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  1. #1

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    Unicolor UnidrumII film drum

    Hi,

    Many, many,,,,,,, many years ago I used to use a Unidrum for processing film. The setup worked well except eventually it starts to dribble. Most noticeably from the loading end ( there is also a moveable plug on the other end that sets the depth of the tank for the number of reels you are loading ). I later bought a jobo and the Unidrum fell by the wayside. Recently, I have been developing more B&W and found the Jobo was a bit of a hassle to set up for something that didn't really need a fixed temperature to process at ( I don't have a darkroom anymore, so I just set the Jobo up on a table when I want to use it ). I started doing B&W in a regular film tank. This works fine, but needs 400ml to do a single roll of 35mm. The Unidrum can do this with 150ml ( you might run into a minimum chemistry problem ). I tried the few fixes I found to address the dribbling but none really worked well. Cutting a new seal out of a coffee can lid worked best but still dribbled. As a last effort to revive the Unidrum, I cut a seal out of .032" rubber ( buna-n, just because I could get it in the size I wanted ). This sealed perfectly tight with no dribbles. The issue I did find with the rubber is that is is much more flexible than the original seal and can bunch up when twisting the lid on. I find a thin smear of Vasoline on the drums sealing lip takes care of that ( Vasoline was to be used with the original seal as well ). If the seal moving while putting on the lid does become a problem, I will use some removable spray mount and stick it to the inside of the lid.

    Anyway, in case anyone would like to revive their unidrums, hope this helps.

    Joel

  2. #2
    Dave Swinnard's Avatar
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    Boy this takes me back... I used a film Unidrum and reels for a lot of years back in the'80s when I did all the B/W processing for the arch. photo firm I worked for. Always the dribble from the lid end. I just made sure the drum and roller were synchronized to let the drip fall off at the end of one of the rotation cycles and into the tray the motor base sat in. A small sponge caught the drip.

    Boy, it's amazing how the brain works when sitting watching and listening to the mesmerizing action of the drum rolling first one way, then the other for uncounted minutes... But the sponge worked and years later I went the JOBO route. (and back to school and a couple of different jobs, etc., etc.)

    I bet I still have the drum and reels tucked away in a box...

  3. #3

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    The Jobo 1510 will process 1 roll of 35mm in 240ml if doing inversion or 140ml if using with rotation.

    What is the "hassle" you have when using a Jobo processor?
    You can always use a manual roller base, or motorized color base if you want something small light and fast.
    CatLABS of JP
    Darkroom resources and service

    www.catlabs.info | https://www.facebook.com/CatLABS.of.JP | www.jobo-usa.com

  4. #4

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    I have about every combination of film drum that fits the CPE2+. The hassle is I don't have a place that I can leave it set up. So I have to deal with the water bath for no reason ( also don't have water or a drain in a real convinient spot ). I like the Jobo and use it for E-6 and C41. Yes, I could use the small tank but I don't have a roller for it and I just thought it would be entertaining to get the Unidrum going again.

    Quote Originally Posted by CatLABS View Post
    The Jobo 1510 will process 1 roll of 35mm in 240ml if doing inversion or 140ml if using with rotation.

    What is the "hassle" you have when using a Jobo processor?
    You can always use a manual roller base, or motorized color base if you want something small light and fast.

  5. #5

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    So, I fix the gasket issue for the cap and set up to develop a roll of B&W. Everything looking good, then the piston seal breaks in half. Well, what do I expect form an old piece of whatever it was. Determined to make this drum work again, I figured out a way to make it work well ( does not leak ) with a regular O-ring. So back to trying to develop that roll of B&W. It's all together and away I go with the developer. About half way through, the plastic cap on the end splits and my developer starts dribbling out. I let it run through the rest of the time, do the stop, and just fix with the tank upright. Negative mostly OK, one frame has noticeable uneven development. So, With the cap gone, I made another with some rubber I have. Now, with all the parts that can cause a leak addressed, I think the tank is good to go. Why am I wasting so much time on this drum when I have better equipment to process with.... I guess I have just been in a somewhat nostalgic mode lately and am bound and determine to put a few rolls through it, plus it has been somewhat entertaining making it all work again.

    Joel

  6. #6

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    I sold an "as new in box" Unidrum a while back (it came to me with a bunch of other stuff). Mine had a few spare gaskets in the box. Were you using the "factory" gaskets and still leaking?
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

  7. #7

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    I had two original gaskets for the lid, both leaked and both were well used. Making a new one for the lid was not difficult. The cap and the piston seal just flat out fell apart. The lid seal, if not used and abused I don't think matters how old it is, the cap and piston seal even " as new in box " are subject to aging.


    Quote Originally Posted by mgb74 View Post
    I sold an "as new in box" Unidrum a while back (it came to me with a bunch of other stuff). Mine had a few spare gaskets in the box. Were you using the "factory" gaskets and still leaking?



 

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