Are "acid-free" backing boards truly acid-free? Time to pH test & find out!
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MastrCntrlProgram   
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Oh, and this thread should be stickied!

 

+1

 

Dan

 

+100

 

Agreed.

 

The irony is the E-Gerber back boards are the same price as the others so it's a no-brainer.

 

Surprisingly E-gerbers doesn't sell MCP so any links to where this could be bought would be greatly appreciated. :)

Edited by MastrCntrlProgram

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Conan_Aficionado   
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Oh, and this thread should be stickied!

 

+1

 

Dan

 

+100

 

Agreed.

 

The irony is the E-Gerber back boards are the same price as the others so it's a no-brainer.

 

Surprisingly E-gerbers doesn't see MCP so any links to where this could be bought would be greatly appreciated. :)

 

$8.00 for 100, didn't know that, i guess from now on it's Gerber boards for me.

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comicdonna   
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Great report! :applause:

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marvelcollector   
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Oh, and this thread should be stickied!

 

+1

 

Dan

 

+100

 

Agreed.

 

The irony is the E-Gerber back boards are the same price as the others so it's a no-brainer.

 

Surprisingly E-gerbers doesn't see MCP so any links to where this could be bought would be greatly appreciated. :)

 

Here you go (thumbs u

 

Microchmaber Paper

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The Resurrection   
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Best thread so far for 2011. Thanks Mike!

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arnould1   
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PM board member "grinin" . he sells Microchamber paper and Mylars as well, very nice to deal with and reasonable prices! Made my first order with him today as recomended by other board members!

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arnould1   
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This is a great post! but now you have cost me a lot of money as I am going to have to replace all of my boards!

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Detroit MIke   
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excellent! and i'm glad my books have gerber boards.

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Icculus308win   
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A post like this helps refresh the ol brain why I joined the Boards.

Awesome! (thumbs u

 

 

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JvR11   
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What a great report thanks for sharing this knowledge. I'm really going to have to change out some of my backing boards!

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Designer Toast   
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Holy ! I used to place those BCW extenders in some of my books. I have two unopened packs and someone will be giving me a refund on that !

 

I use Mylites+ and Mylites2 with fullbacks on my nicer stuff.

 

:applause:Outstanding report!! :applause:

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Peter Loves Gwen   
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Thanks Mike, now how long do the good boards last? I've had my Bill Cole boards for over 20 years now, and I've flipped most of them at least once.

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mschmidt   
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My question is at what point is my comic collection worthy of being Gerberized. Most of my comics are coppers and early 90's drek. I have maybe 200 comics worth over $5 bucs, 100 over $10 and maybe 30 comics over $20(of about 1000 in total). What's worthy? Granted my collection is small enough that i can Gerberize everything over $5. (you serious collectors stop laughing at me...lol)

Like several people have mentioned the price difference between true acid-free boards and regular coated boards is neglible - and considering how much of a difference it makes from a conservation standpoint, it seems like a complete no-brainer decision to me. The switch from polybags (which, btw, are never archival-safe either, no matter what the manufacturers claim) to mylar, however, is a bit trickier - there's no question that polybags degrade over time which, in turn, produces harmful chemicals that also hastens the comic book's natural aging process, but the actual physical effect this has on a comic book is much less severe than the one caused by a non-acid-free backing board.

 

I made the decision years ago that every single book in my personal collection - whether it was worth $1 or $1000 - was to be stored in mylar with a true acid-free board. Considering I own about 13,000 books that was a bit of an undertaking, but not having to swap out the bags or boards again made it worth every penny. Not to mention that books in mylars just look :cloud9:

 

 

Another question, is it the board acids that interact with the comic of the acids that the inks and cheap paper in the comic that interact with the boards? Seems to me whether you board or not, the comic itself is probably releasing more acid than the board. Eight years ago I purchased new boards to replace the old ones. I only got around to doing about 100 or so and still had an open pack of boards that remained unused for nearly eight years. To my surprise, the boards remained relatively white compared to the ones that were used eight years ago.

With a regular coated backing board it's actually both - both the comic book & the backing board are happily off-gassing acids inside the semi-sealed environment of the comic book bag, and therefore speed up the natural aging process of both items.

 

A buffered, archival-safe board, however, is meant to address those very issues - not only is the board itself acid-free (and therefore doesn't contribute to the acid build-up), but the calcium carbonate buffer also helps to absorb & neutralize the acids that develop in the comic book as it ages.

 

 

As a matter of fact one thing that disturbed me was the one comic in my collection that was stored in a mylar and was maintained in the same mylar for the last 15 years had tanned somewhat. It was a mylar without the folding flap, it was open ended. The top of the comic had started to brown/tan and the top of the pages of the comic had also tanned. I think air might have something serious to do with tanning pages more so than the board.

There's no question that the environment a comic book is stored in is just as important as using archival-safe products (oxidation is part of what causes paper to turn brown), but using the correct storage products will go a long way towards protecting your book from environmental factors. I personally never use open-top mylars unless it's a double-bag combo.

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TSwift25   
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mschmidt's threads are by far my favorite part of the board.

 

So much knowledge to gain.

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Bomber-Bob   
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Michael, great research and info. Mostly, I have always used Bill Cole mylars and boards, sensing that they were better for my comics. Thanks for validating.

 

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oakman29   
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Mike the advice you gave me concerning bags and backing boards have been extremely helpful.I have taken your advice and changed all my books over to mylite2 and BCE thin X-Tenders.Thanks for saving my books,and taking the time to do these kind of tests.You Rock! :headbang:

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Mutie Fan   
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Michael, thanks for posting this. I am going to change over all my books to mylar and archival safe boards! Even though many of my books are not valuable from a financial standpoint, they are on of the few things I am sentimental about. I don't want to go through them in 30 years and discover my childhood friends are brittle.

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Conan_Aficionado   
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My question is at what point is my comic collection worthy of being Gerberized. Most of my comics are coppers and early 90's drek. I have maybe 200 comics worth over $5 bucs, 100 over $10 and maybe 30 comics over $20(of about 1000 in total). What's worthy? Granted my collection is small enough that i can Gerberize everything over $5. (you serious collectors stop laughing at me...lol)

Like several people have mentioned the price difference between true acid-free boards and regular coated boards is neglible - and considering how much of a difference it makes from a conservation standpoint, it seems like a complete no-brainer decision to me. The switch from polybags (which, btw, are never archival-safe either, no matter what the manufacturers claim) to mylar, however, is a bit trickier - there's no question that polybags degrade over time which, in turn, produces harmful chemicals that also hastens the comic book's natural aging process, but the actual physical effect this has on a comic book is much less severe than the one caused by a non-acid-free backing board.

 

I made the decision years ago that every single book in my personal collection - whether it was worth $1 or $1000 - was to be stored in mylar with a true acid-free board. Considering I own about 13,000 books that was a bit of an undertaking, but not having to swap out the bags or boards again made it worth every penny. Not to mention that books in mylars just look :cloud9:

 

 

Another question, is it the board acids that interact with the comic of the acids that the inks and cheap paper in the comic that interact with the boards? Seems to me whether you board or not, the comic itself is probably releasing more acid than the board. Eight years ago I purchased new boards to replace the old ones. I only got around to doing about 100 or so and still had an open pack of boards that remained unused for nearly eight years. To my surprise, the boards remained relatively white compared to the ones that were used eight years ago.

With a regular coated backing board it's actually both - both the comic book & the backing board are happily off-gassing acids inside the semi-sealed environment of the comic book bag, and therefore speed up the natural aging process of both items.

 

A buffered, archival-safe board, however, is meant to address those very issues - not only is the board itself acid-free (and therefore doesn't contribute to the acid build-up), but the calcium carbonate buffer also helps to absorb & neutralize the acids that develop in the comic book as it ages.

 

 

As a matter of fact one thing that disturbed me was the one comic in my collection that was stored in a mylar and was maintained in the same mylar for the last 15 years had tanned somewhat. It was a mylar without the folding flap, it was open ended. The top of the comic had started to brown/tan and the top of the pages of the comic had also tanned. I think air might have something serious to do with tanning pages more so than the board.

There's no question that the environment a comic book is stored in is just as important as using archival-safe products (oxidation is part of what causes paper to turn brown), but using the correct storage products will go a long way towards protecting your book from environmental factors. I personally never use open-top mylars unless it's a double-bag combo.

 

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

 

It's greatly appreciated, I just recently changed the bags and boards. Had I known that the E.Gerber boards were the same price or even similarly priced I would have purchased the E.Gerber Brand.

 

 

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InvstmntComcSuply   
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Mike, thanks for performing such a thorough test. I have explained this so many times that I get blue in the face. Now I can just link people to this thread as the visual evidence is something people can really absorb.

 

 

By the way, one other thing I find telling about BCW's extenders, is that they copied the name of the well respected Bill Cole product line "X-tenders"

 

 

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InvstmntComcSuply   
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As a matter of fact one thing that disturbed me was the one comic in my collection that was stored in a mylar and was maintained in the same mylar for the last 15 years had tanned somewhat. It was a mylar without the folding flap, it was open ended. The top of the comic had started to brown/tan and the top of the pages of the comic had also tanned. I think air might have something serious to do with tanning pages more so than the board.

 

 

These are the prime (and recurring) examples of why I always recommend fold over flap top M2 mylars with Gerber boards (and microchamber for your valued books) rather than open top Archives. It is likely that your book was damaged by Ozone, Nitrous Oxides, Sulfur Dioxide or other oxidizing or acidifying gaseous pollutants, all of which are unaffected by any backboard, but which are absorbed and neutralized by microchamber paper.

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