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Restoration fun ;-)

 
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RichS



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

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I wound up in such a terrible mood, on top of that discussion of cutting up a Speed, I thought I'd stop for a minute and just share a little story...

I'm just about finished restoring, or at least making functional, an 8x10 Century Universal camera. And this is not an ordinary CU either. This is _MY_ CU. Beautiful. Gold plated brass on nice cherry wood (yes, really gold plated!). The camera of my dreams that I hope will last longer than me and somehow magically make me into a photographer

Days & days of glueing, screwing, squeezing, pressing, twisting, tightening and cleaning. I luckily found all the parts I needed, including a temporary bellows. Made a new top handle including the brass straps...

I did all this work on top of my old Majestic tripod. I would never carry this beast around, but it makes a great work platform for a large camera During the work, the poor camera has been twisted & turned in every possible direction. Up, down, sideways, vertical, horizontal... And many times I found myself accidentally leaning on some portion of the camera as I was working on some other part. It's seen some good stess while being worked on. And this helps in finding out where work may be needed and if it will make it in the field...

Then it's almost finished for a trial run, so I take it off the tripod to repair the scratches in the base/cover. A little of the right stain here & there, then a coat of wax to seal it all in. Last thing to do before I use it is to put it back on the tripod for some small adjustments and final checking...

That's odd... That tripod screw used to screw in tight... Now it just keeps turning... Have to look into this!

Turns out that the tripod socket was stripped! The tripod screw itself was holding that poor camera by no more than half a thread!!! And all that moving and twisting at every conceivable angle... It's times like this that I beleive in Fate. If this camera were not destined to be mine, it most assuredly would have toppled off that tripod and crushed my dreams...

Since no damage was done, and I felt incredibly dumb for not even thinking of checking the socket first, I thought I would share the story

And now I'm just waiting for the stainless steal inserts to arrive to fix the sockets so I can finally take it out for it's trial run...
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

It's times like this that I beleive in Fate. trial run...



I grew up with a 1912 Buick as a vacation car. We drove across the country three times. Broke the crankshaft twice, snowbound once and drenched enumerable times.

All this with a yellow sign on the back stating, "We not only believe in miracles....we depend on them."


Glad to hear that your Century likes you and held in there for you..


Les
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RichS



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

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now I think I would have kept that Buick around!

I hope this camera hangs in there for me. But what I've discovered by reworking these things is that I know how fragile some parts are. How thin some of the wood is... I would have been much happier, or at least felt more secure, by just buying a camera in working order and not thinking about all the internals...

On the brite side, the threaded inserts arrived on time and are as good as I had hoped. Turns out it's very difficult to find a half inch long 3/8-16 to 1/4-20 insert. Or it was when I absolutely needed it right away... So if anyone else finds themselves in a similar situation, here's the link to the company:
http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/tools_and_small_stuff/index.html
under "bushings".
I paid for 2 day delivery and I got 2 day delivery! My kind of company Now we'll see what suprises are in store for tomorrow???


[ This Message was edited by: RichS on 2004-05-28 18:57 ]
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RichS



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

PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2004 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, why not? Since I can't make fun of some other people (a not so interesting story), I'll make some more fun of myself...

What is it about great ideas? The temporary bellows on this century universal is extremely soft. It sags enough at even 12 inches that it needs a little support. Of course at that extension, I could simply use the rings on top of the bellows, hooked into the front standard. But at longer focal lengths this doesn't work.

So, my great idea. While at the wood store today, I bought a 1/4 inch walnut dowel and a 1/2 inch dowel. I cut the 1/4 dowel into 3 pieces, 12 inches each. I cut 3 pieces off the 1/2 inch dowel to make 'connectors'. In these I drilled 1/4 inch holes in the ends so I could insert the smaller dowels. This way I could have a rod of 12, 24 or 36 inches. Slip this rod through the 3 rings on top of the bellows and I have great support to keep the bellows from sagging... Not a bad idea and the dowels look great...

Except for one minor problem... There's no way the 1/2 inch connectors would fit through the rings...

Next idea... Finding my bag of surplus brass pieces for 1/4 ID tubing to make new connectors that will fit through the rings

This is fun!


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