KL Archival Film Equipment: Manufacturing & Servicing of Motion Picture Equipment

August 12, 2021

This post is a showcase of the work by Klaus Linnenbruegger, a trained tool and die maker. By entering you will see a wide selection of precision film equipment specially modified and created for the motion picture Archival community.

Klaus Linnenbruegger

At Crawleys, I maintained and repaired all the equipment used in the production and post production of motion picture films. This included equipment such as M. P. cameras and sound recorders, processing machines, printers, cleaning machines, editors and related equipment.

16mm film gate

I went on my own in 1979 and started to work on a contract basis for the National Archives of Canada (Library & Archives Canada) to service their motion picture equipment. Since then I have specialized in the service and manufacturing of Archival motion picture equipment.

Front lens of Oxberry step printer

Due to the nature of copying archival films, (deteriorated, shrunken, scratches, etc.), very specialized equipment is needed to handle the sometimes priceless, and unique footage. I have been called on to research, design, manufacture, install, and maintain such equipment.

I have been involved in the day to day operation of the National Archives of Canada for the design, manufacture, and maintenance of their film equipment. This also includes the re-design and modification of equipment.

Some of my clients since 1979;

  • National Archives of Canada
  • Provincial Archives of Alberta
  • Provincial Archives of Manitoba
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Provincial Archives of British Columbia
  • Provincial Archives of New Brunswick
  • Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan
  • Provincial Archives of Ontario
  • Northeast Historic Film
  • Library of Congress
  • Archives of Venezuela
  • New York University

Klaus Linnenbruegger-

16/35mm shrinkage drives

Editing tables can be hard on film with high shrinkage, but with these specially modified sprocket drives, the film runs smoothly, and quietly without any worry of damaging the film perforations. A life saver when viewing shrunken films for tax appraisals or when subject content is a priority. Drives can be built to handle any film format or film projection system you desire.

28/9.5mm drives and rollers

This Editing table was custom modified to handle 28 & 9.5mm film formats.
The flatbed conversion involved new prisms and roller guides to complete the make-over, and make available projection of two of the rarest of film formats.

8/16/35mm shrinkage gauge

This gauge will allow you to precisely measure film shrinkage on all formats of film; 35mm/16mm/8mm. This is particularly important for films that are periodically projected or printed. Knowing the shrinkage of a film allows you to select the correct method of printing or projection. This is invaluable for new collections or assessing old ones.

(Please note that these gauges can be custom built to meet any motion picture film format.)

28mm adjustable tape splicer

This 28mm splicer has a new aluminum body, steel cutting plates and customizable splicing teeth for special shrinkage requirements. Adjustable registration pins allow various film shrinkages for an accurate and customized splice.

35mm adjustable cement splicer

At KL we can modify any hot splicer with adjustable pins to accommodate any film shrinkage. In this example a 35mm hot splicer was modified to allow shrinkages as high as 3.0%! The registration pins have been built to adjust lengthwise as well as laterally.

35mm modified tape splicer

When film shrinkage rises over 2.5% it demands special attention. Modified with rounded sprocket plates, this tape splicer can readily handle some of the most severely shrunken, and difficult 35mm film.

9.5mm tape splicer

Here’s a rare one; a modified tape splicer specifically designed to accept 9.5mm film. The close-up details in the photo highlight the precision and detail necessary to accept this extremely rare film format.

Shrinkage gauge reading

Having a shrinkage gauge saves you time and money by instantly providing you with a percentage of shrinkage, not to mention preventing any damage to valuable records.

In this example, the film is reading a shrinkage level of approximately 1.25%. Imagine the damage if this film was put through a projector without first doing a shrinkage reading.

Digital film scanner setup

Here’s a digital scanner’s ideal setup; custom film rewinds, and a set of specially formatted film scanner gates. The gates can be made in any film format; 35mm/28mm/16mm/9.5mm/S8mm/8mm.

*NOTE* This is not a continuous fed film scanner. This is a manual film scanner for single frame images only.

Also showcased is an Olympus ES-10S slide film scanner, a rare consumer scanner that features a rare open film slot for making quick scans of motion picture film. With this scanner and these special gates there’s no need to cut the film into slides or strips like most other commercial scanners.

At the National Archives of Canada this scanner was used to capture single frames of subtitles. Imported into Photoshop, and using the original scan as a template, the subtitles were reconstructed into a more legible state. The digital file was then sent off to a local service bureau, and scanned back to film. After processing, the frame was placed on the optical printer where it was frozen and extended to create a continuous shot of motion picture film! (Click here to see a before and after shot of the title)

35mm digital film scanner gate

Meeting today’s high technology needs are these specially designed film scanner gates. Most commercial slide film scanners fail to take into account 35mm motion picture film formats, but with this gate you can now scan any motion picture film frame easily, and securely with the built-in registration pin.

The gates can be custom built to accept any motion picture film format.

Film scanner gate holder

Built to hold all available film formats is this simple black anodized film gate holder.

35mm wet gate

A real workhorse, this 35mm film wet gate provides smooth transport of film and crisp clear conversions of the most demanding and widely used of all film formats. One of the many advantages of these custom built gates is the frame line adjustment for precise positioning of the film, made possible by using ball bearings in place of conventional registration pins.

28mm wet gate

All of these gates are very gentle on film, and can handle the severest conditions imaginable. This 28mm wet gate will make printing that much easier and with professional results.

16mm wet gate

When printing Archival film, you can run into problems that commercial printers were not designed to handle. At KL we can custom design film gates to handle virtually every problem you might encounter.

16mm modified wet gate

This wet gate was specifically modified to handle some of the worst cases of film curvature and warping seen in 16mm films. Most notable is the fact that this gate relies on ball bearings to smooth out and flatten the film as it passes through the gate; no registration pins! Films exhibiting severe buckling due to acetate deterioration or “vinegar syndrome” can be handled using this custom gate.

Regular 8 & Super 8mm wet gates

Home movies and amateur films are increasingly coming forward in the Archival industry, and in order to meet the increasing printing requirements are these 8 and Super 8mm film wet gates.

9.5mm wet gate

Very similar to the 8mm, this wet gate is great for handling the increasing amount of amateur footage in the archival community.

35mm adjustable drive

When film shrinkage begins to affect the lateral stability of a film, these drives can be adjusted to accommodate side to side shrinkage found in more difficult conversions. In this example, the sprocket drive was machined to accept 2.5% shrinkage.

35mm adjustable drive showcase

Encompassing all of the available film formats of the past and present are these adjustable width film drives. Mounted on a printer along with any of the specially designed wet gates, makes this combination a real Archival necessity. When film shrinkage affects not only the length but also the lateral stability of the film, these drives get the job providing more control over more difficult conditions.

Film rewinds and rollers

These fabulous rewinds will give you a perfect wind every time. A much better wind than most conventional split reels. We can modify any brand of rewinds, or supply you with brand new ones.

Film rewind rollers

With the new custom rewinds and these specially formatted rollers, you’ve got the perfect system for getting the best possible wind. The rollers are designed to fit snugly and securely, without ever touching the viewable area of the film, to enable a tight hassle-free film wind.

Editing table with PTR rollers

PTR; Particle Transfer Rollers; a unique and simple way to gently clean dirty and dust-ridden films. These rollers can be mounted on a flatbed editing table, or alongside a set of custom rewinds.

PTR rollers; removal & cleaning

Easily removable, and even easier to clean are these ingenious Particle Transfer Rollers. Using lukewarm water and a little rubbing, rids the rollers of built up dirt and grime that would normally stay on the film. A must for any serious film conservator.

Wet gate tower with control unit

Specially designed to house wet gate solution and mechanical pump systems, a wide range of holding tanks can be built specifically for all your needs.

35mm to 28mm film splitter

What to do when there is no more leader to splice to old obsolete film formats?
Make some! With this unique cutting and measurement synchronizer, you can convert any 35mm leader into 28mm widths in seconds. Even without the aid of additional perforations, this feature is invaluable in enabling rolls of old 28mm film to be safely laced through Editing tables or printers, without having to search for old strips of film leader.

Film leader dispenser

Easily manage your rolls of film leader with this simple film leader dispenser. Configured for 16 and 35mm formats, it features removeable film cores to allow for easy reloading. The film leader dispenser can be custom built for shelf or wall mount use.

Film holder mounts

The film leader film dispenser can be mounted conveniently on a shelf or on a wall. With these film holder mounts there are no more loose rolls of leader scattered across the work area.

For more information about KL products on this website please contact;

kl [at] canadianfilm.com


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