View Full Version : Waxing ground glass

1-Jul-2010, 06:29
I read somewhere that waxing a ground glass will in some cases give a brighter view. Does this really work, and if so, does anyone have specific instructions as to type of wax and application that works best.

Sandy King

Bob Salomon
1-Jul-2010, 07:10
Back in the early 60s we used shellac, Just sprayed or brushed a thin layer on in a dust free room and let it dry.

Gem Singer
1-Jul-2010, 07:12

It's similar to the principle that the Boss Screen uses. However, the Boss Screen uses a layer of wax between two layers of thin glass.

Years ago, when we wanted to compose and focus on the ground glass of our Speed Graphics, we would place a dab of Vaseline on the frosted side and wipe off the excess.

It brightened up the focusing screen quite a bit, but as the Vaseline dried up it tended to pick up dust.

IMHO, an acid etched ground glass or a Fresnel are much better choices.

1-Jul-2010, 07:24
Sandy, I've just read how to make the waxing solution this morning in a pre WWII BJP Almanac, I'll find it for you, just got to find which of the 5 it's in :D

As Bob says it's Shellac based.


Peter Gomena
1-Jul-2010, 10:34
Spray on a thin coat of Krylon brand window frosting. Let it dry before adding a second thin coat if needed. This treatment vastly improved the ground glass on two antique cameras I use. It removes very easily in acetone if you don't like the result.

Peter Gomena

Rick A
1-Jul-2010, 10:42
I made a ground glass for my home made 4x5 using plain glass sprayed with Krylon glass frost and it works fine. I dont think its quite as bright as the GG on my Calumet though.

Robert Hughes
1-Jul-2010, 11:56
I've used waxed paper snugged up on a fresnel magnifier in a pinch. It works just fine.

1-Jul-2010, 13:31
You could try the wax on clear glass. I have worked on a few cameras that came in with that type of ground glass.

2-Jul-2010, 05:18

The fellow who taught me photography learned from the fellow who taught him photography (1938-41) --- a small dab of clear nail polish spread as thinly as possible with the brush --- dead center of the ground glass --- produces a brilliant spot to check the focus at a higher magnification than with the gg surface itself.

Russ Young

Glenn Thoreson
2-Jul-2010, 11:47
Back when the Earth was still cooling, we used good old genuine, and free, nose grease. Elstwise, a little 3 in 1 oil on a cloth, wiped on the ground side works as well as anything. Nose grease --- :D

Jeffrey Sipress
2-Jul-2010, 20:11
I wonder if waxing the user side glass will help reduce condensation, kind of like that fog deterrent product?