Rubber rollers in Drum Dryer

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Mark in Maine, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. For the past four years, I have been working out of a 'temporary'
    darkroom, while I planned and built my new darkroom. The new darkroom
    is now finished, and my beloved drum dryer (an Omega), is back in the
    darkroom (there wasn't enough room for it in the temp darkroom).
    After four years of sitting idle I turned it on, and although it made
    noise and got warm, the belt was not moving. It seems that while in
    storage, the rubber roller which drives the belt (pinching it between
    the drum and the roller), had dried out, and become slick and glazed.
    The roller is about 17" long (a bit wider than the drum), and about an
    inch in diameter.

    Talking to a collegue, he said that this happens to rubber rollers
    used in computer printers, and the fix is to rub 'rubber rejuvenator'
    on the roller - this comes on presoaked pads. He had no idea of the
    chemical composition of this stuff. I was given a web source for
    presoaked pads of rubber rejuvenator:

    In the mean time, I have cleaned the roller with a new scotchbrite pad
    and water, and it seems better, there is some slippage, but the belt
    is now moving.

    Does anybody know what is in this rubber rejuvenator? Or do they have
    any opinions as to how to restore the rubber used on the drum dryer in
    a way that will not negatively impact the prints that I am drying in
    it (b&w Fibre)

    Mark in Maine, Jan 5, 2004
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  2. Mark in Maine

    Ken Hart Guest

    Try the scotchbrite pad and rubbing alcohol; that may cut thru the glaze.
    Or, find someone who has been in the television repair business long enough
    that they now what a "record player" is... there is/was a product used for
    restoring the rubber idler wheel.

    Ken Hart
    Ken Hart, Jan 6, 2004
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  3. Mark in Maine

    Lionel Guest

    We used to use acetone on a rag to take the 'shine' off rollers. The
    cheapest way to obtain it is in the form of laquer thinner, from your
    local hardware shop.
    A dry Scotchbrite scourer pad is the next best thing, but it tends to
    take off a little too much rubber for my taste.
    With either method, you should give the roller a quick & gentle wipe
    down afterwards with alcohol on a clean, lint-free cloth, to remove any
    skin oils & other debris.
    Lionel, Jan 6, 2004
  4. I think (but am not sure) that common, ordinary glycerin will rejuvenate
    rubber. Can anyone confirm or deny that?
    David Nebenzahl, Jan 6, 2004
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