View Full Version : Help with restoration

18-Jun-2017, 01:01
Have bought a Toyo D45M camera am planning to use it for my first jump into LF photography.

It came with a wide angle bellows as well as a normal bellows. The wide angle bellows are in good condition but the outside is very slightly tacky.
Any thoughts on how I can restore these?

There is also a rubber viewing hood in which the rubber has gone a little hard.

Thanks for any useful advice.

18-Jun-2017, 09:36
With vinyl, it can get sticky if it is stored in a closed tight condition as the material cannot breathe, and the plasticizer (that keeps the material soft) out-gasses and attacks the material when it rises to the surface... (Crazy as that sounds!?!!!) But if the excess plasticizer is cleaned off with detergent, lighter fluid, alcohol etc until the material is barely tacky, then applying some mink oil shoe polish will cap and replace some of the lost plasticizer, keeping it supple...

For rubber, go to the auto store and get a bottle of automatic transmission stop leak or xylene and coat or soak the removed rubber parts as this will penetrate the rubber, but will also expand the rubber, so wipe a little on, let it sit for a day or two, but use less close to where it might make a snug fit as there will be some expansion... Then wash the rubber with fairly strong detergent and coat with silicone grease or Armor-All protectant to "cap" the treated rubber surface... (But it might take some time for the solvent smell to go away...) Try 24 hours at a time, but if the rubber is too dry and cracked, it might not work, so this is a 50/50 proposition... You might still be able to order the replacement part...

Do these processes a step at a time, and see where you are at, then stop or continue, but better to "underdo" it and see how it evolves over time...

Steve K

Paul Kinzer
20-Jun-2017, 23:49
Wow, Steve! Thanks for this amazingly detailed and precise answer. I don't have a need for this now, but I've given up on some things in the past that would have been saved with this knowledge. It didn't even occur to me that they could be saved, so I didn't look for an answer. So I guess I should thank Granthar, too, for the question!

It's bookmarked.


21-Jun-2017, 04:54
Be aware that these treatments are YMMV, and work best in the early stages of the "disease" (like if there is a slight odor/stickyness), but won't help if the surface is starting to melt, as tacky as gaffer's tape, really gooey, etc... But if you catch it in time, there might be a chance you can stall the process (for now, and maybe into the future)...

You can google restoration for plastic toys, doll collector's, 60's vinyl purse restoration for vinyl tips, and for rubber, motorcycle restoration has many articles about how to salvage rubber bits...

But for the OP, in the early stages, these tips will usually work... Try to clean up the sticky well first before rubbing in the mink oil protector polish... You can practice on some old sticky plastic thing like binder covers, toys, old Polaroid camera etc... And for everyone, let your vinyl breathe by not packing it up too tight, and leaving it in an enclosed space for too long (like camera cases, boxes, etc for months/years)... Time flies!!!

Good Luck!!!

Steve K