Rusty Staples...
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Post Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 2:51 pm 
 

Hi there.  I have bought some items with rusty staples.  What do people recommend?  Do you replace them with new shiny staples, or leave well enough alone?  All comments/help appreciated.  ta.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 3:47 pm 
 

Oh heck no! Don't replace the staples! Its like antiques. An antique is worth more if its still original. That is why even a old 18th century beat up furniture can command higher prices than one that had its legs changed, paint changed, etc.  Leave it the way it is. Many of the items are so old so its natural to have rusty staples. Let nature run its course but do not attempt to change the staples. I know some collectors here may object stating that rusty staples may affect the paper.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 8:37 pm 
 

No, leave the staples as is.


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 3:17 pm 
 

Gotta agree - leave well enough alone. Although tempting to change them out, you'll have someone out there that WILL recognize a swingline 440 from a bosticth series staple... ;)  Paper damage can be a problem....

  


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2003 6:37 am 
 

Thanks muchly!  This is good news, because basically I am very lazy and can't be a**ed to fiddle around with the staples of any modules I have bought.  I do have a related query - which is, how much paper damage will I get from a book with two or three rusty staples?  e.g. will the rust stains slowly spread over the years, or does it stop?  Is there anything I can do to stop the rust spreading (bearing in mind the 'lazy' issue above)??  Thanks for your advice. SM

  


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2003 11:56 am 
 

I guess I'll play devil's advocate on this one!  Change those rusty staples!  Once they have started oxidizing they will continue to do so and spread their dirty little yellow stain so long as there is still staple to rust!  I have seen staple stains as big as a silver dollar and have seen the paper entirely eaten away around the staples!  Changing the staples instantly stops the process.  It is easy to change the staples too!  Open the book gently to the middle, take a pair of tweezers and straighten the ends of the staples one at a time and then pull them out from the back.  Fire a couple of staples out of your stapler and slip them into the holes and press the legs together inside and your problems are solved!  It only takes about a minute with some practice.  As for affecting the price?!?!  How much do you think the module will be worth if you have stains covering the printing and the pages falling out where the paper rotted from the staple rust???  Or to use the antique table analogy, how much would that table be worth if the first time you sat down to dinner it fell over because all the bolts rusted through!?  Good luck! :P

  


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2003 12:03 pm 
 

If its a rare module your talking about Red_bus and it has rusty staples I would instantly bag and board it. When you have it outside, the staples will further oxidize. Then I would go to your local museum, etc and ask what they use to treat rusty staples. A collector a while back told me a way you can stop rusty staples from happening by doing something that I can't even remember right now. Go ask your local museum, or even ask a antique restoration person and then let us know on the acaeum.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2003 12:34 pm 
 

Much obliged for all your help.  Your point on getting professional help makes a lot of sense - esp. on the rarer ones.  Will let you all know what I find out. Ta. sm

  

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2003 1:24 pm 
 

I personally would suggest carefully removing the oxidized staples and keeping them in a separate little baggie, in case you decide to sell.  Then you can manually put in replacements or simply leave the staples out.    You can always replace them if it means that much to someone, if you decide to sell.  Once the oxidation process has started it will continue unless you can prevent moisture from getting into the equation.  You can also treat the rusty staples once they are removed to stop the oxidation process if you really want to go overboard.  I suspect though that most people would have a hard time determining if the original staple were in what they currently own unless they bought it off the shelf and/or it was in original shrink...

  


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 12:44 am 
 

I know this is an old thread, but what the heck, why not bump it back to the top.



One thing you could do is find a module from the same era as the one you have with the rusty staples. Heck, an old B2 would work. Just take the unoxidized staples from the common module and carefully transfer them to the more rare one. The only evidence would be the rust stains from the old staples as to the fact that the staples have been changed (if there are any stains). That is actually a common practice in restorations as I understand it. However, finding identical hand-turned drawer knobs for a piece of 18th century furniture can be a daunting task. At the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem they have a chest from the 1680's (I think its the 1680's anyway). The lid was replaced in the 1800's and drops the value of it down to about a hundred grand from what would have been at least one million dollars (in my best Dr. Evil voice). You could probably count on two hands the number of museum quality American furniture pieces from the 17th century.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 8:12 am 
 

Purpledragon, you wouldn't be another Antiques Roadshow enthusiest, would you?  :wink:



Interesting idea on the staples, but it makes me wonder...have staples really changed any since the late 1970s? The ones I buy today, and occasionally use to replace the old rusy ones, seem exactly the same as the ones I am replacing, minus the rust, of course.



One thing I have learned, do not keep your paper collectables (comic books, D&D stuff, etc.) in your basement, especially if your basement is underground. Yes, the basement may be about ten degrees cooler than upstairs, but it is not worth the trade off in humidity. Paper seems to draw moisture like a sponge, and your stuff will mildew and your staples will rust.



This may have happened to some of you. I once bought a shrinkwrapped module that seemed to be in NM to Mint condition. When I removed the shrinkwrap, I discovered that the staples were badly rusted. I replaced them, of course. If I had left the shrinkwrap on, the rust would have eventually completely ruined the module. I'm sure it would have gotten bad enough eventually for the rust stain to show through the cardboard cover, at which point the rest of the module would have been in sad shape. This is one of the reasons I never leave shrinkwrap on, unless I am just buying the item for resale. Shrinkwrapped items are like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gonna get...  :wink:

  


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 11:55 pm 
 

Yup, Antiques Roadshow is fun to watch. My favorite one was where a woman brought in a table (one of the ones where the table surface is on a hinge and lifts up so you can have more space) and spoke about how much research she had done and that she was sure it was American and probably from the late 18th century. Now the standard rule of thumb for an American 18th century piece of furniture over British furniture is a factor of 10 (Brit $10,000 American $100,000 and is an issue of rarity and not quality. The same goes for silver pieces from that period.). It was in excellent condition so this woman was expecting a quoted value in the range of about $150K. The appraiser lifted up the tabletop, pointed to the central column and said "This block of wood that forms the inner part of the center is yew and the table is from England." Now, I am not one to take pleasure in anothers misfortune, but it was something you would expect in a textbook on body language. Her face just went all tense, lips pursed, methodical nodding of the hed...while she tried to contain her disappointment (maybe even anger, like she wanted to scream at him that he was wrong but had no way to prove otherwise). I think he appraised it at about $20,000...heck, if she didnt want the table I would be happy to have it.



NOW, BACK TO THE SUBJECT...I should imagine that a staple is a staple is a staple. However, printing companies may use different brands but I think they are pretty much uniform in size. The question is, do you want a nice shiny, new, looking staple in that 25 year old module; or do you want a staple that looks 25 years old but is free from rust (maybe a little tarnished, but nevertheless free from rust)?



-PD

  


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 12:45 am 
 

LOL, I saw that one! That woman was a bit annoying to begin with anyway.  :lol:  My favorite was the old man who brought in the indian blanket and the appraiser said it was worth $300-$500k. I thought he was going to have a heart attack right there on the show!



We should take our D&D collections on the show and see if they can come up with an "expert appraiser" to tell us the values.  :wink:



Ah well, staple schmaple.

  


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 8:28 am 
 

Doug Williams wrote:
We should take our D&D collections on the show and see if they can come up with an "expert appraiser" to tell us the values.  :wink:



Ah well, staple schmaple.






I have entertained the thought of taking a couple items in for fun. I am sure I would be sent over to the line that deals with trailer home merchandise....



On to staples however, if I was buying something rare and the staples had been replaced. I am certain my eye would always gravitate towards the staples every time I pulled it out of storage to look it over. I have noticed that if some items have rusty staples it doesn't mean all of them do. I would be tempted to sell off or trade off the item with the rust and pick one up that doesn't.



Later.

Adam


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 11:54 am 
 

I do agree with Adam but only if the replacement is self-evident such as their being residue from the original rusted staples. Of course that depends on the level of oxidation.

  


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 9:10 pm 
 

There is a big collectible magazine shop in London and their advice to me was to remove the staples (avoiding further damage and discoloration) but not to replace them...   They do this with old mags from the 60s/70s.  



Myself, I am not so sure.  I rarely buy modules worth more than $100 so I do replace staples.  I also do not especially value shrink-wrapped items for the aforementioned reason.



Thinking about the furniture analogies people used, you could look at replacing rusty staples as restoring the item.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 9:46 pm 
 

I lean more towards replacement...  then again, I don't have alot of modules where staple rust is a problem.  I guess if you were REALLY crazy you could try to find unused staples just like the ones you pulled out?  While it would be obvious that they'd been replaced from the big brown stain they produce if they get bad enough, I'm sure if the stains weren't present on the paper 99% of the people out there (including most of us) wouldn't notice.  I mean really, when you get that new module in the mail, is the first thing you look at the staples to see if they are original?

I'm sure if it gets to be a hot enough topic, we'll see an official Acaeum article about it.

Now, there is only one item I've ever seen where staples are actually important in verification:  the Adventurer's Guild modules.  Different series are stapled differently, but some of the more crude looking ones (see some of the pics here at the Acaeum, the series 5 Living City modules are all like this) are kind of "double stapled"...  on the front you'll only see one staple, but on the back you see two.  For some reason I think this may be the easiest way to tell a real one from a fake.  And even then, some are stapled along the spine (single stapled, without digging all mine out), and some might be bound (typically earlier series).  I've verified this with doubles that I have, and with Rhea Shelley's pics here on the Acaeum.

  
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