Tape Baking

Sticky Shed Syndrome - QIC Cartridge Tape Baking

Sticky Shed Syndrome is well known among audio tape restoration enthusiasts.  It also applies well to QIC cartridge, and likely all data tape media that is subject to this phenomenon.

Please review this page for some really good overview of the problem and some good practices:


My exact procedure was inspired by not only the above audio-restoration.com site, but also in large part by Al Kossow and Chuck(G), and their sharing their tape baking and restoration experience on CCTalk mailing list and the vcfed.org forum.

Chuck(G) on recommending the optimum temperature:  58° C (136°-137° F)

And on optimum baking time:  A few days.

Al Kossow on removing the tension band:  "I've done a few hundred of them. I use a commercial food dryer, pop the plastic cover, remove the band, and
unroll the tape so that it is not under tension. Then put the bottom plate and reel on the metal rack. 24hrs at the same temp Chuck has recommended.

So, here is my process in action, inspired by Al & Chuck's experience:

Using Tyvek

Again, this method is inspired entirely by Chuck Guziz and Al Kossow, in their documentation on this subject on the ClassicCmp List (CCTalk) throughout the latest 3 messages in this thread.  Here are three messages in that thread that are of prime interest:

One                    Two                         Three

I've used thin solid wire and cut thin strips of Tyvek to implement what Chuck & Al discussed in those messages, only I've covered all bollards and pins that the tape touches, not just the "key" ones.  The bent wire and Scotch Tape (the "invisible" sticky adhesive kind, not the QIC kind) were my interpretations on the best way to implement these ideas.

"Also, check for gunk building up on the two bollards the tape rolls across at the front where the wheel is and the head comes in. The tape will shed and gunk those up."  -Al Kossow

And where should you get some Tyvek?  Someone recently made a fantastic suggestion to me on this.  Some FedEx Express, UPS or USPS envelopes are made of Tyvek.  Here is an example of one being used on the bollards:

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