View Full Version : Betax CLA

7-Feb-2004, 11:43
Has anyone ever done one? I bought this #4 Betax a few years ago and was assured it was fully operational. Well it wasnt, I didnt want the extra expense of CLA'ing then, and I still dont now. But I also dont want to ruin it or make it worse, so my 3rd option is to do nothing if I cant be sure to do it right. It actually works and I dont think its broken in any way, but its way off and I presume gummed up inside.

Kevin Crisp
7-Feb-2004, 11:54
Wayne: In my experience the old Ronsonol wash technique works very rarely as anything more than a temporary fix. The Betax No. 4 is one of the very few shutters that I have had success with, especially if just the slightest amount of graphite dust is added. You could try that if you want to save the 60-$80 which a CLA would cost from somebody who knows what you're really supposed to do. If you don't try to manipulate the shutter while still wet (it takes a long time for the Ronsonal to completely evaporate) you are unlikely to damage it. I'm not sure this qualifies as something you can be sure will work, but thought I'd pass it along. Good luck.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
7-Feb-2004, 13:56
The Betax is a great first CLA. It is very simple inside, and a wash with white gas usually does the trick. The most common mistake is overlubrication afterwards, just the slightest touch of graphite or fine grease is all you need. In fact, the betax runs fine without any lubrication.

When ever opening up a new shutter be sure to take good notes so you can get it back together again. Better yet, put it on a flatbed scanner. Be sure to keep your screws well marked, and away from the edges of desks. I don't think it is an issue with Betax, but many of these older shutters used some sort of material in their leaves which is white gas will dissolve.

John Kasaian
7-Feb-2004, 16:35

Betax Rocks. IMHO, They're well worth the $60 for a professional cla.


7-Feb-2004, 17:22
OK, thanks, that made me brave enough to open it up. I'm in there now, and everything looks fine, no loose or broken parts that I can see. I made a scan of it for future reference, though I dont plan any disassembly at this time. It does have some gummy-looking gunk in spots.

How should I go about the actual application of cleaning fluid, or does it matter?

7-Feb-2004, 17:25
I like em too John, though I like my 2 Alphax's even better. But I'm too cheap to pay for it anytime soon.

Mark Sampson
9-Feb-2004, 06:12
Not being adventurous, I had SK Grimes fix mine up last year, and add X-sync. Oh no- now it's not original...

george verbryck
10-Feb-2004, 19:19
I would be careful as I believe that the betax shutters have paper aperature blades which can be ruined by solvent . If you look on SKgromes site you can see an exploded view of the shutter and read athe associated problems with this shutter. Cheers George

10-Feb-2004, 20:27
I've heard of the paper problem but I dont think its related to Wollensak shutters-I think it was Ilex but I could be wrong. I already did the Ronsonal wash of my Betax and it went fine (though not a cure), in fact I just flushed one of my Alphaxes tonight too.

I looked at Grime's site but I couldnt find the diagram you were referring to. he has a lot of info on other shutter types but little on Wollys, from what I could see.

10-Feb-2004, 20:52
Maybe this just isnt my week. Upon further examination, the shutter and diaghram of my Betax are definitely both metallic. However, my Alphax diaghram is NOT. It looks like a plastic to me, but at any rate it definitely isnt metal. Emergency measures have been taken, and I think, I hope, its going to be OK. I had only done a quick flushing (not a soak) and it was only a couple minutes ago. I'm glad you mentioned it George, I value my Alphax a lot more than my Betax.

Looking forward to NEXT week,

10-Feb-2004, 20:56
Dia*phragm*, dia*phragm*. Must be the naptha... :-/