View Full Version : Overhauling / Refurbishing a Packard Shutter

Len Middleton
16-Dec-2008, 13:15
I did do a search on the topic, but unable to find anything. Sorry, if I am going over ground that has already been covered.

I know Packard shutters are relatively simple devices, but was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to overhaul or refurbish them so they work as goods as or better than new.



16-Dec-2008, 13:34
Len, I just finished cleaning up a Electronic Packard style shutter. For the most part, there are three to four screws to take out and you can see into the actual shutter. Once open, you will see the three leaves that make the shutter. Clean any rust off (I used CLR and dish scrubbing pad) of the inside if necessary. I used a matte enamel paint to black out the inside and makes the inside smooth. Wiped the leaves with paper towels and little bit of dish detergent. Put back together and runs smooth. very little else was need to get the shutter to work.

Len Middleton
16-Dec-2008, 13:48
Thanks for your response.

To be a little more specific in my inquiry, in going through the past threads on this topic, Jim Gali indicated he "waxed" his. Presumeably on ther inside (we would not want a glossy exterior!!). And for what purpose (smooth the inside and reduce friction)?

Does anyone used graphite or other lubricant on the pivots or cylinder?



16-Dec-2008, 14:10

I chose not to use wax on the back inside wall of the shutter because I plan on using the shutter in warmer temperatures and did not want the wax to melt on the shutter leaves. It may not be a real concern, but I chose to go with the enamel paint since it was still smooth, also reduced further rusting and (I hope) internal reflections. The pivot points on the shutter leaves seem to have very little friction when they are in the upright position and so i did not add anything to them. I can not answer to the piston question, my version was for an electronic piston which I removed and just used the swing arm to open and close the shutter. I also use the shutter front mounted rather than set inside the camera. If I can get my hands on a Universal Mount I may try to see if I can put the shutter as a rear mounting.


Brian Stein
16-Dec-2008, 15:55
I put a tiny bit of light Li grease on the piston but nothing else. See also http://www.electricedge.com/greymatter/archives/00006060.htm

16-Dec-2008, 18:44
They are really simple internally. I recently opened up one, and then before I did any cleaning I took a good digital photo of the internals so if something goes awry I can go back and check the photos. I just wiped off the rust and dust and that's about all you need to do to make them operate smoothly.

Brandon Draper
16-Dec-2008, 19:21
This comes at the perfect time. I just bought a old Burke & James camera from another photographer that has a Packard Shutter.

Jon Wilson
16-Dec-2008, 21:29
Here is one link: http://doug.kerr.home.att.net/pumpkin/index.htm#PackardShutter

Also check some posts by Jim Gali and you will find some great links....not only about overhauling a packard shutter.


Vick Vickery
17-Dec-2008, 09:21
Great link, Jon...thanks very much...alot of us will find this interesting!

Len Middleton
18-Dec-2008, 07:44

Thanks for that link. I forgot about that article.

To summarize, the article does not recommend any lubraicant on either the pivots or the cylinder, and that it is important to mount the cylinder vertical, ideally with the air nipple down.

Jim Gali waxes the inside of his (presueably for smoother operation).

Brian's addition of a little grease to the piston makes sense in providing a lubricant and to help seal the space between the cylinder and the piston.

Thanks to all for your help,