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A fast and simple method for coating more than one or two meters of film (in s8 and 16mm) using the handle of a demineralized water container.

Invented by Guillaume Ferry and Stéphane Racine.

Materials needed

  • a demineralized water bottle of 5L whose handle is at least 16mm wide
  • wire
  • squeegee (water wiper)
  • weights (cast-iron for example)
  • (ideally) a bain-marie
  • a cutter

Step 1

Cut the demineralized water bottle into two equal halves, top and bottom.


Step 2

Fill the handle with a little bit of water and tilt the half-bottle so that the angle of the handlebar opposite the bottlecap is completely filled with liquid. Mark the water line and trace a parallel line higher up on the half-bottle. (This tilt will ensure that the film support is completely submerged in the emulsion at the minimal amount).


Step 3

Cut holes in the bottom half bottle (the half without the bottlecap) such that :

  • the water of the bain-marie can circulate in or out of the bottle
  • we can slip in the weights once the top half has been attached
  • we can visually verify the amount of emulsion remaining*


Step 4

We will attach the two halves of the bottle back together with some wire. To do this, poke a pair of holes into each side of each bottle half, through which we can later slip the wire. Cut the sides of the upper half bottle so that they bend when we tighten the wire.

The tilt of the upper half bottle is given by the minimal water level : match the upper rim of the bottom half bottle with the red mark made on the upper bottle in Step 2.


Note/ also cut a small semicirce in the “behind” of the lower half bottle, so that the bottlecap can snugly sit.


Step 5

Once the two half-bottles are solidly assembled together, we can add the squeegee, whose role is to wipe off the emulsion coating the “wrong” side of the film support. The squeegee should be placed so that the film slides firmly against the wiper as it vertically exits the handle, that is it should be slightly further forward with respect to the handle while remaining “straight” (parallel or perpendicular to the sides of the lower bottle-half).

For the squeegee to be well attached to the rest; we make small incisions on the sides of the lower half bottle for placement, and use the same wire that attaches the sides of the half-bottles.


Step 6

The madbox is ready! Just place it in a bain-marie (with the weights to keep it down) and you're set!


Step 7

In order to coat a hearty length of film, we can use a type of barrel along with our MadBoxBottle in order to condense the space needed for drying the coated emulsion.

Dans notre cas, nous avons utilisé deux bobineuses à manivelle, cinq baguettes de bois, deux roulettes, quelques planches et sacrifié deux spires de projections en plastique.


Il est conseillé d'être deux pour manipuler la MadBox Bidon avec le tonneau : une personne qui tient la “débitrice” d'une main et fait tourner le tonneau, afin de gérer la tension et la vitesse de déplacement de la pellicule (afin que l'émulsion accroche bien au support), tandis que la seconde personne fait avancer le tonneau (le bain-marie restant fixe, ou inversement).

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en/madboxbottle.txt · Last modified: 2017/04/06 19:55 by joyce