removing old glue and adhesives - unseal doesn't work!

Rozmataz

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I actually have two pieces in the shop right now - both older pieces; one a photo; one a letter; that were glued down by someone, somewhere, long ago.

The photo seems to be glued with that old glue (can't remember the name) that is gold/clear and came in a glass bottle with a rubber tip/dispenser on the top. The letter c.1960 was done with double sided tape (when was that invented!)onto black construction paper.

Neither is responding to Unseal. The photo I understand - is that possible a water based glue? but the double stick adhesive must be so old it is impervious to the unseal.

Any suggestions as to an approach to take on either of these pieces!?

Thanks,

Roz
 

Rozmataz

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Thanks, Jerome

"Mucilage" - expensive stuff!!!
shrug.gif


I offered to "try" to remove - but with the issues at hand... it appears that I will deal with them as they are...

Thanks,

Roz
 

McPhoto

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Roz -
It might be faster/cheaper to just have the photo & the letter copied for the new framing package. Put the originals in an envelope and attach to the dustcover for future access. my 2¢
 

Jim Miller

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Old water-based adhesives sometimes lose their water solubility. The mucilage might not respond.

It is important to get the adhesives off if there's any danger of discoloration, bleed-through, or other cumulative damage. These are common problems with old glue.

I like McPhoto's suggestion. That way, these items would at least be good for many more years of display.
 

Rozmataz

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Good comments...

the letter is something of importance only to the person who is framing it now, and he had a copy and decided he might as well enjoy the original framed in spite of it's condition!

The other one - is in pretty good condition - considering!!

Roz
 

Jim Miller

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Well, the customer has another choice.

For the price of a really nice dinner for two, he could probably have the document treated by a knowledgeable conservator.

It's a safe bet theat if he did that, the document would be enjoyed longer than the dinner.
 

Rise

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I have to ask the question, "Why does anything have to removed?" If the customer has had these piece for (how long?) and they are content with the way they look, then I don't see how leaving them in their present condition would make them any worse. Trying to remove them might.
Take photos for posterity and any future framing, and then just frame the pieces the way they are.
 

McPhoto

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Rise makes a good point, sometimes as framers, we tend to want everyting to look "perfect" and, let's face it we live in an "imperfect" world.
Just like ourselves, materials get bent, folded, faded, & mutilated w/ age - - - is it necessary to give everything a "face-lift"?
 

preservator

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To amplify the point about leaving thing as they are... if we ask what the future wants, it is likely that it want things from the past in original condition. If the adhesive is not doing
harm, why remove it and change the item, when a
copy may be fine in the frame?


Hugh
 

Rozmataz

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Thanks to you all - it is staying "as is" and what it is, is what it is!!! Now and in the future!!

The letter doesn't look good, because the adhesive is showing thru the parchment paper (faux) since it was mounted on black construction paper)- but the owner did it and now knows the error of his prior ways!! Oh, did I mention - he also trimmed it very close to all the writing and indicia's!! Talk about insult upon injury!!

Roz
 

Bogframe

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I have to ask the question, "Why does anything have to removed?" If the customer has had these piece for (how long?) and they are content with the way they look, then I don't see how leaving them in their present condition would make them any worse. Trying to remove them might.
Take photos for posterity and any future framing, and then just frame the pieces the way they are.
In my case, I have an etching on tissue-like paper that was mucilaged onto a paper window mat. Leaving it on isn't an option; the mat is brittle and won't last very much longer. The customer doesn't want to pay for a paper conservator. Getting back to the original question, what, if anything can I use to remove mucilage?
 

MIK

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Doing my research, I found that mucilage is a water based glue, so warm water should soften it for removal from the mat. I have trimmed around the art work cutting into the first ply of the mat board. This technique allowed me to remove most of the paper mat while the art work is still attached to just the first ply of the matboard. I then litely moisten the mat board paper with warm water and carefully removed it from the art paper. I did not try to remove all the glue from the art paper. If the paper resisted (either mat or art), I stopped and left it be and matted over it with the new mat. Make sure that the paper has dried before matting. Hope this helps.
 

Jim Miller

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Leaving it on isn't an option; the mat is brittle and won't last very much longer. The customer doesn't want to pay for a paper conservator...

When a customer says, "I don't want to pay for treatment by a professional conservator. Can't you do something cheaper?" What they really mean is, "I'd rather pay you less to do an amateur job. I'll take a chance, and if you botch it, I can hold you responsible."

I would suggest letting the customer deal with the mucilage. I would not attempt any kind of treatment as an amateur. The risk would be unaceptable to me.
 

Rebecca

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Hi Seth -

There are so many potential problems with removing it - you might get lucky, but then again you might not, and end up paying a conservator yourself! Thin tissue like papers are rife with dangers, especially gampi paper (yellowish, smooth surfaced and kind of shiny). Gampi is a killer - it is extremely fragile, and extremely water sensitive.

You can always leave it on the window mat, and make a sinkmount for the whole thing, and then overmat the sinkmounted original. Make sense???

Although I do like Ron's comment that treatment will pay for the conservator's dinner for two : )

Rebecca
 

Bogframe

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I ended up applying water with a thin brush, waiting a few seconds and was able to separate the art from the mat with a razor (not mat) blade with no damage to the art at all. Whether it was skill, feel or dumb luck, I don't know, but it worked.
 
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