View Full Version : Restoring camera hardware

10-Aug-2013, 08:54
Looking for opinions/experiences with restoring hardware on an old view camera.
I'm in the process of restoring an 8x10 Burke and James. It had lots of rust on the hardware, but with Scotchbrite pads, CLR, and a Dremel tool, I've managed to remove almost all of it.
I got a quote on getting the hardware re-plated, but its a good bit more than I'm willing to spend. Is it a bad idea to just leave the hardware un-plated (most, but not all, of the chrome came off with the scrubbing)?
I actually like the satiny look of the un-plated hardware, but am concerned about rust.

10-Aug-2013, 10:31
Could you spray them with a lacquer to stop them rusting? Unless you are restoring it to museum quality, then make it look like you want. If you like the satiny look, then I'm sure some matt lacquer would retain the look.

Jim C.
10-Aug-2013, 12:22
Bare steel should be coated with something otherwise
the rust will come back eventually.You could buff out the steel with some metal polish
to a shine then coat with lacquer, not quite chrome but still shiny.
There are do it yourself brush plating kits available too, but that's a suggestion since I've never used them.

10-Aug-2013, 12:27
Re-plating is cheap and easy, it's worth looking at a DIY option.


10-Aug-2013, 22:39
I've taken rust off of antique steel tools (chisels, planes, saws, etc) by submerging them in a bath of hot water and lemon juice, the rust just wipes off. It will rust quickly if you do not coat it with a light application of oil.

Terry Moore
11-Aug-2013, 06:22
If you don't mind changing the color of the hardware the cold bluing process is not very expensive and is easy to DIY. The normal bluing process--like rifle barrels--is not a DIY option.

11-Aug-2013, 08:31
Thanks for all the recommendations. I think I'm going to try the Caswell nickel plating kit.