Are "acid-free" backing boards truly acid-free? Time to pH test & find out!
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414 posts in this topic

Doohickamabob   
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Will microchamber paper mitigate the acidity of various backings? Also, when you put microchamber paper inside a comic, do you put it in the centerfold, or in each inside cover and back cover?

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comicwiz   
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Great summary and report.

 

Because companies manufacture/produce bags and boards to fit together, I would think that it would be quite difficult to find the best match of poly-bag for Gerger or Cole buffered backs. If you know of a company who's poly-bags for Modern, CA, BA and SA/GA beaters will work with Gerber/Cole buffered backs for each of those eras, that could be useful to know.

 

Otherwise, I guess the alternatives would be:

 

- mylar bags and buffered backs for my entire collection (including post 90's stuff)

- only bag modern stuff and take a chance on any spine/corner damage

- don't bag and board any of the modern stuff

 

I guess in an indirect way, acid attacking the bonds in paper can be as much a problem if we are talking about acid-free backs, or pressing. One will have a more protracted and longer term effect, and the other will likely end up in a slab. But knowing that exposure to heat from pressing could effect paper bonds as well is important to know, and exposing a comic to archivally unsafe backs in addition to having been pressed is certainly something to consider.

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GL1   
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Wow! That was a great read.

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silverweb   
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One question, my remaining bag of about 50 Gerber halfbacks has developed a curl. Not sure what to do about it and how serious they could harm my comics if used. Any suggestions?

 

 

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CatskillMike   
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One question, my remaining bag of about 50 Gerber halfbacks has developed a curl. Not sure what to do about it and how serious they could harm my comics if used. Any suggestions?

 

 

I have a few that did that also. Just flip the stack and put a weight on them for a couple weeks.

 

As for the testing, that was excellent work. But to be honest, I anticipated the half/fullbacks would pass while most of the others didn't. Good to know my research a few years ago paid off. I switched to Gerbers quite awhile ago. They were the only ones I could find that were buffered throughout the board, not just coated. I have thousands in my collection.

 

:whee:

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trip74-migration   
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Thanks for the article. A very insightful experiment.

 

I recently ordered a large amount of mylars and gerbers. too bad I recently spent close to $100 on polys and traditional backing boards.

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InvstmntComcSuply   
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Will microchamber paper mitigate the acidity of various backings? Also, when you put microchamber paper inside a comic, do you put it in the centerfold, or in each inside cover and back cover?

 

It will, to some extent. But the point is, it is best to remove additional sources of acidity (ALL unbuffered backboards) to minimize the acid load on the microchamber paper and allow it to do its thing removing by-products of deterioration and pollutants. If you use Gerber or Cole boards you have the structural support of the board and the chemical support of the buffering.

 

CGC places microchamber paper inside the front cover and back cover to protect the most critical/valuable part of the comic. I also put a piece in the centerfold of my more valued books. If I had $1000 books more than a few minutes, I would probably put a couple more pieces in them.

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Point Five   
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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.

Was your mylared book in a comic box? If so, the box itself may be acidic. I learned that the hard way... in the 1980s I stored a bunch of silver age books in a generic short box, and the comics in poly bags actually fared better than the comics in open mylars, all of which got a tanned open edge. I switched to the grey archival-safe boxes some years back.

 

 

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Bill C   
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Great thread, thanks a million

 

I'm due for new bags and boards

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Boozad   
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And the crying shame about this thread? We don't get these choices over here in Blighty. Unless you want to pay 4x the worth of the product for shipping. Damn shame.

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silverweb   
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And the crying shame about this thread? We don't get these choices over here in Blighty. Unless you want to pay 4x the worth of the product for shipping. Damn shame.

 

Have you contacted Hotflips in New Jersey? Also, try to buy in bulk with other local collectors to split the cost of the "bloody" shipping.

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mschmidt   
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And the crying shame about this thread? We don't get these choices over here in Blighty. Unless you want to pay 4x the worth of the product for shipping. Damn shame.

 

Gav - I may be wrong, but as E Gerber is owned by Diamond, any UK comic book store should be able to order their products alongside their regular US comic book shipment ...

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DrWatson   
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What is all of that supposed to mean, exactly?

 

I've had books in Bill Cole Mylar and backing boards for twenty to thirty years that upon submission to CGC all came back 9.8s and 9.9s with white pages.

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mschmidt   
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What is all of that supposed to mean, exactly?

 

I've had books in Bill Cole Mylar and backing boards for twenty to thirty years that upon submission to CGC all came back 9.8s and 9.9s with white pages.

 

It means that you're storing your books correctly :thumbsup:

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