I need to get a new watermark detector as my morleybright has died and you cannot seem to buy them anymore even second hand. I have seen a few Philatector electric (battery) ones from about £10 + postage upwards, but have no idea if they are any good.
Other than lighter fluid and a black tray, I don't know anything about those battery operated devices. I'm interested on what others have to say about them.
Yeah, I have got lighter fuel and a black tray but they don't work too well on those Hong Kong stamps, I can tell enough to know there is a watermark on some of the 1973-78 definitives but not enough to work out which one of the 2 possibilities. Really annoying
I use watermarking fluid and a black tray and also know nothing about the electronic detectors. I too find that on occasion the watermarking fluid fails to reveal a watermark with enough detail to positively ID it (Argentina watermarks where particularly difficult recently). I am also interested to see what others have to say on the electronic detectors.
I don't use those modern fancy do-hickeys, so I can't give you any suggestions either.
However, is it something like the bulb has gone out? The bulb is actually an OEM replaceable part. You just have to search by bulb part numbers, rather than machine. If it's just the bulb, and you are having difficulty locating a replacement, PM me and I'll help you hunt it down -- I'm always scavenging for OEM parts to fix electronics.
OK, yes that has been an ongoing problem as the machines age. I've even remember reading about someone who tried to make his own makeshift replacement, but I don't think he got anywhere as good results as the original.
Not sure if you have the Roll-A-Tector or the Inst-A-Tector, but I assume they use the same ink sachets.
Very very occasionally, you will see a listing for them -- I've even seen listings for ones with spare ink sachets!!!
There is one listing right now on eBay from a seller in England, but not sure if it still has the ink sachet. They obviously are not stamp collectors, but maybe you could send them a pic of the sachet and they can tell you if their box still has the sachet and if the ink is still dark.
They are expensive, but Signoscope T2 or T1 work pretty well. I've only used (don't have one) the T2 but a friend had a T1 and he liked it. I would not use a Morley Bright as I have heard that the sachets leak, and in some instances ruined a stamp.
I used to used to use watermark fluid, but it got too expensive. I switched to Ronsonol and have been hooked on it every since. Hard to kick the habit. Thank you Walmart.
The method I use in order as needed:
-- hold up to light -- put on my Levi pant leg while sitting (you'd be surprised how many watermarks can be easily detected this way! just remember to put the stamp back in place before standing up instead of sorting the watermarks in your lap! ) -- lighter fluid in black tray
And if it's a old engraved yellow stamp, lots'a'luck! On those super-difficult yellow stamps, you almost have to go to light filters and non-black tray, or Signascope.
I switched to Ronsonol and have been hooked on it every since. Hard to kick the habit.
There's a pun in there somewhere.
I never needed anything except watermark fluid and a couple of trays ... until I got to turn-of-the-(last)-century Romania. Those watermarks are mean! I haven't had much success finding supplies at most of the local shows, but I'll be going to one in Massachusetts on Saturday and I'll see what I can find. Going to agree with Kris, though; when you get into three figures, especially when the first one isn't "1", that buys a lot of stamps and leaves something left over for food.
Ronsonol is more than 50% cheaper, readily available at almost every Walmart (their website will even tell you what aisle it's on -- typically it is a register aisle). I keep a part bottle of watermark fluid as back-up, just in case, but I haven't run into anything that watermark fluid will detect but Ronsonol won't.
And, as the example you mentioned, there are some watermarks that defy most, if not all, efforts/methods...
Just an observation. Ronsonol at one time was not "oily" feeling. I believe they were bought and now it is some "oily" substance with the Ronsonol name on it.
The original Ronsonol was bought by Zippo and is still marketed as Ronsonol The formula was changed as it used to be 30% Naphtha and was mainly sold as a "lighter" fluid It is now mainly sold also as Ronsonol BBQ lighter with apparently no naphtha Naphtha fumes are/were the "health hazard" part of Ronsonol - not great when profusely used as BBQ lighter. The Naphtha was lighter than the other distillates in Ronsonol, so it probably feels different now
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