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Graflok on a Burke & James.

 
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Sjixxxy



Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Posts: 108
Location: Midwest US

PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Accompanying Images.


I figured I'd pull the revolving back off my B&J today and give it a little clean since the old lubricant kind of turned to a thick paste making it harder to rotate then it probably should be. This is the first time I've taken a back off, so it was a whole new experience for me. Anyways, once I got it off, the heads of several screws on the inside of the back caught my attention. I just always assumed that the whole back was one piece of molded aluminum, but here are screws holding something on. It couldn't be two pieces could it? Well, it actually was 4 pieces (5 if you count the disc that is riveted on) and now I'm sitting holding a nice piece of Bakelite fit for my camera with a nice smooth face. Well, it will be if I dismantle the two additional rivets that hold the aluminum onto the board. Anyways, at this point now the word Graflok goes swimming through my head.

I've actually never used, touched, or seen a Graflok back, but looking at pictures of them(such at this eBay auction), it appears to me that all they need to be installed is a flat back to be screwed onto, which I seem to now have on my hands. Am I correct here? If I am, the only issues I see would be the possibility that the screw holes for the Graflok would land right along the track of the rotating disk, or that the size of the backs for graphics are significantly larger then the back of the B&J.

Does this idea seem feasible? It would be an excellent solution to by broken spring problem. Someone who has one care to measure its height & width for me? If it is close enough, we could also scan it, and my board at the same DPI and do a digital overlay to see where the attachment screws fall. Of course, all this is assuming that my assumptions on how the Graflocks attach are true.
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "Graflok" back, like the backs it was made to replace, is slightly concave; it fits over a raised lip that runs around the back of the camera. The ones I've seen are held on by two screws at top and bottom, and one screw on the right (where the cutfilm holder enters).

It would be worth investigating whether removing the two rails from the rotating back of the "Speed Press" leave you with a surface onto which you might screw a thin piece of plywood (perhaps the 1/8-in. stock you can get from model-makers' supply houses like Micro-Mark). That piece, cut accurately to match the lip around the back of a "Graphic," and cut out for the filmgate, would give you a foundation to which a "Graflok" back might be fastened -- that is, use the existing holes in the B&J back plate to hold the plywood, then secure the "Graflok" back to the plywood using its existing holes.

Or you might make a pair of "Graflok"-type rails, and look for an OEM focusing panel. The difficult part is the little hooks recessed into the inner faces of the rails, which engage the lugs on the free ends of the spring-loaded arms pivoted to the end of the focusing panel.

I once formed a pair of such hooks from a short length of L-shaped brass section about 3/32 in. thick; my "Graflok" surrogate worked, but I made the mistake of forming the rails from hardwood, which did not inspire confidence. The 1/4-in. aluminum bar you can get at hardware stores would be a better material, if you could mill it to the appropriate bevel angle.

The slides are a bit easier, or you might salvage a pair from a junker. I cut mine out of .064-in. brass. The slides are perforated by two angled slits, and held onto the rails by bolts passing through those slits. Making the slits without a good vertical milling machine is tedious but not impossible.
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disemjg



Joined: 10 Jan 2002
Posts: 469
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a good idea to pursue.

A Pacemaker Graflok back measures 6 7/16ths wide by 7 3/16ths high. If you have a flat surface this big it should mount directly with no problem. The mounting holes are within a quarter inch of the edge.

If you want to avoid making new holes in the B&J back, T.R.'s suggestion about using a plywood spacer is good. But I think it will have to be thicker than the 1/8th he mentions. About 3/8ths will provide enough meat for the screws to be secure, at least to my taste.

Hopefully the parts of the B&J back that are being set aside for the conversion were part of the setback dimension of the filmplane. That way the Graflok conversion will not push the film plane farther back than you are used to. While this is probably not an issue if you use normal or longer lenses, wideangles could conceivably have issues reaching infinity if the conversion has the effect of lengthening the minimum lenght of the camera.
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Rangemaster



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

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually did a very simular converstion on a speed, except in the exact opposite, I used a rotating linhof back and put a 1/8 in spacer on the back of the speed and then attached to rotaing graflok on the speed, worked great and was very stout, the spacer works great and if you use 1/8 high density hard board, and use a very small drill, to pre-drill your holes you get a very strong mount.

Dave

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Sjixxxy



Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Posts: 108
Location: Midwest US

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The B&J board measures 6 3/4ths in both dimensions. I think that would make it incompatable with the back you measured. Unless there was some serious kludging going on, but then it would probably look goofy and intrude on rangefinder & viewfinder windows.
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The top and bottom half-inch of a "Graflok" back consists of two attractive reverse curves which do nothing to hold accessories onto the back. The top one supports the "Graphic" frame finder back sight, but you surely can work around that.

I think you could make a pair of narrower rails that would carry the slides efficiently, while still fitting onto the B&J back plate. As noted previously, the trick would be to form the little hooks that engage the focusing panel.

You might also cut down a "Graflok" back, which would solve the hook problem neatly, but would seem to entail filling the hollow rails at top and bottom with something durable and opaque, perhaps one of the epoxy-based compounds sold for repairing metal.
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disemjg



Joined: 10 Jan 2002
Posts: 469
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it would probably look goofy and intrude on rangefinder & viewfinder windows.
[/quote]

?? there are no RF or VF windows on the back, and I suspect there are none on the B&J. Get a Graflok back, preferably not a pretty one, and cut it down neatly to fit. You will have to use some kind of epoxy filler to complete the modifications as T.R. says.
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Sjixxxy



Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Posts: 108
Location: Midwest US

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was implying that if the Graflok was bigger then the chasis of the camera, it could be far enough past teh edge to make using the rangefinder or viewfinder difficult. Like how I can't see the viewfinder if I have a grafmatic in the camera with the back set to vertical.
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is always that! A couple of thoughts --(1) Bolt another viewfinder to the side of the camera. If you presently have the "Watson" VF that seems to have been standard on the "Speed Press," anything you add will be an improvement.
(2) Enjoy the RB when you have the camera on a tripod. When hand-holding it and using an accessory that sticks way out, like a Polaroid "545" or, perhaps, a "Grafmatic," just hold the instrument on its side.
(3) See whether the RB will rotate clockwise from its normal horizontal position and, if it will, rotate it to the vertical so that the end of the accessory that sticks out is on the bottom.
(4) If it won't, you might consider mounting the "Graflok" upside down, so the business end of the accessory protrudes from the left, and will point down when the back is rotated to the vertical. It probably would take five minutes to get used to working a "Grafmatic," or pulling the darkslide from a cutfilm holder, with your left hand.
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Sjixxxy



Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Posts: 108
Location: Midwest US

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I normally don't touch the rotating back if I'm not working on a tripod. Just easier to turn it sideways. But jusy playing around with it I realized it blocked the VF when in horizontal mode. I've tried it stick out from the left, that was no good as it was real akward tryng to hold onto the strap with the grafmatic jabbing my wrist. And lets just say working with it downwards presents problems with trying to set the camera down.

I agree about the Watson finder. I dislike that thing. Holding the camera horizontally I have to cock my head so my nose can get past teh grafmatic so I can get my eye close enough to see the thing. I'm still learning keep the camera level and not tilted at the same angle of my head. The reason it would be nice to have the back set vertacle is that I could turn the camera to put it in horizontal mode, and easily get my eye to the finder, but alas, the formentioned issues with that.

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