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Thread: Century 9A Restoration

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Sale, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    100

    Century 9A Restoration

    Hi all please follow me as I journey through restoring a piece of art and hopefully at the end that is what I will be doing with it, producing art!
    I have a bit of a passion for wet plate so that is mainly what I will be using it for. I am a carpenter by trade and a bit of a wood work nut so a lot of the processes will be familiar to me but I am well out of practice having spent most of my life in construction management.

    A friend of mine from interstate sent me a message telling me of an "old camera" sitting in a second hand store in a small rural town and asked if I was interested, he had sent me a couple of pics so a quick phone call later I am the proud owner of, well to be honest I didn't know what.
    A quick post on here and someone pointed me in the right direction and I identified it as a studio camera but no idea what model or size, I just had to wait for it to turn up in Victoria.

    this is what I was sent from my friend initially. They even had the description wrong!
    Michael




  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Sale, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    100

    Re: Century 9A Restoration

    Finally it turned up at home and it was time to see what I actually had. Overall the condition was great apart from the paint. I do realise that they produced grey ones but this had been slapped on at some stage to give it a modern look, maybe to go with the grey 5x7 spring back that came with it, we will never know. It came with a 1A stand that was complete with minimal splits (a couple of small ones from a huge roofing screw that someone used as a replacement but all in all there was no damage at all and all fittings were complete for both the camera and the stand.






  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Sale, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    100

    Re: Century 9A Restoration

    ID plates, so sad I didn't get a lens or 8x10 back and holders lol but beggars can't be choosers.
    Michael






  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Sale, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    100

    Re: Century 9A Restoration

    Dismantling starts, there was nothing difficult about it just a few things that got me studying how it went together in the first place. I think the only one I didn't nut out properly was the rack cog on the base, I ended up winding it off the rack as I didn't have my drift kit to remove the pin in the cog, it did no damage although I was worried it might bend the rod that carries the knobs and cog but it didn't so unfounded.
    I had been worried about the hinges that were used to fix the base to the stand, worried that they were just old door hinges but it turns out that they are indeed the original parts that fitted from the stand to the table top so really all I need to do is make a new table, the only bit that is missing.
    Paint stripping is boring and everyone has seen it done so I won't post pics of bubbling paint. I used a commercial stripper and it took the paint right off the shellac, well at least I am sure it is shellac as I figured if I clean the stripping up with metholated spirit (do you have that in the US?) it would clean and reactivate the shellac and that it did. So my method was strip, scrape with a paint scraper, wipe down with paper towel soaked in Metho to remove the residual stripper (water swells grain where as Metho doesn't as it evaporates so quickly) then using 0000 steel wool soaked in metho give it a light rub as metho is like denatured alcohol and will reactivate the shellac and wipe down with clean paper towel to even out the stain. So I have beautifully clean still stained mahogany and or cherry. When I re stain everything to colour match I will use alcohol and not the metho in the prep phase.
    The cast iron was relatively simple and has come up a treat.








  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Sale, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    100

    Re: Century 9A Restoration

    The light trap felts in the sliding back are interesting as I have not seen a photo before although I have seen a pic where someone had glued felt in without the holder strips.
    Michael




  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    3,850

    Re: Century 9A Restoration

    They're good cameras, and good mahogany underneath. The hard part will be stripping all that grey paint. I've done it before with an 8x10 Kodak, and it's difficult to get the paint out of nooks and crannies. You end up with grey vestiges in a lot of places, but I didn't disassemble as thoroughly as you are.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Sale, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    100

    Re: Century 9A Restoration

    All stripped off and no residue, I was very concerned about the end grain but what has saved this is the great job they did on the original stain that was under the paint, filled the grain beautifully and hence not a spec left.
    Post a couple of pics tomorrow.
    Michael

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    8,194

    Re: Century 9A Restoration

    I HAD the same camera and stand in similar condition but sold it to a guy in Texas. I know he reads this Forum...


    I have stripped spray paint off many bicycles that were stolen.

    Used Aircraft stripper really quickly, wiping it on and off and regained full factory finish.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Santa Barbara
    Posts
    1,221

    Re: Century 9A Restoration

    mine's still grey... I did strip a B&J commercial - but it came to me disassembled so it wasn't a big deal

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Sale, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    100

    Re: Century 9A Restoration

    Thanks guys.
    Packard shutter... I have a massively recessed lens board box aprox 200mm or 8" deep (WHY?) it has had the Packard shutter screwed to the back of it and on the other side of that is where the lens mounts on a lens board (that I don't have). Is this recess simply to shade the lens from flash or what ever? May be a dumb question but it has me stumped I understand the idea behind recessed boards but I have never seen one this deep. It actually has been extended in depth, very roughly compared to the rest of the box.
    Thoughts appreciated.
    Michael






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