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What’s Been Happening at Stamphacks

I’ve totally abandoned the idea of making the larger Scott size pages. I liked the idea, but it was so limiting in terms of binder and paper choices.

The 2022 Ukraine pages are done, so now I can focus on the Community US Stamp album.

While working on this album I discovered a few things:My choice of font (Source Sans 3), seems to be very finicky. On some printers it looks great, on other printers it looks horrible. The font depends on your printer driver, and which PDF viewing app you use to print, and which setting you pick. The output looked great for me on my Brother laser printer. But when I printed in on my Epson Inkjet, it looked horrible. Then I used Foxit Reader on my Mac and it helped a little. Then I used Foxit Reader and tried the “best” setting on the Epson printer driver and suddenly things looked almost as good as the laser printer.

This is making me change things. Since I am redoing all the pages to make them match the new format, I changed fonts. Going forward all pages will be available in Source Sans 3 and in Neue Haas Unica. You pick which font you want.

And for people printing double-sided pages to put into page protectors, there will be a “double-sided” PDF available. You can slide these into a page protector, or use some glassine interleaves in your albums.

I want to finish all the pages and release them all at once, so this is going to take a little bit.

On a personal note, I have stopped using cover stock/cardstock. I can’t get the rollers of the printer to grab this paper reliably and feed it through the printer. So, I was getting inconsistent results. Sometimes everything would be skewed ever so slightly left or right, and other times things would be a little lower or higher on the page than I expected.

So, I just bought some 28 lb (70 lb text) paper and use that. So far, so good.

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The Best Quality Print Output

I’m extremely picky about the quality of the pages that I print, and I thought I would pass on some tips and tricks I have discovered.

First tip is paper quality.

If you’re on a laser printer, your options for paper are limitless. You can print on almost anything and it will look crisp and clean. But if you’re printing on thicker paper, make sure you set your printer driver to the thicker or thickest setting for paper type. This will make the fuser a LOT hotter and will make sure the toner sticks to the page. I’ve printed on cardstock with the default settings and have been able to scratch the toner off the page. Of course, using a hotter setting will cause the paper to curl more when it comes out of the printer.

Inkjet printers can be a bit trickier. You need a coated paper so the ink doesn’t bleed into the paper fiber and feather, giving your text a slightly fuzzy look. There are lots of paper that specifically says “Inkjet” on it, and will usually give you good results. But I have used paper that says it’s for inkjet and laser, and the inkjet results have been less than stellar on it.

Something else I discovered today is that, on an inkjet, when you print something out and choose “Black and White” or “Greyscale” in your print dialog, things look a lot better, because the printer then only uses the black ink cartridge.

I have an Epson EcoTank ET-2750, and when I print without the “Black and White” setting, the text and stamp images have an ever so slight blue hue to them. The “Black and White” page is just super dark black. The difference to my eyes was pretty dramatic.

But I am picky.

Something else I learned today is that a lot of “tank” printers will use pigmented ink for the black color and dye inks for the other colors. Well, pigmented inks don’t absorb into the page. They stay on top of the page. So, paper you thought you couldn’t use on an inkjet, such as 100% cotton paper, might work just fine if you print in black and white or greyscale.

And the last thing that can affect print quality is the PDF viewer you are using. I’m on a Mac and always used Preview to print my PDFs. Well, for some reason, Preview stopped printing the images on my stamp pages. So, I installed Foxit PDF Reader. That printed the images, and I thought the text looked better. I reported the problem to Apple and forgot about it. Well, Apple has issued 3 updates to MacOS since I reported the problem, so I gave Preview another try tonight. And it printed the images and the text quality looked just as good as Foxit PDF Reader.

Get some paper, some PDF readers and experiment to see what looks best for you.

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Mystic Heirloom Stamp Album

Need Pictures of Some Mystic Pages

I let my Heirloom album get a little of out of date. The supplements I need I can’t get any more. If someone has an up-to-date Mystic Heirloom ,could take pictures of the following pages and get the to me some, I would appreciate it.

From the semi-postal section, I need a picture of page B2.

From the airmail section, I need page C43 and everything after that. I’m pretty sure there will only be C43 an C44.

I don’t need high-quality scans. I just need a picture, so I can read the exact text on the page.

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Tryzub Ukrainian Stamp Album Pages

Having a Little Fun This Week

I’m having a little “What If…” moment. What if I could make stamp pages the same size as Scott National pages ( 10 x 11 1/2), on cream colored pages, and were a homage to Scott pages. This is what I came up with:

Obviously, printing 10 x 11 1/2 pages is a challenge for most people, so this is not practical for mass-distribution. But I think I’ll release as PDF at some point for people to comment on.

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Tryzub Ukrainian Stamp Album Pages

The Tryzub Ukrainian Stamp Album 2021 Supplement!

With the help of the chief proofreader (my wife), I have finished the 2021 Tryzub Ukrainian Stamp Album Supplement.

Here is a screen shot

This year, I have included something new: a stamp mount and cutting guide. It’s included as a LibreOffice Sheets file and a PDF. It shows the stamp name, the MICHEL number, the mount needed and length to cut it to.

The 2021 Europa stamps again came as a booklet and individual stamps. The booklet page assumes you’re going to open to booklet and lay it flat.

Due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, every Ukrainian seller on eBay has closed their shop. In the past, there were some sellers from the Russian Federation selling Ukrainian stamps. Check your country’s sanctions against Russia before you buy from Russian sellers. You don’t want to spend a lot of money only to have your order not allowed through customs.

Good luck getting Ukrainian stamps.

As usual, everything is on my Google Drive:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B5nZhycYzltRfmNNU1lDNjVWa2dtZVRmUDJHX0VYYVdzem5fcldJSE1UTGZ5SmhhNlFwWDQ?resourcekey=0-3eyZIovFL3Z5GX4toYyquQ&usp=sharing

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The Planets Are In Alignment Today

  1. The 2021 Ukrainian Stamp Arrived
  2. I have all the stamp mount sizes I need
  3. MICHEL assigned catalog numbers to all the 2021 stamps
  4. My wife is working bingo tonight

Time to hack some pages when work is over!

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Tryzub Ukrainian Stamp Album Pages

They’re Here!!!

I started putting stamps in mounts this evening. Some sizes are off, so I am going to need to fix a few pages.

Still have that problem with MICHEL not assigning numbers to all the 2021 stamps yet. But hopefully I can get a supplement out the door some time this weekend.

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A Story of the Ukrainian Spirit

As you probably know from my previous posts, my 2021 Ukrainian stamps have not arrived yet.

I have been working with the seller (who I totally trust), and we agreed that if I did not get my stamps by the end of February, he would send me a new set.

So here we are, one week before the end of the month and no stamps. And then the Fire Nation, I mean, Putin attacked. At this point, I don’t care about the stamps any more. I want the guy and his wife to be safe. He lives in Kyiv. I just want to know that the guy is OK.

I sit down a half hour ago to send him an email which I assume he won’t get, but I have to try.

And I get an email from him. He tells me that he and his wife fled Kyiv last night and are heading West. He was emailing me to tell me my stamps arrived at JFK Airport this morning.

This guy is in a war zone, fleeing for his life, but he still takes time out to check my order and let me know that it finally arrived.

I have no words…

So when this mess is over, and you need Ukrainian stamps, buy them from BeeUkrainian on eBay.

Categories
Tryzub Ukrainian Stamp Album Pages

I Have This Sinking Feeling…

With current events, I have this sinking feeling there won’t be a 2022 Tryzub Ukrainian Stamp Album Supplement…

Categories
Community US Stamp Album Pages

The Mystic Heirloom 2021 Supplement Hack

I fixed two pages in this supplement:

  1. Page 1594
  2. Page 1602

Both of these pages had booklet stamps with broken up se-tenants. Here is what I did:

The file can be found on my Google Drive:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B5nZhycYzltRN2dwUXhZTzdWeUk?resourcekey=0-XeA_sv4AdbV5ZfynEkq4kQ&usp=sharing

Look for the file 2021 Retrofit Kit.7z