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Thread: Fixing Agfa Ansco Universal 5x7

  1. #1

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    Fixing Agfa Ansco Universal 5x7

    The front standard on my 'new' 5x7 is not square. I can see where someone put so much glue on the bottom of one side that it is not flush against the cross piece. Not being sure what type of glue was used, how can I can separate this piece?

    bob k.

  2. #2

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    Re: Fixing Agfa Ansco Universal 5x7

    Depends on the glue. I'd take it to a professional refinisher and see if they can identify what it is & the proper solvent needed. Or look for a parts camera to cannibalize.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  3. #3

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    Re: Fixing Agfa Ansco Universal 5x7

    You'er the second person to recommend that. Thank you John.

  4. #4

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    Re: Fixing Agfa Ansco Universal 5x7

    Is that the one that was on Ebay with the front left side track broken? I saw that, thought about it, and discarded the idea because it looked like too much risk.

    The solvents for glues are:

    hide glue (not likely in a bad repair!): hot water
    Elmer's white, or yellow carpenters: hot acetic acid
    Super glue: the stuff sold to do that job, only
    Epoxy, Gorilla, etc: force, heat, or just saw it out and replace.

    The various solvent strategies work best on thin sections. If you have two thick pieces glued together, you'll never get them apart because the solvents won't go in.

    In general, if I were doing this, not being able to see what you have there in front of you, so maybe I'm wrong, AND I wanted to save the original, I'd probably saw out the problem, right on the glue line, and graft in a new piece to make up for what I took out. This would have to be done right, or not at all. I'm equipped to to it, but I bet, since you asked, you aren't.

    Or maybe, actually, it would be easier to separate the whole broken piece off, and make a new one--it's just all wood, right? That's probably easier than dealing with a crappy glue situation. It's not like an Ansco view camera is a museum piece worth $100,000, where doing that would be a offense calling for shunning in the community.

    In my work, which is violin restoration, we like to say that 90% of our work is redoing the stuff that previous people *thought* was a repair.

  5. #5
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    Re: Fixing Agfa Ansco Universal 5x7

    However the front standard can be out of square vertically and make no difference in shooting.

  6. #6

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    Re: Fixing Agfa Ansco Universal 5x7

    I don't think it was the one you saw on eBay, but I may be wrong. Attaching a picture.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

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    Re: Fixing Agfa Ansco Universal 5x7

    It's not the same one.

    OK, there are two ways to deal with this. One is to wrap it up in hot soaking paper towels for an hour or two, at least, keeping replacing both the water and the heat, to keep the process advancing, then throw a clamp on it from left to right in the photo. Be sure to pad the clamp really well at both ends. Your hope there is that you will soften the glue, because actually there's a pretty good sized set of access holes there in the finger joint looseness, and you hope that the glue will get soft enough that you can clamp it all to where it should be without taking it apart. Sometimes that approach works surprisingly well, but you need a feel for how well it's going, whether the wood is getting damaged and you should stop, or if the glue is never going to get soft enough to move. You could even dip that corner into boiling water for a while. Either way at least the finish is going to be damaged, if not more.

    The other way to deal with it is to flood the whole area with denatured alcohol, and start flexing enough to break the glue, not the joint fingers, which are fragile. Alcohol dehydrates hide glue, making it more brittle, but ONLY works for that one type of glue.

    If it was mine, I'd try the hot water and a clamp, but I'm also in a position to recognize developing problems, and to fix anything bad that happened . . . and there certainly is a good sized chance something will go wrong.

    As Randy suggests, is it that terrible to just leave it be?

  8. #8

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    Re: Fixing Agfa Ansco Universal 5x7

    Randy, it's out of square enough that i'm unable to tilt the lens.

    The hot paper towels sounds like an idea I can handle (famous last words).

    I'm putting this off until tomorrow. Perhaps I'll get some other ideas.

    Thanks.

  9. #9

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    Re: Fixing Agfa Ansco Universal 5x7

    You need to be able to figure out if the heat+water is getting anywhere as quickly as possible, so that you can discontinue it if nothing but bad things are going to happen. One test might be to poke a needle into the gap once in a while to test if the glue is softening.

  10. #10

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    Re: Fixing Agfa Ansco Universal 5x7

    Okay. How long will it take to see if it's working? A ballpark figure.

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