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Cards stuck together
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Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Will
posted
I am sure this has been asked before, but I cannot seem to easily locate any posts on it. Can anyone provide some tips on getting card unstuck from each other when they have been in storage for a while? I have some cards that I can get apart, but doing so is causing some transfer of print between the cards. Any help out there?
 
Posts: 1403 | Location: Prairieville, LA | Registered: May 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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Once it starts to happen, all you can try to do is gently separate the cards with your hands as best you can. You can get an edge started and hope its just a little tacky or you can use a thin blade, but that risks really damaging the card.

If you see it happening and want to stop it before it gets worse, put wax paper between the cards on one or both sides that have the offending gloss. Wax paper is also old school to protect ink and marker signatures before the archival supplies became popular.

I had a baseball card set of Fleer Flairs in a 1000 card box. The cards looked great with shiny, heavy gloss. When I looked in the box after about 4 years they were really stuck together. I did break some away and could have salvaged most of them, but wasn't interested enough to waste the time so I just dumped everything, but it was the worse case I ever had. I have heard other people say they found solid blocks, but that's generally for cards from that 90's period. Card makers did get smarter, not that it absolutely couldn't happen to newer cards I guess, especially if they are stored in the wrong places.
 
Posts: 7997 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Will
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Unfortunately, these are cards from a box that I just opened, so I had no way of knowing beforehand. While it's not happening with every pack or all the cards in a pack, it's prevalent across the entire box. Luckily, it's "just" the base cards, so nothing high end is getting damaged.
 
Posts: 1403 | Location: Prairieville, LA | Registered: May 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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Is it from older product?
 
Posts: 7997 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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You can try to heat them up (i.e. in the sun) or cool them down (freezer).

I've heard people give those suggestions, but I've never had much luck (or patience) in getting cards apart.
 
Posts: 4577 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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Yes, that is what I've heard too.

I have a different but basically the same problem with a Paramount widescreen card (oversized cards inserted under the shrinkwrap of various Paramount movies of the 80's-90's). I had never seen the card for "The Saint" and had a chance to buy it. Unfortunately, the card is mostly stuck to the box. I've tried to gently separate it but it's on there and then tried just letting it sit in my closet thinking some time in a dry place might help - not sure it's doing anything. I might try freezing.

My set of Star Wars Chrome Archives is stuck to the binder pages. That may be a total loss. I might try cutting around each card and then see if they'll come off by peeling the pocket sides from each other, maybe salvaging the chase cards and promos if nothing else.

Jess



quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
You can try to heat them up (i.e. in the sun) or cool them down (freezer).

I've heard people give those suggestions, but I've never had much luck (or patience) in getting cards apart.
 
Posts: 1503 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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I'd try freezing them overnight. Good luck!
 
Posts: 1982 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: September 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Will
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
You can try to heat them up (i.e. in the sun) or cool them down (freezer).

I've heard people give those suggestions, but I've never had much luck (or patience) in getting cards apart.


I had heard of using the freezer, but hadn't thought of heat. I may conduct an experiment with multiple bricks and see what works best.
 
Posts: 1403 | Location: Prairieville, LA | Registered: May 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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The idea behind the freezer thing is that colder temperatures have some effect on glue and adhesives. You aren't supposed to lay cement at under 40 degrees because it doesn't harden well. Glue may not take and some laminated wood can become brittle if its too cold.

I have heard this freezer suggestion before about separating tacky cards, but I don't know that anyone ever said it worked or that it worked better than anything else they tried. I really wouldn't think that heat would work at all. That would make it melty and some chemicals are highly flammable.

Card gloss is a chemical compound in the polyurethane family I think, but its not supposed to stick, just shine. When cards do stick together because chemicals start to interact or breakdown, I suspect it might be caused by heat or higher temperatures. I would also expect it to produce surface damage, even when you can separate them.

I know that you have to rub off the glossy surface of a base card with a nylon if you want an autograph to take well to the surface The gloss acts to repel the ink rather than adhere to it.

So if cards are found at the point where you just can't break them apart with hand pressure I would just call it a loss if we are talking about replaceable stuff.
 
Posts: 7997 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of X
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
I know that you have to rub off the glossy surface of a base card with a nylon if you want an autograph to take well to the surface The gloss acts to repel the ink rather than adhere to it.


I've read online this being commonplace. Never gone in for it myself... I'd rather not alter the finish of my cards, or even worse, put talcum powder on my cards to 'prep' them.

I've only ever used Sharpie or Staedtler Lumocolor permanent pens, the latter I believe RA/Topps use, and neither have smudged on glossy cards I have had signed.
 
Posts: 3025 | Location: England | Registered: June 23, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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Hi Logan,

I tried it by putting the box and card in a freezer bag and leaving it in the freezer for about 8 hours. It did seem to help a little. I was able to slip a piece of paper a little farther between the card and the box - will try it again tonight.

Jess


quote:
Originally posted by Logan:
I'd try freezing them overnight. Good luck!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: catskilleagle,
 
Posts: 1503 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Silver Card Talk Member
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Yeah, I think freezing may crystallize the coating drying it out and making it brittle.

Freezing seemed safer for the card than heating. Melting the coating even slightly might stain the card or leave a noticeably non-uniform shine even if it does help in separating.

Jess


quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
The idea behind the freezer thing is that colder temperatures have some effect on glue and adhesives. You aren't supposed to lay cement at under 40 degrees because it doesn't harden well. Glue may not take and some laminated wood can become brittle if its too cold.

I have heard this freezer suggestion before about separating tacky cards, but I don't know that anyone ever said it worked or that it worked better than anything else they tried. I really wouldn't think that heat would work at all. That would make it melty and some chemicals are highly flammable.

Card gloss is a chemical compound in the polyurethane family I think, but its not supposed to stick, just shine. When cards do stick together because chemicals start to interact or breakdown, I suspect it might be caused by heat or higher temperatures. I would also expect it to produce surface damage, even when you can separate them.

I know that you have to rub off the glossy surface of a base card with a nylon if you want an autograph to take well to the surface The gloss acts to repel the ink rather than adhere to it.

So if cards are found at the point where you just can't break them apart with hand pressure I would just call it a loss if we are talking about replaceable stuff.
 
Posts: 1503 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by X:
I've read online this being commonplace. Never gone in for it myself... I'd rather not alter the finish of my cards, or even worse, put talcum powder on my cards to 'prep' them./QUOTE]

Ahh, the old talcum powder sprinkle trick, haven't heard of that one in a good long while. Big Grin I always thought it could be too abrasive to the finish. Rarely did I think to bring my own pen. I would choose the plainest low-gloss cards with a nice light background, rub up the best space and hope the signer writes in it.

Too much gloss causes the ink not to absorb and dry right. It is the bubbling that can cause the smudging. Streaks also occur because the strokes don't get an even layer.

I don't know how good all the color permanent pens are either. Those gold ink pens that RA uses for their gold series autographs are almost always either streaked, thin, light or all of the above. Don't know if its the card finish or the pen, but they rarely come out nice.
 
Posts: 7997 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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I'm trying the freezing again and have something else to try to separate. I have a pack of Hubble Space Telescope cards, or at least that's what the top card is (bottom card back is about comets). The cards were in a type of plastic pack that seems to have been heat-sealed like those late 90's "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and "Mallrats" promo packs. Anyway, I carefully removed the plastic wrap but all the cards are stuck together. I put the card mass in a plastic bag and will see what happens tomorrow.

I wonder if that guy who removes gum stains from cards can cleanly separate stuck cards. It would involve a different chemical solution.

Jess
 
Posts: 1503 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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