Sunday, 7 September 2014

Making My Own Machin Profiles

I have used Douglas Myall's DEEGAM system of identifying and cataloguing the Machins since it was introduced, if I recall correctly, back in the 1980s. I won't describe the system here, so if you want some basic information, visit Myall's site and read Roy's comments here and here.

One of the Myall's many innovations are profiles - stamp-sized labels that contain enough information to identify an individual stamp. One of them is pictured above. These labels can serve as the write-up to a collection, saving the collector a lot of time and providing a great degree of flexibility.

Since I prefer to mount my collection on stock pages, the profiles suit me very well. I wrote this up in a post four years ago.

Unfortunately, Myall recently stopped producing new profiles. He said that only a small percentage of people were using them and they had become too much work. He was kind enough to distribute the graphics he used, and in his recent Deegam Report (#108), he provided a detailed procedure for using them.

I'm familiar enough with the computer that I could use his graphics to create my own profiles, but I needed to think about what I wanted to do. I now had the ability to modify them to suit my own taste and requirements, so that gave me a lot of options.

Before I describe what I decided to do, I will quickly recap the information shown on Myall's profile above, for those of you who are not familiar with his notation.

Line 1 - printer - (in this case: De La Rue)
Line 2 - paper and adhesive - (Optical Brightener-Free Non-Phosphorised paper and Self-Adhesive)
Line 3 left - phosphor pattern - (2 Bars)
Line 3 right - phosphor/fluor type and width (A2 phosphor, Blue fluor, 9 millimeters wide)
Line 4 left - value type and setting (Type 1, setting B4)
Line 4 right - direction of printing (Upright)
Line 5 left - source (Self-Adhesive Product 154)
Line 5 right - colored ink cylinder (D1)
Line 6 - code(s) in the security overprint (M12L)
Line 7 - Deegam catalogue number

The blue shading in the profile shows the placement of the phosphor bars. The security slits are illustrated; there's a small gap at top and bottom indicating Type 2 slits on this stamp.

(If  some of these terms are unfamiliar to you, please leave a comment and I will reply with an explanation.)

When I first started making my own profiles, I found that I could get nine lines of text on them. That gave me a little more flexibility. I also decided not to use the graphics for the phosphor bars and security slits, so I would only have a single template to use.

Finally, I decided to have a black border around all the profiles. Myall had them on profiles for gummed stamps, as shown previously, but he differentiated self-adhesive stamps by omitting the border as on the profile above. (I added the black frame in the image above - it is not part of the profile.) I like having the border because it blends in with the black stock sheet, and I don't have to worry about creating a nice, straight line when I cut out the profile.

These are two of the profiles I created. The information is similar to what Myall shows, but I've made some changes.

Line 2 - I added the method of printing.
Line 6 - For stamps from prestige booklets, I added the name of the booklet. This is a convenience for me so that I don't have to look it up, although it is defined by the pane number that appears to the left.
Line 7 - Since I don't include illustrations of the security cuts, I include the Type or indicate that there are no cuts.

The fact that I have changed the profiles is in no way a criticism of Douglas Myall's work. I am indebted to him for inventing the profiles and for all his other efforts relating to the Machins, and of course I'm still using his nomenclature and cataloguing system.

If you would like to learn more about the Deegam system and/or purchase the Complete Deegam Machin Handbook, you can contact Douglas Myall at the address on his web site. However, please be aware that he has had to take a break from philately to deal with some family issues, so be patient for a reply.


Note: I see that four years ago, I added a comment that I liked the profiles because they came ready-made, courtesy of Douglas Myall. I guess now I know that when it comes to stamp collecting, there's no substitute for doing the work yourself.


Ian - Norvic said...

Larry, One thing the Profile does not show is the face value of the stamp!

I'm sure this can be established from the Deegam number, but while you are taking the trouble to add the printing method, I would think the face value is 'quite' important! Of course if you have the stamp, you can see the FV, but if you don't have the stamp, just the profile, you don't even know what you are looking for without referring elsewhere.

Mack Strathdee said...

I customize the new templates with phosphor for my study of iridescent shifts ... with jpeg in dbase, I overlay source code year, phos bands, and IR shift types ...

generating a album page, the jpeg overlay is footnoted with SAP # and ID# for object ...