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Re: [ARSCLIST] Do these tapes need to be baked or not?
At 05:47 PM 12/13/2004 -0500, Peter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
I've always found this article rather encouraging concerning people's
ingenuity. Here I am with multi-thousand dollar scientific ovens to "bake"
tapes and someone is out there with a food processing unit that costs under
And it is indeed a dandy device! With the convertible trays that are
optionally available, you don't even have to cut the trays that come with
it for 7" reels.
When reading the article I have, however, always wondered why he
flips the tapes periodically. Does this serve some purpose no one else has
discovered or has the author simply gotten carried away with the "food
I think that theoretically it serves to even out the temperature in the
tape pack. My experience is that the temperature inside the unit with all
the air circulating is quite constant with little or no gradient. I don't
There is one piece of erroneous information in the article but the author
still comes up with the right way of handling the tape, even if for the
wrong reason: tape does expand when it is heated but, contrary to the
article, this does not make it loose on the reel. The primary expansion
vector when you heat tape is thickness, not length. This is the reason you
need a smooth pack before baking (if possible). When heated, the tape
thickens, tightens the pack and can cause wound-in wrinkles and deformation
to get worse.
This raises the issue of what to do with bad sticky-shed and a bad tape
pack. I got two reels in a year or so ago that had been fast-wound with bad
sticky shed and the coating had partially adhered to the backing when I
received it. I baked it on the 7" plastic reels but the damage had already
been done by a previous attempt to play it.
It appears to be a judgment call. If winding the tape will produce more
damage than baking it in its presently wound condition, then it's probably
better to bake than to try and get the tape pack smoother.
Did we all say in unison, "Don't bake acetate?"
I'm trying to get through some backlog before I spend a day with a real gem
that was a 1/4 inch reel of acetate tape that was kept too near a wood
stove during one or more cold New England winters. It now contains 0.200
inch tape (plus or minus). We hope to get something off of it.