Graflex.org Forum Index Graflex.org
Get help with your Graflex questions here
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

The benefits of mass production!

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Large Format Photography
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since there is a great discussion going on in the lens section, it (for some odd reason) made me want to post a comment...

I've been restoring a 1928 8x10 Century Universal. It's getting close to being finished... After I bought hundreds of screws and washers in the hopes of finding some that would fit the original holes and lengths. No small feat!

This camera had a replaced front standard locking plate with a 1/4-20 bolt going through it. I bought a knob to replace the original arm because I thought it would make more room for the bellows and not damage that bellows when the camera was closed. I eventually replaced the replacement with an original piece and found out that the original screw is more of a helical custom thread with absolutely no hopes of ever finding anything else that would screw onto it. So I have to use the original arm. Well, that in itself is not a bad thing I suppose...

Now I'm trying to fit a bellows off the same 'parts camera' which was bought solely because it had a good bellows (and a bunch of original screws). Guess what? The front frame is just a hare larger than the frame from this camera... And the holes through the rear frame _almost_ line up with the hole in this case... They're only a year apart in production...

There's another screw/knob combination that defies identification. Not a standard #4,6,8 or 10... Don't have a clue what it is, but luckily I have the original knob. I just had to file the hole in a washer to fit over it...

And I won't even get into some of the wood screws! Where did they find these things???

It really makes me think sometimes that the mass production idea was a good one. At least parts were more standardized, and available...

Now would anyone be interested in buying a mostly restored Century Universal? Lets see. About 40 hours work so far. Say $25 an hour, so that's only $1000 in time (and not yet done). Only about $30 in screws and washers, not to mention the few hours spent traveling to stores looking for them. It will eventually have a new bellows for another $350. And I'd of course have to add the approximate $450 original purchase price. So the total so far would be about $1,850 and I'm not even done! And I'd have to make some kind of profit right? So lets say an even $2000. Sounds fair to me?

No, I'm NOT really selling it (sorry). It was just starting to dawn on me how much we invest in these things as many folks here restore the old cameras. Have you ever added the totals up? What kind of new camera could I have bought for $2000? And I bet it would be more useable, and the parts would be available!

I'd really love to hear the totals from some others who have restored the old cameras!

Just one of those rambling thoughts being dumped on the board


_________________
----------------------------------------
"Ya just can't have too many GVIIs"
----------------------------------------
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Nick



Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 494

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A nice thing of having a Lee Valley near by is I would have brought the camera to the shop. Pointed to the hole and said screw? They would have gone in back and hopefully found something to fit-) Sure the screw would end up costing a little more then the big mega hardware store but it would save me all that measuring and getting it wrong.

On the mass produced thing. My band saw was mass produced in Taiwan I think. Believe me I seriously doubt two of them are exactly the same. I finally threw the assembly manually out the window and put it together the way it fit. Works fine but it could have used some hand work at the factory.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Rangemaster



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 412
Location: Montana, Glacier National Park

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fully understand on this one Rich, I am currently restoring a 5 X 7 Kodak 2D and boy, oh boy! I have restored several Graphics and such, and fully understand why in todays dollars they would cost over 2500.00 to produce, thank god there was at least a bit of standardization in the graphics, this 2D is giving me fits. Then I got brave and picked up a field camera the other day at an auction here locally and come to find out the thing is a kit camera from the 20's, it was a camera you could purchase in parts from Sears through the Catalog and put together yourself, talk about some unique stuff on this one, but whats nice about it, is it is a 8 X 10 and weighs in less than 5 pounds going to make a great back packing camera!

Dave
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick: Is that "Lee Valley Tools" who makes all kinds of neat woodworking tools? If so, I would not only visit them, but would be begging for a job there

Yes, some of the screws that I had to mail order I wound up paying as much as .30 a piece for. That adds up quickly when you're not sure of the length or size and wind up buying 50 or 60 to make sure...

Dave: That 2D must be as much fun as the CU! They're both great cameras and it's just nice to know they're being brought back to life instead of winding up in a land fill someplace!

The kit camera from the 20's sounds very interesting! Figures Sears would sell something like that never knew kit cameras were sold like that back then? There must be a lot of them around, or Sears wouldn't have sold them. Wonder where they wound up??

And I think I'm going for a cup of coffee right now cause we got a major thunderstorm brewing...

Let's hear about more 'projects', and the costs!!!

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Rangemaster



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 412
Location: Montana, Glacier National Park

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich,

The 2D is going to be a fun camera when I gt done with it, the wood is really beautiful when you get past all of the years of wear and scratches, I am sure though it will be great, it is quite a low serial number, #114.

Now the kit camera I am really looking forward to working on, currently it is a real cheap pine wood stained dark, what I am going to do is carefully take it apart and redo in a hardwood, I am very fortunate as I have a friend that makes custom archery bows for his business and I have access to some real exotic hardwoods, so as I did with one of the premo 4 x 5's I had, this one is going to be donated to the cause and perhaps marketed for backpacking, but of course after I get my templates, it will be returned to its original condition and either used for pictures or used as home furnishing! I have done this with allot of cameras, it is always great to take one of these monsters out in Glacier Park to take landscapes and see the looks on the digital point and shoot photographers faces!

I stopped figuring costs along time ago, if my wife knew even remotely what I spend on these things, I would be living in the doghouse with the dogs!!!!

Dave
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Nick



Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 494

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Lee valley stuff varies IMHO. They've taken to recreating some stuff that's either not made by anybody anymore or fairly expensive. I think the old stuff is usually better. Now maybe that's because all the bad copies have been tossed out over the last 70+ years. OTOH some of the stuff they sell are gems. Years back I got something they call a box axe [something like that]. It's very crude. An axe head,hammer and nail claw. All with a pretty ugly looking handle. All for about $10 Canadian. It's well balanced. Heavy enough to knock any nail that dares resist. I used the grinder on the axe face so now that's not bad either. It's cheap enough to not worry if you forget it outside during the rain. Cheap enough I bought two.

Every so often they get special deals on stuff and that's usually worth looking at.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Large Format Photography All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group