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  1. #1

    Default Label Preservation/Restoration

    I've been checking into paper preservations techniques used by document and book conservators. It's a pretty technical field and has significant implications for people trying to save valuable old documents.

    One thing I found over and over again were references to the type of paper produced in the 1800's for books, posters "labels".

    It is stated in many sources that paper of this era was mostly wood pulp and extremely high in acid content. The acid, over time, breaks down the wood fibers and the paper literally falls apart.

    The first step in preservation is "de-acidification". This has received a lot of research and testing and there appears to be two accepted products on the market for this task. The first is called Wei T'o (which is the name of the ancient chinese god who protected books). The second product is called Bookkeeper.

    I found Wei T'o at the following link
    http://www.archivalsuppliers.com

    I found Bookkeepers at
    http://nt.bnt.com/talas/menu.html?ca...4&product=1874

    These are liquids or sprays that remove the acid from the paper to prevent further damage. The are not cheap, but seem like the only products that are generally accepted for this kind of work.

    Regards,
    Tom T

    Tom T (0157818)

  2. #2

    Default Label Preservation/Restoration (By: TomT)

    Hi Craig,

    The two products I left links for sell for around $45~$50 for a aerosol can.

    I haven't tried it since I'm still trying to figure out a complete process of:

    1. Stop further damage.
    2. Stablize and preserve the paper.

    I have several books coming on the subject of
    preserving personal and family papers and photos.

    I still have not found any good information
    on cleaning a fragile label. As you know
    many clock labels get pretty grungy from
    dirt and too much oil. That and the wive's tale
    about putting a tin of kerosene in the
    case to keep out moisture.

    The whole label preservation thing is now in
    the "mission" category so I plan to keep on
    if for a while until a reliable process can be
    worked out. I'll post what I find.

    Regards,
    Tom T

    Tom T (0157818)

  3. #3
    Director Robert Gary's Avatar
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    Default Label Preservation/Restoration (By: TomT)

    Being an avid genealogist as well as a "clocknut", I know there are other sources of the acid nuetralizing sprays. I don't have a website for them, but the phone number for "Archivally Speaking" is 800-786-6627.

    They sell an 11 oz can of Wei T'o Spray (enough for 50 sheets of 8 x 11 inch paper) for $26.95. This product is not water based. I have never used it on clock papers, so I would strongly advise applying it to an iconspicuous spot to see if it or the wood or the finish show any undesirable reaction.

    They also have a pH testing pen for $4.95 that will tell you if the deterioration is likely caused by a high acid content.

    Both these prices were 2002 pricing, so phone to get the current prices.

    There is another source which I can't put my fingers on at the moment. When I locate it, I will post it as well.

    RobertG
    Robert Gary "Learn something. Skill does not desert the life of a person ever." Dionysius Cato (ca. 230-150 BC)

  4. #4
    Director Robert Gary's Avatar
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    Default Label Preservation/Restoration (By: TomT)

    The other source for archival materials is:

    Future Packaging & Preservation LLC
    1580 W San Bernardino Rd, Suite C
    Covina, CA 91722-3457

    626-966-1955

    www.futurepkg.com

    Some of the other items both of these places have that might be of interest to clock & watch guys are: cotton gloves, archival adhesives (acic nuetral), and archival storage boxes.

    RobertG
    Robert Gary "Learn something. Skill does not desert the life of a person ever." Dionysius Cato (ca. 230-150 BC)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Preserving paper labels (By: TomT)

    For loose labels, I've used Crafter's Pick memory mount glue which is archival quality,removable by wetting, and acid free. I spray my labels with Krylon's Make it Acid-Free to prevent futher deterioration; also archival quality.
    Going back in time...Vernon

  6. #6

    Default Re: Preserving paper labels (By: TomT)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Thornberry View Post
    Vernon: Is the Crafters Pick readily available, e.g., at hardware stores (like Loews or Home Depot) and crafts stores (like Michael's)?
    Yes, Michael's is where I purchased these items but probably any art supply would carry something that would work. Some here seem to like using the hyde glue but I have no experience with it. What ever you use should be acid free and of archival quality.
    You might consider doing a search on the topic for more opinions...
    Going back in time...Vernon

  7. #7

    Default Re: Preserving paper labels (By: TomT)

    Right! I have seen where folks take clear contact paper and cover right over the label....The contact paper sticks to the label but in the end does not stick to the wood and well...you know....label GONE

    But the way I did it with the glass and Silicone was with room permitting have the glass cut an inch larger than the label and put a pencil eraser size drop on each corner of the glass.....the worst that ever happened with that method was once in a rare while the silicone would give up the ghost and drop a 3 X 5 bit of glass to the floor, scaring the crap out of anyone in the room!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Preserving paper labels (By: clockhoarder)

    Covering the label with an oversized piece of 1/2 weight (thinner than normal window material) glass is the best solution. Only apply adhesive to the corners, and leave the glass very slightly above the surface of the paper. That way, no humidity is trapped between the glass and the paper to cause mildew or fungus. I once talked with a friend of mine who is a museum curator about this, and that was his advice. He recommended I use (if I could get it) photographic slide mount glass, because it is thinner, but of high optical quality. I checked into it, but at the time (1970) prices were sky high. I wound up covering the labels in my clocks with some pieces of glass that I found in my grandfather's basement, in a Kodak box. They were originally intended to be treated with silver nitrate or platinum bromide solution to be used as glass negatives, but had never been prepared.

  9. #9
    Registered user. Joseph Bautsch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preserving paper labels (By: Dave B)

    Best solution is to buy acid free cellophane document envelops from the local art store. They come in in standard sizes up to 16"X20". These are archival quality covers designed to protect antique documents for storage or display. Cut the envelops along the edges and you get two sheets to be used to cover your labels. Use acid free cellophane tape to attach the cover around the label to the clock back board. There is no problem with the movement of the weights up or down inside the case. It is also a must to render the label acid free before using any cover. Also use acid free glue, also available from the art store or Michael's. The glue can't be sued right out of the bottle. It's much too thick. Thin it down about 3:1 with pure water. Wet the back board with this glue solution and press the label down. If the label is very brittle wet it with pure water. That will make it pliable and it will press down into the glue without breaking into pieces. Use a 18 gage needle and syringe to inject the glue solution under bubbles in the label and press it down in place. If the label is brittle wet the bubble with pure water to make it pliable and press it into place. To make the label acid free you can use a calcium carbonate solution in water and a spray bottle. Spray the label before trying to re-glue it to the back board and let dry. Calcium Carbonate can be found at any swimming pool supply store. Two table spoons in a quart of pure water will work.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: restoration of paper clock lable (By: TomT)

    Felice, here is a more recent post regarding label preservation: http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t=54302
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  11. #11
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    Default Re: restoration of paper clock lable (By: TomT)

    felice, here is a site with some great info on labels: http://www.xrestore.com/Pages/Labels.htm
    Tom Temple's ebook is well worth the cost if you want to get further into restoring old clocks.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  12. #12

    Default Label Preservation/Restoration

    Lately there have been a couple of threads discussing various ways for preserving or restoring clock labels. These may be of general interest to the members. I have started here a sticky with various posted methods used by members. This is for informational and assistance purposes only, and I encourage others to add to this post with methods they have tried successfully.
    Last edited by Steven Thornberry; 09-03-2009 at 04:05 PM.
    “If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.” - Oscar Wilde

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Label Preservation/Restoration (By: Steven Thornberry)

    Has anyone used Kamar Varnish made by the Krylon Company and sold in art supply stores? The label proclaims that it is used as, "a non-yellowing protection for oil, acrylic, and watercolor painting."

    Ed Cypress

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Preserving paper labels (By: Vernon)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vernon View Post
    Yes, Michael's is where I purchased these items but probably any art supply would carry something that would work. Some here seem to like using the hyde glue but I have no experience with it. What ever you use should be acid free and of archival quality.
    You might consider doing a search on the topic for more opinions...
    Back in 'the bad old days' they would simply slap a coat (or several coats) of shellac or varnish right over the label. I have one ogee clock like that: the label is an extremely dark brown, but it's preserved forever. Instead of flaking off, it's primitively, and apparently permanently, a part of the back board. Might we think of it as 'Neanderthal lamination'?

    Not that I'm advocating this method; admittedly, it was crude - but it certainly was effective...

  15. #15

    Default Re: restoration of paper clock lable (By: harold bain)

    Thank you, I will look into that link. In the meantime, I'll cover it with a clear cellophane envelope for protection. Thanks again

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