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After spooling 16mm film from two 400 onto eight daylight spools I thought there has to be an easier way other than asking a lab to do this, which will cost and buying single 100ft daylight spools works out more expensive. So over the summer I designed and built an easy system to spool down 16mm film from 400ft film cores.


It can spool 16mm film from 400ft to any desired length whether it be onto a core or a daylight spool. A typical use will be to split film into half onto a core to use in a 200 foot magazine like the ACL or to split onto four separate 100 foot daylight spools to fit cameras such as the K3, Canon Scoopic or Bolex.

The advantage is that it allows me to work in normal daylight [only the initial loading is done in the dark] and I have fitted an accurate counter so I am always aware of how much film is being wound. I’m working out how much building this has cost me, I am thinking of making some of these to sell, but would people would buy them? What sort of price should I sell them for?


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You got any pix? It would be interesting to see the design.


I have rewinds in the garage and when it's dark outside, I can easily load 100ft spools in the dark.


Getting the length right when you can feel the film on the spool itself, is pretty easy and rewinds don't cost much.


Where it's true most people don't have a dark room, you can very easily mount rewinds to a piece of wood, buy some black duvateen and hang it on any light source in a closet/bathroom and get something dark enough.


You can also breakdown 100ft spools in magazines. There are some "mickey mouse" style magazines for 16mm cameras from old news cameras that can be modified to take daylight spools. Some of them even have a little gauge lever to determine how much film you've spooled off. You can use a drill to wind the film using a modified adaptor.

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hi, I was also wondering how to make 30m spools/ 60m cores from 120m cores. Is there some sort of adapter for my projector so I can fit cores on it?

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If people search the past discussion on this a range of ideas come up. Back in the day when film was plentiful and many people spooled their own it was not a difficult thing to do. A dark room, perhaps improvised, a slit spool or a custom platter, and away you go.


Split spools are useful, but a bit slow and cumbersome. I used a home made single sided 400' platter with a core adapter at the centre, mounted on a rewind. Then you could just pull the wound core off that, rather than having to dismount and unscrew a split spool. I remember holding a 400' roll by the core with my finger tips and winding off onto my platter, or 200'/100' spools. And mounting 2400' rolls on a 1200' split spool, holding the vulnerable part in my gloved hands, winding of rolls onto the platter. the platter being one sided was never a problem.


Familiarity allows some expertise. Lack of familiarity can give rise to all kinds of uncertainty, conjecture, inefficiency...

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