View Full Version : Old 8x10 film holders in the 21st century

Curtis Nelson
29-May-2015, 16:20
Hi, I recently acquired 15 old wooden 8x10 film holders. Most of them are in usable or nearly-usable condition (I need to tape a few), but I would like to know if there is anything I can do to help the darkslides slide a little easier? Right now, on some of them, I have to rock them side-to-side when inserting. I was thinking of just doing a thorough cleaning, and if that doesn't work, maybe some kind of wax or ???
Has anyone ever had this problem, and what did you do about it?

Also, the bottom fell off of one of the holders. I think it's an old Eastman Kodak. Were these put together with glue? I'd like to restore this one if I can.


John Kasaian
29-May-2015, 17:20
A little wax rubbed onto the bearing edges on the long dimension of the dark slides should help them slide better. Don't apply the wax on the dark slides unless you're using a very narrow piece, like from a birthday candle. If you use a paste wax or spray, apply it to a washed cotton diaper(leaves no lint) and rub the edges of the dark slides well.
I've found no appreciable difference between beeswax, paraffin, Pledge, or Butcher's wax, just make certain you don't leave any chunks behind.
The micro attachments on a Shop vac work well for general cleaning ---it sucks up dust instead of blowing someplace else like compressed air wll.
For re-taping hinges all the cool kids use book binders tape----I use gaffer's tape 'cause that's what I have on hand.

29-May-2015, 18:05
Running a piece of very fine sandpaper (finishing grade) over the edges of the darkslides works miracles. Also, bend a piece of sandpaper in two or four and run the crease up and down the slots that the slides ride in. Then the cleaning and wax treatment.
I've fixed all my broken holders with wood glue and clothes pins and rubber bands to hold things tight while the glue dries. Applying glue with a flat toothpick helps keep it out of the places that need to stay free. Good luck! I love seeing the old stuff restored.

David Karp
29-May-2015, 18:07
Once the holder is nice and clean, another approach is to run a dryer sheet along the edge of the darkslide.

29-May-2015, 18:24
If any are unrepairable, they do make nice picture frames for 8x10 prints.

Jim Noel
29-May-2015, 18:29
Nose grease works better than any of the above suggestions. By all means do not use sand paper of any grade on them. Of the 24 I use, 14 of them are fromthe 1920's and I don't have problems with the slides.

30-May-2015, 07:19
A piece of wax paper rubbed along the edges and in a half inch works well. Silicone spray lube wiped along the edges does a as well. If you need to re-black the edges of the wood try Shoe Dye in Black. Kiwi has worked well as it soaks into the wood and does not have flaking problems in the future like some paints.