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A few Album Binder Reviews -  
 

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Posted 12/03/2016   07:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
I currently use Mystic Heirloom with slip cases for my primary collection and an assortment of others for other items. I got the itch to try something different - a binder without a slip case when using all protective sleeves and another with a slip case.

My general criteria:
1. D-ring
2. Easy to acquire
3. Reasonable price
4. Stable on shelf without slip case
5. Ring durability - not easily distorted. Time will tell on this.


We R Memory Keepers Classic Leather

https://www.amazon.com/We-Memory-Ke.../B003W0TJDY/

1. Nice stitched leather looking finish Corners have metal ends for durability.
2. Thick walls, very stable compared most binders when resting on bottom on shelf loaded -less likely to tilt since edges are flat (vinyl finished binders often have the seams on edge so not as stable)
3. Pocket for ID on spine
4. Flat spine - curved is usually better
5. No slip case option
6. Wider than most binders so protective sleeves are not close to edge on right. Includes protective sleeve samples (a tad larger than typical 8.5x11 sleeve)
7, D-ring design so pages will lay flatter and dividers are easy to see

Summary: If it is as durable as it looks, it is a great binder(although not as philatelic looking) at a good price. It is truly designed to store something more substantial than paper. Santa is bringing me some more.

Lighthouse Vario G (Grande) Binder with Slip case

https://www.amazon.com/Lighthouse-V...p/B005LWBNIU

1. More philatelic look. Laminated finish with gold touches.
2 Thinner walls (not as important since has slip case) for resting on shelf than above and less substantial than the above binder
3. U-shaped ring - pages still turn fine
4. Slip case pocket for hands could be a little larger.
5. Spine is curved...usually an advantage for grasping
6. Capacity a little deceiving. It looks big but when capacity is reduced in order to fit in slip case due to design and raised finish detail.

Summary: Very nice philatelic looking binder/slip case at a reasonable price. It is same price as standard Mystic binder/slip case, Mystic sells a deluxe combo for about the same price so will get one later.
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Al
Edited by angore - 12/03/2016 10:40 am

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Posted 12/03/2016   10:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Jkjblue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nice review angore.



I like the Vario G's and Vario F's (which have a smaller capacity) in a mix and match situation for my WW 1840-1940 collection housed in Steiner pages. I'm gradually adding more Vario G's and Vario F's, replacing the conventional D ring Avery Binders (nothing wrong with the Avery's, they just don't have the "look". ) )

Edit: Be aware that the Vario Binders are sold with either 3 ring (USA) or 4 ring (European) types. Make sure you are ordering the correct (for you) number of rings.
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Classical era collecting with the Blues
http://bigblue1840-1940.blogspot.com/
Edited by Jkjblue - 12/03/2016 1:03 pm
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Posted 12/03/2016   12:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sdtom to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very nice review of the binders. My stamp collection is in Mystic with two complaints in regard to the pages.
1. Reinforcement rings are necessary for the pages as the pages tear very easily.
2. The Scott number would be nice to have under the illustration so when you put the stamp in a mount you can see the number.

My other material, stock book pages, first day covers are in ordinary binders which seems to suffice for now.
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Posted 12/03/2016   1:18 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just to note that Lighthouse Vario and the Lighthouse Grande are two different binders - the Grande is the larger, and will accommodate bigger leaves/stock-pages. Each also comes in a "Giant" form, with larger capacity.
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Posted 12/03/2016   3:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Neither have "D" rings. The Vario has regular rings and the Grande has "U" rings.
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Posted 12/03/2016   7:13 pm  Show Profile Check TheArtfulHinger's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'll put in another plug for Vario F and G binders. In my opinion they are the perfect combination of quality, durability, and aesthetic appeal, and are reasonably priced to boot. They really do hit the sweet spot - much more attractive and economical than Scott binders, for example. My shelves look a lot like Jkjblue's, but mine are almost all black. At well under $30 each including slipcase, the Vario G is by far the best value in a high-quality binder, in my opinion. I do still have parts of my collection in standard white Avery "office" binders, but those are areas that I rarely pick up. I'll move them to Vario's someday, but not until it gets to the point where the stamps in them would actually be more valuable than the binders!
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Posted 12/04/2016   05:54 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
but not until it gets to the point where the stamps in them would actually be more valuable than the binders!


I know the feeling. They can be an investment and repurposed unlike mounts when you spend as much on the mount as the stamp.

The F model is available in 3 and 4 ring models and saw reports some sold in the US were 4 ring. From the pics I have seen the F model has O rings not D or you like the Grande.
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Al
Edited by angore - 12/04/2016 06:07 am
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Posted 12/04/2016   09:16 am  Show Profile Check chris2015's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add chris2015 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi angore,

Nice review. I have both of those binders too. I'd like to put a plug in for the We R Memory Keepers Classic Leather binders.










I'm currently using BigBlue for my general classic WW collection, but I'm also playing around with using the vintage reproduction Browns (I now have the full set) in the We R Memory binders for a portion of my collection.

So far I like the binders. They do have "D" shaped rings and hold a bit less pages than the Vario G binders. I find the "U" shaped rings of the Vario G binders harder to turn the pages compared to these "D" rings. That's not so much an issue if you have using page protectors, but it is if you are using just the paper. I also like the ability to make and use custom labels for these binders (as I did for 'classic Africa' labels). There's not an easy way to label the Vario G's (although you can just use a label maker or adhesive letters, which is even harder to do with the Vario Fs).

I'm still experimenting with this and it might not be my final solution, but I just thought I'd share.


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Posted 12/04/2016   09:41 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dkabq8 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For my US collection on Scott National pages I use Scott National binders and slipcases. For anything else (which is on 8.5x11 paper) my prediliction is for Vario G and F binders.


Lighthouse Vario G Binder 3-ring w/slipcase
http://www.ihobb.com/p/VARIO-STOCKP.../VARIOG.html

Lighthouse Vario F Binder Set with slipcase
http://www.ihobb.com/p/VARIOF.html

I find them to be sturdy, durable, and attractive. YMMV.


I keep to-be-cataloged and duplicate/trade material in Vario pages in OfficeMax binders. Someday I would like move to binders with slipcovers.


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Edited by dkabq8 - 12/04/2016 1:08 pm
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Posted 12/04/2016   10:16 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here is the working area of my stamp room...



I own a few of the National "Specialty" albums; I prefer the older square two post binders. I normally stick with the 3" binders but my Netherlands collection is housed in a monster 5" binder as shown below...



National pages are one-sided but this album weighs in at a whopping 18 pounds! I hurt myself every time I pull it off the shelf. Leaving it laying flat runs the risk of pressing the stamps into the pages. I cannot help but wonder what they were thinking when they designed this thing.
Don
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Posted 12/04/2016   10:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I did forget to mention that the Vario G is taller than my Mystics and do not find on 3 of the 4 shelves in my book case.

I have not seen the Vario G Grande at below $35. At $38, it was with free shipping. I can find the F model for $30.
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Al
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Posted 12/04/2016   11:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don, they probably weren't expecting you to fill it up.

Jack
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Posted 12/04/2016   4:28 pm  Show Profile Check TheArtfulHinger's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The F model is available in 3 and 4 ring models and saw reports some sold in the US were 4 ring. From the pics I have seen the F model has O rings not D or you like the Grande.


I do not use Grande and the only Lighthouse binders I use are Vario F and G (3-ring only). The F does use an O ring and is probably about one-third the capacity of a G (at about 90% of the cost), but I use F's for the more "premium" areas of my collection that I want to keep segregated for various reasons. I also purposely want to keep those parts of my collection in a smaller binder to keep the pages a bit looser and give the pages and stamps more breathing space. I don't mind cramming binders housing common used stamps to maximum capacity, but I'm not so quick to do that for "better" parts of my collection.



Quote:
I have not seen the Vario G Grande at below $35. At $38, it was with free shipping. I can find the F model for $30.


I bought most of mine 5 at a time from this seller, price of about $28 or so each, delivered.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5-NEW-Light...em43f81ed183

The same seller sells 3-packs of F binders at a delivered price of just a couple dollar less or so per binder.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-NEW-Black...em43c1006931

Either will be hard to find for under $30 (with shipping) in qty 1, but they're still probably half the price of an equivalent Scott binder with slipcase.

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Posted 12/04/2016   5:08 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Worth taking a look at Nordfrim - free postage if you spend over a certain level

http://www.nordfrim.com/search?s=grande%20binder
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Posted 12/04/2016   6:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I bought most of mine 5 at a time from this seller, price of about $28 or so each, delivered.


This is actually the same seller that sold me my sample of one. I obviously did not spend enough time looking at eBay. If you go their web site, they mention they sell eBay under that name. Good to know.

I also guess my binder is not the Grande. It is the vario G which did not help my searching.
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Posted 12/04/2016   8:25 pm  Show Profile Check TheArtfulHinger's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
They also sell on Amazon under the same name. It pays to check their listings at both places, because some things are cheaper to buy from them on Amazon (stockbooks, mostly) while other things they sell cheaper on eBay. They also have their own website, but their prices are usually higher there for some reason. I also buy Vario pages from them. They nearly always have the best price for Lighthouse products of any US-based seller and their service is fast. I probably get something from them at least once a month.
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