As the majority of my first rolls were ancient, baked, brittle, water
stained, disintegrating, bug-eaten, even moldy, not to mention the many
broken collars, ripped leaders, and shredded sides, I started repairing
rolls, as soon as I got my first batch last year. I have had some very
gratifying results with various methods.
According to QRS, the new transparent mending tape is okay to use on
rolls, as it's not suppose to break down into a brittle gooey mess some
years down the road. One of my earlier and most successful jobs was an
old roll with both sides completely worn out the entire length of the
roll, so I taped the entire roll on both sides (top surface) and it now
tracks and plays beautifully.
Another fix, that I find works very well, is to recycle the paper from
old junker rolls. I cut strips of whatever size is appropriate and
white glue them along the cut-outs that have torn on their edges. This
also works very well where one note hole ends and another begins a note
or so over from it, and the paper gets stressed at that point, and gets
creased or tears. A strip of paper glued there at a diagonal will
strengthen that area greatly.
Next, the real bugaboo: chain rip-outs. I first repaired this problem
using old chains cut from the junker rolls and it works pretty good if
the chains are not grouped together too tightly. However, I had this
one Ampico roll that had about a dozen chains side by side for about a
foot! This was just too much.
I was trying to find some sort of paper grid or Telex paper (something
more akin to a piece of screen door fabric than anything else) to
place over the entire mess of chains, to not only repair them, but to
also add lateral support across the roll.
I think I have discovered the ultimate (for now) repair for this
problem. I found a pre-gummed fiberglass wallboard tape at the hardware
store. I was afraid it might not be thin enough or flexible enough or
be sticky enough. However, throwing caution to the winds, I repaired
one of my favorite rolls, and reinforced all the chain rips.
This stuff is a dream to work with. (I just hope the nightmare isn't
to follow!) It's typical wallboard tape width: 2". You can cut it for
single chains, but even better, where you have a series of overlapping
or side by side chains, you can use the entire 2" width so as to
improve the over all lateral stability of the paper. The majority of
the repairs were 2" X 3". On one place where there had been severe
damage, I covered a whole area solid about 8" X 8", even taping over
former repair tape, and it worked!
I should mention that the reason for the breakdown of this weakest
part of the rolls is usually due to the centering system trying to
compensate for a wandering roll. The worse the wandering, the heavier
the correction, the more chains fail.
And how, you may ask, is it possible to apply this tape over the chains
without blocking them? This is really cool! The mesh is just like
screening, and coincidentally, it is the _exact_ correct dimensions so
that the vertical threads line up on both side of the holes and the
lateral threads bridge the holes, with however many side by side chains
there are, so there is no air restriction. Is this amazing, or what!
After I repaired the whole roll, I went back over the tape on both
sides with talcum powder to remove any tackiness. I have played the
roll a numbers of times and it tracks and plays beautifully now, and
can hold it's own against the pressure of the centering system with
The tape brand is "FibaTape Multi-purpose (they have no idea!)
Wall Repair Tape" from PermaGlas-Mesh Incorporated, Dover, Ohio,
tel. 1-800-762-6694. A roll 2" X 65 feet is about 5 bucks, 2" X
300 feet is about $10. Available at hardware stores.
The more daring roll repair guys will probably want to try this
immediately. Give us some feedback of your results on MMD.
San Francisco CA