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Thread: wood query?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    wood query?

    Here's the deal:

    That Anni Speed Graphic I stripped, well I got bored of waiting on a miracle so I've gutted the interior shutter. It was practically useless anyway. Fair irony considering the shutter was why I bought the beast.

    I'm turning the camera into a super-lightweight field camera without movements. I guess it would be second to the Korona 4x5 which serves as a body to the Dagor 180mm. I'd hope to sort a nice lens for the Anni once it's complete. Maybe it will become a barrel lens tester and I'll sort a box-mount packard.

    All the nasty holes left from various parts are currently being filled by "dark" wood filler. I decided on this due to the three huge holes left, two from the shutter poles, and one from the rf focus arm.

    I'd love to keep the camera in it's wonderful dark wood stain, but this doesn't seem too likely thanks to the filler covering a fair amount on the right side. I'm also facing the problem of the front and back being shiny metal.

    Do I:

    A) Spray-black the metal and all the wood?
    B) Woodstain black or very dark, and spray the metal?
    C) Anyone?

    In any case I need to cover the camera with black paint. What will be best? Automotive spray paints? The camera needs to be handled a lot so I guess I'll need to lacquer a few layers on top to avoid nasty surprises in the rain or from sweaty hands.

    What are my choices in spray-type paints? Any recommendations on the generics? I'm in the UK so a specific brand may not be available to me.


    *PS stripping that shutter means if anybody wants the shutter curtains etc, just pm me

  2. #2

    Re: wood query?

    You would be ahead to seal the wood with shellac. Then use a good enamel, of at least 3 coats. The metal you can spray with a matching enamel.
    Lacquer is not durable in wet, humid or severe handling circumstances.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Bend, OR

    Re: wood query?

    I would use a marine grade polyurethane as the final coatings- a web search ought to give you an idea of what is available in the UK. I have had great luck with gel or wipe on polyurethanes from Minwax. Very easy to apply, dry quickly and dont seem to be prone to problems from dust as several finishes are. Water based dyes which should be available in hardwood stores are the best way to get wood to take an extremely dark tone if that is the look you are going for. Keep in mind they need to be very dry before applying finish coats. Gel-based stains which are similar to the polyurethane can also be used, but typically take a few more coats to get a deep dark color.

    For the metal, depending on what you would like to spend and what type of metal it is, powdercoating or anodizing (in the case of Aluminum) might be the way to go. You can find an anodizing source by calling and questioning any machine shop on where they get theirs done. for powdercoating- look up any automobile detailer and ask them if they can run an assortment of small parts for you. If you choose to spray them yourself make sure you clean the parts thoroughly prior to coating and avoid getting any fingerprints on them then use a primer coating followed by a couple of thin coats of any spray paint designed for metal like a rustoleum. Hope this helps

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    S.W. Wyoming

    Re: wood query?

    I could sure use all the shutter parts you have. I especially badly need a release lever, shaft and screw. If you still have this stuff to offer, I would be eternally grateful. A PM is on the way.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Benicia, CA

    Re: wood query?


    wow...what a can of worms...

    first of all, with all the different things you've had to use on it so far, VINYL SEALER would be the next step. it will act as a chemical barrier between what is currently on there and what you will use next. check around some nearby woodworking and finishing shops near you and see if anyone uses ILVA or BECKER ACROMA paints. both are european companies, so you may get lucky. ilva makes an incredible polyuethane. the chemical resistance is unreal. becker makes conversion varnishes that are pretty killer as well. you may also want to check on exterior finishes and how those compare. any of these clear finishes can be tinted black, so no worries there.
    if you do find a small shop that carries this stuff, you may even be able to trade with them. you know, shots of their furniture or cabinets for a small spray job on your camera.

  6. #6
    kmack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Re: wood query?

    Ash, get rid of the putty, you could plug the holes with some mahogany (or what ever wood the Anny used for the case). Get a piece of wood, cut a few plugs big enough to fit into the holes. Save any and all of the sawdust you create while cutting the plugs, mix the sawdust with the wood glue you use to glue the plugs, sand, stain and poly.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: wood query?

    kmack is right. Dump the putty. I've done what he explained and it works beautifully. Easy to do too.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Re: wood query?


    I've refurbed two wooden-bodied cameras, similar to what you're doing.

    The finish I use is incredibly easy to do, dries instantly, looks great, is 100% waterproof. I learned about it through luthier's (fiddle & guitar makers) sites. It's routinely used on high-end electric guitar necks & bodies, gunstocks, turned-wood craftwork, handmade old-fashioned pens etc.

    Super glue and linseed oil. Linseed oil (and similar natural drying oils) 'dries' via a slow chemical polymerization process. Somebody discovered that when super glue meets linseed oil the process happens instantly.

    1. Super Glue. The kind with a brush built into the bottletop makes it easier to use.

    2. Good quality linseed oil. Try the stuff sold at art supply stores for an oil painting medium. Get a small bottle--a little goes a long, long way. Linseed oil sold as guitar 'fretboard oil' or for violin varnish formulation is good too.

    3. The 'better quality' paper towels. Thicker ones, not shreddy or linty. 'Shop Paper Towels' sold in hardware store are best. They're usually blue, not white.

    4. (optional but WAY nice). Tints. You add them to the linseed oil before mixing with the glue. That way you can tint the wood any color ya want. I use 'Tints-All' brand in 1.5 ounce tubes--gotten at paint stores. (House Paint stores--not Artists Paint stores.)

    5. Q-tips or small brush.


    1. Wood should be sanded or scraped to final smoothness. Remove any lingering dust with tack cloth--or rub with Denatured Alcohol and allow to dry.

    2. Work in small areas--about 2" x 2" at a time. Don't worry about streaking or build-up. This stuff goes on very thin and each area will overlap previous ones with no trace of smudginess. It's one of those 'Modern Miracle' things.

    3. Smear or brush the linseed oil onto the wood, about a 1" little puddle

    4. brush or drip a small puddle of super glue next-to (but not on) the linseed oil...then IMMEDIATELY:

    5. rub the two puddles together, every-which-way, to-and-fro, circles or back and forth, any direction is okay. It won't spread far and will begin to harden as you watch.

    6. thow away the paper towel and grab a fresh one. One towel for each 'patch'.

    7. repeat, starting the 'next patch' immediately-adjoining the one you've just done. Don't worry about overlap--none will be visible. As you proceed the patches already done will look like one seamless area. Like I said, it's magic. Keep repeating until entire camera body is done.

    8. When done, if you missed any areas, just go back and fill them in using the same technique. If you want to build up a very thick finish, just do a second coat.

    8. Rub it all over with more paper towels or a soft rag. If any area feels oily or 'wet', that means there wasn't enough super glue applied there. Repeat the process there to fix it.

    It's a modern take on ''French Polishing' but WAY easier and about 10 hours faster. And unlike anything using shellac, totally waterproof. Immune to most solvents also.

    Caution: Work in a well-ventilated area. Superglue fumes can be nasty. Don't use too much glue or lean too close over the job. A little dab will do ya.

    I've used this finish on cameras, banjo rims, guitar necks, and paint brush handles (makes 'em resistant to water and solvents). I'm always amazed by how good it works and looks...and by how easy it is.

    Another easy option but not as nice-looking or durable:

    1. Deft (spray-can) Wood Laquer. Luthiers use it for non-fancy violin and guitar finishes. Spray many thin coats. Buff, steel wool or Micro Fiber between coats and for final polishing.

    I'll take a pic of my little Korona VII finished with glue-and-oil and post it here for ya. Gotta go borrow housemate's digital camera.

    I'll also try to locate the luthier's sites which spell out the glue-n-oil process in detail, and provide the URL's for ya.

    Another option: veneer the body. This will hide the lumps and bumps n' holes n' wood can veneer the lensboards too so everything matches! like this person did such a lovely job with:
    Last edited by janepaints; 14-Nov-2007 at 00:13.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Re: wood query?

    Here ya go, Ash...

    Well I got housemate's super-hi-tech Canon Digital Rebel SLR and took some nice close-ups so you can see the lovely grain...

    but like many non-photographers who've been persuaded to buy super hi-tech super hi-priced cameras with all known bells and whistles, housemate knows how to take imstamatic snapshots with it and that's all. And, of course, long ago housemate threw away the REBEL!! user's manual. Reading is like so icky. So, no idea whatsoever about how to upload the REBEL innards to my computer. Isn't the future, like, totally happenin'?

    So I took my $50 Walmart Vivitar digital snapshot camera and ignoring that it can't focus closer than 4 feet I took a pic from about 2 feet as a tiny robot voice from my camera said "WARNING FOCUS LIMIT BREACHED. KEEP AWAY FROM THE SPACECRAFT. WE DON'T WANT ANY HEROES. WARNING FOCUS TOO CLOSE!" (just kidding)...

    a bit blurry, but I hope you can still see that my little Korona 4x5" now has a nice wood exterior finish, tinted to compliment the original interior finish, all done with super glue & oil rub-a-dub-dub...only took about 20 easy minutes to do, so SOME 'Wonderful Future Through Science' stuff has merit:

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    Re: wood query?

    I just had to smile a little when I saw that someone named "Ash" had posted a wood query.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

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