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  #1  
Old 04-30-2021, 10:27 PM
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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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File Type: jpg ballcube 2.jpg (72.8 KB, 331 views)
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  #2  
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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  #3  
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
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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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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve B View Post
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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Old 05-03-2021, 10:19 AM
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the biggest worry is not heat and fire it will be the mold that grows inside those type safes , very hard like a gun safe dealing with humidity , the more secure the safe the more problem you will have , the only way to maybe get a handle is have a safe with a power built in control and even then i would be worried about the balls over anything. you would almost have to weekly monitor and open it
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:18 AM
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Wouldn't placing desiccants inside the safe be the best option for reducing the humidity inside? They can be purchased for various size spaces.
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Old 05-03-2021, 01:58 PM
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very tricky because you end up having to monitoring it and the ball would be a perfect thing to get jacked , guns will still start to rust , with balls bleeding anyway it would be to me very risky
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:16 PM
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very tricky because you end up having to monitoring it and the ball would be a perfect thing to get jacked , guns will still start to rust , with balls bleeding anyway it would be to me very risky
Get jacked? It's a 400 lb safe, bolted to the floor. Even the locksmith would have to drill it open, which would take quite a few hours.
Balls bleeding? A desiccant works fine. Not to mention that just opening the safe every so often deals with any humidity.
What's risky is having your collection in your house with no fire protection.
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Atkatz View Post
Get jacked? It's a 400 lb safe, bolted to the floor. Even the locksmith would have to drill it open, which would take quite a few hours.
Balls bleeding? A desiccant works fine. Not to mention that just opening the safe every so often deals with any humidity.
What's risky is having your collection in your house with no fire protection.
ok well then let it rip partner
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  #12  
Old 05-03-2021, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
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ok well then let it rip partner
Well, should I go the safe route (and I use the double meaning intentionally), I'm certainly not worried about getting jacked, or mold. Partner.
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Old 05-03-2021, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
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Well, should I go the safe route (and I use the double meaning intentionally), I'm certainly not worried about getting jacked, or mold. Partner.
jacked as in jacked up the ball not somebody moving a safe out , but you seem to have it figured out , my yearly comment offering actual real knowledge about something , to be honest you asked about buying a safe , seemed like you were wanting a opinion on that . but it seems like you have already made your mind up , and thats fine . i actually have a larger and more expensive safe i would bet and it has those same claims . the main problem is humidity and i was getting at the electric dehumidifier works better but still tricky but its fine will be back next year
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Old 05-03-2021, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
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jacked as in jacked up the ball not somebody moving a safe out , but you seem to have it figured out , my yearly comment offering actual real knowledge about something , to be honest you asked about buying a safe , seemed like you were wanting a opinion on that . but it seems like you have already made your mind up , and thats fine . i actually have a larger and more expensive safe i would bet and it has those same claims . the main problem is humidity and i was getting at the electric dehumidifier works better but still tricky but its fine will be back next year
"Larger and more expensive" than what? And what does "jacked up the ball" even mean?

Last edited by David Atkatz; 05-03-2021 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 05-03-2021, 05:52 PM
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You ask for opinions, then respond to just about every post with a confrontational, condescending attitude.
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  #16  
Old 05-03-2021, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by BRoberts View Post
You ask for opinions, then respond to just about every post with a confrontational, condescending attitude.
Guess what? I didn't ask for opinions. (Go back and read my post. Show me where I did anything but make statements. (Well, I did ask one rhetorical question, but I answered it.))
I simply stated a fact--the temperature behavior of the safe. I then pointed out that ball cubes are not "safe" in the safe.
This reply condescending enough for ya?

Last edited by David Atkatz; 05-03-2021 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:18 AM
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In a house with a central air/heat system, it really shouldn't be a concern. Especially if it's modern, since adequate insulation helps prevent big temperature swings. So the ambient air when the safe gets loaded will be mostly right for storage, around 40% humidity is good for most things. (and 40 degrees F too, but that isn't really reasonable for most people)
As David said, just opening the door for a while now and then would give enough air transfer and opportunity to check on things.

Now in a house like mine that's 1880's, has no insulation, and only a couple window AC units, and can be 60 downstairs and 80 upstairs.... Yeah, for me it may not be a great choice. Fortunately, I don't have any autographed balls that are particularly expensive in my collection. (I only have maybe 5 total? ) *

*They're in a "fire resistant" card file cabinet.... Meaning someone built a cabinet to store 3x5 cards, and the space between the inner body and outer is filled with firebrick. But the drawers don't seal... So if there was a minor fire near it, stuff might be ok, but it wouldn't survive a major fire.
That cabinet is also damn heavy..
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Atkatz View Post
"Larger and more expensive" than what? And what does "jacked up the ball" even mean?
"Jacked up" is another way to say messed or screwed up. Basically to say something is damaged or broken is to say it is "jacked up."
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Old 05-04-2021, 03:01 PM
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"Jacked up" is another way to say messed or screwed up. Basically to say something is damaged or broken is to say it is "jacked up."
Thank you. Where I come from, "jacked" means stolen, as in carjacked.
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Old 05-06-2021, 05:49 AM
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Just my two cents and am no expert on safe's but I almost bought one once and was looking at a gun safe that antique gun collectors use. My guess is that they could withstand a lot of heat as the gun stocks would be wood. And in the case of older guns quite brittle and dry. As for the humidity Wouldn't an open coffee can of rice do the job?
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:19 AM
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Couldn't you put the balls in a fire proof bag within the safe? A cube is usually for display but if it's in a safe there is no display aspect while it's in there.
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:46 AM
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If you keep your balls in a fireproof bag wouldn't they get really sweaty? Just saying
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Old 05-06-2021, 08:28 AM
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Depends on how much heat you're working with.
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Old 05-06-2021, 08:38 AM
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Graded card slabs do the same thing as the ball cube.
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Old 05-06-2021, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by packs View Post
Couldn't you put the balls in a fire proof bag within the safe? A cube is usually for display but if it's in a safe there is no display aspect while it's in there.
You don't need a fireproof bag. The baseball can handle the 350 just fine. If in a ball cube, though, the cube melts all over the baseball.

Last edited by David Atkatz; 05-06-2021 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 05-06-2021, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnorth View Post
Graded card slabs do the same thing as the ball cube.
Excellent point. Just one more reason why people who believe in true archival storage, like the Baseball Hall of Fame, for instance, neither slab cards, nor use ball cubes.

Last edited by David Atkatz; 05-06-2021 at 02:00 PM.
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  #27  
Old 05-06-2021, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by David Atkatz View Post
You don't need a fireproof bag. The baseball can handle the 350 just fine. If in a ball cube, though, the cube melts all over the baseball.
Why put it in the cube then? That's what's confusing me. If the cube can't handle the heat, what's wrong with ditching the cube?
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Old 05-06-2021, 03:18 PM
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Why put it in the cube then? That's what's confusing me. If the cube can't handle the heat, what's wrong with ditching the cube?
Well, of course I'm ditching the cubes. That's why the title of this thread is

"Fireproof Archival Storage. No Ball Cubes."
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