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Ironing game manuals - Any of y'all tried it?


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1 minute ago, Aguy said:

I have. I iron one page at a time, so it takes a while. It will make pages lay flat and stiffens them up, but it doesn't make creases look any better. I put them inside a shirt and iron them, same as boxes.

Thank you for the info. Is there any problem with the steam?

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Yes, and also on boxes too of all sorts of types/thickness.

Hell I did it last night after midnight no less.  I just posted an image of the result in my weekly mail call/local finds post I did in the 'finds thread' in the other parts of this board.  I found a copy of the big box Ultimate Doom for $8 at a half price books (shocked they missed the value on that one.)  It was warped some, little bent, twisted, it was intact, just jacked.  I think the undamaged interior cardboard saved it from a horrible death.  While I was at it I addressed a few other PC game boxes too.  Doom is of the thinner size than something older that used robust materials not needing reinforcement.

What it takes is a very flat smooth heat OK surface, a light to no color towel that isn't thick (or a white t-shirt, and an iron with some water capacity for spray and steam.

The idea is you don't want your cardboard or paper in direct contact with the surface it's being pushed into, that's why the shirt/towel thing is used somewhat.  The other reason is for some dampness with the heat to fix the damages.

Once the iron is hot, you place your item flat inside the cloth you chose.  If it's a box, carefully open all tabs and lay it flat, it's ok, and with a manual, 50/50 on the staple.  Spray the cloth a bit with the squirter, not a soaking though, just a light dampness, then drop the iron.  Give it a puff or two of hot steam.  Now with steady smooth strokes run along the thing back and forward in columns/rows, basically plow the field.  Go go go until you have your issues far flatter.  Now flip to the other side, or for a box, other side and roll the rectangle to the other direction too to even the press out and repeat.  Continue this with more steam, more even firm strokes over and over until you don't see any improvement in the results.  Always keep moving, never over saturate, let the heat dry the humidity of the steam.  Steam lightly is your friend, it with the heat will get into those creases and flatten, the bows and curves and flatten, etc.  It won't erase a crease as those cause wrinkles, but any other less than ink breaking stuff will be gone like an eraser hit it.

I've done this on manuals, guides, virtual boy game boxes in 2019, older times before and since with GB, GBC, GBA boxes and other stuff too.  I did this to fragile old game boxes like my formerly dented and bowed in Simpsons Arcade game PC box which is a couple hundred dollar complete game.


I just got that Ultimate Doom there and did it as I said.  While it's not super zoomed in, trust me, it was nowhere near that flat and tight before the iron hit it.  Any other damages you see it didn't cause either.  Took a 4 to a comfy 7 I guess?


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This is a fine art that take lots of practice. Introducing moisture to paper and cardboard to loosen the fiber is needed. To much and you will ruin what your working on. Cardboard can take a lot more. First off only use distilled water. Also building a humid chamber with a meter is best, so cardboard could be in 20% humidity for 30 min but a manual only needs 10 min. Then you can use standard iron to really heat things up but no more then 200 degrees. This will flatten out the creases. Then you need to get the box or manual under a very heavy weight for at least 10 hours. 

Now there are many other steps like special papers that you put between the iron and damaged paper. I dont use an iron much and have a digital heat press so i can control heat and pressure.  Things to consider like staples, if you press them the entire staple will transfer its shape across all the pages. Also things need to be as clean before you start this process or as water and heat are introduced you could cause smears and other blemishes. 

Like someone did above is just fine for very good results. I am really moving into the next stage of restoration and making these things best they can be.

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