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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » SC Johnson PASTEWAX?

   
Author Topic: SC Johnson PASTEWAX?
Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 07-25-1999 05:44 AM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
About a year ago I was complaining to Kodak about the massive print shedding that I was experiencing at my phenomenal movie theatre. I would gripe and whine and they suggested a few things, but the most interesting thing that they suggested was to wax the entire print! Kodak said that the labs no longer edgewax prints due to cost reasons, which is why current film stock flakes all over my projectors. They suggested that I pick up some SC Johnson Pastewax and apply a small amount and wipe it evenly into the print with a lint free cloth as it sits on the platter. Then I was to run the movie soundtrack down on the platter the next show and do the same for the other side of the film. Doing this supposedly helps the film pass through the projector with less abrasion, thus the shedding would stop.

Did I try this? Yes, I did. Anything to stop the shedding. Did it work? NO. The print still shedded, but the flakes were big, smelly chunks of wax. I felt that I didn't put enough wax on when I was applying it, I barely even used half a teaspoon for a typical 6 reel film Kodak recommended a full teaspoon per side. The shedding even got much worse over time.

What do you all think of this method? I have never heard of prints being edgewaxed until then. Has anybody else ever tried this? I'll tell you this....... ain't NOTHIN' out there that beats FilmGuard (coming soon to a theatre near you).

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Erika Hellgren
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 168
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-25-1999 06:16 AM      Profile for Erika Hellgren   Email Erika Hellgren   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh my God! I had forgotten about the wax! Yes, I tried that useless stuff a while ago. I didn't wax too many prints before I decided to give up the ghost. Yes, the shedding continued, just in a different form -- gross goopy chunks that were harder to wipe out. And of course, absolutely no on-screen difference whatsoever. And if that weren't bad enough, the prints would slide around on the platters like they were spinning on a slip-and-slide! I tried suction cups like the Kodak guy suggested, but give me a break, those things don't work! And on top of that, this was before our fabulous Christie platters were properly timed, so I'm sure you can all picture the mess in your heads.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17618
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 07-25-1999 04:13 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
A friend tried that at his theater. He couldn't find "Johnson's", but used some other quality brand.

His print he waxed got thrown off the platter 3 times in 2 days if I remember correctly and he said the shedding didn't help at all.

The solution, well not really a solution...it "tamed" the wax a little bit, was to pull the film back onto reels and hand clean it with Renovex.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9425
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-27-1999 03:54 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In the old days it was Camphor wax we used to use to lubricate film if the lab didn't do it. It wasa carnuba wax that was used by most labs up undil the early 70 when they got cheap. Camphor wax is available from some pharamists still

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 08-04-1999 10:29 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm the Kodak guy who suggested paste wax. It was never claimed to be anything other than an "emergency method" of waxing an unlubricated print, and the difficulties in applying paste wax evenly or making the roll more slippery were clearly spelled out. It has worked well for some.

SC Johnson Paste Wax is a mixture of hard waxes (paraffin and carnauba) in a fast-evaporating solvent. It was chosen because it is readily available, and does not contain oils or materials that will harm the film (e.g., mineral oil and WD-40 can actually leach the dyes out of color film). In the "good old days" of laboratories applying edgewax to all prints, paraffin was the wax of choice. It was dissolved in solvent, and applied to the edges and perf areas of the print with an applicator wheel.

Elsewhere on this site, I see testimonials for Brad's "FilmGuard" lubricant. Great! Kodak and SMPTE have always recommended proper lubrication of release prints --- if FilmGuard works, use it, as long as you are confident it won't harm the film or affect dye stability.

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Trevor Bailey
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 113
From: Woonsocket, RI
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-08-1999 04:53 PM      Profile for Trevor Bailey   Author's Homepage   Email Trevor Bailey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't recall seeing anything about "emergency" in the article. The following is the text of the article starting from the first mention of self waxing to the end. I can reprint the rest of the article as well, but I read it several times and saw nothing about "emergency".

Kodak is working to develop methods of edge-waxing prints that don't require use of harmful or toxic solvents. One promising method is very simple. It involves the use of SC Johnson Paste Wax (800-558-5252), which is a mix of hard waxes with a fast-evaporating solvent forming a soft paste-like material. We have found that a very small amount (no more than one level teaspoon) of the paste wax uniformly buffed along the side-walls of the print as it lies on the platter will penetrate into the edge and perforation area of the print. When the solvent evaporates, a thin clear layer of the solid hard wax is left on the surface of the print, in the areas where it is most needed to reduce friction and abrasion. Running the print through the projector spreads out the wax into a uniform coating. Although there is nothing in SC Johnson Paste Wax that will harm the film, care should be taken not to put too much on, as excess wax will build up in the projector, and could be visible on the screen or affect the reading of the soundtracks. Remember that it's easier to apply a very small amount of wax and add more if needed later. Another note of caution is that the added wax will make the film roll more slippery, requiring the use of platter clips to keep the roll from sliding on the platter surface. Our tests show that proper edge-waxing will greatly reduce "dusting" and surface abrasion of prints. Edge-waxed prints should also run more quietly and smoothly through the projector, and perforation life will increase since the film will require less force to pull it through the gate By the way, a small amount of purple dust on the first few runs of a new print is normal. The dust is usually purple because the top imaging layer in the film is the magenta dye layer. Other than using PTR film cleaning rollers to clean the print during projection, no further action is usually needed, UNLESS there is obvious abrasion of the emulsion-side surface of the print.


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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 08-09-1999 03:41 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The use of paste wax was first mentioned in the October 1994 issue of Kodak's publication "Film Notes for Reel People" (H-50-34).

On page 21, I wrote:

"If severe difficulties are found due to lack of print lubrication (unsteadiness, excessive noise, heavy powder buildup, obvious scuffing of the emulsion of the film between the perforations, etc.), the SC Johnson Paste Wax may be used as an "EMERGENCY" lubricant."

I also wrote:

"This method should only be used in an EMERGENCY, when the lubricated print performance is totally unsatisfactory. Excessive application of the paste wax may intrude into the picture area (seen as unevenness or mottle) or soundtrack area....Excessive wax may also build up on the gate, rollers, sound drum, or other projector components. Finally, too much wax may make the print so slippery that it tends to slide off the platter (be sure to use those suction clips to keep the roll in place), or slips on the sound drum, causing wow and flutter. Remember, a little wax goes a long way, and too much wax may cause problems."

If FilmGuard, Tomakote and other proprietary film treatments on the market can properly lubricate prints without other adverse effects, great! But edgewaxing by the laboratory has consistently been recommended by Kodak since 1922.

Kodak's processing manual (H-24.02, H-24.09) and SMPTE Recommended Practice RP151 specify that prints be properly lubricated for optimum performance. Unlubricated prints will work satisfactorily in most projectors, but may be much more prone to perforation wear, unsteadiness, abrasion and dusting issues in some projectors. Proper lubrication is even more vital now that digital sound information is printed along the highly-abraded edges and perforation area of prints (remember, Kodak's Cinema Digital Sound put the bits in the unabraded analog sound track area because of this known concern).

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John Pytlak

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 08-09-1999 07:50 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have 2 friends that have CDS. I think it is interesting that Dolby Digital is far more reliable. But DTS is still the best. What was the compression ratio on CDS by the way? Somebody told me it was uncompressed, but that can't be true. When they had T2 in 70mm CDS at the UA Continental here in Denver, the operators would literally beat up on the unit just to get it to work. They would turn the power off and on repeatedly, even though they were not supposed to. They said it was a nightmare. Probably better than SDDS is lately, though.

Oh yeah. FilmGuard is proven. There really aren't any "ifs" about it anymore.

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Trevor Bailey
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 113
From: Woonsocket, RI
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-10-1999 10:40 AM      Profile for Trevor Bailey   Author's Homepage   Email Trevor Bailey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, when the article was printed on page 8 of the Summer 1998 Filmnotes for Reel People (H-50-47) that part was left out, giving the impression that this was a promising method that should be used. Just as a clarification, should we always check back issues to make sure they don't contradict current articles?

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 08-10-1999 03:21 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Joe ---

For some additional background on Cinema Digital Sound (CDS), see Perry Sun's site:
http://www.moviesoundpage.com/msp_cds.htm

or the link provided by Steve Kraus:
http://www.members.aol.com/cds3570

My point was that CDS putting the bits in the analog soundtrack area was technically the right thing to do, since projectors were known to abrade the edges and perfs. Of course, unless you have 100% reliability in a digital system, lack of an analog backup can lead to cancelled shows. That was the "fatal flaw".

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John Pytlak

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 08-10-1999 03:28 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oops! The CDS link provided by Steve Kraus is: http://members.aol.com/cds3570/

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John Pytlak

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 08-10-1999 03:28 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oops! The CDS link provided by Steve Kraus is: http://members.aol.com/cds3570/

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John Pytlak

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