Back boards - shiny side or dull side? THE MYSTERY REVEALED!
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As many of you know, the eternal question among comic collectors who don't want to incur the cost of calcium carbonate buffered back boards is, "Do I put my comics against the shiny side or the dull side?" Many times this has been debated, with no clear answer.

 

Well, now there's an answer. I recently bought a pH detection pencil and used it on two back boards. The back boards are relatively new, having been purchased within the last six months or so from Russ at comicsupply.com. I followed the instructions that came with the pencil and tested the pH levels on the shiny side of a back board that I pulled out of the middle of a a previously unopened ream of back boards and on the dull side of the back board that was right next to the first one I pulled from the middle of the stack.

 

For those who don't know, on the pH scale, a lower number means that the item is more acidic and a higher number means that it is less acidic (alkaline). A pH reading of 7 means that the item is neutral, neither acidic nor alkaline.

 

I don't know how well these colors will show up on your monitor, but by my eyeballing the color scale, the dull side registered a pH of approximately 5, and the shiny side registered a pH of about 7 to 7.5. Thus, the shiny side appears to be the "non-acidic" side of the back board, while the dull side appears to be quite acidic by comparison. So, if you've been putting your books against the dull side of non-buffered back boards, you've got your books on the wrong side! poke2.gif

 

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My only question would be, does the book possible interact with the shiny side to make it more acidic over time? Where as the dull side might not?

 

You have any boards from months back with a book placed on each side? Do you think a few months is enough time?

 

Where did you get the pencil?

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So your saying, after i spent several hours changing all my books to the dull side after thinking the shiny side was more acidic.....i have to change it back? foreheadslap.gif

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So your saying, after i spent several hours changing all my books to the dull side after thinking the shiny side was more acidic.....i have to change it back? foreheadslap.gif

 

All of your books are on the dull side no matter what side of the board you use. tongue.gif

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I realize a single data point is quite enough in the legal system poke2.gif but for those of us who spend most of our day in greater nerd-dom, how repeatable is this experiment? Seriously, no need for scores of reps, I would imagine 3 trials would be enough to get a feel for its consistency.

 

And hats off for your initiative to go after the answer first-hand! 893applaud-thumb.gif

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So your saying, after i spent several hours changing all my books to the dull side after thinking the shiny side was more acidic.....i have to change it back? foreheadslap.gif

 

All of your books are on the dull side no matter what side of the board you use. tongue.gif

 

sign-funnypost.gif893applaud-thumb.gif

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Thus, the shiny side appears to be the "non-acidic" side of the back board, while the dull side appears to be quite acidic by comparison.

 

Thanks for the test, but I never understood why it was even in doubt.

 

After all, why in the world would standard backing board manufacturers spend MORE to treat one side of the board, if you weren't actually *supposed* to use it? confused-smiley-013.gif

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So your saying, after i spent several hours changing all my books to the dull side after thinking the shiny side was more acidic.....i have to change it back? foreheadslap.gif

 

All of your books are on the dull side no matter what side of the board you use. tongue.gif

 

sign-funnypost.gif893applaud-thumb.gif

 

acclaim.gif

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As many of you know, the eternal question among comic collectors who don't want to incur the cost of calcium carbonate buffered back boards is, "Do I put my comics against the shiny side or the dull side?" Many times this has been debated, with no clear answer.

 

Well, now there's an answer. I recently bought a pH detection pencil and used it on two back boards. The back boards are relatively new, having been purchased within the last six months or so from Russ at comicsupply.com. I followed the instructions that came with the pencil and tested the pH levels on the shiny side of a back board that I pulled out of the middle of a a previously unopened ream of back boards and on the dull side of the back board that was right next to the first one I pulled from the middle of the stack.

 

For those who don't know, on the pH scale, a lower number means that the item is more acidic and a higher number means that it is less acidic (alkaline). A pH reading of 7 means that the item is neutral, neither acidic nor alkaline.

 

I don't know how well these colors will show up on your monitor, but by my eyeballing the color scale, the dull side registered a pH of approximately 5, and the shiny side registered a pH of about 7 to 7.5. Thus, the shiny side appears to be the "non-acidic" side of the back board, while the dull side appears to be quite acidic by comparison. So, if you've been putting your books against the dull side of non-buffered back boards, you've got your books on the wrong side! poke2.gif

 

scan0004.jpg

Perhaps this has been addressed before, but is it simply just of question of board (side of contact) pH, or rather the capacity of the board to interact with the comics and alter pH, or buffer changes in comic paper pH that might occur naturally? Is the goal simply to have support that won't generate an acid insult? I'm sure you don't want a highly basic board, as I assume paper has some preferred pH range. It seems to me you want a board that maintains a non-damaging pH over time when stored with a comic, and ideally it has some buffering capacity to mitigate enviromentally- (or book-) induced changes in pH.

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FFB...the Action Man! insane.gif

 

Seriously...thanks for the test. Now we have a pointer when the question comes up again in three months...

 

Jim

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Thanks for the report, Scott. thumbsup2.gif A small, but definite difference between the two.(And thank gawd I've been doing it right. I'd hate to redo my bagging and boarding any more than the "5-year re-up").

 

After reading Joe's comment, I think that was my reasoning for doing it all along. Why would a company even bother to "treat" one side if it was more harmful (even minimally as shown by Scott's testing)?

 

Dodged another bullet. headbang.gif

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yay.gifyay.gifyay.gif

 

I have all my comics stored against the shiny side. I just felt that the smoother surface would cause less wear on the comic when I'm trying to pull it out.

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So your saying, after i spent several hours changing all my books to the dull side after thinking the shiny side was more acidic.....i have to change it back? foreheadslap.gif

 

All of your books are on the dull side no matter what side of the board you use. tongue.gif

sorry.gif

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Thus, the shiny side appears to be the "non-acidic" side of the back board, while the dull side appears to be quite acidic by comparison.

 

Thanks for the test, but I never understood why it was even in doubt.

 

After all, why in the world would standard backing board manufacturers spend MORE to treat one side of the board, if you weren't actually *supposed* to use it? confused-smiley-013.gif

 

Or manufacture boards with two shiny sides.... acclaim.gif

 

For me this has been a non-question that has been around for ever...and I'm sure in 10 years time some people will still think you need to use the dull side Christo_pull_hair.gif

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As many of you know, the eternal question among comic collectors who don't want to incur the cost of calcium carbonate buffered back boards is, "Do I put my comics against the shiny side or the dull side?" Many times this has been debated, with no clear answer.

 

Well, now there's an answer. I recently bought a pH detection pencil and used it on two back boards. The back boards are relatively new, having been purchased within the last six months or so from Russ at comicsupply.com. I followed the instructions that came with the pencil and tested the pH levels on the shiny side of a back board that I pulled out of the middle of a a previously unopened ream of back boards and on the dull side of the back board that was right next to the first one I pulled from the middle of the stack.

 

For those who don't know, on the pH scale, a lower number means that the item is more acidic and a higher number means that it is less acidic (alkaline). A pH reading of 7 means that the item is neutral, neither acidic nor alkaline.

 

I don't know how well these colors will show up on your monitor, but by my eyeballing the color scale, the dull side registered a pH of approximately 5, and the shiny side registered a pH of about 7 to 7.5. Thus, the shiny side appears to be the "non-acidic" side of the back board, while the dull side appears to be quite acidic by comparison. So, if you've been putting your books against the dull side of non-buffered back boards, you've got your books on the wrong side! poke2.gif

 

Unfortunately, the entire board is placed within a virtually sealed bag, which then off-gasses acid in a closed environment - I seriously doubt it matters which side is in actual contact with the book, as the entire environment is acidic.

 

Just throw 'em away Kilty 27_laughing.gifinsane.gif

 

A little bit of knowledge can be dangereous . . . grin.gif

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Thus, the shiny side appears to be the "non-acidic" side of the back board, while the dull side appears to be quite acidic by comparison.

 

Thanks for the test, but I never understood why it was even in doubt.

 

After all, why in the world would standard backing board manufacturers spend MORE to treat one side of the board, if you weren't actually *supposed* to use it? confused-smiley-013.gif

 

Uh, because they're from Canada? insane.gif Is this a trick question?

 

 

stooges.gif

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Common boards acidify in less than two years - Pull anyone of your old TOS's that you have stored in poly/common. See the brown specks on the shiny side of the board? That's acidification - That deteriorates the book. Either way you lose sumo.gif

 

The only alternative is to spend the money (sorry kilty) grin.gif

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Or manufacture boards with two shiny sides.... acclaim.gif

 

The most recent pack of boards I bought was like this. 893applaud-thumb.gif

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Or manufacture boards with two shiny sides.... acclaim.gif

 

The most recent pack of boards I bought was like this. 893applaud-thumb.gif

 

This was when ??? 1999 ?? confused-smiley-013.gif

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