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  #1  
Old 11-29-2020, 01:30 AM
cardsagain74 cardsagain74 is online now
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Default Factory cuts vs trimming

Whenever I sort through all of my late '60s and early '70s cards, it's so easy to see how inconsistent the size of the cuts can be. It's also been mentioned how this was naturally the case in many prior issues too, both pre-war and post-war vintage.

With this in mind, I'm curious why people usually assume the worst when they think something is "swimming inside a slab", etc. I know PSA has missed plenty of trimmed cards, but with as common as various size cuts can be, wouldn't a slightly short cut (that they decided to grade rather than return as "min size") still be a more likely reason?

Or, am I really underestimating how often the culprit actually is trimming?

Last edited by cardsagain74; 11-29-2020 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 11-29-2020, 12:03 PM
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I'm not sure what you're asking here, but let me say this: the SlabGate scandal has made me paranoid. If I see a card that looks even slightly small, then I won't touch it with a ten-foot pole. Whether it came out of the factory looking that way, or if it was done in somebody's basement, is totally irrelevant to me.

Another thing I want to mention is how PSA has different-sized holders. Some can be slightly bigger than others. So, I don't judge a card based on how much "space" is surrounding it. I just study the borders instead.

Sorry if my post didn't answer your question.
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  #3  
Old 11-29-2020, 12:16 PM
Tomman1961 Tomman1961 is offline
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Many of my 1939 Playball cards are crazy oversized. Fodder for someone who would love to trim them. If I took all my Diamond Stars to the calipers they are all over the place- the small ones show a lot of corner wear. The cutting technology of the times. By what era would we expect the dimensions to be dead on?
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Old 11-29-2020, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samosa4u View Post
I'm not sure what you're asking here, but let me say this: the SlabGate scandal has made me paranoid. If I see a card that looks even slightly small, then I won't touch it with a ten-foot pole. Whether it came out of the factory looking that way, or if it was done in somebody's basement, is totally irrelevant to me.

Another thing I want to mention is how PSA has different-sized holders. Some can be slightly bigger than others. So, I don't judge a card based on how much "space" is surrounding it. I just study the borders instead.

Sorry if my post didn't answer your question.
Apologies if I wasn't clear. It's just seemed like when a card measures short, people are much quicker to think "trimmed" instead of the factory cut, especially after slabgate. But with how often factory cuts can apparently be off, I wondered if the cut is usually the culprit (and the trimming issue in the hobby isn't quite as rampant as assumed.)

And like you said, the different sized slabs can factor in to how something comes off at first glance. Though when I was comparing my '71 T Brooks to PSA versions, these were the two most recent PSA 7 sales. The second card looks clearly smaller L/R, with or without the slabs

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1971-Topps-...-/383777188192

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1971-Topps-...-/324302009620



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  #5  
Old 11-29-2020, 01:18 PM
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A lot of vending cards have been notorious for being factory short. Also many dead on solid 9’s and 10’s have been pulled from vendors over the years.

Last edited by Johnny630; 11-29-2020 at 03:08 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2020, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny630 View Post
A lot of vending cards have notorious for being factory short.
Did not know that about vending boxes. It explains plenty of what remained unanswered to me.

Thanks Johnny
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Old 11-29-2020, 02:50 PM
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My experience at least as of late would tend to agree with the OP's notion that normal factory size variance (more common than many would imagine with vintage, especially when we are talking less than 1/32 of an inch...) is more apt to be viewed as possible trimming - to the point sometimes of paranoia. Cards coming out of packs with slightly different dimensions is not something that ended with tobacco cards. I've had several different '58 Topps cards just in the past year that are too big and will not fit into One Touch holders. I'm not sure PSA's "Min Size" can be much of a useful yardstick at all; the hobby is rife with stories of how one card was originally graded and then got returned a Min Size with an effort to get a bump, or vice versa. PSA misses both trimming AND factory discrepancies quite frequently, IMO. I'm not sure I have a solution to the problem, other than buy the card and not the slab, and make sure you are happy with the card in the slab regardless of things like the grade on the flip or movement / lack of movement in the slab. Just as an aside, simply because a card moves a bit in the holder is not necessarily indicative of trimming or a factory size problem. For some, the late 60's through the early 70's in particular - the card stock was simply thinner, and cards even with perfectly normal dimensions will move somewhat. I'm not sure I've ever seen a 1970 Topps card that remained perfectly still in a PSA holder.
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Old 11-29-2020, 03:08 PM
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Did not know that about vending boxes. It explains plenty of what remained unanswered to me.

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  #9  
Old 11-29-2020, 06:14 PM
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Size consistency would depend on the set.

Score was die cut, and should pretty much always be the right size.

Topps switched at some point. I think probably with the switch to different cardstock in 92, although a lot of their newer stuff is both knife and die cut.

Any cards cut by hand will have some differences, depending on how careful the cutter operator was. 41 Goudey being probably the worst.
Even high production cards cut with a slitter can be undersize/oversize if the cutting wheels aren't spaced correctly.
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Old 11-30-2020, 02:16 PM
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One would think that with a high enough magnification, identifying trimmed cards could be detected, at least to a high degree. Looking at any given edge, I envision differences in color (due to accumulated dirt, oil, etc.) from handling the cards for many years, indentations, fiber orientation, etc of a card that was cut 50 or more years ago to one that was cut in the recent past, by most probably a different method.

What am I missing here? A grader would not have to look at all cards, but a higher cost to evaluate a more expensive card at a higher grade would seem to require more diligent methods of examination, including high resolution images of the edges and surface.
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Old 11-30-2020, 02:53 PM
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That's pretty much all it takes.

Plus knowing what a factory edge should look like.

And in the case of some TPGs, actually looking.
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Old 11-30-2020, 03:00 PM
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To me its one and the same. I will just find one that measures correct. Nothing is perfect though

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Old 11-30-2020, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigdaddy View Post
One would think that with a high enough magnification, identifying trimmed cards could be detected, at least to a high degree. Looking at any given edge, I envision differences in color (due to accumulated dirt, oil, etc.) from handling the cards for many years, indentations, fiber orientation, etc of a card that was cut 50 or more years ago to one that was cut in the recent past, by most probably a different method.
All valid points. But when they spend less than 60 seconds on each card, that kind of scrutiny ain't happening. Right now the model we have, and all anyone cares about is the turn around time on grading. If I send in a minty Mickey Mantle card, my chief concern is going to be that I get it back in a week or so if I pay for that service, NOT that the grader spends extra TLC time in looking under loupes and evaluating edge precision, getting a second or maybe even a third opinion, etc. etc. But perhaps that the type of terms we need to start thinking in for super high-end or rare cards?

As others have pointed out though - for pure matters of dimension and size concern - I would think they could implement a way to measure cards digitally down to a hundreth of an inch or something. If you can do this and make that kind of measurement routine - then there wouldn't be a reason they couldn't quickly measure all cards that way. If it becomes commonplace, then whatever the current "Min Size" requirements are, you would think they could be drastically tightened up based on what the new micro-discrepancies turn out to be. I would be willing to bet that even the graders would be surprised with something like that - at exactly what was more or less normal for a card to be "off" by out of the pack.
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  #14  
Old 11-30-2020, 03:49 PM
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Until recently I was purchasing 53 Bowman color cards from an eBay seller. I noticed that two of the key cards, #93 Martin/Rizzuto and #99 Spahn were 1/16 on an inch shorter than the other cards I had purchased from him. I returned the two cards to the seller.
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Old 11-30-2020, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardsagain74 View Post
Whenever I sort through all of my late '60s and early '70s cards, it's so easy to see how inconsistent the size of the cuts can be. It's also been mentioned how this was naturally the case in many prior issues too, both pre-war and post-war vintage.

With this in mind, I'm curious why people usually assume the worst when they think something is "swimming inside a slab", etc. I know PSA has missed plenty of trimmed cards, but with as common as various size cuts can be, wouldn't a slightly short cut (that they decided to grade rather than return as "min size") still be a more likely reason?

Or, am I really underestimating how often the culprit actually is trimming?
It's really all about how much evidence has come to light lately showing the scumbaggery of card doctors, and it makes everyone second guess everything. Most of us collectors knew some garbage was done in the past (using magic markers to make 1971 cards look beautiful, for instance), but in this new era of the graded card, who knew how bad it was going to get?! So it's really out of an abundance of caution to treat any 'very short' card as a trim job first, and then do some research and comparison efforts to determine if you're satisfied it actually came out of the factory that way. That is my approach.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:32 PM
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All valid points. But when they spend less than 60 seconds on each card, that kind of scrutiny ain't happening. Right now the model we have, and all anyone cares about is the turn around time on grading. If I send in a minty Mickey Mantle card, my chief concern is going to be that I get it back in a week or so if I pay for that service, NOT that the grader spends extra TLC time in looking under loupes and evaluating edge precision, getting a second or maybe even a third opinion, etc. etc. But perhaps that the type of terms we need to start thinking in for super high-end or rare cards?

As others have pointed out though - for pure matters of dimension and size concern - I would think they could implement a way to measure cards digitally down to a hundreth of an inch or something. If you can do this and make that kind of measurement routine - then there wouldn't be a reason they couldn't quickly measure all cards that way. If it becomes commonplace, then whatever the current "Min Size" requirements are, you would think they could be drastically tightened up based on what the new micro-discrepancies turn out to be. I would be willing to bet that even the graders would be surprised with something like that - at exactly what was more or less normal for a card to be "off" by out of the pack.
With a 1200dpi scan it's possible to measure to just less that 1/1000th of an inch. Add a grid, and you can get even more info, like exactly how much tilt in a diamond cut. I'd have to have a few friends I know do the program, but they assure me it's very easy, if not already a feature on some photo software.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:18 AM
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With a 1200dpi scan it's possible to measure to just less that 1/1000th of an inch. Add a grid, and you can get even more info, like exactly how much tilt in a diamond cut. I'd have to have a few friends I know do the program, but they assure me it's very easy, if not already a feature on some photo software.
My expectation is that at some point TPG's will go to this, with a significant uptick in grading fees as a result, LOL.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:53 AM
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In my opinion,This is what a trimmed top edge looks like.


https://www.ebay.com/itm/1961-FLEER-...p2047675.l2557

Last edited by Johnny630; 12-01-2020 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:55 AM
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This is what a trimmed top edge looks like.


https://www.ebay.com/itm/1961-FLEER-...p2047675.l2557
That's definitely a tilt or angled cut on the top and bottom borders. But how do you know it's trimmed?
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:12 AM
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I can tell... to me in my opinion flip the card over look at the back top border not normal factory cut. Specifically back above the 8 and over to the edge.

Last edited by Johnny630; 12-01-2020 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 12-01-2020, 11:22 AM
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I can tell... to me in my opinion flip the card over look at the back top border not normal factory cut. Specifically back above the 8 and over to the edge.
Duh. I didn't even look at the back. Yes, I would agree that looks suspect. Jeez, card doctors suck.
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Old 12-01-2020, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
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I can tell... to me in my opinion flip the card over look at the back top border not normal factory cut. Specifically back above the 8 and over to the edge.
Might as well add the pictures from the ebay post in question, since these will disappear after awhile.
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File Type: jpg Trimmed Top Edge.jpg (71.3 KB, 260 views)
File Type: jpg Trimmed Top Edge Back.jpg (67.6 KB, 265 views)
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  #23  
Old 12-01-2020, 01:15 PM
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Even using very rough methods this one doesn't pass.

Yes, there's some tilted cutting, but the tilt is more on the top than it is on the bottom.

Placing a straightedge admittedly not a "perfect" one but a piece of paper- along the top edge, it appears flat except for the top right corner, which does stick up some.

And that edge seen from the back seems to show an angled cut so some of the inner layers are visible.

Three strikes.....

Or since it's basketball do I have to look for a couple more? Or just call it a couple technicals and it's outta here.
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
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A lot of vending cards have been notorious for being factory short. Also many dead on solid 9s and 10s have been pulled from vendors over the years.
Opened a vending box of 71 Topps Hockey and PSA said a few were short and wouldnt grade them. Ridiculous! They were all the same and no one trimmed and replaced a whole vending box.
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:36 AM
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Opened a vending box of 71 Topps Hockey and PSA said a few were short and wouldnt grade them. Ridiculous! They were all the same and no one trimmed and replaced a whole vending box.
They prob were short...naturally from vending. Not trimmed but Mini Sized
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Old 12-03-2020, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny630 View Post
In my opinion,This is what a trimmed top edge looks like.


https://www.ebay.com/itm/1961-FLEER-...p2047675.l2557
+1. Sometimes it's difficult to tell and other times no so much.,

There is a reason I collect oversized cards and isn't to make them normal sized


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Old 12-03-2020, 10:49 PM
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Does PSA have slightly over size holders, like maybe one for e90-1s?

Just going by the fit in the holder it seems normal sized.
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Old 12-04-2020, 06:35 AM
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Pretty Card Leon
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:33 AM
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I'm returning to collecting after a long hiatus and have started buying tobacco cards for the first time. I absolutely love them, but this whole trimming thing has made me so paranoid.

I was just looking at a couple recently purchased T205s - I got these from the same eBay seller, who I have no reason at all to suspect of being dishonest, and they are inexpensive commons, so no real incentive to trim.

But...the Kroh is obviously narrower than the Reulbach, and the right edge of the Kroh does look very clean in comparison to the others on both cards. I found an old thread here discussing size variance in the T205s, so it's probably nothing to worry about, but just so I can try to train my eye to spot alterations - what do you guys think?
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Old 12-06-2020, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASF123 View Post
I'm returning to collecting after a long hiatus and have started buying tobacco cards for the first time. I absolutely love them, but this whole trimming thing has made me so paranoid.

I was just looking at a couple recently purchased T205s - I got these from the same eBay seller, who I have no reason at all to suspect of being dishonest, and they are inexpensive commons, so no real incentive to trim.

But...the Kroh is obviously narrower than the Reulbach, and the right edge of the Kroh does look very clean in comparison to the others on both cards. I found an old thread here discussing size variance in the T205s, so it's probably nothing to worry about, but just so I can try to train my eye to spot alterations - what do you guys think?
I don't think either of those cards has been trimmed, from the scans.
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Old 12-06-2020, 10:20 PM
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Thanks!
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Old 12-07-2020, 03:06 AM
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Might as well add the pictures from the ebay post in question, since these will disappear after awhile.
Not saying it wasn't trimmed but those 61 Fleers (usually) have a small border on the top of the back, that may explain the strange color difference.

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Old 12-07-2020, 10:18 AM
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Another rookie question - and I sincerely appreciate everyone who has taken the time to help educate me on this stuff.

The photo below is from a 64T Aaron/Mays I just received from eBay. It's a great-looking card...but on close inspection, the right edge is slightly curved near the bottom. Thoughts? Again, many thanks.
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Last edited by ASF123; 12-07-2020 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 12-07-2020, 10:30 AM
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Another rookie question - and I sincerely appreciate everyone who has taken the time to help educate me on this stuff.

The photo below is from a 64T Aaron/Mays I just received from eBay. It's a great-looking card...but on close inspection, the right edge is slightly curved near the bottom. Thoughts? Again, many thanks.
That does look odd. Can you post a picture of the whole card for purposes of comparison?
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Old 12-07-2020, 10:39 AM
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Here is the full card:
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  #36  
Old 12-07-2020, 10:43 AM
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Here is the full card:
Return it
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Old 12-07-2020, 10:59 AM
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Huh - it's actually a little wider than another 64T I've had since I was a kid:
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  #38  
Old 12-07-2020, 07:55 PM
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Made that way...
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Old 12-08-2020, 09:16 AM
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Weird cuts can happen. It's a little unusual, but overall looks ok.
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PSA getting tougher on factory miscuts / diamond cuts? swarmee Postwar Baseball Cards Forum (Pre-1980) 12 06-12-2017 06:48 PM


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