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Old 04-30-2021, 10:27 PM
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David Atkatz David Atkatz is offline
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Default Fireproof Archival Storage. No Ball Cubes.

I am considering buying a very good, very expensive, fireproof safe so that I can store some of my collection at home, worry-free.
The safe can withstand two hours at 1850 F, with the interior temperature rising to no more than 350F, well below paper's scorching temperature, and well below mylar's melting point. So my flat items, which are stored in mylar sleeves for protection, should be fine.
But what about baseballs? The baseball itself has no problems, but ball cubes are a different story. This is what a ball cube looks like after a brief time at 350:
(I have just purchased archival cardboard and mylar baseball storage boxes.)
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Old 05-01-2021, 10:46 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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Have you tried cutting it open yet? I'd bet the cube protected the ball even though it melted.

Most easily available plastics melt around 212 ish.. Although there are high temperature versions (and even radiation blocking versions)
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Old 05-02-2021, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve B View Post
Have you tried cutting it open yet? I'd bet the cube protected the ball even though it melted.

Most easily available plastics melt around 212 ish.. Although there are high temperature versions (and even radiation blocking versions)
Protected the ball from what? The ball can survive 350 F, whether inside a ball cube or not. If there were no cube, the ball goes on its merry way, impervious to that temperature. If inside, the cube melts, and covers the ball with melted plastic. Does the soft plastic damage the ball in any way--say by adhering to the surface, or leaching into it? I don't know. But I'd rather not find out with a Babe Ruth signed ball.
If my choice is that my signed baseballs get covered in melted plastic, or don't get covered in melted plastic, I'll choose the latter.
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Old 05-02-2021, 09:50 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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I haven't tested it, but 350 over a longer time will probably do bad things to leather and ink. If the plastic doesn't stick to anything it might provide a bit of thermal resistance that could help.
It it does stick then obviously it's useless.



Fireproof safes have come a long way. Years ago, the use of one made stamp collection insurance void as they provided the protection by having moisture boil out of the firebrick. Not a huge problem for cash or most documents, but for stuff coated with water activated adhesive it was very bad.
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Old 05-02-2021, 10:28 PM
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I haven't tested it, but 350 over a longer time will probably do bad things to leather and ink. If the plastic doesn't stick to anything it might provide a bit of thermal resistance that could help.
It it does stick then obviously it's useless.
I have tested it. A loose signed baseball is undamaged after one hour at 350 F. I'm sure, though, as you say, prolonged exposure would certainly not be helpful.
Switching to archival board and mylar boxes seems to me the prudent thing to do, should I buy the safe.

Last edited by David Atkatz; 05-02-2021 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:07 AM
steve B steve B is offline
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That does seem like a better option, if only to eliminate the nuisance of removing the plastic.

If it gets hot enough to cause trouble with the mylar I doubt much would survive. If I remember right mylar gets bad around 800.

I saw really mixed stuff about leather and heat. And of course, that was all about regular leather.

If baseballs were cheap enough I might try doing one cubed and one not at fairly high temps for a long time, checking every hour or so. Maybe once flea market season starts back up and I can find them for a buck each or less.
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