be kind, rewind

more than you possibly ever wanted to know about edit bench rewinds.

ok, now let’s talk rewinds, the workhorse of an edit bench. one of the oldest edit technologies. how else are you going to crank through miles and miles of film?

what we got here is your standard rewind.

an edit bench typically has two. one for take-up and the other for supply. without rewinds, you have just a table with some shelves. (my personal “bench” at home is just a 6′ piece of plywood with rewinds bolted to it.)

there are three working visible parts to the rewind:

  1. the handle
  2.  the friction knob
  3. the shaft
  4. the handle is where you grab it for winding (of course).


it can be in two states:

  1. engaged
  2. disengaged

engaged/pushed in (lt) – winds film to the take-up.

disengaged/pulled out (rt) – lets the take-up rewind do the work without the supply handle spinning like crazy. (one other trick you can do is to disengage the supply wheel after you’ve gotten a good crank and just let the reel spin freely for a bit.)

the brass knob on top is the friction knob.

that fella provides drag and regulates how fast/slow you want the rewind to crank. the speed that you want is dependent on how much film is on the supply rewind. the larger the other reel is, the looser you want the friction to be.

last, but not least is the shaft (yes, that is indeed what she said.) the shaft can be of various lengths, depending on how many reels you want to gang together at a time.

in this side view detail, you’ll notice a little outcrop notch on the shaft, next to the base. that’s what locks into your reel or platter. 

that little notch is what’s doing the actual rotating of the reel.

that little notch is what’s doing the actual rotating of the reel.

the picture on the left shows you a top view where you can see the groove that goes along the length of the shaft. you’ll see where groove that ends at the notch to the right.

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that groove is used by… our friend the spring clamp! (top right)

the last pic (bottom right) is the top of the clamp, where you see its own notch in the center. the clamp then locks into the shaft’s groove, and that keeps things securely in place.

before and after