Cleaning the Capstan Rubber Rollers

Discussion in 'Tape' started by Old_Tech, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. FAB1

    FAB1 playing with the big toys

    Messages:
    1,377
    Location:
    southern indiana
    So how good is the Teac Rubber Cleaner?

    I have a sealed bottle of the stuff and wondering if I should just keep it that way to look at or really begin to use it...lol. :D

    Has anyone experimented with fast-evaporating solutions like chlorofluorocarbon based cleaners - are they safe for rubber and plastic or a big? :nono:
     

     

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  2. Marantz 2270

    Marantz 2270 Active Member

    Messages:
    336
    FWIW, My Akai 365 dual capstan cassette deck was cleaned for 30 years with isopropal alcohol, and the rollers turned to goo.
     
  3. kcvet

    kcvet Active Member

    Messages:
    226
    Location:
    Missouri
    isopropal alcohol is the worst thing to use. it hardens and cracks rubber.
     
  4. eddisc

    eddisc Super Member

    Messages:
    1,470
    Location:
    The Great Pacific North Wet
    Originally Posted by Marantz 2270 View Post
    FWIW, My Akai 365 dual capstan cassette deck was cleaned for 30 years with isopropal alcohol, and the rollers turned to goo.

    I'm no chemist, so help me out here. How does the same substance turn
    rubber into goo and also harden it to the point of cracking??? :scratch2:
     
  5. Marantz 2270

    Marantz 2270 Active Member

    Messages:
    336
    The proof is in the goo. Don't leave the 'r' out of proof!:nono:
     
  6. Awesomeaudio

    Awesomeaudio AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    Sydney, Australia

     

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  7. 7 hz

    7 hz New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Hi all, new to the forum!

    I used the MCI JH-24 24 track 2" back in the day, and was told by the experts to clean the capstan and pinch roller with Jif (now called Cif) cream cleaner. The pinch roller is easily removed on these machines, and can be scrubbed under the tap! That leaves the capstan free to be activated and some kitchen roll with the cream cleaner to be held against it as it rotated. It was then rinsed by another damp cloth.

    This got everything very clean and didn't have any problems. The cream cleaner is mildly abrasive and so left the surfaces nice and matte.

    I think to a certain extent the reported issues with the rubber going soft (or hard) is to do with the rubber aging and decomposing more than being attacked by cleaning products.
     
  8. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    938
    Location:
    Cape Town
    I cleaned the rubber rollers on my Tandberg TCD310 MK11 last night. Both were extremely glazed and beyond cleaning with the methylated spirit I usually use.

    So I did what I usually do with my turntable idler wheels.

    The one roller one obviously cannot re-grind accurately as it has no spindle. I made a 'spindle' for it from the plastic tube between those earbud things which fitted tightly. To prevent it from deflection, I pushed a 1.8mm drillbit into the tube which gave me a true dead centre in relation to the roller's dia.

    I then chucked the mounted roller in my lathes headstock chuck and fitted a diamond-coated grinding tool (Dremel) into the lathe's toolpost.

    Only a few revolutions are required to give the roller a perfectly round 'new' surface.

    The second rolled is in a cage and this was more difficult to re-grind. I rigged a clamp of sorts to bring the caged roller against the ribbed chuck of a Proxxon motor mounted on my workbench so the wheel was spun by friction.

    And then I used the same diamond-coated Dremel grinding tool against the wheel.

    Afterwards, I checked both wheels for roundness using a digital Mitutoyo micrometer and there was no runout.

    It should be noted when using abrasives against rubber to be very careful as only a micron or two needs to be removed.

    Afterwards, rinse in methylated spirit and blow dry with an airline.

    This was the first time I have re-ground pinch rollers and I will see later if the method used was OK as I'm busy now re-assembling the deck.

    tripod
     
  9. Satcom123

    Satcom123 Super Member

    Messages:
    2,997
    Location:
    Central Oklahoma USA
    Hi Tripod. Yes this took some guts :D I hope it works well for you. I sounds like it should.

    I too have done some things thats kinda out of the ordinary. I have relapped some heads on a reel to reel to remove the grooves with very good results.
     
  10. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    938
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Hello Satcom123

    Yes, indeed:yes: New territory and I will know later this evening if the plan worked but I had little choice. My only consolation if it doesn't work, will be to replace the two rollers with new items and I'm hoping to find replacements as their diameter is pretty similar to other pinch rollers I've seen in other brand decks.

    My only concern right now is about a thick disc felt pad I found laying loose near the tape eject button. I have posted elsewhere here and it doesn't look as if I've had a reply yet.

    Regards

    tripod
     
  11. BlazeES

    BlazeES Active Member

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    Location:
    U S of A
    I've always lived by it.
    Small bottle and a larger can.
    Works great... :D
     

     

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  12. notbananas

    notbananas New Member

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    30
    I have been using cabontetrachloride until banned. Then I tried acetone from the giant hardware store (orange is their color) and it really works great!

    Removes tape oxide, rejuvinates the rubber and removes all glazing on pinch rollers. Just a quick swipe with a rag on the roller and it's all better. I use it to clean heads and tape guides too. I use the "evaporates quickly" labeled version.

    Do not let it get in contact with any type of plastic (some erase heads are plastic). It will dissolve it and then you have a mess to clean up.

    You MUST use it in a well ventilated area because the fumes will knock your socks off
     
  13. vga911s

    vga911s Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    567
    Location:
    Calif.
    S 711, S 721, Acetone. S 711, This came with my 1st Nakamichi deck back in 84 & I stocked up on these 3 and i have never used anything else on the rollers
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
  14. The Root

    The Root New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Toronto
    Head Cleaner

    What can I use to clean the heads on my Reel to Reel and my cassette decks?
     
  15. eddisc

    eddisc Super Member

    Messages:
    1,470
    Location:
    The Great Pacific North Wet
    read the stickys!
    that's why they are there
     
  16. DJ G-Man

    DJ G-Man Purvis Of Sound

    It's a wonder nobody's mentioned Westley's Bleche-Wite for tires. Fantastic rubber
    cleaner/restorer. Been using it for 30 years or so. Put a nice film on the roller with a q-tip,
    wait a minute or two, then wipe off with a fresh q-tip. Then rinse with water the same
    way. I rinse twice to make sure. The rubber will be like new.
     

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  17. ConradH

    ConradH Addicted Member

    Messages:
    7,836
    Location:
    Canandaigua, NY
    Decades ago I used a printer roller rejuvinator/deglazer called Putz Pomade for a different purpose, but it also works great for what it was made for. Amazingly, they still make it. My guess is it has some jewelers rouge to polish off the glaze.

    Putz!
     
  18. vga911s

    vga911s Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    567
    Location:
    Calif.
    Today my 2 new bottles of Splicit tape head / pinch roller cleaner arrived. This is I belive the replacment for the S 711 cleaner that has been discontinured. its S 721H made of Hexane. I have never used this before so we will give it a go and see how it wirks.
     
  19. vga911s

    vga911s Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    567
    Location:
    Calif.
    Having just gotten my 3014a back up and operational I have found that the casptan / pinch roller section on this deck req a lot of attention on order for it's w/f to remain in check. I just found out that Tandberg made a change to their 3014a casptan shafts( thanks John) by bead blasting the shafts on the later 3014a units to provid a rougher shaft surface that inturn provides a more uniform grip on the tape as it presses it aginst the pinch roller. Mine is a early 3014a and has the highly polished shiney smooth casptan shaft The IPA and Q / tips were not cutting it.:scratch2: I have been cleaning like crazy with very little effect using Q tip and the 721 or IPA. Near the end of a tape / (any tape) the w/f would become audible. Just on a guess I took a cut strip of plastic copper pipe cleaner wet with acteone and held it aginst the rotating casptan shafts for about 3 min each moving it slowly along the length as it rotated and much to my surprise lots oxide came off of both shafts. You cant see this stuff on the metal shafts and a Q tip with IPA or 721 alone will not get the hardened oxide deposits off. My W/F problen is gone . Just thought I would share as I may not be the only one here that thought they were cleaning but not really cleaning completly !!!:thmbsp::thmbsp:
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
  20. SoundOfSound

    SoundOfSound Super Member

    Messages:
    4,049
    Yup! ...we used to use 190 proof Everclear to clean $100K Honeywell & PerkinElmer tape machines when I was in the service. It's pure alcohol and evaporates without leaving any residue.

    [​IMG]
     

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