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View Full Version : Replacing balls/spacers for Crown Graphic (4x5)



macandal
8-Oct-2014, 14:36
I posted in this forum my horror story about losing some of the balls/spacers that activate the rangefinder on my Crown Graphic (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?111337-You-haven-t-really-worked-on-a-Graphic-until&p=1135989&viewfull=1#post1135989), and while the "simple" solution is to find a for-parts-only camera and use those, these cameras are not always available at a good price. Has anyone found alternatives for these parts? If so, where did you get them and how much did you pay for them? And also, if anyone knows how many balls and how many spacers come in these cameras, I would appreciate knowing this. I'm sure someone out there has used other things to replace the missing balls/spacers.

Thanks.

ic-racer
8-Oct-2014, 14:51
Has anyone found alternatives for these parts? I think you can simply fill the tube with all balls and not use the spacers. You can get 100 of 7/64" balls from McMaster Carr for less then $5. I don't have that camera so you might want to double check the size.
http://www.mcmaster.com/#steel-bearing-balls/=u2f30k

122911

macandal
8-Oct-2014, 15:10
I think you can simply fill the tube with all balls and not use the spacers. You can get 100 of 7/64" balls from McMaster Carr for less then $5. I don't have that camera so you might want to double check the size.
http://www.mcmaster.com/#steel-bearing-balls/=u2f30k

122911Which ones did you get? The only 7/64" I see cost $10.20 for 100?

ic-racer
8-Oct-2014, 16:23
Sorry if not so clear in the last post. The 3/32" were half the price of the 7/64" and may work, but I don't have that camera to know for sure. Do you have any balls left to measure?

macandal
8-Oct-2014, 16:27
Sorry if not so clear in the last post. The 3/32" were half the price of the 7/64" and may work, but I don't have that camera to know for sure. Do you have any balls left to measure?According to a post I read, the diameter of the balls is 0.1085 inches, therefore, the 7/64" balls are closest to this.

Randy Moe
8-Oct-2014, 17:30
Wow, I sure hope I never take one apart.

Good luck, anybody working on this type of thing!

One of the reasons I am not longer a mechanic, is i drop everything, very difficult to handle little anythings.

Maybe a sheet of flypaper under the darn contraption, or a magnetic pad, that then magnetizes them all and they never work right again...

:(

photonsoup
8-Oct-2014, 20:43
My Crown came without any balls, spacers, plunger, or retainer cap. I got some 2.5mm ball bearings from Amazon and used them while I experimented trying to rig a plunger/retainer. The ball bearings worked fine, plunger.....not so fine. I finally saved a search for "crown graphic" on ebay, looked at everything ever posted for about 4 months. Then there it was, a complete set of balls, spacers, plunger and retainer cap! I lost the bid and didn't get it. But a similar one came up a couple of weeks later and I got it for ~$25.00 if I recall correctly. It works great with either the stock balls and spacers or the 2.5mm ball bearings.

Michael Cienfuegos
9-Oct-2014, 08:10
Shutterfinger on APUG , aka 45PSS on graflex.org is a good resource for information on this subject. I think he said that you need both the spacers and balls for the RF to work properly, can't remember. I am reluctant to remove the cam from my top RF Speed for this very reason, I am getting clumsy in my old age and tend to drop everything. I have a 16x20 photo tray that I use when working on my cameras, so nothing will fall to the deck, gut somehow something (the smallest part) will always take a bounce and disappear into that great unknown - my floor.


m

macandal
13-Oct-2014, 12:27
My Crown came without any balls, spacers, plunger, or retainer cap. I got some 2.5mm ball bearings from Amazon and used them while I experimented trying to rig a plunger/retainer. The ball bearings worked fine, plunger.....not so fine. I finally saved a search for "crown graphic" on ebay, looked at everything ever posted for about 4 months. Then there it was, a complete set of balls, spacers, plunger and retainer cap! I lost the bid and didn't get it. But a similar one came up a couple of weeks later and I got it for ~$25.00 if I recall correctly. It works great with either the stock balls and spacers or the 2.5mm ball bearings.photonsoup, what did you enter in your search, if you don't mind my asking? I have a search for a Crown Graphic, but I don't want another one, just the parts. Thanks.

(If anyone has any leftover spacers and balls that s/he wants to sell, please contact me. I don't need many. I figure I need about 5 of each.)

macandal
13-Oct-2014, 12:28
Shutterfinger on APUG , aka 45PSS on graflex.org is a good resource for information on this subject. I think he said that you need both the spacers and balls for the RF to work properly, can't remember. I am reluctant to remove the cam from my top RF Speed for this very reason, I am getting clumsy in my old age and tend to drop everything. I have a 16x20 photo tray that I use when working on my cameras, so nothing will fall to the deck, gut somehow something (the smallest part) will always take a bounce and disappear into that great unknown - my floor.


mMichael, I talked to him, but he told me he didn't have the parts.

photonsoup
13-Oct-2014, 15:54
photonsoup, what did you enter in your search, if you don't mind my asking? I have a search for a Crown Graphic, but I don't want another one, just the parts. Thanks.
I saved a search for "Crown Graphic" and one for "Speed Graphic". Yes, you then see lots of stuff you don't need, but it's pretty quick to look through them all every couple of days. When you see what you need, then watch or bid on that. Thats better than missing something because the seller might not know the precise terminology that you have in mind.