Issue with Lloyds bulk loader

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by lbloom, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. lbloom

    lbloom Member

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    Hello all,

    I recently purchased a used Lloyds bulk loader from here. When the door of the loader is closed, I find that the crank does not insert all the way to the cassette, so I can't wind on the film.

    (The daylight design of the Lloyds involves inserting a crank through a hole in the body, past another aligned hole in the closed door, to wind the cassette in the chamber. This design prevents the door from being opened when the film is being wound. Picture #1 shows the door open, and the crank is in the background, very out of focus.)

    In my case, the crank passes correctly through the hole on the loader body, but the hole in the door does not seem to align correctly, no matter how tightly I close the door. There is a always a thin section of the door that blocks the path of the crank (crescent seen in Picture #2, within the bore). This is mechanically blocking the crank.

    I have tried taking apart the loader and re-assembling it. It seems to be a simple device, and there are no obvious loose or damaged points that I can see. If I apply a great deal of compressive force on the door briefly, I can insert and retrieve the crank with some difficulty, but I believe that this is due to deformation of the bakelite/plastic.

    Any idea on what's going on here, and what I can do about it? I'm happy to take more pictures or describe this better, if it helps.

    Thanks!
     

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  2. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

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    Does the top door close fully with no light leaks? Maybe you could just remove the "safety loop"?
     
  3. lbloom

    lbloom Member

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    The door does close with no light leaks, if I apply the aforementioned considerable compressive force and lock it in with the crank.

    Removing the loop altogether would probably need a back-up plan, such as tape to hold the door closed when cranking. The sill between the door and the body is barely a couple of millimeters -- easily opened accidentally without the loop in place.
     
  4. lbloom

    lbloom Member

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    A picture to show you what I mean.
     

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  5. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    The door should close flush with the front of the body, as I recall. There may be something near the where the door is hinged that keeps it from closing all the way. These were never really precise gadgets, there might be some "flash" from the molding process hanging things up. If so, it should be easily remedied with an exacto knife or similar implement.
    As a worst case you could enlarge the hole in the tab, the easiest might be to get a drill bit the same diameter as the outer hole. With the door fully closed put the bit through the outer hole and use it to cut the tab's hole to match. You could do this with a power drill, but it's probably safer to just twist the drill bit by hand. You could also open the hole up by carving it with a knife. Just carve untill it matches the contour of the hole in the body.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i have the same bulk loader ( although mine is close to 30 years old ) ..
    and just grabbed it and stuck a cassette into it, and easily recreated your problem


    which way do you orient the film when you load it ?
    do you put the mouth of the cassette right against the film reservoir ?
    if you don't orient the cassette the right way you won't be able to close the door
    it has to be inserted so the flat end was the part getting "cranked" and the felt mouth of the cassette
    has to be right against the film reservoir ( getting "fed" ).
    if you don't do both of these things, you will have trouble ...

    good luck !
    john
     
  7. lbloom

    lbloom Member

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    Just took another careful look around. What you mention sounds about right to my intuition, but I still don't spot anything amiss.

    That's a possibility I've been considering also.
     
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  8. lbloom

    lbloom Member

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    I see what you are saying. However, the issue occurs even without any cassette in the chamber, i.e., the crank cannot be inserted past the thickness of the outer body even with an empty chamber.
     
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  9. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Good point, John.
    I didn't go look at mine before commenting, best to do that, before advising cutting.
     
  10. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear lbloom,

    You have the cassette inserted incorrectly. You should not be able to see the film with the door open and the cassette inserted.

    Neal Wydra
     
  11. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I vote for a foreign object. Look for something stuck in the lip of the door or on the mating part of the loader body - in your last picture it looks like there is something amiss at the right side of the loader body lip. Also look for something in the door pivot area - a bit of broken off film maybe.

    The loader looks well used so it worked properly at one time. Whatever it is, it isn't a manufacturing defect. Bakelite doesn't warp with time, so that can't be the cause.
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I think that the cassette is put together wrong. The central core should have the long tab pointing to the right in the last of the OP's photos.
     
  13. lbloom

    lbloom Member

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    There's no cassette in the chamber in the last (#3) picture. That film you are seeing is the main roll's end sticking out of the light trap. The "long tab"-like thing in the picture is actually part of the loader's outer body. That's where the crank is inserted.

    With the door as shown, the crank passes clean through into the chamber, as it should. With the door closed (but still no cassette in the chamber), the crank does not pass through. It is blocked by a little bit of the hole-loop in the door.

    A quick Paint sketch to clarify. :smile:
     

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  14. lbloom

    lbloom Member

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    This is what I keep thinking too. Will look again, even more carefully, and possibly take some more pictures of the seams and joints with the door removed.
     
  15. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Perhaps you should take the bulk roll out of the loader, then try it. I don't know the loader although I used one a long time ago but it is logical that something is getting in the way. Eliminate all the variables is the approach I suggest and the film is not part of the machine.

    If nothing else, it will allow a full examination of the loader.
     
  16. lbloom

    lbloom Member

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    I agree -- that's what I did soon after I took that last #3 picture this morning.
     
  17. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    is the door closes flush with top off ?
    the door is attached with a flat head screw maybe the screw is loose ... too much play ?

    i just took mine apart .. the door moves freely,
    but i can imagine if the screw was not tight,
    or the lid was not seated right

    john
     
  18. lbloom

    lbloom Member

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    John,

    I did try the door-screw in tight, loose, and off configurations, but it didn't change the situation.

    The door is not flush with the top cover, top on or off (lloyds04), but the door does align correctly with back plate (lloyds06). lloyds05 shows how the door fits in the loader with the cover off.

    That made me think that perhaps the top cover is not seating correctly, but it sits flush with the curved non-door side of the casing in its present situation. lloyds07 and lloyds08 show the casing and top cover edges.
     

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  19. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I agree that there is something in the top cover that keeps the door from closing - it looks like it closes fine with the top cover removed.

    If you hold the door closed & flush when you put the top cover on can you feel the cover pushing the door open? You might be able to feel where the obstruction is. I can't see any obstruction in the latest photos.

    It looks like there is scratching on the inside of the front cover at the lower left in photo '07. Could it be evidence of some filing at some point in the past?
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i agree with nicholas ..
    there is something in there doing something ... or something isn't flush/smooth

    when you removed the door, and seated the cover on and screwed the lid on ..
    the top cover lay flush/flat ..

    with it 90% put back together ...

    examine the door itself ..
    is the cylinder, the seat is smooth
    and the place where it sleeps on the case all smooth ?

    if they are rough, or the bottom of the door
    has isn't seated completely flush these things could be causing your problem ...

    john
     
  21. lbloom

    lbloom Member

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    Folks, having looked it over many times, I finally decided to go the drill bit route.

    I rotated the drill bit by hand, removing a little material at a time. I've left it just a little tight, to avoid any light-leak issues and keep the door firmly shut, but it's comfortable now. I'll clean up the felt with some scotch tape, in case some of the particles found their way to the trap. The hole in the door still appears circular to the eye, i.e., the eccentricity introduced is very slight.

    Your replies are much appreciated. I was pleasantly surprised by how well you understood this physical issue, despite the constraints of the internet. Thanks! :smile: