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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Best Methods for Cleaning a Projector (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Best Methods for Cleaning a Projector
Charles Lubner
Film Handler

Posts: 78
From: Milwaukee, WI USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 10-22-1999 05:53 PM      Profile for Charles Lubner   Author's Homepage   Email Charles Lubner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What are some of the best ways to clean a projector/soundhead? I've used combinations of cotton swabs, WD-40, auto degreaser, windex (this was a really dirty machine). How often should one clean a projector, and what are the best methods?

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Erika Hellgren
Expert Film Handler

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


 - posted 10-22-1999 07:13 PM      Profile for Erika Hellgren   Email Erika Hellgren   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, I'll do my best on this one.

First, I was told never to use degreaser, but that was on my old Simplexes, so that may not apply to everyone.

I clean out my projectors after every show with a shop rag and, if necessary, compressed CO2. On a weekly basis, I think it's a good idea to go into the crevases with Q-tips and alcohol.


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Christopher A Kerr
Film Handler

Posts: 43
From: Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 10-22-1999 07:39 PM      Profile for Christopher A Kerr   Email Christopher A Kerr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I use a rag, a toothbrush for cleaning the gate and and the intermittent, and a paintbrush for general dusting. Every once in a while I will go over everthing with rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth to remove any excess oil or crud that may have bonded itsel to the metal.

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John Walsh
Film God

Posts: 2490
From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999


 - posted 10-22-1999 11:44 PM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What I teach new people:
Wash your hands esp. if you've been selling/handling popcorn.
Whipe up excess oil with paper towels. I point out the favorate leaking places of our Simplexs.
We use toothbrushes for the sprockets. I tell them to never ever turn on the projector- the toothbush could get caught in there.
Use a fingernail or something plastic to scrape out that hard stuff that stays on the gate/trap runners.
Then use a 1" wide paint brush to brush clean the film path only; don't use the paintbrush anywhere else.
Compressed air is OK (we don't use it) but you should remove or cap the lenses. Otherwise dirt and/or oil will get blown onto the lens.
The entire cleaning operation above takes about 30 sec. I tell them that doing a quick job every time is easier than letting it bulid up.

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John Walsh
Film God

Posts: 2490
From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999


 - posted 10-22-1999 11:45 PM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What I teach new people:
Wash your hands esp. if you've been selling/handling popcorn.
Whipe up excess oil with paper towels. I point out the favorate leaking places of our Simplexs.
We use toothbrushes for the sprockets. I tell them to never ever turn on the projector- the toothbush could get caught in there.
Use a fingernail or something plastic to scrape out that hard stuff that stays on the gate/trap runners.
Then use a 1" wide paint brush to brush clean the film path only; don't use the paintbrush anywhere else.
Compressed air is OK (we don't use it) but you should remove or cap the lenses. Otherwise dirt and/or oil will get blown onto the lens.
The entire cleaning operation above takes about 30 sec. I tell them that doing a quick job every time is easier than letting it bulid up.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

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


 - posted 10-23-1999 03:47 AM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Get FilmGuard, run it every show for the entire time the print is at your theatre (every print) and you will never have to clean your projectors, except for cosmetic reasons.

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Rick Long
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 759
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Nov 1999


 - posted 10-23-1999 01:45 PM      Profile for Rick Long   Email Rick Long   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The projectionists in Ottawa turned me onto carburetor cleaner (spray can). It's great for cleaning timing gear teeth, projector interiors, ect.

Five warnings with this stuff:
1. Don't get it in your eyes.
2. Don't get it in a cut. (You'll know if you do!).
3. Don't get it on a lens element.
4. Be careful not to get it on the plastic oil-site windows such as those used on Century intermittents, or Simplex heads. (It'll fog them up).
5. Always try a test in an inconspicuous corner of something you want to clean to check for any adverse reaction. (It will take the (labels off the Speco platter switch covers).

This is a heavy-duty grease, oil and grime remover and, with a little bit of caution, is better than anything else I have found for really neglected projectors and sound-heads.

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Aaron Sisemore
Flaming Ribs beat Reeses Peanut Butter Cups any day!

Posts: 3061
From: Rockwall TX USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 10-24-1999 02:49 AM      Profile for Aaron Sisemore   Email Aaron Sisemore   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rick:

NONONONONOOOOOO!

You are inviting *DISASTER* if you get carbuertor cleaner into any sealed bearing assemblies (Century soundheads and projector head mainshafts come immediately to mind)... And it does a pretty good job of removing paint from the inside of a projector... If you MUST use a volatile cleaner, apply it to a rag or cloth and wipe the projector out that way, DON'T just start drenching the projector with the stuff...

Aaron

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Jim Ziegler
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 753
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: Jul 99


 - posted 10-24-1999 03:35 AM      Profile for Jim Ziegler   Email Jim Ziegler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have to agree wiht Joe. Since we have started using Film Guard, out projectors are staying extremely clean with very little effort on our part except running the film cleaners.

Also, one thing to be VERY weary of is spraying ANYTHING into a projector. Even chemicals as mild as rubbing alcohol can cause damage to the machine.

For example, the first theatre I was working at was running Prevost P-93's. They ran ok (considering they were POSs)until someone got the idea to drench them with alcohol when cleaning them. After a couple of months of this they started leaking oil really bad. The reason is that rubbing alcohol doesn't like rubber and the seals around the intermittent cracked and caused the oil leaks.

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Rick Long
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 759
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Nov 1999


 - posted 10-24-1999 02:07 PM      Profile for Rick Long   Email Rick Long   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Aaron,

I agree with you that the stuff can be determental to oil seals and bearings, which is why I recommended caution to anyone who elects to use the stuff. I have used the cleaner (with due care) on Ballantyne, Simplex and Century interiors without stripping any paint. It particularly comes in handy when dis-assembling a projector or soundhead gear assembly.

On re-thinking this, I agree that this volatile stuff would be better left for technicians to use.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7929
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-24-1999 02:48 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here's another tip: VMAP Naptha (available in the paint section of the local hardware store) is great to have around the booth. This is fairly strong stuff that acts as a grease solvent and is very effective in cleaning up spilled drops of oil or extraneous gear grease that might find its way onto the floor or projector casing.

One last thought, particularly important for those with reel-to-reel setups: _always_ clean the floor area under the take-up arm with a damp rag or mop before the first show of the day. There's no excuse for getting dirt and gunk all over the head and tail leaders of each reel. (And, platter people, please splice on an extra 50 feet or so of film to the tail of the last reel of each film before running it...I can't count the number of prints that I've run that have the last 20 feet or so of credits either dirty or chewed up or both).

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Aaron Sisemore
Flaming Ribs beat Reeses Peanut Butter Cups any day!

Posts: 3061
From: Rockwall TX USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 10-25-1999 03:03 AM      Profile for Aaron Sisemore   Email Aaron Sisemore   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes I agree Keep the volatiles to the techs that know the dangers.

I personally use Diesel fuel as a grease solvent when I rebuild projector heads for both soaking the parts as well as cleaning the built up grease deposits, it won't harm paint or nylon/fiber gears like 'carbueretor dip', or some other solvents, and the results are incredible! ( of course I have removed ALL sealed bearings and assemblies containing such)

Aaron

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6392
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-27-1999 10:52 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Basically, I tell people that work at my place(s) to take out the trap and shoe, then pretend you're a piece of film and use a paint brush and a shop rag and brush/wipe everything that you would touch. (If you were a piece of film.) Then I tell them to take a paper towel and wipe up the oil and gunk.

IF THE PROJ. HAS FILMGUARD, YOU ONLY NEED TO DO THAT EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE.

To clean the traps I use a fingernail or one of those little plastic scrapers that you get from the lottery to scratch off instant tickets. Then I use a paintbrush to clean out the nooks and cranies, followed by a Q-Tip and Xe-Kote

AGAIN, IF THE PROJ. HAS FILM-GUARD, ALL I DO IS WIPE WITH A SHOP CLOTH AND GO. (YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO DO IT EVERY DAY.)

I stopped using a toothbrush 1) because it bends up the intermittent 'skis',etc. and 2) it takes too long and you can do just as good a job with a paint brush.


If I feel the need to use anything "stronger" to clean the proj., the only thing I'll use is alcohol. (I use alc. to clean almost everything)

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Paul Konen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 981
From: Frisco, TX. (North of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-28-1999 01:02 PM      Profile for Paul Konen   Email Paul Konen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You should only XeKote at night and not between shows.

I don't remember which side it eats but can cause more buildup on your gate bands.

Paul Konen

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

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


 - posted 10-28-1999 03:41 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How about this:

Don't use XeKote at all.

I hate the stuff. Always have. Alcohol works just fine for cleaning a projector if you need to use some kind of liquid cleaner.

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