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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Can oil residue damage film ?

Author Topic: Can oil residue damage film ?
Anhtu Vu
Film Handler

Posts: 76
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Registered: Jun 2013

 - posted 12-17-2017 04:28 PM      Profile for Anhtu Vu   Email Anhtu Vu   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
To my surprise, one of the archives i work at used to use an air gun to clean their projectors. The type that you would find in garages so no proper filters therefore the air most likely contains small amount of dirt and oil residue.

Aside from leaving unnecessary dirt on the film gate, sprockets etc, can oil residue damage the film in any way over a long period of time?

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Gary A. Hoselton
Film Handler

Posts: 52
From: Portland OR U.S.A.
Registered: Nov 2005

 - posted 12-17-2017 09:10 PM      Profile for Gary A. Hoselton   Email Gary A. Hoselton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'd think very little compressor oil would be able to stick to the film, however what sticks is probably too thick to evaporate so will be a magnet for dust and lint. Of more concern is moisture in the compressed air, however not much of that would be in a position to transfer to film. For sure, they should have filtered the air line, including a moisture trap. Canned air seems safer.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7042
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000

 - posted 12-17-2017 09:31 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Canned air has butane in it as the propellant, and can leave residue on the "target," especially if you shake the bottle before squirting. I once accidentally destroyed a phonograph stylus while trying to clean it with a compressed air spray.

A co-worker introduced me to the Datavac: it's one of the best $70 I've ever spent. There is a removable, cleanable, foam air filter on the intake at the bottom of the cylinder, and it blows a lot harder than any canned air spray I've ever used. I've blown out humongously gross and disgusting DCP servers - installed 6-7 years ago and never cleaned inside since - and it's made them look like new in 20 seconds.

In combination with the traditional cloth and sprocket tooth brush, I'm sure they'd be excellent for film projectors, too.

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Steve Kraus
Film God

Posts: 4067
From: Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: May 2000

 - posted 12-17-2017 10:14 PM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You don't want to blow dirt into bearings, though. Or against or into a lens.

Edit to add:
Just realized I have a can of Dust Off brand "canned air" inches from me so I read the back. FWIW the propellant is difluoroethane. Not sure that it would leave any residue though Wiki mentions a "bitterant" added to discourage "huffing."

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