I have had a couple of reels warp -- or they might have been warped already -- to the point that the
tape scraped and folded a little bit during rewind after baking, but who cares? It's much more
dangerous to unspool stuck tape without baking it first, in fact it's usually fatal to the audio
content. This warpage is a non-issue so it shouldn't even be addressed in the document. Unspooling
sticky tape is a MAJOR issue and most certainly should be warned against in no uncertain terms.
Where did this phantom concern about warped plastic reels come from? As I said, who cares if they
are a little warped? Just library-wind the tape off them and replace them.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2015 1:13 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Baking tapes on plastic reels ?
> Hi, Carla,
> 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 a machine.
> Looking back on my very early days trying to restore my own tapes--over two decades ago, I was
> 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.