Grahame N's Web Pages

Pathé 28mm Film - Odds & Ends

1. 28mm Projector Spools - home made .....

Original 28mm spools

Well you can't exactly walk into Jessops (well any photo shop that still exists!) and ask for a 28mm projection spool can you? The original spools are about 6.25inches / 159mm diameter, with cheek to cheek (internal width) of around 1.3" / 30mm. A brass drive dog on each side makes overall external width of around 1.6inches / 40mm, with a centre hole of 8mm diameter.. On the left above you can see a spool and can after being in a shed for many years! On the right above, a quick rub-down and re-paint ("Hammerite" is supposed to halt the rusting) and a new can makes all the difference! However a few spare empty spools are always useful......

Home-made 28mm feed spool

However one night in bed I had a brainwave (that's when ideas usually come to mind maybe after a glass or two of French red wine!). Anyhow not having a lathe etc. I am unable to turn up the lovely brass centres with drive dogs that another 28mm fan does with ease (check out Martyn Stevens at ). I had been sorting an oddments box and came across some old cotton reels earlier that day and realised the old wooden Sylko types are exactly the correct width to form the centre bobbin of a 28mm film spool.

Just take an empty wooden cotton reel (lhs in photo above), file off the edge ridges (as per the next example in the photo above) then use a couple of wood screws to fit 300ft/400ft spool sides from old 8mm, 9.5mm or 16mm spools. (I have used an ex 9.5mm Pathéscope fibre spool here, which even has the correct diameter centre hole! A needle file can be used to ease the actual cotton reel centre hole as necessary).

OK, no drive dogs, but these are really only necessary for use as a take-reel - an extra hole can be drilled in the spool side so that a normal 9.5mm drive pin will engage for rewinding. (By chance, the heads of the wood screws actually mate up to the edge of the take-up drive spigot on the KOK 28mm projector, so they will just pass as take-up spools at a pinch) Another luxury would be to cut a slot across the wooden centre core to allow the film end to be threaded when attaching to the spool. (gln 01Dec2014)

2. New 28mm Film Cans

This is currently quite straight-forward - 35mm 400 foot cans are ideal! Sadly new supplies are fast drying up as film use dies out. You can see the type I use in the photos above - I normally add a piece of blotting paper or even kitchen roll in the bottom to help stabilise humidity once the can is closed (these are supposedly air tight).

To save adding these new 35mm 400ft cans to my sales lists - currently they are still available from PEC Video in London's filmland. (The cans are also useful for two reel 9.5mm films, accepting all the 9.5mm 300ft & 400ft reels I have found, including the final 1960s Pathéscope 400ft metal spools with easi-load centres) Probably also just accept two 16mm 400ft spools. Certainly a good way to keep those 28mm films air tight and dust and damage free. (gln 01Dec2014)

3. American 28mm Projector Spools

American 28mm spools

Above are examples of the 28mm spools from the USA - on the left is an American Pathéscope 28mm spool and can (the 28mm printed films were not for sale, just in a film library); similar to the European (well French I suppose) 28mm spools; - whilst on the right of the photo are two different 28mm spools presumably from the Victor (United Projector and Film Co. ) 28mm library, which continued use of the 28mm film gauge in the USA well into the 1920s. The right lower spool (pressed steel sides) has "Patent Charlow Bros 442.W..42 St NYC" (New York City); the right upper spool has a faint triangle emblem. (gln 08Dec2014)

4. See a genuine 28mm Pathé KOK projector featured in Poirot!

Just looking at an episode of the Poirot TV series - "The Mysterious Affair At Styles" - in fact the first of the Agatha Christie novels where we meet the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and his sidekick Hastings. The first scene shows Lieutenant Hastings recuperating from war wounds in an Army hospital in 1917 - the soldiers are being shown some war footage - and the projector being used is a genuine hand-turned 28mm Pathé KOK- (doubt if the war footage shown was actually released on 28mm though; I wonder who lent them the machine! (gln 05Jan2015)

Further 28mm info at ........(Martyn Stevens)
Further 28mm info at ...............(me - Grahame Newnham)

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Created 01Dec2014 .. Last updated 12 March 2017 ......... 28odds.htm ......... © MMX1V Grahame L. Newnham
05Jan2015 - KOK used in Poirot episode added