View Full Version : Improved Seneca questions

11-Aug-2011, 12:05
I'm a newby to Seneca cameras.

When extending out when it passes onto the part of the bed that can shift, it becomes very stiff. I can feel each tooth lurch into position. Is this normal? Taken off the bed, the knob and gears turn easily. I can see that where the brace (thing) slides on the bed is very, very tight, really pulling hard on the gear mechanism. Graphite didn't help.

Absent re-mounting the braces (plugging up holes and re-drilling), which appears dangerous, is there anything else I'm just not seeing?

Also, the rear extension is missing -- (don't laugh) does anyone have one they're willing to sell?



John Koehrer
11-Aug-2011, 14:42
Have you tried waxing the wood?

R Shaffer
11-Aug-2011, 15:11
I have an 8x10 Improved Seneca and I'm not sure I can follow which parts your referring to and it is possible your Seneca is different than mine.

So is it your front standard ( the standard the lens mount is on ) that is binding? Or the rear standard ( the film holder end ). Both have metal guides ( that I think your calling braces ) at the bottom with geared movement.

The metal guides that ride on the base can get bent. Also the previous owner could have tried to tighten up ( bent ) the guides, for better contact with the gear rack.

My guides are a bit loose, so the gear can slip on the rack if I'm not careful. But it moves easily enough. I definitely would not try and remove and re-drill the guides.

As for the rear extension. I would love to find one as well. The few I have come across for sale have been nearly as much as I paid for the camera. I made my own, that is functional, but I could not source a gear rack that matched the pitch. So the movement is less than good.

I like the waxing the wood idea. And see if the guides are bent.

11-Aug-2011, 17:27
My Seneca is smooth as silk. Something must be bent or misalligned. Check that the wooden groves the metal slides in aren't swollen too tight. If so, get a small file out....

Basically, you have the camera in hand, so just play with it and figure out where something is binding.

11-Aug-2011, 18:55
Thanks for all your suggestions.

After getting home from the day job, and after much muttering and imprecations, I discovered that a previous owner had put a piece of cardboard in the front standard's pinion channel, undoubtedly to "tighten things up." I removed the cardboard, and it's very smooth now.

Next -- new ground glass. The piece in there now really sucks.


11-Aug-2011, 19:22
I have an Improved Seneca in 11x14. It's possible to mount the gear-driven unit so that it's actually 1-2 gear notches ahead on one side versus the other. When that happens it tends to bind and move hard. Try backing the gear drive part back off the track and reengage, being careful to get even engagement on the two sides. That may solve the problem.