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Mounting style

Posted by Henry Barwood  
avatar Re: Mounting style
December 20, 2008 11:43AM
Donald, what font size do you use for your labels. I find that anything smaller than 5 point is difficult to read but with five point fonts I can put about twice or three times the text on micro labels than I could ever write by hand on my best day and they are a lot more readable.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Mounting style
December 20, 2008 03:07PM
I am using 8 pt type. Two reasons: 1) I don't have the kind of vision I used to have; and 2) my labelling program has 8pt as its smallest font. Maybe I should look into another labelling program. :)
avatar Re: Mounting style
December 21, 2008 03:17AM
Eight point font is really big for labeling micros, it is no wonder that you can't put much on your labels. Most of the time I use 6 point font but often go down to five point if there is a lot of data I want to put on the label. What labeling program are you using?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Mounting style
December 21, 2008 02:09PM
I am using Labels Unlimited. It is easy to use. One sets up a template. Then an internal dedicated database is established where the info is entered. I use Excel for my catalog, and I believe I could establish a labelling function for it that would automatically use the data that exists. The problem might be that the catalog would need two labelling programs. One for macro specimens and one for micros.
avatar Re: Mounting style
December 22, 2008 08:59PM
So your Labels Unlimited program limits you to a minimum of 8 point font? How close to the edge of your labels will it let you print? Some programs like the Avery label making program that uses their commercial stick on labels of various sizes will only let you print in the central part of the labels and you loose all the space around the edges. I think this must be because of the sloppy registration positioning of the paper in most printers. There are database programs out there where you can enter your collection data and then print labels and reports from the data in the database and they can be of any size or kind. The problem is that you have to cut out the labels and glue them on your specimens, micro boxes, etc. I use sheets of the self adhesive paper for my micros, but they are a bit of a PIA to peal the back off of and position neatly on the micro boxes, but when they are done they look good. You can customize your labels them however you want, but the program that you need to use to do this is not terribly user friendly though it does come with an extensive help manual and is included with the database program.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Mounting style
December 30, 2008 09:35AM
Hi Henry et al
I mount using a variety of methods , but mostly I try to mount under magnification, so that I am sure that the best view of the crystal in question is seen when the box is set up normally underneath the scope. I have had varying success with different glues, but still opt quite a lot for Elmers glue since it is strong but is also water soluble has the added advantage of soaking into porous matrices to allow a better grip on the cork or whatever medium I am putting it on..which is sometimes directly on a paper liner. If matrix stability is a problem, I will stabilize by putting some Elmers on the part of the matrix that I plan to stick to the inside of the box somehow, and when it is dry , then I add a few drops more for the final stickdown onto the paper liner or cork or pedestal.. I like using bases for the crystal specimens that are slightly porous like cork or paper, since that means that the glue will stand up better to the rare but unfortunate drop of a box and the paper has give which allows for shock without breaking the bond.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/2009 03:58AM by Ray Hill.
avatar Re: Mounting style
December 31, 2008 03:43PM
Hi Rock,

The Labels Unlimited software lets me run right up to the edge of the label. I use 1 x 4" Avery labels. On each I print four full labels (bottom of the box), four species labels (strips on one top edge of the box) and four catalog numbers (strips on the side of the box - indicate side toward the viewer for best view). I do have to cut them apart with a razor knife, but that is not too arduous.

avatar Re: Mounting style
January 01, 2009 08:14PM
Hi Guys,
I too have used the Labels Unlimited software in the past with guite good results.
Now however, i use the Ososoft Mineral Label 5.0 (freeware) -with excellent results. The font size goes down to a 2 (if your printer and eyesight could handle that!!) but I usually use about 6 or7 for most micro labels. All labels are customisable, although there are several dozen templates available to choose from. I usually choose to print onto plain copier paper and hand glue the labels to the box (no preference as to where, but I do prefer to view the specimen through the lid, so I guess the label is on the base or side) often with a smaller strip label on top /lower lip with species name and/or the region/ locality.

I fall into the second category too - most of my specimens are mounted on mineral tack, except where the matrix is earthy/ crumbly in which case i use glue (either epoxy/ waterbased copydex or occasionally for larger specimens - 'no more nails') hot glue is far too messy.
I do occasionally mount very small or fragile (and single crystals) on pedestals made from a variety of materials, including toothpicks (cut to size after blackening with permanet marker) and nylon bristles (even tried one of my cats whiskers!!) obviously I did'nt hold down the cat and remove the whisker.....too many sharp bits to contend with........ouch.

cheers, Colleen
Re: Mounting style
January 02, 2009 01:39PM
Being a micromineral collector rather than a micromounter the majority of my specimens will not fit into the standard micromount box. I have not mount a specimen on a stick for years.
And I use white tack, or glue which ever is the most appropriate. My label squares are printed out on A4 permanent white, if there is enough of a particular species to be dealt with I print with all the relevant details copying the detals in to each box. Or if there are a mixture of specimens with differant species I print out a sheet of labels and hand wright the details. My lables are all 35x30mm, which fits just right on the size box I mostly use, or bigger boxes.
avatar Re: Mounting style
January 09, 2009 01:51PM
I am with Sebastian on this one. I think in Europe as a whole, 'true micromounting' , in the way that term is understood in the USA, is very rare. I only know a handful of people who would glue a 1 mm chrystal on a cactus needle for instance. Like myself, I guess for most europeans micromounting means collecting minerals that are best seen/enjoyed under a binocular scope, but ideally we collect specimens that have thumbnail size matrix, with several chrystal occurances on the piece. The paragenesis surely counts!
I do not even use the typical micro boxes, I only use the smalles Jousi boxes. I prefer those because the bottom is very low, making it possible to view the entire piece. I use black bottoms by the way. And I use tack in 99 percent of the case.

Greetings from France,

Re: Mounting style
January 09, 2009 08:32PM
I am not a micromounter per se, it's just that most of the rare species that I like to collect occur in micro sized crystals. I like my specimens to have some matrix attached so I can see the associations. So, most of my specimens are larger than would fit in a micromount box. When I do have a specimen that is a true micromount, I use the hinged lid micro boxes with a shallow black base and a clear top. I will attach the specimen with either white mineral tack or for really small samples, I will use a small square of 3M foam double stick tape. I usually use two labels for the box. The first label is placed inside the box at the back of the clear hinged lid. This label contains the name of the specimen, the locality, and a dot or dots signifying the quality of the specimen. Five dots being the best quality and one dot for a below average quality specimen. The other label I place on the bottom of the box. This label contains as much information as I can get on the label. Most of my specimens are in drawers. The clear lid box makes it handy to see the specimen and the label before taking it out to look at it through a microscope.
avatar Re: Mounting style
January 10, 2009 12:08PM
Just would like to know how come my last entry has a bunch of lines all through it...smells kind of rude to me
Can this be corrected or amended ?
Anonymous User
Re: Mounting style
January 10, 2009 02:32PM

edit your post and remove < s > < /s > - its the code for strike-through.

avatar Re: Mounting style
January 13, 2009 04:00AM
Thanks philippe
It was a simple solution and relieves me greatly, as I have a great respect for all the contributors and this lifts the veil of doubt and concern that that struck-through entry had elicited in me.
avatar Re: Mounting style
February 10, 2009 01:36AM
I just received some of the Euro slip-fit boxes, black cork pedestal, etc today to start my journey into MM. These were the first I bought. I like them much better than the perky boxes. Plus I made my first two mounts today with cork pedestals, first of many I hope. My first attempt was not successful though....I was trying to mount a superb apatite from Palermo #1 and it fell into a pool of glue. I was waiting almost 2yrs to mount that :X

I prefer the looks of the black pedestal compared to the tack, but I understand the reasons why some would want to use tack.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2009 01:39AM by Bryan Manke.
Re: Mounting style
February 10, 2009 03:51PM

What kind of glue? Can you salvage it by dissolving the glue without taking the apatite? I know how you feel. I've "glued" a few specimens myself. One reason I prefer hot glue.

avatar Re: Mounting style
February 10, 2009 06:11PM
I have been using a syringe pack of PVA caulk - it dries translucent and is chemically close to ordinary wood glue (water based!) - it is also about the consistency of mineral tack (in small amounts)

Unfortunately, I can't get balsa anywhere in the area, so I've been using 6mm and 10mm hardwood dowelling. It is easily cut with a hacksaw or razor saw, or even a heavy craft-knife, and shaped by carving and/or sanding.

All in all, my move to micro-minerals is looking like a success. (so far).

When you invited me to see your etchings, I didn't expect to
see so much degraded quartz. Really.
avatar Re: Mounting style
February 10, 2009 09:22PM
You don't have any hobby shops in the area? (there are some shops that sell mail order also that have extensive inventories of balsa).
avatar Re: Mounting style
February 10, 2009 10:10PM
Not a hobby shop within 50 miles, and the only mail-order balsa is assorted packs - and I really don't want 3kg of mixed blocks and strip just for a couple of pieces of balsa dowel.

The hardwood dowel is cheap and easily worked.

When you invited me to see your etchings, I didn't expect to
see so much degraded quartz. Really.
avatar Re: Mounting style
February 10, 2009 11:35PM
I don't know how much their postage would be.
materials - wood - balsa (squares 48", dowels 36")

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