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Home Portrait Graflex focus jammed

 
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orengrad



Joined: 19 Nov 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:03 am    Post subject: Home Portrait Graflex focus jammed Reply with quote

I recently acquired a Home Portrait Graflex. The prior owner had the shutter overhauled by Frank Marshman, and that seems to be working fine. Alas, when I set up this evening to do some test exposures, the focus track jammed.

If I loosen the screws on the drive shaft retaining plate on the opposite side of the camera from the focus knob, the front standard is freed but the retaining plate spins, and that side of the front standard quickly jumps out of alignment with the other side. It's not clear whether the teeth on the focus rail on that side are engaging at all with the gear on that end of the drive shaft. If I re-tighten the retaining plate, the focus action freezes again.

Neither of the drive shaft retaining plates comes off easily when I remove the screws. I'm reluctant to force them without knowing whether that's the right place and the right way to be poking around. Looking underneath the focus rails with the help of a flashlight, I don't see any other obvious way to disassemble the camera further to get a clearer view of the focus mechanism and figure out what the specific problem might be.

Can anyone offer any guidance here, or am I best off sending it back to Frank for a second look?

Thanks...
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3232
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://cameraeccentric.com/html/info/graflex_14.html

The focus knob is attached to the focus shaft via a pin that must be driven out, the knob removed, the plate taken off then the shaft slid out. I doubt very seriously the problem is in the focusing pinion shaft or the gears on the front standard track.

The rail that the front standard is attached to travels through the camera body and stops just short of the lower curtain roller when fully closed.

I suggest removing the bottom plate at the rear of the camera and possibly the camera back and see what has come loose and jammed in the rail system.

The camera back has 4 total round or oval head screws on the side edges and 8 flat head screws, 4 top, 4 bottom, on the back of the camera. The back has to be rotated to access all of them.

Keep the screws for the bottom plate , back, or other part separate from each other.
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orengrad



Joined: 19 Nov 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very belated thanks for your taking the trouble to respond, and an update on what happened: I took the back off, couldn't see any of the focus mechanism. It looked as though I would need to remove the shutter. I decided I was getting in way over my head.

I called around, ended up sending it to William Orozco at Steve's Camera in Culver City. It took several months and a few telephone nudges, but the camera is back at last. So far, so good - the focus track now functions smoothly, and everything else seems in good working order as well.

A couple of initial test sheets at slowish exposures made with the camera on a 3-series Gitzo that I had handy showed some jitter from the slap of that huge mirror. So much for being impatient to play! Next time it goes on my big Ries...
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