Recoating Rubber Rollers / Producing machine parts
I'm a recent return to the world of film photography and darkroom work after about 30 years away from it, due to a daughter who became interested.
I also own a machine shop.
Digging into my treasure trove of goodies, I found my old Ektamatic processor, and thru eBay, found a bunch of chemistry and a sealed box of 250 sheets 8x10 Ektamatic SC Paper. Good to go? Not quite...
It turns out that some (most, actually) of the Ektamatic rollers had rubber that was cracked and/or swollen due to age.
Well, in my shop, we have a process for a customer in the solar industry that involves coating cylinders with urethane, then grinding them down to a very precise size on my Kellenberger KelVaria CNC Grinder.
What I'm wondering is if there is enough need for the re-coating of rollers on similar machinery to my Ektamatic (I realize stabalizer processing is essentially dead) including other roller processors like the Ilford 2150RC or any other roller processor to offer this service to members of this forum?
The new coating would be polyurethane, not rubber (though I am researching rubber coatings for other purposes) and can be pretty much any grindable durometer in hardness. The urethane is compatible with the chemistry we use for B&W and Color.
CNC Grinding is a fairly time-consuming process, mainly due to setup time, but if I could help return a bunch of otherwise unusable machinery to service, I would be willing to extend very aggressive pricing to APUG members. I hate to see good machinery die because parts are unavailable, and I hate to see film photography in the state it is in now.
Likewise, I have seen several posts about people building their own processing machines. I would be happy to quote parts manufacture for anybody needing small quantity/prototype parts to build most anything photography related.
Basically, this is on the "Hobby" side of my business...the part I really enjoy. I also make parts for vintage Japanese motorcycles, both for myself, and for some vendors who sell the parts themselves.
Please don't consider this an advertisement, but rather just an inquiry into the need for such services by group members.
Look up forums for people with an interst in old reel to reel and the such tape recorders. They too rely on refurbishment of rubber rollers. I am sure it is not inexpensive.
I run a fujimoto cp-31 roller processor, likely 30 years old by now. Luckily, so far, the rollers are still viable.
my real name, imagine that.
Thanks for the hint. I'll look into it. Perhaps you could point me to some appropriate websites?
You're right...CNC Grinding isn't cheap. Machines like my Kellenberger sell new for over $1m.
Still, if people here are losing the use of their machines because of roller issues, I'd be happy to help out. We all need to stick together to keep film photography viable, since the companies who made our gear are either no longer around, or they aren't supporting the old machines.
I can grind shafts too, from virtually any material. Precision down to 10u.
I would be interested in rubber rollers to drive my process.
I hope Richard Idle see this if not I will get in touch with him.
the processor we both are designing is going to require rubber on shafts to drive it.. I am not sure if Richard was going
to do this local or not... we may need your help.
Can you feed me a link to what you're working on?
What do you need in the way of shafts and rollers? (Length, Urethane diameter vs. core shaft diameter, durometer of urethane etc.)
Send PM for my contact info...
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there is a long thread here on APUG on what I am doing not sure how to find it.
I need to talk with Richard before any tech info can be produced
I do not us PM
Originally Posted by tintruder
Some of us have chosen to fab our own solutions for ailing or aging lab and related equipment due to a variety of reasons, so the idea of a having a machine shop to partner with to help better execute these solutions makes a lot of sense. For example, I have no need for this particular part that you refer to but have other ideas for either solutions or improvements to existing darkroom components that need machine work.
Originally Posted by tintruder
I am willing to bet that if you were to engage in even more dialog with users of this equipment and their needs, you would quickly be able to home in on what would be a viable product to offer and what would fall under the pricing scale of custom work. Stuff is wearing out and in other cases, could be improved upon with a little vision born of user feedback. SK Grimes has an operation that does this very thing, but I see no reason you could not offer your own services if you can differentiate even a little.
Just something to consider as you entertain the other idea...