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Thread: "New Gear" and restoration

  1. #1

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    "New Gear" and restoration

    On a whole, today has been a good day. After a bit of a drive, I met up with a man who was selling a SH57 at a very reasonable price. I only tested the movements and had a look at the bits and bobs when I collected it and already noticed dust.

    Maybe I am just overly anal about my gear, but in general, I keep everything super-clean. If stuff gets dirty whilst using it in the field, I will wipe it down and clean it before storing it. NOT SO in case of this camera. It had gathered a serious amount of dust and appeared to have hardly been used. I've pulled the whole thing apart, including the back, bellows, etc. After a quick clean with a soft brush, I wiped it down with a moist cloth and then a dry one. There will still be some dust in corners I can not reach, but it is nigh invisible.

    So now we should be happy... Almost! Although it is in great condition, the wood looks like it could do with a bit of wax or similar. Does anyone have a suggestion of what to use on a wooden field camera?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

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    Re: "New Gear" and restoration

    I like Carnauba wax. I've also used beeswax with good results. Some of the expert woodworkers may have a better suggestion though.

    Doremus

  3. #3

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    Re: "New Gear" and restoration

    I use Lemon Pledge, and Q-tips for detailing the hard to reach spots.
    Real cameras are measured in inches...
    Not pixels.

    www.photocollective.org

  4. #4

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    Re: "New Gear" and restoration

    Thanks for the replies so far! I've heard of carnauba wax, seems to be used widely for carpentry. Not so sure about pledge, would that not have some funky additives? Any indication on how resistant the various options are?

  5. #5
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: "New Gear" and restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by kleinbatavia View Post
    Thanks for the replies so far! I've heard of carnauba wax, seems to be used widely for carpentry. Not so sure about pledge, would that not have some funky additives?
    Pledge might not damage an existing finish, but its oil, silicone can penetrate and cause refinishes to fail.

  6. #6

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    Re: "New Gear" and restoration

    I'm going to do a little rank pulling exercise here, speaking as someone who restores and repairs multi-million dollar musical instruments: you do NOT want to put any commercial furniture polishes anywhere near anything you value. As Jac mentions, silicone is death in so many ways. In particular, once it's in the wood, if anything breaks or comes unglued, you can forget about gluing it--forever. It does cause refinishing problems, too, but those can be gotten around if you know there's silicone present, but the glue joint problem is there, always. I cringe every time someones recommends Pledge on bellows, it is so much the wrong product to use for that, even if some ignorant bellows guy recommended it at some point.

    Waxes are pretty much fine, but if you want to do the museum-appropriate thing, Renaissance Wax is the product that museums and instrument restorers use, and it's great stuff.

  7. #7
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: "New Gear" and restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    I'm going to do a little rank pulling exercise here, speaking as someone who restores and repairs multi-million dollar musical instruments: you do NOT want to put any commercial furniture polishes anywhere near anything you value. As Jac mentions, silicone is death in so many ways. In particular, once it's in the wood, if anything breaks or comes unglued, you can forget about gluing it--forever. It does cause refinishing problems, too, but those can be gotten around if you know there's silicone present, but the glue joint problem is there, always. I cringe every time someones recommends Pledge on bellows, it is so much the wrong product to use for that, even if some ignorant bellows guy recommended it at some point.

    Waxes are pretty much fine, but if you want to do the museum-appropriate thing, Renaissance Wax is the product that museums and instrument restorers use, and it's great stuff.
    Michael, that's a great tip. And the stuff is even affordable. I just bought some.

    Thanks.

    What are your thoughts about leather?

    I use Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP, it is Propolis based. Seems the best I can find, but what do you use?

  8. #8
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: "New Gear" and restoration

    Michael, I would like to clean up my Century 1 8x10 to sell it, but I cannot tell if it has been treated with Bad Stuff, and will not proceed if I cannot be sure. Is there a way to tell?

    I once got an old wood lensboard that had a dime-sized white spot in the finish, almost as if it were embedded. Mild soap and water did nothing for it. I threw it in the fireplace. Suppose it was Pledge or some other housewife's nightmare product?

  9. #9
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: "New Gear" and restoration

    What is good for a leather covered wood body . . .like a Graphic or even older bicycle camera?
    Drew Bedo
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  10. #10
    Joel Edmondson
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    Re: "New Gear" and restoration

    Stewart-McDonald "Preservation Polish" is one of the best I have found and contains no silicone as it was designed for use on musical instruments where the potential to need to refinish at some point precludes such products. It does contain a very fine rubbing compound!

    Joel

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