plastic reels getting sticky help

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ezwriter, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. ezwriter

    ezwriter Member

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    Got some fairly new plastic reels that won't load 35mm. Noticed the steel balls weren't moving freely in the
    reel. Is this cuz of hard water or the chems?
    Do you guys soak them in anything or bend the reel slightly or ?
    thx
    ez
     
  2. Jeff Searust

    Jeff Searust Member

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    This to me is usually a sign to get new reels. maybe give them a good wash and photo-flo dip --dry then try again.
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Try running them through a clean automatic dishwasher. If the dishwasher uses a rinse aid, you will need to wash the reels afterwards in plain hot water.

    The dishwasher detergents are fairly harsh (bleach!) and the temperatures are quite high, so be sure to use the top rack and a "delicate" setting if one is available.

    FWIW, each time I use a plastic reel I check beforehand that the ball bearings are moving freely. A wooden toothpick is an excellent tool for the purpose.

    EDIT: Use of a dishwasher should be fairly infrequent - they can be tough on the reels.
     
  4. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

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    I don't know where you are, but where I live, there's a lot of minerals in the water. When the water dries, it leaves behind residue which is kind of chalky. It can jam up the works. There are readily available products that simply dissolve it away in a matter of a few minutes. They're called 'decalcifiers' or something.
    I can't imagine why else the balls would get stuck, unless the plastic reel warped, but that's unlikely.
     
  5. Double Negative

    Double Negative Member

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    I'd stop using Photo Flo for one. Try Edwal's "LFN Wetting Agent." Less hassle (one drop in final rinse - done) and less "goo."

    Try washing the reels in hot, soapy water. If they still act up, replace them. Consider also SS reels/tanks.
     
  6. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I always take care and scrub my plastic reels right after developing and washing of film. Hot water and a toothbrush works well for me, they are also dried apart (separated top and base).

    I too also poke the steel bearing with my nail to check if they are free before loading.

    You can also run a pencil through the grooves a bit as well to get some graphite lubrication on them.
     
  7. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

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    The pencil idea sounds like a good one.
     
  8. R.Gould

    R.Gould Member

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    Take a sharp lead pencil and run it round the groves in the reel, and the graphite in the lead greases the reel and the film just slips in. I have been doing this for over 20 years and it works a treat, I never have a problem loading film.
    Richard
     
  9. aleksmiesak

    aleksmiesak Member

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    I read somewhere that you should never use Photo Flo on plastic reels, I think that was actually here. Something about that solution gunking up the reels. I will definitely try the pencil method too.
     
  10. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Those little balls are completely unnecessary. Castrate the reel and it will work just fine.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    All reeels pick up gelatin with time, a good warm wash gets rid of it, use a toothbrush to clen around the ball bearing area.

    As for the comment "This to me is usually a sign to get new reels." thats just not the case, I'm still using reels bought in the 1960's and they had heavy commercial use as well.

    Ian
     
  12. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Plastic reels are pretty indestructible, they don't warp or bend on you like steel reels, especially if you drop them. But you have to get a good brand from the start or they will constantly be a hassle.The patterson reels are probably the smoothest, and the ones I use most.

    You can remove the ball bearing, but it will slow your loading down. You will have to push your film in with your hands the whole way, instead of using the designed ratcheting action, which is much faster.
     
  13. ezwriter

    ezwriter Member

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    Thanks! never heard the pencil trick. Will try that. Also will put the reels in the dishwasher . I bought several steel reels but could
    never get the hang of them. Buying Patterson reels now. Last order from Adorama sent the 'skinny' starting flanges tho, i like the
    THICK big flanges so maybe they changed the style. (You can't tell in the pic online)
    Was using a metal dental hook to move the balls before loading, works good but some stick so thnk its hard water (in SoCal). ez
     
  14. piu58

    piu58 Member

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    > You will have to push your film in with your hands the whole way, instead of using the designed ratcheting action, which is much faster.

    You can learn to do that fast too. I always remove the balls. I like most the AP reels. Theri most disadvantage are tiny air bubbles in the fixer: You should tilt over the tank some times during fixing.
     
  15. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    You don't have to push. You twist with the same action but hold the film with the fingers of the hand moving forward. It's not one bit slower than with the balls. I find the Jobos the easiest reels to load that I've ever used, and they don't have the balls.
     
  16. damonff

    damonff Member

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    I had the same problem. Now I wash them after use with warm water and a toothbrush. Let them dry thoroughly. If needed, blow dry them a bit. The problem is now gone and the reels are well used.
     
  17. tomfoo13ry

    tomfoo13ry Member

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    Like others, I've cured "sticky balls" :pouty: with a soaking in warm water. I also agree with Roger that Jobo reels without the bearings are faster to load compared to Paterson reels.
     
  18. fotch

    fotch Member

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    The only plastic I use is the Jobo for color and never have had problems. I always remove the film and seesaw it in a bowl of Photo-Flo before hanging up. For B&W, usually use SS, still remove film for the Photo-Flo. Never have problems. :smile:
     
  19. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    this only happens to me when the reels are not completely dry.
     
  20. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    All of the Patterson reels have the skinny flanges. It is only some versions of the AP (also badged under house brand names) reels that have the wider flanges which I also prefer.
     
  21. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    Always rinse the wetting agent off before drying the reels, if you wash them always rinse the detergent off, etc. Worthwhile anyway as it stops your developer frothing up next time around.

    Steve
     
  22. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    What's the problem?
    Buy a new reel, it's so cheap...