View Full Version : How to lube dark slides in older wooden filmholders?

Christopher Condit
11-Dec-2003, 12:02
I got some older 5x7 holders off the 'Bay, and it is so hard to pull the slides that the camera moves sometimes. Any hints on how to make them slide easier? I was thinking of maybe graphite (pencil).


Sidney Cammeresi
11-Dec-2003, 12:09
Try pulling the darkslide before you put the holder in the camera.

(Sorry, I couldn't help it.)

Larry Gebhardt
11-Dec-2003, 12:22
I would try some parafin wax, or bees wax. Make sure you blow them out with compressed ar and then vacuum them as well. I gave up on old wooden holders because I could never get rid of the dust. Good luck.

Gene M
11-Dec-2003, 12:27
Graphite ?? Arghhh ! I shudder to think of the havoc that stuff would cause inside a film holder.

John Cook
11-Dec-2003, 12:44
Ever since D76 came in cans, I have used Meguiar's "Hi-Tech Yellow Wax-26" for this exact purpose. It comes in both liquid and paste. Big news: it won't dry white on black plastic. You can find it at meguiars.com or at Wal-Mart.

Kevin Crisp
11-Dec-2003, 13:24
Christopher: I have found that just cleaning the slides makes all the difference in the world. Clean them with something powerful like Simple Green, use a scrubbing sponge, and let them dry. Blow the dust out of the light traps and I think you will find that they slide in much easier without adding anything. This sounds so simple I know you might question whether it works but it has worked for me 100% of the time on the old ones. If you want to use the Ilford silicone anti static wipe that might lubricate them a little.

Alan Davenport
11-Dec-2003, 15:52
Graphite BAD!!!! Just imagine all those little black bits falling on your film at random times... I would try using a silcone product, spray some on a rag and wipe along the edges of the darkslides. That should let you get the product into the grooves in the wood holders, without polluting places you don't want it.

Robert A. Zeichner
11-Dec-2003, 17:16
After cleaning everything thoroughly and blowing out the light traps, I generally rub the slides with waxed paper. There is just enough parafin on the paper to do the trick without leaving a mess.

Bill Bartels
11-Dec-2003, 18:35
I got this tip from one of Dagor 77's auctions on ebay. After a good cleaning a little pledge funiture polish. I tried it and its works great.

11-Dec-2003, 19:32
Just run the edge of the dark slide on a candle or any piece of wax. Run it in and out of the film holder a couple of time and your sticky slide will be no more.

Doug's 2

Jim Galli
11-Dec-2003, 20:31
Also a "pledge furniture polish" man. A left-over from my Lionel Electric train days. A previous bad habit. In fact I got out the Nikon FG to take pictures of the Lionel's. Had to learn how to use the damn thing.

Paul Moshay
12-Dec-2003, 01:26
I had that problem too. I solved it by spraying a folded paper towel with silicone spray, waiting a few minutes for the solvents to evaporate and then wiping both sides of the slide with the paper towel. Polish very well and you will not see any residue at all but the slide will slip very well. It's not the side grooves that are tight but the light trap that causes most of the drag. Paul

Christopher Condit
12-Dec-2003, 09:49
Thanks everybody for saving me from my ill-thought graphite idea. I think I'll try out the wax paper idea first.


Mike Troxell
17-Jan-2004, 16:36
I had heard about using Pledge furniture polish on darkslides and always thought it was crazy until I tried it. My old 8x10 wooden holders work like new ones now.

Kevin Crisp
17-Jan-2004, 22:03
I also tried the advice about using lemon pledge on the slides. It does clean them and lubricate them and they work great after a treatment.