I recently acquired a Century 10A 8x10 studio camera in reasonable--but by no means good--shape. There are two main problems that need to be solved before I can start shooting with it. The first is that the rear standard has been torn off its base; the screws were pulled straight out of the wood. The camera does not show evidence of being dropped or otherwise abused, but the screws clearly protrude from the base and line up with the open holes in the standard. So, first round of questions (see photos for more detail):
1. What is the best way to reattach the camera to the base? My first thought is to hammer snug fitting dowels into the holes with some wood glue, let it dry, then drill pilot holes and screw it back together as-was. Not being a woodworker I have no idea if this will hold as well as it should.
2. Would it be worth screwing a piece of brass shim stock to the forward portion of the standard to reinforce the connection? (See photo #3). With the sliding carriage attached the weight pulls the standard backward and a reinforcement at this spot should help reduce stress on the screws in the base.
3. In any case, how do I disassemble the base to get to the screws in the first place? The top plate of the base is the part that swings on its axis and the large wood screws are countersunk up under this, but I can't get to them without separating the top part of the swinging base from the bottom. It is not immediately apparent how to do this.
Secondly, the bellows are structurally fine with no sagging, but being rubberized cloth the rubber coating is flaking off at most of the folds. I would assume I could apply a black sealant of some kind to make them light tight again, but what kind? Another thread mentioned RV roof sealant, or I could try black silicone caulk, something that would remain flexible. I'm not too worried about the folds sticking to themselves because I plan to use the camera with 20" or longer lenses at portrait distances, so the bellows will remain well extended all the time. This is, in fact, why I bought it. (I have an 8x10 2D I can use for shorter lenses).
So, any ideas about how best to seal the creases and perhaps spray or otherwise coat the failing rubberized outer coat? A new bellows is a bit beyond both my skill set and pay grade at the moment.
Lastly, like with a major car repair, once I have it apart this far is there any maintenance I should perform before reassembly? Oil or wax the brass rods and gears? I am not going to refinish or restore the camera fully; I just want to get it functioning and put it to use.
Sorry for the long post. Thanks for any help you all can offer.