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Thread: Help in restoring Deardorff

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Help in restoring Deardorff

    I am in the beginning of restoring a Deardorff 5x7 and I would like to know if the hardware can be cleaned, polished or restored.

    Any help or advice?

    thanksClick image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Help in restoring Deardorff

    Sorry, no. Deardorffs in that condition are usually thrown away. Some resourceful owners sneak them into a Goodwill shop, sliding them under a table of freebies.

    Seriously, if you put the metal parts to a buffing wheel it is likely you will reveal the copper underplate - or nothing but an nondescript metal lustre. IMHO, either is more desirable than the present state. What you do will not likely effect the good function of the camera.

  3. #3
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    Re: Help in restoring Deardorff

    Didn't someone buy-out the Deardorff parts and start making new ones a few years ago?

    Are they still in business?
    Drew Bedo
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




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

  4. #4

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    SooooCal/LA USA
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    Re: Help in restoring Deardorff

    Not a lot to improve it much without removing all parts and re-plating them...

    You can remove what you can, and polish them the best you can with a good metal polish by hand, and at least the surfaces will be protected and smooth to the touch...

    But now as I evolve, if I find something with the look of years on it, I try to let it keep it's "character" that it earned, and take only the steps to preserve it and keep it full functional... (But will clean-up abuse!!!)

    I was restoring an old brass projection Petzval, that when cleaning it up, I found that there were layer after layer of old fingerprints from it's use, (probably 1880's) and I suddenly stopped cleaning the barrel, as these were part of it's history and "soul"...

    Careful not to over-restore stuff...

    Steve K

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    1,175

    Re: Help in restoring Deardorff

    I use alcohol on a q-tip to clean the metal on my Deardorff.
    Clean it, but preserve the patina.
    Real cameras are measured in inches...
    Not pixels.

    www.photocollective.org

  6. #6

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    Jan 2013
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    Madisonville, LA
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    Re: Help in restoring Deardorff

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    Not a lot to improve it much without removing all parts and re-plating them...
    Pretty much what you need to do unless you buy new parts from the folks in TN. Where abouts in the Great State of Mississippi are you? L

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Mississippi, USA
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    Re: Help in restoring Deardorff

    Quote Originally Posted by Luis-F-S View Post
    Pretty much what you need to do unless you buy new parts from the folks in TN. Where abouts in the Great State of Mississippi are you? L
    Jackson....right in the middle of the state

  8. #8
    Tracy Storer's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
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    Oakland CA
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    Re: Help in restoring Deardorff

    +1 for removing the hardware and CAREFULLY cleaning and polishing it by hand. The nickel plating is thin.
    Also, the wood is finished in Lacquer, and finish remediation should be done using the same.
    Tracy Storer
    Mammoth Camera Company tm
    www.mammothcamera.com

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Wondervu, Colorado
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    752

    Re: Help in restoring Deardorff

    I suggest you contact Ken Hough:http://deardorffcameras.0catch.com/

    Ken is the expert at restoring 'dorffs

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    Los Angeles
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    2,205

    Re: Help in restoring Deardorff

    Try 0000 steel wool on the metal parts. No chemicals, just gentle treatment with the steel wool.

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