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Thread: Here we go, Century 8x10 Restoration

  1. #21
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Swing Plate

    Here are some before and after of the swing plate. The knobs and screws are not polished at this point. If I have some extra time I'll polish them, but this is going to be a 'user.'

    The wood was re-coated with lacquer and the brass was polished and then also coated with lacquer.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails swing plate before.jpg   swing plate after.jpg  

  2. #22
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    New Hardware

    Surprisingly little hardware was missing from the camera. Mostly screws. The main items I needed to re-manufacture were a keeper for the ground glass and a lock for the back tilt on one side.

    A local hardware store had a good selection of brass hardware (first picture). I bought more than I needed, I can always use the extra stuff.

    I made a new keeper for the ground glass out of sheet brass (second picture)

    One lock for the back tilt was missing and I made a new one out of stuff from the hardware store. I'll probably put the new one on both sides to make it symmetric.

    The rivet holding the rear frame to the rear brass standards needed to ground down to get the thing apart.

    Randy H had a great idea in that he drilled and tapped the existing rivet. I was prepared to do that but I found these nice connectors that were pre-drilled and tapped to accept a good sized screw. They fit perfectly except for a small ridge on the existing rivet that was re-created with a black nylon washer (made from some plastic tubing).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails brass goodies.jpg   making new brass piece.jpg   new hardware.JPG  

  3. #23

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    Re: New Hardware

    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    but I found these nice connectors that were pre-drilled and tapped to accept a good sized screw. They fit perfectly except for a small ridge on the existing rivet that was re-created with a black nylon washer (made from some plastic tubing).
    I have another 5X7 conley that I am "slowly" working on. and that is the route I chose on it also. They do work well. The female part was nearly exact size of original. I found a brass flat-head carriage screw that was near to original size of the rivet, and fit the female part of the sex-screw. I just had to shorten it a bit.

    IC, she's lookin good so far. Makes me miss mine even more!!!

  4. #24
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    Bellows

    I really don't have time to make a bellows, so I just want someone to make one for me correctly, so I figured I would just 'pay up' and get it done right.

    However, I didn't realize it would be almost $400! So, so back to the internet to re-read all those pages on making bellows...

    My plan was to spend a lot of time getting the mannequin just right, then copy all the pleat stiffeners verbatim. Then, just wrap the inner layer, paste on the stiffeners (as long as I have the correct number and the correct mannequin length I just need to space them evenly), then wrap the outer layer and I'm done.

    Until I opened up my bellows to see what I would be dealing with in terms of a wooden mannequin and raw materials. Well, that bellows is huge! I honestly don't have a work area big enough to lay out the raw materials for this thing .

    And then there is the problem of covering material. I'm not going to spend that much time to do it right (and re-do it as needed to get it right) and then use some garbage covering materials. I'd want to use 'real' bellows material (what every that happens to be, I have not found a source )

    I honestly don't know how 'good' this camera is going to be in actual use. I don't want to spend a lot of money on something that will wind up being a rickety old contraption which I use once or twice for the 'novelty' factor.

    Maybe this project will go the way of my 6x9 project. I spent a lot of time piecing the best parts of 3 folders, even swaping lenses and shutters to get a real nice Kodak Tourist with 4.5 Anaston and Kodamatic shutter. So, what did it do? I used it a few times, liked it, and went out and got a Horsman VH-R and now have all 8 lenses with cams.

    ...So maybe I should just put that $400 toward the Horseman 8x10 that I eventually am going to get anyway

  5. #25
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    Lens

    I always imagined I would use this camera with a barrel lens and my hand or the lens cap as a shutter. This seemed like it would be an essential part of the whole experience (and would likewise influence the outcome of the photograph).

    Then I did some calculations and figured with TMX at EI 50 my F64 exposure would be about 1/4 of a second. I think that is too fast to reasonably expect to get right without a shutter. Of course not all my shots are going to be in 'bright sunlight', but I don't want to be limited to shooting in the woods or on overcast days.

    Anyway, I was a little surprised to see that I had won an auction for a Symmar-s 210, in a supposedly functional Copal #1, for $128. This should be fun to play around with and I can't believe this is going to be any worse than one of those uncoated, lightly mycotic, brass lens in barrel. Though maybe this lens will be 'too sharp' and the vignetted corners will just look 'bad.'

    I have always thougth of Linda Connor's work when I imagined actually using this camera. In fact I read once that her 8x10 was also a Century.

    Well, we will see when the lens gets here...

  6. #26

    Re: Here we go, Century 8x10 Restoration

    One of the things I find most aggravating is finding another split in the wood after an extensive glue up. I'm working on a Seneca back that has more spits than Dairy Queen. If I can get the back done I can use the camera. I wish I had the original black finish formula, nicely polished black sheen. I got lucky and had some mahogany to patch with and it matches the original. All will be covered with black paint.

  7. #27
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    Re: Here we go, Century 8x10 Restoration

    On the bellows, you might check with Mark Kapono in Hilo, Hawaii. I haven't used him yet, but have heard very good things and his prices seem quite reasonable.

    I have restored both 5x7 and 8x10 Ansco flat bed cameras. When I did so, I carefully noted where everything came from and then waltzed the brass works down to the local musical instrument repair shop. A couple of weeks later, I had the whole thing reassembled with brass that had been stripped, polished and re-lacquered with an expertise that I could never had done. Twenty-five years later they still shines like they were brand new.

    The same guy also reworked the brass on a huge Dallmeyer, and two Conley lenses after I removed the glass. Every other photographer that sees them has expressed jealously.

    Good luck.

    Tim
    "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg

  8. #28

    Re: Here we go, Century 8x10 Restoration

    I hope the camera turns out real nice.

  9. #29
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    Felt and Velvet

    Got some black felt for the area just behind the lens board. The black velvet is for the area where the film holder slides in. I hope this stuff does not 'shed'.

    As I am doing the film back I probably need to get my hands on a plastic 8x10 film holder to check its fit and/or modify this frame so it seats well.


    I see a number of vendors selling reasonably priced 8x10 'ground' glass on e-bay. I wonder if anyone has any experience with any of these products.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails felt and velvet.jpg  

  10. #30
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    Wood

    The craft store that had the felt and velvet also had some small lumber. Although I have some real cherry wood coming in the mail, I picked up some of this 'unknown' wood to make some mock ups. This wood is probably basswood and spruce. I guess if my cedar never shows up it would probably work fine.

    This picture shows a mock up of the composite wood strip I need to make. It is a 1/4 inch piece with a 1/8x1/16 piece on the bottom and a 1/4 x 1/32 inch piece on the side.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails wood.jpg  

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