Restoring/Cleaning Abafil trays

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Fugio1, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. Fugio1

    Fugio1 Well-Known Member

    After decades of use, a few of my Abafil trays are unsurprisingly getting a little shabby with darker splotchy patterns in the red velvet. Maybe the solution is simply to buy new trays (or just not worry about it), but I was wondering if you have made successful or otherwise attempts at cleaning these?
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  3. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Hmm, did you have round tags in the tray? It looks like the sun or UV rays faded the exposed part, and perhaps some ink for the tags stained the velvet.

    I can't imaging that cleaning it is a good idea. With anything but distilled water, you'll leave a residue that could be detrimental to the coins.
  4. Fugio1

    Fugio1 Well-Known Member

    I have never had anything but coins in these trays. I never place the tickets round or otherwise in the trays. I should say this is my primary means of storage. I only use flips in boxes as overflow.

    @TIF , I tend to agree with you that cleaning would be tricky and risky. Even distilled water might not be a good idea because I'm not sure what's under the velvet that might leech and make it worse.

    The pictured tray and another that looks like this are from my first two-tray Abafil case, purchased in the early 90's. I may just be due for a couple of new trays. They are only about $30 each. I thought I would reach out to the forum to see if anyone has come up with an ingenious way to restore these.
  5. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Maybe call it "patina"?? Btw they've aged great really for 20+ years of use.
    benhur767 and Orielensis like this.
  6. RonSanderson

    RonSanderson Supporter! Supporter

    If you just want to pick out the lint, which I find collects in my black trays, try wrapping some adhesive tape (sticky side out, of course) around something square and just smaller than the openings. Then you can both lift the nap and remove any accumulated loose crud. I’d probably start with an old wooden pencil and a cut-down 2x2 and make something I could stomp up and down in each cell.
    benhur767 likes this.
  7. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    A little honest wear, just like I like most of my coins. :)
    benhur767 likes this.
  8. Fugio1

    Fugio1 Well-Known Member

    @RonSanderson that is a good idea. Thanks, I'll try it. For lint, I normally use a manual lense cleaning air bubble but this approach may get more of the crud.
  9. Fugio1

    Fugio1 Well-Known Member

    Yeah really, I probably shouldn't even worry about it.
    benhur767, TIF and BenSi like this.
  10. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    Actually, I like the aged look. But if you wanted to replace them, I’m sure you could get some of your money back by selling the used trays on eBay or something.
    benhur767, TIF and Justin Lee like this.
  11. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    I'm sure many CoinTalkers would love to buy your old Abafil trays!

    Packaging and shipping are always such a hassle though, especially with bulky items.
  12. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Here is the method I use for many years to clean my velvet panties and underwears:
    Combine a small amount of dish soap and water in a bucket, mixing it until it becomes sudsy. Soak the cloth in the sudsy water and apply it gently to the stain. Use the sudsy cloth to blot the stain until it disappears. It is important for the velvet fabric to dry quickly. This way it will stay soft and confortable for the skin --sorry-- for the coins.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
  13. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I was too cheap to have Abfil but I had the same problem with my cheap flocked trays. I am convinced that the dark was soil rubbed off the coins. Some bronzes seemed to be worse than others and I believe that was olive oil or other cleaning residue. You never really know what was done to coins before you got them. I would live with it.
    Roman Collector likes this.
  14. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

  15. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    I have the same (non)problem with my Abafil trays. Some of them are 30+ years old and I like them as is
    The velvet on the most recent ones I've purchased is more shiny, their red coulour isn't as deep as it used to be back then, and I think I prefer the old ones and their patinated look

    I wouldn't do anything other than vaccuming the dust out of them, fearing to leave some chemical that might interact with the coins

    Just my two asses
    PeteB and benhur767 like this.
  16. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    I'm no help with the cleaning. I might suggest a preventive measure: I cut up non-pvc flips to size and place them between coin and tag (tag on velvet; flip window on tag; coin on window). This is my anal retentive way of eliminating cabinet wear, and should also keep the velvet clean.
    PeteB likes this.
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