Julian Dyer was worried about his rolls tearing on rewind, and I'm sure
others have the same concern. I have a very simple trick which I can use
on anyone's player piano to protect any roll I may bring to a party
It doesn't hurt the piano and you will protect your roll simply by
controlling the speed of rewind with your hand on the right roll flange.
As you see torn edges you can slow or even stop the roll. This works
well with Ampico B's, too, even with an electric motor drive, because the
reroll is fully clutched. This then allows you to prevent further tears,
and if you have the time, can give you a moment to put a piece of tape
here or there if you've got some handy.
I don't use Film-O-Plast repair tape or archival tape because it is
expensive and difficult to find. I use scotch magic tape, and I have
replayed repaired rolls that I've fixed with the stuff for over 30 years,
now (the rest of the roll will destruct before the repairs do, anyway).
I almost always split the tape lengthwise, though, so that my pieces of
tape are no wider than maybe 1/8" or less.
For those who fix rolls with tape of any kind, I also would advise a
little talcum powder over it. The adhesive often gets on the edges of
the tape and tends to stick to the subsequent layer of paper . And I
have also run into tape that has spots of adhesive on the smooth side.
Both would be disastrous, tearing the roll into shreds the next time it
would be played.
But I am also playing rolls that I have repaired with another method;
glue. I have taken a light-bodied plastic vinyl glue (comes in a tube
like Duco household cement) and rubbed it into the paper, sticking it
back together, then talc'ing it. You can really make time with this
method, and where you have all the paper to replace, it is probably as
good or better than taping it. I suspect that there are many different
kinds of glue that would work here.
What I try to do is to wet the torn fuzzed edges of the paper with the
glue and get them together promptly, then smear the excess around
_thinly_ on the tear, but not so as to build a pile of glue, or stiffen
it. The advantage of this system is that when you have a severely torn
roll, you can fix the entire thing and still not have a tape buildup
which tends to leave the roll feeling "smushy" when rolled.
Finally, there is a product I would love to see made. It would be three
sizes of plastic washers stamped from vinyl or polycarbonate sheet
plastic or something that has a "wave" texture and would fit over the
left flange nose. Being a "wave sheet," it would automatically space the
left flange a bit, and then very gently give way during play and reroll,
never allowing the paper to roll up on the flange edge and tear.
This would be a good solution to the tens of thousands of rusty steel
left flanges of rolls like old QRS, Melodee, Duo-Arts, etc. Tape
cassettes use the "wave sheet" method to act as a gentle spring tension
to keep the tape from rewinding in a pile, too. And as the roll is
played, the paper would be controlled, one layer at a time, over to the
right flange where it should be, by the wave washer.