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January 07, 1999

I recently picked up a microfiche reader from a real estate office for $50. They are all switching over to computers. Then I sat it on a board and with L brackets and nuts and bolts (to hold the reel) made reels holders front and back. My reader had space under the viewing unit to run the film through front to back. Next I took the glass plate from the top of the fiche holder and hack sawed a 35mm groove in it. Filed it as smooth as I could - glued a piece of felt (from my craft scrapes) over the edges so it wouldn't scratch the film. A piece of duct tape would probably work as well. (couldn't find mine at the time)

My reader was an old one and all metal. On some, the fiche holder is held in a plastic frame so is probably easier to cut the 35mm groove. If you go side to side you have to cut two grooves and read your film sideways as you do the readers with added adapters. (or as my son says turn the machine on its side 8o)....)

There may be a better way to make a film holder. As I'm on Social Security, I had to use bits and pieces I had laying around.

Here's a drawing of my reader.


December 14, 1998

I use a microfiche reader for the 1860 census that I'm transcribing from microfilm.
I didn't want to cut the film up either so this is the way I do it:

The microfilm is only really readable when it feeds thru from front to back (or vise versa). My microfiche reader has a glass plate that flips up from the front. My husband cut a hole with a small grinder wheel in the plastic on the back side of the glass. I feed the film thru the hole and under the glass and have the reels on two spindles (pointed that you can buy at an office supply store-that you would put notes on) that I set in front and back of the reader. Granted, I have to pull the film thru (nothing automatic here) for each page of the census. I leave plenty of "slack" BEHIND the machine to allow it to feed evenly (there is not enough room on mine to set the takeup reel directly behind).

I hope I've explained this correctly.........mine works great.
Good Luck!
Lin T.
1860 Effingham Co., IL census transcriber


We bought a microfiche reader from the Boeing surplus center for $25.00. Then we added a (manual crank adapter) and can now read microfilm both 16 mm and 35mm. We bought the adapter from Everton Publishers several years ago. I don't have the address anymore but they are in Utah. It cost about $175.00 at that time.

I rent the microfiche and microfilm from Heritage Quest (used to be American Genealogical Lending Library), P. O. Box 329, Bountiful, UT 84011-0329
Hope this is of some help to you.

December 14, 1998

I just called Everton's and they have to order the Microfiche Reader Roll-Film Attachment. You need to give them the model of your Fiche Reader. If you would like to talk to them call 1-800-443-6325. The address is: Everton's, P.O. Box 368, Logan UT 84323-0368.

Hope this helps someone
Sally Jaymen

December 14, 1998

I'm wondering if a bandage roller (used for rolling horse leg bandages) would work here, instead of you having to pull it through. It's a little plastic devise with a turn crank on one side. Jeffers Equine catalog has them for $7.65 and they could probably be found in most Tack shops? If someone wants to see one, there may be one in an online horse catalog somewhere.

Keep in mind, I have no experience with microfilm and/or microfiche or readers for them. It's just an idea.

Diana Buckland

December 14, 1998

You can buy a couple of used 35mm rewinds from a photo store that specializes in movie film equipment. These consist of a spindle to attach your roll of film and a crank with some internal gearing so each turn of the crank turns the spool of film several revolutions. You would need a piece of plywood or wooden shelving to attach the rewinds to. You could get by with one rewind and some other makeshift spindle for the other side, or buy two rewinds so you can go in either direction.

Used rewinds go for $25 to $45 each.

You can see a picture of what rewinds look like HERE.

Joy Fisher

February 10, 1999

My solution calls for cutting up your film but it works great for me. I went by one of the local office machine places and they had several old micro-fiche readers. After explaining what I was doing the guy that works on the machines cleaned one up and gave it to me. He said most business are changing to computer based programs.

Next problem was to get the films in it. Roll film doesn't fit. Went down to the local office supply house and picked up a small book used to hold 200 business cards. I cut up the films in 4 page strips and set up a file system in the book. Labels placed on each card holder. Now I have my films where I only need to pull out the pages I'm working on and not have to chase the roll film across the room and roll it back up. A lot less scratching of the film and I've never done more than 4 pages in one sitting. The business card book works great. It stores better and I don't have to worry about breaking the reel with all the rough handling. I also have a hand held reader which allows me to work on the census during lunch at work and the 4 page strips are just right.

The micro-fiche reader is a lot better than the roll film machines we use at the local Library. It's smaller and fits next to my computer.

Hope this will help someone.
Witney Alexander
1860 Tuscaloosa Co Alabama Census

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