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  #1  
Old 11-14-2022, 06:42 PM
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Default Need Some Expert Advice - Results of Soaking

I am hoping to get get some advice on this.

A family friend recently lost her Father-In-Law. She discovered that her Father-In-Law had some baseball cards stashed away. Since she knew that I was in the business, she asked me to help her out.

He had a stash of T205's & T206's. There were some Cobbs, Speaker, W. Johnson, etc. One problem. They were all glued to some sort of backing.
She sent me pictures of what she has. They look legit from what I can see but I am not 100% sure.

Here is where I need help. First of all, do these cards all look legit to you. Secondly, what would be the safest way to remove the backing.
I have soaked cards before several years ago and it all worked out well. But they were all commons. I am a little bit nervous about these, so I don't want to mess it up.

One of the photos show all the cards. The bottom row appear to have some printer copies of cards.
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  #2  
Old 11-14-2022, 06:52 PM
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Legit and authentic cards. Iíll leave the removal to others whoíve done it more than I have, but these all appear to be authentic cards.
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  #3  
Old 11-14-2022, 06:53 PM
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I would consult Dick Towle if he is still in the business. He did a great job separating my cards from an album and not damaging any of them.

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  #4  
Old 11-14-2022, 06:55 PM
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All are real. The only question is will they come off with or without damage, which depends on the glue used. In some cases you can sell the intact cards for more money, than the risk/reward of removal, which in some cases actually devalues the cards if all does not go well. Nearly all of these are low grade cards to begin with, even without removing them and risking further damage. If you can cut one or two off a corner or edge card and soak to see whether they will easily come off or not, might make the decision easier.

Also, this will often tell you the preponderance of the backs, if you hit a run or Piedmont or Sweet Cap, the odds of rare backs goes down, as many smokers were devoted to their brands. There are a few American Beauties on there so, maybe a mixed batch.

Last edited by sb1; 11-14-2022 at 06:56 PM.
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  #5  
Old 11-14-2022, 07:04 PM
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All are real. The only question is will they come off with or without damage, which depends on the glue used. In some cases you can sell the intact cards for more money, than the risk/reward of removal, which in some cases actually devalues the cards if all does not go well. Nearly all of these are low grade cards to begin with, even without removing them and risking further damage. If you can cut one or two off a corner or edge card and soak to see whether they will easily come off or not, might make the decision easier.

Also, this will often tell you the preponderance of the backs, if you hit a run or Piedmont or Sweet Cap, the odds of rare backs goes down, as many smokers were devoted to their brands. There are a few American Beauties on there so, maybe a mixed batch.
I don't know who originally collected these cards. So, I don't know if they were all collected at the same time period. There is a chance of random backs.
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Old 11-14-2022, 07:05 PM
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I would consult Dick Towle if he is still in the business. He did a great job separating my cards from an album and not damaging any of them.

Eric Schmidtke
Who is Dick Towle? Is he member of the board?
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Old 11-14-2022, 07:14 PM
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Dick Towle ran a card alteration and modification service doing all kinds of accepted and not accepted practices both. He passed away last year.
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Old 11-14-2022, 07:17 PM
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Dick Towle ran a card alteration and modification service doing all kinds of accepted and not accepted practices both. He passed away last year.
Sorry to hear that.
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Old 11-14-2022, 07:34 PM
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Most look good, but most of those bottom two rows of t206 look like reprints. Perhaps someone who wanted to display the sheets and didn't like the empty rows so filled them in?
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Old 11-14-2022, 07:36 PM
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the bottom right are reprints, the rest are dandy. No advice as to removal though, sorry.
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  #11  
Old 11-14-2022, 07:38 PM
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Most look good, but most of those bottom two rows of t206 look like reprints. Perhaps someone who wanted to display the sheets and didn't like the empty rows so filled them in?
I already know about those last 2 rows. She told me they looked like copied made off of a printer. I believe that you are right about filling in the empty spaces.
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Old 11-14-2022, 07:44 PM
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At this point, I am going with the assumption that they are all authentic except for the photos on the last 2 rows.

I think that the best course of action would be to cut out some of the commons that are pasted around the perimeter of the sheet. Try soaking them to see what we are up against. If successful, then move on to the others. One by one.

Now, the $64,000 question is, what is the best soaking method. Please advise only if you have tried it and was successful.
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Old 11-14-2022, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buythatcard View Post
At this point, I am going with the assumption that they are all authentic except for the photos on the last 2 rows.

I think that the best course of action would be to cut out some of the commons that are pasted around the perimeter of the sheet. Try soaking them to see what we are up against. If successful, then move on to the others. One by one.

Now, the $64,000 question is, what is the best soaking method. Please advise only if you have tried it and was successful.
I'm no soaker but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night...

Something about distilled water, resting your chin on your hands for a very long time, alternating with watching the grass grow and watching water boil, tweezers at the ready.

All kidding aside, nice find and a fun project, please keep us posted on the results. Good luck!
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  #14  
Old 11-14-2022, 08:01 PM
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I think you're on the right track. You have a big project in front of you, but if you start with a common or two from the edges you'll soon see what you're in for - what kind of glue you're facing, how much they used, how tough the backing paper is, etc. It might be very easy! It also might not...

If it were me, my first objective would be to cut the sheet down to individual cards. The bad news is the cards are glued closely together, so a lot of patience and a steady hand would be needed. The good news is that you only have cards on one side of the sheet, which will make breaking it down much simpler. I took apart a sheet that had cards glued to both sides - much more difficult.

I personally would not try to soak the whole sheet at once - too many cards. Working in blocks of four or so wouldn't be impossible but I'd rather focus on one card at a time.

I have had really good luck by being patient and persistent. I dream about projects like this and wish you luck with yours. Assemble your tools, find a big workspace, and please let us know how it goes.

Mike
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  #15  
Old 11-14-2022, 08:32 PM
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Forgive me if this has already been covered, but I doubt there's a wholesale way to eliminate the entire back from all of the cards all at once without a host of problems, so the first step for me would be to methodically use a pair of sharp scissors and an X-Acto knife to slowly cut away each card (with cardboard backing still attached) from the whole. It looks like the edges of the cards that overlap could be lifted slightly to allow a slicing underneath. Once all of the cards become individuals pieces, you will find the next step of soaking and whatnot much more easy to accomplish.
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Old 11-14-2022, 08:48 PM
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  #17  
Old 11-14-2022, 09:06 PM
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^^THIS^^

If like me you are not a facebook person here is a link to a website for us non hip people.

https://www.gonewiththestain.com/home.html

They will by far be able to do the best job of removing and cleaning them up to a much better quality.
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Old 11-14-2022, 10:21 PM
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Get an Exacto knife and cut the cardboard that is attached to that T205 Frank Corridon card. Rinse that card / corrugated cardboard bad boy off under a tap, GENTLY, then place it in a water glass. Add water, 2/3rds of the way full. Set it in a safe place, and then check on it in an hour or two.

My thinking is that the card will be loose from the corrugated cardboard, and the water will have a tinge to it because that corrugated cardboard is nasty stuff. So rinse the card, remove that corrugated cardboard, change to clean water, and soak again.

Then... if that works, which I think it will, then [new collectors quit reading now] run some water in a clean bathtub, 2" to 3" or so, then put the whole thing in the tub, and soak as above.

If there are reprints on there the new cards may not be attached with flour paste; but the old cards may well be. Corrugated cardboard is about 150 years old... it ante-dates the cards.
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Old 11-14-2022, 11:27 PM
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It's an odd assortment, of the 86 genuine T206's only 2 are 150/350 subjects the rest are 350 and 350/460 subjects.

The bottom 2 rows look like sections that came out of a book or magazine but it's hard to tell from your pictures.
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Old 11-15-2022, 01:19 AM
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Hereís a nice tutorial:

https://www.net54baseball.com/showth...=Soaking+cards
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  #21  
Old 11-15-2022, 02:03 PM
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Thanks. I was looking for these directions. I used them a few years ago with much success.
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Old 11-15-2022, 02:03 PM
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It's an odd assortment, of the 86 genuine T206's only 2 are 150/350 subjects the rest are 350 and 350/460 subjects.

The bottom 2 rows look like sections that came out of a book or magazine but it's hard to tell from your pictures.
How can you determine that without actually seeing the backs?
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Old 11-15-2022, 06:48 PM
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How can you determine that without actually seeing the backs?
Hi Howard, you don't need to see the backs to know what print group each subject is in, Herzog (New York) and Sheckard (no glove) are the only print group 1 (150/350) subjects in the group of 86 genuine T206's.

Here's the breakdown of the print groups in the collage

Print group 1 (150/350) = 2
Print group 2 (350) only = 51
Print group 3 (350-460) = 24
Print group 4 (460 only) = 4
Print group 5 (super prints) = 5

Last edited by Pat R; 11-15-2022 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Added print group breakdown
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Old 11-17-2022, 07:17 AM
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If we decide to soak these cards in water to hopefully remove the backs, would it be considered altering the card? Would SGC grade a card that was soaked in water?
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Old 11-17-2022, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
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If we decide to soak these cards in water to hopefully remove the backs, would it be considered altering the card? Would SGC grade a card that was soaked in water?
Soaked cards can be graded numerically but if there are traces of the soak they will be downgraded. That is my experience. Your mileage may vary...
.
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Old 11-17-2022, 07:25 AM
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If we decide to soak these cards in water to hopefully remove the backs, would it be considered altering the card? Would SGC grade a card that was soaked in water?
If you do a bad job they will be considered altered. It is one of those things that if they can tell you did it they will consider it altered. If done so they can't tell you done it you will get a number grade. With "proper" soaking they will also get a higher grade and be worth way more cash. Soaking can remove the staining and many of those creases and greatly reduce the others.
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Old 11-17-2022, 07:43 AM
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If you do a bad job they will be considered altered. It is one of those things that if they can tell you did it they will consider it altered. If done so they can't tell you done it you will get a number grade. With "proper" soaking they will also get a higher grade and be worth way more cash. Soaking can remove the staining and many of those creases and greatly reduce the others.
Hopefully, we mess up the commons and not the big guns. I am hoping they get atleast an Authentic grade for most of those cards.
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Old 11-17-2022, 07:44 AM
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Soaked cards can graded numerically but if there are traces of the soak they will be downgraded. That is my experience. Your mileage may vary...
.
Hopefully, distilled water doesn't leave a trace. I wonder if it's better to show a trace of soaking or whether to keep the paper residue on the back.
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Old 11-17-2022, 07:53 AM
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Hopefully, we mess up the commons and not the big guns. I am hoping they get atleast an Authentic grade for most of those cards.
Anything will get an authentic grade if you have them slab all cards.

I would honestly suggest buying some complete beat to crap 60s or 70s cards and practice. After some practice soaking/cleaning cards you will then be ready to do a way better job on the tobacco cards. The most important part is the drying/pressing part so you can't tell the soaking pressing was done.
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Old 11-17-2022, 07:54 AM
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Hopefully, distilled water doesn't leave a trace. I wonder if it's better to show a trace of soaking or whether to keep the paper residue on the back.
There could be a trace left.
That's a personal choice but, for my experiences, trying to get the glue off was better than leaving it. And each card could be different with yours.

Here is one I did again. Close to half the back, which had writing, had glue and paper remnants on it. It got a numerical grade, obviously.


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Old 11-17-2022, 07:56 AM
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Sorry to hear that.
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Old 11-17-2022, 10:36 AM
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There could be a trace left.
That's a personal choice but, for my experiences, trying to get the glue off was better than leaving it. And each card could be different with yours.

Here is one I did again. Close to half the back, which had writing, had glue and paper remnants on it. It got a numerical grade, obviously.


.

That's impressive. We should hire you to do the cleaning for us.
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Old 11-17-2022, 11:38 AM
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I used Gone with the stain once and was happy with result. It was a Gypsy Queen. I talked with Mr. Towle at legnth about his secret sauce.
As many have said the type of glue used will determine your success. You say you have done this before so you understand the basics. I had a scrapbook filled with R312's that were beautiful and they came out with no major issues. But it was very time consuming.
But if it all goes bad do not despair. Call Gone with the stain and trust your cards will come back with backs! Given the value of a couple of the cards you might want to leave this to the pro's. Either way Best of luck.
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Old 11-17-2022, 02:31 PM
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There are a countless soaked cards with numerical grades here's an example of a card getting a better grade after it was soaked.

PD150-3A.jpg

PD150-3B.jpg
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  #35  
Old 11-17-2022, 02:58 PM
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Just throwing another opinion/perspective in here; even though the original cards come from the era of flour paste; looking at the natural wear of handling with age; these cards may have all been affixed with the dreaded, more modern era glues.
Scott (sb1) may have a view to get more comfortable with; should separation become problematic. Just my two cents. I focus on the beauty of "used" cards by the kid collectors over time; so I took that view from the first post here.

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Last edited by benge610; 11-17-2022 at 02:59 PM. Reason: spelling, ugh
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Old 11-17-2022, 11:17 PM
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Notwithstanding the foregoing...

I would cut the backing to separate one from the rest, and then soak it. I think it'll come off. If it doesn't, you can still declare chemical warfare on it if you want...

Soak. Not briefly dampen then tug on it XXXX SOAK. With water.
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  #37  
Old 11-18-2022, 08:36 PM
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So many people recommending Gone with the Stain. Wow.

If you use them, I hope all your cards disintegrate. ;-)

Maybe that would get the global card altering karma a little closer to balanced.
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Last edited by swarmee; 11-18-2022 at 08:36 PM.
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  #38  
Old 11-20-2022, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by swarmee View Post
So many people recommending Gone with the Stain. Wow.

If you use them, I hope all your cards disintegrate. ;-)

Maybe that would get the global card altering karma a little closer to balanced.
Soaking cards to remove them from a scrapbook is allowed by every single grading company. You're free to dislike the practice, but that's a bit harsh to wish bad on others for doing something that is a widely accepted practice in this hobby.
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  #39  
Old 11-20-2022, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowman View Post
Soaking cards to remove them from a scrapbook is allowed by every single grading company. You're free to dislike the practice, but that's a bit harsh to wish bad on others for doing something that is a widely accepted practice in this hobby.
"If you use them, I hope all your cards disintegrate. ;-)"

The criticism is of those who partner and endorse this operation, not soaking. We all know that Gone with the Stain was not running a simple soaking company, but are card doctors who did tons of unaccepted alterations with fraudsters.
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Old 11-20-2022, 10:27 AM
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We all know that Gone with the Stain was not running a simple soaking company, but are card doctors who did tons of unaccepted alterations with fraudsters.
I don't know this for a certainty, but have to admit I've heard the same thing... numerous alterations done to deceive buyers by this company.

Now, for a person trying to "clean up" cards for their personal collection, I have absolutely no problem with the methods discussed. You own the card, do whatever your heart delights to do to it. Just don't improve it by unacceptable means (adding color, adding paper, trimming, etc) and then deceive a buyer by not disclosing.
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Old 11-20-2022, 11:48 AM
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I don't know this for a certainty, but have to admit I've heard the same thing... numerous alterations done to deceive buyers by this company.

Now, for a person trying to "clean up" cards for their personal collection, I have absolutely no problem with the methods discussed. You own the card, do whatever your heart delights to do to it. Just don't improve it by unacceptable means (adding color, adding paper, trimming, etc) and then deceive a buyer by not disclosing.
Gone With The Stainís whole schtick was that one can do what they want with their property (true and reasonable), and so they did all kinds of alterations to cards. The people paying for the service then tended to sell the cards without disclosure, which Gone with the Stain didnít have anything to do with directly, they werenít selling cards or consigning them. Of course they knew that the vast majority of their business was scammers, thatís the entire point of the operation, people arenít paying a ton of money for high end alteration for a family keepsake, but keeping that separation where they donít commit the fraud themselves was the basis of their operation.
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Old 11-20-2022, 11:56 AM
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Soaking in water isn't what he was talking about. They are/were most likely using some kind of solvent. And I have a problem with that too.

Quote:
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Soaking cards to remove them from a scrapbook is allowed by every single grading company. You're free to dislike the practice, but that's a bit harsh to wish bad on others for doing something that is a widely accepted practice in this hobby.
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Old 11-20-2022, 06:12 PM
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I find it interesting how on their site, they say that they don't remove ink. Is that new? Because I swore that Towle and his family offered that practice before. Not that I ever used them.
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Old 11-20-2022, 08:54 PM
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I started this post to get some opinions on how to remove the backing from the cards. Never was it mentioned that I was looking to enhance or alter the cards.

I appreciate the suggestions on how to safely remove the backing using distilled water. I don't see anything wrong with doing that. If the grading companies still grade the card then great.

I will find out tomorrow what the owners want to do with the cards. Some of the options discussed was: Sell the whole sheet as is or cut out each card and soak them individually. I am just hoping they hire me to sell the cards.

I will not send in the sheet to a company that is known to doctor the cards.

As for the person who hoped that the cards would disintegrate if I used this company. Get a life.
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Old 11-20-2022, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buythatcard View Post
I started this post to get some opinions on how to remove the backing from the cards. Never was it mentioned that I was looking to enhance or alter the cards.

I appreciate the suggestions on how to safely remove the backing using distilled water. I don't see anything wrong with doing that. If the grading companies still grade the card then great.

I will find out tomorrow what the owners want to do with the cards. Some of the options discussed was: Sell the whole sheet as is or cut out each card and soak them individually. I am just hoping they hire me to sell the cards.

I will not send in the sheet to a company that is known to doctor the cards.

As for the person who hoped that the cards would disintegrate if I used this company. Get a life.
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  #46  
Old 11-20-2022, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
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Soaking in water isn't what he was talking about. They are/were most likely using some kind of solvent. And I have a problem with that too.
I think most here had some chemistry in high school and remember that water is a chemical solution H2O. Why would your opinion change if someone used another chemical solution to remove cards glued to a piece of cardboard?
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Old 11-21-2022, 05:19 PM
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As the old saying goes, "Sometimes you've got to break some eggs, when you throw them at people." Is that it? ;-)

Good to see some of my humor went over people's heads. Maybe it will cause them to read more threads about the alteration scandals, despite them already knowing everything.

The difference is that soaking in water is a verified method of PRESERVATION, while using chemicals is not.
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Old 11-22-2022, 11:02 AM
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I think most here had some chemistry in high school and remember that water is a chemical solution H2O. Why would your opinion change if someone used another chemical solution to remove cards glued to a piece of cardboard?
For a few reasons

The inks used are not water soluble, so the water won't affect them, while other solvents might.

Water is part of the process of making the paper itself, and while it can affect the paper, it's fine for many cardstocks if done right. (More based on the sizing used to holf the fibers together and what fibers are used.)

So in general, water won't do damage if used carefully. There isn't enough info to tell if a solvent will, so using them is to be discouraged.
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Old 11-22-2022, 08:34 PM
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2 bottom rows are not original. Someone here will be better to help u with soaking. Id love to see the backs once your done
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Old 11-29-2022, 05:44 PM
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Update.

The owners decided to allow me to soak the cards.

All the cards were glued to a cardboard backing. Some parts of the backing had 2 and 3 layers of backing. In addition, it appears that most of the card had glue on it.

Soaking for 30 minutes definitely was not enough. After experimenting on the beaters, it turns out that most cards needed to be soaked 12-36 hours. The backing became very soft and was easily lifted off most cards but not all.
Even after the backing was either easily lifted off, many of the cards had some paper loss.
I suspect that in many cases, the paper loss was there prior to gluing it to the backing. It could also be in the areas where most of the glue was adhered to.
Almost all cards had some glue residue after removal of the backing.
I did not want to mess with it after the backing came off.
I soaked the first Cobb card. It was the T205. Surprisingly, it was the easiest. The back actually slid off by itself. Yet, there still was some paper loss on the back. See the attached photo.
Will the grading companies grade this card? If so, who should I send it to SGC or PSA?

This ongoing project has been tons of fun but stressful. I must have shaved 10 years off my life.
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File Type: jpg 11290301.jpg (62.6 KB, 242 views)
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