantage point. The seaman on the helm noticed and asked me if I was okay, or perhaps he asked what was so funny. The harder I tried to stifle my thoughts the greater the belly laugh gew.
Soon the thought of the Oliver Wendel Holmes poem came to mind about the man-servent who read the poets work and laughed so hard he had a fit that lasted ten days and ten nights. Well those thoughts, even at my 73 year age, still bring at least a smile to my face. I do not often try to mount a stamp with a used hinge but the occasional time when I do, I do not fret over the niceties of the situation, consoling myself with the knowledge that I have tasted far worse things.

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17 Jul 2012
10:34:07am
re: Hinge Questions

This is an interesting hinge discussion. I was a bit stunned when I first read it. The thought of licking hinges never even occurred to me! I soak a paper towel, put it on a plate and use my fingers (on the hinge, not the stamp!). Thanks to Kelly's tip, I will now use a Q-tip!

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APS #213005
17 Jul 2012
04:29:38pm
re: Hinge Questions

My initial thoughts as far as the way I have always moistened a hinge;

for those of us that use hinges and also started stamp-collecting when we were young children, I'm inclined to think it was a natural response for a kid - you need something moistened, your first (most likely automatic) response is to what? Lick it, of course!!

Hence, I have always used this process for hinges. Unfortunate that some folks are allergic to certain things in the adhesive....but we are quite adaptable, aren't we!?!

We WILL find a way!



Randy

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michael78651
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17 Jul 2012
06:00:55pm
re: Hinge Questions

Right, Randy.

...and when all else fails, there's Elmer's Glue. (Yes, I have seen collections with the stamps glued onto the album pages. Makes for good kindling in the winter.)

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michael78651
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27 Jul 2012
08:35:27pm
re: Hinge Questions

Just thought of another reason for not reusing hinges. When you peel a hinge off a stamp, part of the peel-ability is the adhesive on the hinge that peels off and remains on the stamp. Once the adhesive on the hinge is gone, and you re-attach the used hinge to a stamp (especially a stamp with gum), you are attaching the hinge without adhesive onto the gum of the stamp. If the reused stamp is later removed, the peel-ability is gone and you are pulling the gum off the stamp potentially thinning the paper.

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cdj1122
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31 Jul 2012
11:53:04am
re: Hinge Questions

In interesting point, Michael, but I think you mis-construe the sequence that occurs when a collector considers reusing the stamp hinge.
Usually, in my experience, that is only viable when a stamp is being removed from an album or approval dealers book.
Once the stamp is detached from its resting place, I would notice that the hings is still attached to the stamp and was only very lightly dampened where it was affixed to the page. Therefore a large portion of the hinge's album side was never dampened and is still glossy, indicating that the glue, both layers are mostly unused.
The album part of the hinge would be then redampened (Still attached to the stamp being moved.)and the stamp put in its new home, not the stamp part.
So if subsequently the stamp is removed and detached, on the stamp side of the hinge, in theory, if the double layer works, the stamp will not be damaged at all.
Removing the residual album side of the hinge from an album being stripped is hardly a concern since such pages are likely to be discarded anyway.
Properly done, there should not be any danger of the reused hinge damaging our precious stamps.
I cannot imagine attempting to redampen a hinge that remained in the original album page after the stamp was removed, since we usually do not just reshuffle a stamp's location in our own albums.

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31 Jul 2012
07:04:46pm
re: Hinge Questions

To answer the question about how to remove hinges from gummed (or ungummed stamps), here is a basic method I employ with great success (I just unhinged a 3 stamp set worth about $200 yesterday).

1) Moisten a q-tip with saliva. Not too damp, but not too dry. Don't dip the q-tip in water because its too hard to control the moisture.

2) Turn the stamp over and gently rub the q-tip against the part of the hinge that is stuck to the stamp. You are slightly moistening the hinge so it will peel off easily. Try not to get too much moisture on the gum. If the stamp is not gummed, still try to keep the moisture on the hinge. You are trying to slowly moisten the hinge, so carefully control the moisture content of the q-tip.

3) Repeat 1 and 2 as necessary until the hinge peels easily away, with little or no resistance. It might take several repeats and give time for the hinge to moisten. Don't ever tug on a hinge that offers any significant resistance. Use tongs to remove the hinge, not your fingers. For the paranoid among you that don't want to remoisten the q-tip with your mouth, you can figure out a method. Usually the q-tip remains moist enough with one application that you can just re-rub the hinge (moistening it further).
I did 6 stamps last night with one end of the q-tip and moistened once by mouth.

4) If the stamp was gummed and the gum is moist, pick it up with tongs and bring the gummed end to your mouth and breath hot air on the moist gum, going haaa...haaa. I do this sometimes with ungummed stamps to dry the little bit of moisture that remains after removing the hinge. You have to dry wet gum, otherwise it will stick to wherever the stamps is going next (stock book, envelope, album...).

5) Then rub the back of the stamp, very carefully, against a piece of relatively hard clear plastic or something nice and dry and cool to ensure the gum is no longer sticky. For this step I use either a plastic table cloth, my pool table cover, or my plastic specialized stamp gauge. I also sometimes use the smooth back of the tip of my stamp tongs after using the plastic.

This method works best if the hinge has not been cut, you know, if there is still a piece of the hinge to grab onto. I haven't damaged any stamps using this method, but by now I'm an expert. It'll take some time to get good at this. I've also used this method for hinges that had no loose ends at all - it just took longer and it was riskier and I have damaged one or two that way. So if the stamp is valuable and there is no part of the hinge to grab onto, don't try this method until you have the confidence.

And of course, use this method at your own risk.

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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..
31 Jul 2012
07:37:43pm
re: Hinge Questions

A very interesting procedure. Lewis, and a nice detailed explanation.
I am assuming that all that careful effort achieves the result that the hinge was removed leaving no visible gum disturbance to the naked eye.
But I suggest that it creates a moral dilemma.

You mention that the set you were working on is cataloged at $200.00.
Is that for mint never hinged ?
Or mint hinged, slight gum disturbance ?
If you were describing it to a collector or dealer with the intention to sell, which way would you describe it, MNH or MH ?
How about if it were a dealer who you disliked intently ?
Caveat Emptor ?
If you keep records of the special stamps you have and their current catalog listing would you list its value as $200, or, at a lesser amount since obviously you know it really was hinged and there is little sense in deceiving yourself, right ?

If the prospective buyer was a cute young lady with a winning smile who was just starting to expand her collecting interests, would that change you decision ?

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michael78651
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31 Jul 2012
10:53:39pm
re: Hinge Questions

Charley, you're not saying that you're going to get dressed like a cute..... uh no.... picture just flashed in my mind... please don't...

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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
01 Aug 2012
04:26:35am
re: Hinge Questions

Have no fear, I'm afraid that the days when I could dress like a cute "anything" are long gone.
I can barely dress these days without help.

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01 Aug 2012
06:19:19am

Auctions
re: Hinge Questions

I'm still haunted by Charlie dressed in nothing but Machins.

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01 Aug 2012
11:00:44am
re: Hinge Questions

David,

Since Charlie only wants his "bed" covered in Machins & his body covered by a thick layer of worldwide, we now have a place to send our "damaged" worldwides. Charlie, surely you don't mind some damaged worldwides covering that beautiful body of yours, do you? :-D

Kelly

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michael78651
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01 Aug 2012
02:05:02pm
re: Hinge Questions

I suppose considering the purpose and use of these stamps for Charlie, that all stamps should be canceled?


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01 Aug 2012
02:08:46pm
re: Hinge Questions

And another reason not to reuse hinges. I just received a sales circuit. A couple of the sellers reused the hinges when they transferred the stamps from an album to the sales books. The now weak/sparse glue on the hinges just doesn't hold on the sales book pages and as I turned the pages, stamps kept fluttering off the pages. I re-attached the stamps to the books using tape. That should teach them. (Actually I'm just kidding about that last part. I replaced the old worn out hinges with new ones and reattached the stamps to the pages.)

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05 Aug 2012
12:28:36am
re: Hinge Questions

The method I described for removing hinges will still leave the gum disturbed on gummed stamps. They are clearly visible as mint lighly hinged. if I were selling the stamps I would describe them accurately as MLH. I dont employ the process to deceive anyone (not that you were implying that). I simply can't stand having hinge remnants that i can easily remove.

The specific stamps I was referring to that i worked on recently were early Swiss semi postals, actually three sets, listed as B2 thru B9 in Scott 2012. Some were MH and some were used, but all had hinges. In these sets the canceled are worth more, so i need to get some knowledge about forged cancels for these stamps.

For most stamps i acquire, including these, i note the catalog value with the stamp. But he condition of the stamp will affect the avtual value. For example, in these eight Swiss stamps, two had very small tears. I didn't note the condition and centering yet, but they seem okay. so i am not saying they are worth $200. The catalog value is only a benchmark for me. I find that CVs are sometimes way out of whack from reality, especially if Ebay is your market. I acquired these stamps in a collection for about 8% of CV, so some flaws are expected. even if I duscarded the flawed stamps, the dicount from CV was huge, which means: either I'm missing something (entirely possible) or CVs are largely bogus -- well, not bogus, but just not relevant for how I acquire stamps.

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michael78651
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05 Aug 2012
02:56:24am
re: Hinge Questions

Regarding the used values for Swiss semi-postals, Scott values the used stamps as postally used. While there will be forged cancels on the more valuable stamps, it is more the CTOs that you should on the lookout for. If you have a used semi-postal set, and all the cancels are in the same location on each stamp, you probably have CTO. Also if you can see a date on the cancel, look for first day of issue cancel. These are often CTO as well. Unless you know for sure, the proper protocol is to use the lower unused value for the used stamps.

Regarding catalog values, Scott is quite clear in its catalog introduction that bulk lots are normally priced at discounts (often large) from catalog value. Buying a collection at 20% or less of catalog value is in the wholesale area that dealers often pay for typical material found in collections.

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05 Aug 2012
07:35:51am

Auctions
re: Hinge Questions

Hey Magyar,

CV is not necessarily bogus, but it's an immensely imprecise gauge. Micheal is quite right that 20% is a usual CV for large bulk lots; my club buys from the same dealer all sound material at between 10-15%, with most of the stamps higher values. If you follow our own SOR lots, you see singles and sets offered starting at 20% (Tal often offers closer to 10%), although many list at much higher percentages. It's just a starting point.

If the stamp is in demand, and in good shape, and you find the right audience, one can easily exceed CV (we do that here, too, on occasion).

I'm probably belaboring this overmuch, but CV is a starting point, and it describes a stamp in a certain condition, and it's a retail number. Buyers on a budget can often do much better, assuming the stamp is available

David

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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
05 Aug 2012
04:52:20pm
re: Hinge Questions

Yes, Lewis, the "CV" first of all varies with the catalog often quite significantly. A good example would be Swiss stamps or Dutch stamps.
Certain stamps will be given very different numbers in Scott, from Michel, or Gibbons and especially from a Zumstein or the Dutch Philatelic Traders Catalog.
That is why I personally eschew the word, "Value", preferring to use "Catalog listing" when ever I can.

Usually a comparison between the listings will accurately indicate relative rarity far better than what a given stamp is likely to sell for on the open market.
But collectors have habitually used the word value and newer collectors consider it to be of some real meaning, beyond relative rarity.
Add to that the philatelic ignorance of many sellers using eBay and I fail to see where it is worth while to pay much attention to such numbers.

To me, the best use of one of these catalogs is, after indicating comparative rarity, identification of stamps and significant minor variations, many of which are only listed and illustrated in the regional catalogs.

I regularly receive three extensive auction house listings and have carefully tracked the supposed Catalog value, the auctioneer's estimate and what the actual result is. A wider variance is hard to imagine and probably 60% of the stamps or sets sell for far less than half of the overly optimistic estimates or catalog values. Another 25 to 30% sell for closer to but still less than the estimates. Then there are the exceptions such as the recent interest of China Stamps and in that area the estimates are often exceeded by a factor of three or four times.

That does create an offset between the overs and unders, so perhaps the lot estimator only considers the totals when evaluating his accuracy. I do not know.

As to the reuse of a hinge, I cannot believe that anyone would remove a hinge from a stamp, possibly damaging the glue layers as you note, and reuse that hinge on a different stamp. The only time I can imagine a sane collector considering reusing a hinge, would be where, upon removing a stamp from an approval book or album being stripped and discovering that the hinge that remains firmly on the stamp is virtually undamaged with large areas of the glue"album side" undamaged. Doing so would not damage the stamp.

Stamps that are falling loose from an approval book, I suspect, are the result of someone simply not attaching the hinge properly in the first place or the result ifnthe lower grade hinges that have been sold in the philatelic market.

I guess that still leaves the slightly dereanged to be accounted for.

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Mike
05 Aug 2012
11:26:01pm
re: Hinge Questions

Maybe the folks re-using the hinges are doing so because the hinges have "Scotch" adhesive on them. Still disgusting, either way. I also like the collectors that only use a half hinges to mount their stamps, in the approval books/sheets. One would think that a $20 or $50 stamp would at least deserve a new, full hinge.

Mike

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HungaryForStamps
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07 Aug 2012
01:13:58pm
re: Hinge Questions

Just to be clear, the reason why I remove hinges from stamps is not to reuse the hinge. Any foreign matter attached to the back of the stamp is a potential problem, archival or otherwise, plus it bugs me.

When the hinge was originally applied to the stamp, the gum became disturbed. The process of removing the hinge is not necessarily disturbing the gum (significantly), if care is taken. The disturbance has already occurred and it is merely covered up by the hinge. I personally prefer mint stamps with gum LH than with the hinge still attached.

I also use this method to remove hinges from used stamps, when its appropriate. No point in resorting to a more drastic soaking.

My point about the value of the Swiss stamps from which I removed hinges, was merely to point out that I applied this method to intermediate value stamps with success (and no fear of damaging the stamps).

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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
07 Aug 2012
05:30:10pm
re: Hinge Questions

" .... I just to be clear, the reason why I remove hinges from stamps is not to reuse the hinge. ..."
I misunderstood your original meaning, which no doubt was clear to you.
By"reusing" hinges you are thinking about someone removing an apparently intact hinge from a stamp that already had been taken from its album, in which case the adhesive, if it was originally in two layers as it should have been would have less in the part that would be going on some new stamp. Yes that would be a situation that could and would damage that newly mounted stamp more than necessary when it was further removed in the future.
.
The only way my feeble mind could imagine reusing a hinge would be when the stamp still had a decent hinge remnant affixed firmly to the stamp that was being moved from one page or album to another. Thus the reused part would not be on the stamp, but attached to the new page.
.


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Jake6
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10 Aug 2016
09:25:59am
re: Hinge Questions

I have noticed, in the midst of this discussion, that while removing hinges from some stamps leave a mark, I have carefully removed the hinges from other stamps (I'm talking from old albums) and there isn't a mark of any kind to be seen on the back of the stamp. Could it be some hinges, if properly applied, are vastly superior to others and can be used without leaving a trace of their presence? Also, I have found a completely sealed and unused packet of hinges in one of the old stamp albums I bought, and I am wondering if the hinges might still be usuable. Packet looks to be from the 1940s.

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michael78651
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10 Aug 2016
10:01:14am
re: Hinge Questions

There have been many discussions here regarding hinges.

Here is one:

https://stamporama.com/discboard/disc_main.php?action=20&id=7648#50115

...and another:

https://stamporama.com/discboard/disc_main.php?action=20&id=9604#66228

One can always search for older posts by clicking on SEARCH at the top of the page when in the Discussion Boards. Then in the left drop down box select KEY WORD, and in the next box whatever you want to search for, such as "stamp hinges". Click on search, and the list of results will appear.

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Mike
10 Aug 2016
10:54:13am
re: Hinge Questions

Jake,
As far as the "old" hinges are concerned, if they appear all right, they probably are fine to use. I have a lot of old hinges that are being used all the time. One is still able to buy the good old Dennison, the perfect hinge, on the Internet, if they want to pay several dollars for a 25¢ package. If you still don't trust them just ship them to me and I will run some very thorough tests on them and let you know what the outcome is, but don't expect a reply for at least 20 years, or so.
Mike

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michael78651
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10 Aug 2016
11:07:20am
re: Hinge Questions

Damn, sometimes I just fall off my chair and roll on the floor like a dog when I read some replies. Rolling On The Floor Laughing

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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
17 Aug 2016
11:46:54am
re: Hinge Questions

Just a note about this thread.
It started about hinges on March 9th, 2012.
Wandered around one of my sea stories,
covered the delicate sanitary complications
of re-licking what are apparently good hinges,
slipoed off for a while to the relative usefulness
of the catalog's listed "value" and
came back to using used hinges.
Four years, five months and a few days.
Hmmmm ?

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17 Aug 2016
11:57:21am
re: Hinge Questions

I'm still trying to absorb the basic concept of reusing hinges!Confused


WB

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