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How to unstick pages?



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 31st 04, 01:34 AM
gr
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Default How to unstick pages?

This seems to be the correct newsgroup to ask this question, please
direct me elsewhere if I have chosen incorrectly.


I have an equipment manual, printed on semi glossy paper (similar to
magazines) and it has gotten wet in the past (and are now completely
dry) so that the pages in the center 2/3 are completely stuck together.
What is the best procedure to separate these pages so they become
readable again?
Thanks,
gr
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  #2  
Old August 31st 04, 04:16 AM
Jon Meyers
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"gr" wrote...
This seems to be the correct newsgroup to ask this question, please
direct me elsewhere if I have chosen incorrectly.


I have an equipment manual, printed on semi glossy paper (similar to
magazines) and it has gotten wet in the past (and are now completely
dry) so that the pages in the center 2/3 are completely stuck together.
What is the best procedure to separate these pages so they become
readable again?


Steam. If you have a teakettle or a steam humidifier, those work well, but
a small pot of boiling water will also do the job. Being careful not to
burn your fingers, hold the affected pages of the book over the steam for a
few moments and then *slowly* and *gently* work the pages apart one at a
time. You may have to use repeated applications of steam to complete each
separation. When the pages are completely separated, place the book with
the pages fanned out so they can dry (or they will, of course, get stuck
together again).

Note: This is *not* recommended for valuable (however you choose to define
that term) books, which should be dealt with by a professional if at all.
The steaming will leave the treated pages and surrounding pages wavy and
puffy. But if you only need to restore something as a reading copy,
steaming is okay. And did I mention to be careful not to burn your fingers?


--
Jon Meyers
(To reply, lose
your way)


  #3  
Old August 31st 04, 05:36 AM
Bad Weather
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What is the best procedure to separate these pages so they become readable
again?

Pull them apart as fast as you can. Really hard and quickly.


  #4  
Old August 31st 04, 08:36 AM
Bill Palmer
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gr wrote in message ...

What is the best procedure to separate these pages so they become
readable again?


Ask Mr. Finnan. No doubt he has the same
problem every morning regarding books in
his Hardy Boys' collection.


Thanks,
gr

  #5  
Old August 31st 04, 10:21 AM
Andy Dingley
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On Mon, 30 Aug 2004 20:34:34 -0400, gr
wrote:

What is the best procedure to separate these pages so they become
readable again?


Time. You _really_ can't rush this process. Be patient. It's
particularly difficult for manuals, advertising and magazine paper,
because of the extra sizing on glossy papers.

I wouldn't use steam myself - I'd go for cold humidity, from an
ultrasonic mister. You can buy these expensively from conservation
suppliers, or make your own from an indoor fountain ornament (usually
with dragons and some sub-Tolkein "misty cave" rubbish on it). The
advantage of cold humidity is that both wil help to unstick things,
but it causes less distortion to the paper than hot steam.

This isn't the best place to ask this question - it's probably the
best place on Usenet, but somewhere like the Palimpsest list at
Stanford will have more details
http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/
--
Smert' spamionam
  #6  
Old August 31st 04, 02:03 PM
Bill Palmjob
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Don't get them sticky in the 1st place!
Stop whacking off!


  #7  
Old August 31st 04, 07:17 PM
paghat
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In article , Andy Dingley
wrote:

On Mon, 30 Aug 2004 20:34:34 -0400, gr
wrote:

What is the best procedure to separate these pages so they become
readable again?


Time. You _really_ can't rush this process. Be patient. It's
particularly difficult for manuals, advertising and magazine paper,
because of the extra sizing on glossy papers.

I wouldn't use steam myself - I'd go for cold humidity, from an
ultrasonic mister. You can buy these expensively from conservation
suppliers, or make your own from an indoor fountain ornament (usually
with dragons and some sub-Tolkein "misty cave" rubbish on it). The
advantage of cold humidity is that both wil help to unstick things,
but it causes less distortion to the paper than hot steam.

This isn't the best place to ask this question - it's probably the
best place on Usenet, but somewhere like the Palimpsest list at
Stanford will have more details
http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/


Misting would take several days to penetrate an entire book, during which
time bacterial damage would be occuring. Then while separating repdampened
sheets, text would transfer back & forth between pages. Separation, if it
can be done successfully at all, will be done when a book is dry. The tool
of choice is a teflon microspatula, available from paper conservationists.
It generally works if the pages are only partially stuck together, with
mixed & uneven results even then.

Paper with impact-printing like from an old platten press is deeply
imbedded in the paper & if the paper is of the highest qauality, then
rewetting might well separate with severe water damage rather than
destruction of text, but book conservators don't recommend it as a
reasonable course of action. For modern books it is even less reasonable;
they often have the ink on the surface of the paper only, & the act of
separating the pages while redampened will cause water insoluable inks to
be loosened from the paper so that they will release to the opposite page.
So again, if there is much chance of success, it will be with the teflon
spatula & dried sheets. In general separation is not to be attempted until
paper is thoroughly dry. With uncoated paper, while it is still damp, "No
attempt should be made to open wet books, or separate sheets that have
become stuck together," according to Library Council leaflet on disaster
planning.

If the stuck pages are coated paper, it is solmetimes best to risk
separating the pages when first wetted to insert wax paper between every
page, because nothing will separate them once they have dried & fused
permanently, & re-wetting won't help. "Once stuck together, no amount of
rewetting will separate them" notes David Tremain of the Canadian
Conservation Institute. When they first became damp, there was a period of
two to eight hours that they could've been popped in a deep-freezer then
contact a paper conservation service to vacuum freeze-dry books or pages,
& only then might the pages separate with patient slow use of the teflon
spatula. The freeze drying costs a ghastly sum, so books of little to
moderate value might better be consigned to the recycle bin.

Uncoated paper may have wrinkled in the drying process thus has a slightly
better chance of not being thoroughly stuck, with improved odds of
separation with a teflon spatula. But paper fibres that were firmly in
contact with one another will not separate in a manner that preserves the
text on the pages. Books that dried slowly with adhering paper are apt to
be a 100% lost cause; separation is usually only possible if the books
were hastily vaccuum freeze dried, or vaccuum thermal dried, rather than
permitted to dry at their own pace after having first been dampened.

The Gamma radiation treatment through a few museum conservation
laboratories in the world. The method was not specifically for separating
stuck sheets but to kill insects & microorganisms that degrade paper. It
was an accidentally discovery that it also causes stuck paper to be more
easily separated with a teflon spatula. Since no method has ever been
discovered that is reliable, this accidental discovery excited paper
conservators around the world. But tests conducted by Paolo Calvini, a
paper conservationist in Italy, found the process caused more harm than
good, as radiation swiftly degrades the cellulose content of paper.
Calvini concluded the method was unsatisfactory & should not be used. It
is now only rarely used for the most hopeless cases of ancient documents
overtaken by mold & bacteria, with the expectation that the document can
afterward be put back together one flake at a time.

For the average book with adhering pages, the best one can hope for is
good luck, that the pages were never all that strongly stuck, as most of
us will never be able to afford access to vaccuum freeze dry chambers, &
may have only regular bone-folder rather than a teflon microspatula. If
the book is ruined in the attempt at slow, manual separation, at least one
has the consolation that this is one that expert conservators also have no
reliable response to.

-paghat the ratgirl

--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
-from Peter Newell's "Wild Flowers"
Visit the Garden of Paghat the Ratgirl: http://www.paghat.com
  #8  
Old August 31st 04, 08:29 PM
Jon Meyers
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Default

"paghat" wrote...
Andy Dingley wrote:
gr wrote:

What is the best procedure to separate these pages so they become
readable again?


Time. You _really_ can't rush this process. Be patient. It's
particularly difficult for manuals, advertising and magazine paper,
because of the extra sizing on glossy papers.

I wouldn't use steam myself - I'd go for cold humidity, from an
ultrasonic mister.


If the stuck pages are coated paper, it is solmetimes best to risk
separating the pages when first wetted to insert wax paper between every
page, because nothing will separate them once they have dried & fused
permanently, & re-wetting won't help. "Once stuck together, no amount of
rewetting will separate them" notes David Tremain of the Canadian
Conservation Institute...


I hate to disagree with someone who I admit must know a lot more than I do
about this, but it isn't true that fused coated pages won't separate. I
used the steaming technique on a gardening book--one of the Taylor's
guides--which had approximately 80 leaves stuck together in an area about
two inches square at the fore edge. Of the 160 affected pages, only four
had notable damage or paper separation when I was done--the first four I
worked on, because I was going too quickly. All the other pages came apart
fairly easily and dried without any mildew problems or lingering odors. The
most siginificant damage done was the remaining waviness.

Perhaps, though, the pages I worked on weren't completely fused, or perhaps
there are differences depending on the type or quality of the coating
material, or on the original source of the moisture. (Would coffee create a
weaker bond between the pages than plain water?)

As I said earlier, I would *never* recommend steaming for books that ought
to be preserved for posterity--it's something to be done only to restore an
ordinary but unreadable book to a reading copy--but the technique has worked
for me.


--
Jon Meyers
(To reply, lose
your way)


 




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