View Full Version : Polishing/cleaning metal parts - Deardorff

paul owen
2-May-2005, 02:42
Hi to all. I'm over the moon with the new-to-me 1940's Deardorff V8! Camera is in fine condition for its age - especially the wood! I have taken advice given in past postings and repaired the few pinholes in the bellows corners with a mix of PVA glue/soap/black acrylic paint and it works! Now to my question! The metal parts of the camera are in good condition but there are a few patches of discolouring (patination?) and wondered if anyone had any ideas how I should go about cleaning/polishing these parts (if in fact I should bother at all as its purely cosmetic!) ANY suggestions welcome! Thanks Paul

Gudmundur Ingolfsson
2-May-2005, 03:36
There is a special polishing paste used to give a new look
to stainless steel kitchen sinks which I would try.

Steve Hamley
2-May-2005, 04:28
Deardorff metal parts are not stainless; they are nickle plated brass except for the very last ones like the Tennessee Deardorff, which had stainless metal parts.

Use a mild metal polish and stop if the discoloration becomes any worse, you're removing the plating.


Brian Ellis
2-May-2005, 06:35
I had a similar situation (plus a little pitting) with my first Deardorff. I removed the offending parts and had them replated by a local metal plating company. Cost about $200 IIRC.

Donald Hutton
2-May-2005, 07:19

I also recently bought a V8 for messing around with some alternative processes. They are pretty cool cameras... I'm astounded that no other manufacturer has ever copied that very clever "front rise in the lensboard" thing - seems so sensible.

I definitely take a look at Ken Hough's site before doing anything to the metal on your camera: http://deardorffcameras.0catch.com/Care.htm Also, if you have any specific questions, contact Ken - I have found him to be extremely helpful.

Jim Rhoades
2-May-2005, 07:34
Whoa, Stop, right now. Before you consider doing any business with Mr. Hough please research his history.

Clean it up with a light polish if you must, then leave it alone.

Tracy Storer
2-May-2005, 07:41
If you're going to polish the metal parts, remove them from the camera. Metal polish is bad for wood. (this from Ken Houghs website)
Better yet, forget about it, it's only cosmetic, use the camera as is!

paul owen
2-May-2005, 08:08
Thanks everyone - think I'll forget it ... there, forgotten!

John Kasaian
2-May-2005, 08:29

What type of finish is on the parts? Bright(plated) or Gold ( paint)?---Deardorff used both types over the years. If you do end up removing the bright parts for cleaning try a soak in a little juice from fresno chili peppers(or jalapenos if you can't find fresnos) Don't try this is they're gold painted---it might take off the paint!

Another option is to use a small buffing attachment on a Dremel tool WITHOUT any metal polish if the parts are being buffed "in situ" maybe try a little wood friendly wax instead as others here have indicated that metal polish isn't kind to the surrounding wood.

By all means check out Ken Hough's website. Please let me know if you know of a source for candy maker's wax(recommended for wood to wood lubrication---though I'm using beeswax candle stubs with excellent results so far)

Donald Hutton
2-May-2005, 08:49

I was not suggesting that anyone send anything to Ken! I simply wanted to point out that his website is a useful resource for Deardorff owners and that I have found him to be helpful in giving advice. I am aware of the issues people have had with his business practices and would certainly advocate that anyone thinking about transacting with him should, as you suggest, research poast experiences people have had with him. Jack Deardorff is also a good source of advice and parts and I have found him, too, to be most helpful.

Gary J. McCutcheon
2-May-2005, 09:39

The Wisner Co. utilizes a similar front rise on the Flight and the Pocket Expedition. This is the only manufacturer that I know of that has uses this. Great for wide angle work.

Photo on.


Donald Brewster
2-May-2005, 10:51
About time you got a real camera, Paul. Congrats!

paul owen
2-May-2005, 13:20
Ah Donald ... if only it had been made out of ebony and titanium!! Seriously though, it is a lovely piece of equipment and is proof that a well-made piece od equipment will outlast most of us! The most amazing thing is the size of the screen/image - awesome! I find myself just sticking a lens on it and wandering around (no film) and gazing at this TV screen!

John Berry ( Roadkill )
2-May-2005, 15:05
I just recieved my new (to me) V8. I was looking at the metal and thinking about some 0000 steel wool but after looking at it, I don't think I will do anything but shoot it. It's kind of like a seasoned leather jacket. I'll leave it unless I refinish the whole camera.

Steve Clark
2-May-2005, 21:04
A piece of worn out, fine Scotchbrite works nicely. I`m not in the shop right now, but I think it`s the gray colored one.

Arkasha Liwyj
19-Dec-2005, 10:24
Instead of metal polishing paste , I sometimes use a fine stropping paste made for sharpening wood chisels, pocket knives and whittling tools to a razor edge. It's available from Lee Valley tools and comes in a small green colored brick. Just wipe the brick with a soft cloth or a soft lens tissue to pick up a little of the green colored substance and polish the metal. You can also rub the stropping compound onto a flat softwood board and polish flat metal parts on the wood.