I completely understand as having co-authored a much shorter document
with the same target audience for the Canadian Conservation Institute
(basically how to digitize tapes when you can't afford to send it out).
However, the challenge that creates is that some client may see that and
write in a spec "do not bake plastic reels."
In thinking about my original post, I don't think I have ever had a
plastic reel warp in a food dehydrator. Very early on, as I was learning
this technique, I used our kitchen oven which I soon learned was a poor
choice (although no tapes were harmed in the process). That was before
the days of having a temperature logger and knowing what I know now. I
think it was that process that warped a plastic reel, partially because
of the radiant heat from the element, I suspect. I didn't even have a
Dremel tool back than <smile>, but managed to remove the warped
flange--or at least re-warp it so I could remove the tape by winding on
Looking back on my very early days trying to restore my own tapes--over
two decades ago, I was lucky!
On 2015-05-30 7:54 AM, Carla Arton wrote:
> This is a very valid point. A quick reminder however is the intended
> audience for this guide is someone with little to no experience with
> audiotape. This is why the entire baking section is not very specific. We
> wanted to encourage readers to go to experts such as yourselves who would
> better understand the risks.
> Indeed trying to dismantle a plastic reel adds a whole other risk. Maybe a
> qualifying sentence is needed in a future edition to further address this
> Thanks so much for your feedback.
> Carla Arton
> On May 30, 2015 1:59 AM, "Marie O'Connell" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Same, I bake in a Contherm scientific oven and have never in 21 years had a
>> plastic reel warp or melt on me.
>> On Sat, May 30, 2015 at 5:47 PM, John Chester <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> On 5/29/15 10:08 PM, Richard L. Hess wrote:
>>>> I just reviewed the wonderful document:
>>>> ARSC Guide to Audio Preservation
>>>> On page 60 (PDF 72) it says, "Only bake tapes with metal flanges, as
>>>> plastic reels may warp."
>>>> It is true, they MAY warp, but in baking tapes in food dehydrators for
>>>> over a decade, I may have had ONE plastic reel warp.
>>>> This is a case of the lesser of many evils.
>>>> One should not unspool a tape that needs to be baked as the mag coat may
>>>> be found adhering to the back coat of the next layer.
>>> 100% agree. I have seen tapes which were unspooled before baking where
>>> 50% or more of the oxide layer was stuck to the back coating, and the
>>> was completely ruined. So don't do that.
>>>> So I would suggest that the risk of having to cut a warped plastic
>>>> is much lower risk than unspooling the unbaked tape.
>>> I have never seen a plastic reel which was so badly warped by baking that
>>> I had to cut the reel to remove the tape. Very occasionally I have
>>> to replace the reel before returning the tape to storage, but usually the
>>> reel is completely undamaged.
>>> -- John Chester
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.