View Full Version : Film coating machine (homemade) on Flickr

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07-06-2008, 02:23 PM
Great video. Great music. Some day it will come along, the curtain-coater I love.


Photo Engineer
07-06-2008, 04:06 PM
There is a video with the URL somewhere here, showing a curtain coater in operation via an animation. I wish I had saved that URL. In any event, it is a very good illustration of the subject.

And, I don't disagree with anything anyone has said. I would like to point out that modern coating is more akin to making a microprocessor than a vacuum tube, and what we are doing in our home labs is more like making a crystal set, not anything like as complex as a vacuum tube or radio using one let alone something that uses the hypothetical hand-made microprocessor.

So, thus far, most of you have only seen the simplest extreme in making and coating, IE the equivalent of making a crystal set. And, if you want to take a step up, you have to bear the cost of the education, the cost of R&D and the cost of the equipment needed to make and coat at this higher level.

It is so easy to be dismissive of what I say, but I am pointing out a fundamental truth and that is that future coatings with any quality and quantity will come from existing facilities. Next will be expensive hand made products that fill a niche but are produced in moderate quantity and a medium to high price and finally are the home made hand-crafted materials which I have been fortunate to have taught some to make.


07-06-2008, 07:43 PM
Hello Ron,

That is a pretty apt analogy. I'm certainly not even dreaming of a high tech coater - it just fit the mood of the song.

Still, home coating of film is going to be a challenge (and as you know I have a fair supply of Melenex). I can't even imagine trying to market a finished product.


Photo Engineer
07-06-2008, 07:49 PM
Clarence, if we can meet up on your next visit to Rochester, I'll try to arrange a visit to the sub basement of GEH to see their ancient Kodak coating machine. It used to sit upstairs where the cafeteria is, before they moved the cafeteria and expanded it. That is a sight. I saw it when it was still in use.


07-06-2008, 09:53 PM
Thank you.


07-07-2008, 06:54 AM
If you can take some photos of the coater at Eastman House I'm sure all on APUG would be very appreciative!


Photo Engineer
07-07-2008, 08:06 AM
Ahh, but they had to take it apart to move it. If I were even able to show it to anyone, I would have to be there to explain what each part meant. They may not even have anyone who knows how it goes back together. IIRC, someone from Kodak helped them move it and assemble it at GEH in the first place.

It is by no means guaranteed that I would be able to gain permission to even see it myself. I knew I should have kept my mouth shut! ;)


10-10-2008, 10:00 AM
What would you give for an estimate of how much it would cost to get set up for 2-3 B&W emulsions? Coating machine R&D and all.

Photo Engineer
10-10-2008, 10:58 AM
You have to define your terms.

The machine shown is a continuous loop device which can be adapted to make coatings with as many layers as you wish just by allowing the loop to continue and by changing the chemistry being delivered. In real production, multiple heads are used or a multi slide hopper is used, and the machine is point to point. Each design has benefits and faults depending on scale, and costs would vary from about $20,000 - $1.0 M depending on how much you do yourself and how much has to be purchased.

It would occupy the average of a 2 car garage or 20x20 feet and about 10 - 20 feet in height without air conditioners. This assumes production width of 5" for 4x5 film max, and goes up proportionate to format of film or paper.

Designed coating speed could be from 10 ft/min - 100 ft/min based on home or amateur consumption but would have to be faster for larger production.

The operation would have to be near clean room in aspect and would need a cleanup between making film and paper due to the accumulation of paper fibres. Kodak had 2 facilities - one for film and one for paper in order to prevent or minimize this cleanup problem.

Good luck. Please try reading some of the other threads in this forum for more information.


10-10-2008, 04:32 PM
Hi Ron,
Nice to see your input in this important topic.

06-04-2009, 11:41 PM
I think PhotoEngineer needs one of these. Let's all pitch in $1 and get him one for christmas, so that he build his own film manufacturing empire and supply us all. :D

I wouldn't be suprised if this WAS PE's.

Photo Engineer
06-05-2009, 07:45 AM
It is not mine. I may have access to one similar to it later this summer.


Mustafa Umut Sarac
09-10-2009, 04:24 PM
If you want to listen music as heard as vacuum tube video , i advise you to go to radio dismuke , register and listen the music when chrysler building first opened to the public . They were listening same music as radio dismuke played.
I hope one New Yorker from apug visit the building and feed my hunger eye with the art deco architecture photography.
Is there a NY person who can digital feed me ?
And is there anyone who knows the source of marble , granite or whatever stone dark red orange color flamed at the lobby. I want to build my MURA ultra ultra low res - 60 pixels not million only 60 - art deco camera with this stone

Best ,

Mustafa Umut Sarac


11-03-2009, 03:10 PM
this guy needs to be followed by a film crew to document this, it is fascinating and PhotoEngineer needs to be flown out to Oz to contribute and develop a new "APUG" film ...

This is the most interesting post I have read in ages, I hadn't a clue how film was made until reading this .... I am certainly thinking of visiting Ilford Harman factory if possible when next tour comes along....

Thanks to All for their contributions

11-03-2009, 05:18 PM
This is a superb tread!

11-03-2009, 05:26 PM
Yeah, it's cool, and don't forget that this is just the coating machine. You also need to make the emulsion you are going to coat. It needs also much work and much hi-tech machinery can be used.

Photo Engineer
11-03-2009, 05:29 PM
Please note that this work seems to have stopped. There is no further information on this anywhere.


11-03-2009, 05:44 PM
Please note that this work seems to have stopped. There is no further information on this anywhere.


A few posts up you mentioned you may have access to something similar by summers end. Any updates on that?

Photo Engineer
11-03-2009, 05:50 PM
No. It will take a while for this to happen I guess.

Also, there is the matter of getting film support. We don't seem to be able to get any so getting the machine is a moot point if this turns out to be true.


11-03-2009, 06:02 PM
Maybe we have to start subbing the base by ourselves. Plastic like PET will always be available for many purposes.

I noticed (by accident) that ammonia dissolves PET. Maybe it could be used in the subbing layer for PET :).