AP Plastic Reel Broken?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by dfoo, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. dfoo

    dfoo Member

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    I've got a set of 2 AP plastic reels. I find that I cannot load 35mm film any longer onto one of the reels. The other loads the film no problem. What happens is that the film gets stuck going onto the reel a short while after I start to load it, and then it will not load any further. I don't know what the issue is since its dark :smile: Any ideas as to what the problem could be with the problematic reel? I've looked at it and cannot see anything obvious...
     
  2. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    If they are the same as the Paterson ones then the reel will have a ball bearing on each side. Check if each ball can move around fairly freely. You may find that the ball on one side has become stuck in one place due to some kind of debris, etc.
     
  3. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    Have you tried the same reel with another roll of film? That roll on the other reel? Could it be a problem of that particular roll of film on that particular reel?

    I guess I don't know what an AP reel is, but if it is anything like the Paterson or Jobo systems, frequently a corner of the film gets persistently hung up on the radial bars. Once it starts, it never seems to go any farther but sticks at exactly the same place no matter how many times you try. What it feels like is just as you describe. A good solution for that (I've learned always to do it with Jobo, and never use the paterson's but we have them at school) is to clip the leading corners on the roll at about 45° (doesn't have to be anything like accurate, it's hard to do precision in the dark, or worse in a bag). Then, they ride up across the bars easily. It has saved lots of serious frustration.

    The other frequent problem I encounter (among the students) is that they complain about the film going on the reel but slowing down gradually and becoming more and more difficult to turn the reel until it eventually stops altogether. This is because they didn't check to see if the reel was dry.

    Peter Cooper (American industrialist/philanthropist and founder of Cooper Union) and his wife introduced the gelatin desert (aka Jello) as an adjunct to the glue business. Gelatin and glue have a lot in common. Sticky when wet.
     
  4. dfoo

    dfoo Member

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    The same film went on my other reel no problem. The reel was totally dry. I also tried clipping the corners a little, and that made no difference. 120 film goes on the bad reel, no problem. 35mm, however, is another story :sad:
     
  5. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    Wish I could help! There is almost nothing more frustrating than reels that don't work! good luck.
     
  6. dfoo

    dfoo Member

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    I'll probably toss it in the trash and get a set of steel reels.
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I've just started using the AP reels for 120, and I like them for that film, due to the larger input flanges. Otherwise they seem very similar to the Paterson reels. They will, of course, work in the Paterson tanks.

    Is there any chance that the problem reel is warped?

    You might consider loading a scrap roll of film in the light, to see if you can observe what is happening.

    Good steel reels are good (I prefer them for 35mm) but if you have the AP tanks and like them (or Paterson tanks) than it would seem a shame to give up on them over what might be a single damaged reel.

    Matt
     
  8. dfoo

    dfoo Member

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    The reel used to work just fine before. I've no idea why it suddenly stopped working, but it sucks because its not only frustrating, but also damages the film!
     
  9. Murray Kelly

    Murray Kelly Member

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    Once upon a time, Like, 50 yrears ago, I had sticky reels and I used to give the two (upper/lower) spirals a scrub with the shoe brush. No polish, just what was on the brush. Worked wonders.
    Another thought is - do you use detergent (Photoflo) at the end of your cycle? I have heard that some sticks to the plastic spiral and binds the works up.

    Goood luck
    Murray
     
  10. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    I agree.
     
  11. haris

    haris Guest

    That is what I have read often too. It is recommented that part of process to be made with film out of the reels in separate tray/tank/container/bowl whatever...

    One of mine Jobo reels started to make problems too some time ago. I never used reel loading with finger left/right pressing procedure (you know, press with left finger on side of reel, than press with right finger, and repeat that untill film is loaded) before that. So, I stated with that and have no problems anymore.
     
  12. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I have a few of these AP plastic reels. Honestly, I can't see how it can be bent out of shape. Maybe if you put it into really hot water, it might. Perhaps if you threw it up against a wall, you might damage it. If you step on it, it will likely fracture. Other than an extremely violent insult, there's not much that can hurt these things. OK, well maybe the ball bearing is shot. That's easy enough to check. But anyway, these reels are cheap and cost only a few bucks more than a roll of film. Don't waste the film. Just get a replacement and be done with it.
     
  13. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Before smashing it with a ball peen hammer, and if you have checked the little metal balls for free movement, I would suggest giving ithe coils on each side a thorough scrubbing with a stiff bristle brush--I use a small round brush on a wooden handle purchased at a kitchen supply store-- and a mild cleanser such as Bon Ami or Bar Keepers Friend, then a thorough rinsing and drying. Even better than those is the Bon Ami Cake, which contains some tallow, I am told. The old lab rats who taught me used the cake to clean the ferrotype tins. The trouble is finding the Bon Ami Cake any more.
     
  14. dfoo

    dfoo Member

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    An update on this. I gave the reel a good scrub with a toothbrush and some soap for washing clothes, and now it loads like a champ! I was indeed putting the reel in photoflo, I won't be doing that anymore!
     
  15. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    How 'bout the dishwasher? And why not use photoflow and just rinse the reel off. Of course if you dry on the reel, maybe it won't rinse off. I rinse mine and never have had a problem.

    Photoflow dried on the reels also gets the blame for raising the developer pH when the stuff dried on the reel dissolves in the developer.