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Thread: Catastrophically broken Wista 45SP, any hope for repair?

  1. #1

    Catastrophically broken Wista 45SP, any hope for repair?

    I just got my Wista out for the first time in years, and I was looking forward to shooting it again. I repaired the jammed front rise, got it all put back together, tried to shut it, and: snap. I had thought both of the folding knobs were unlocked but one wasn't; even with light pressure, the base of the thing cracked.

    There's a partial crack running from the rear left, and the right side (pictured) is cracked all the way through. Does anyone have any ideas on how I could repair this, or find someone to repair it? How can I separate the bed from the base?


  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Catastrophically broken Wista 45SP, any hope for repair?

    I'd try to repair it with TIG welding.

    After disablembling removing paint in the area I'd weld some spots to keep all in position. Later I'd use TIG welding without filler, welding in both sides of the crack alternatively and cooling to prevent thermal deformations. Also a drill/thread/bolt can be placed to reinforce it.

    It should be made by a proficient metal welder with the right equipment.

  3. #3

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    Re: Catastrophically broken Wista 45SP, any hope for repair?

    Quote Originally Posted by atomicthumbs View Post
    I just got my Wista out for the first time in years, and I was looking forward to shooting it again. I repaired the jammed front rise, got it all put back together, tried to shut it, and: snap. I had thought both of the folding knobs were unlocked but one wasn't; even with light pressure, the base of the thing cracked.

    There's a partial crack running from the rear left, and the right side (pictured) is cracked all the way through. Does anyone have any ideas on how I could repair this, or find someone to repair it? How can I separate the bed from the base?

    Contact Bob Watson at Precision in IL. But the color of the camera does not appear to be a current model. How do you know it is the SP? Does your bellows come off?

  4. #4

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    Re: Catastrophically broken Wista 45SP, any hope for repair?

    If this had happened to me I'd try JB Weld. Keep it out of the slot where parts have to slide. Use it sparingly, clamp it hard, and don't mess with it for 48 hours. If it doesn't hold then you could try welding or screwing it together. I've put 125,000 on a Ford Escape transmission with a large crack repaired with JB Weld. It still doesn't leak.

  5. #5

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    Re: Catastrophically broken Wista 45SP, any hope for repair?

    Not having access to a welder, I have in the past made similar repairs to a dropped Sinar Norma using the original J-B WELD. Now I see they many products for making metal repairs.

    https://www.jbweld.com/collections/metal

    I opened up the crack and applied J-B WELD inside. Clamped the crack shut and wiped off excess J-B WELD. Waited a few days and removed the clamp. The repairs were hardly noticeable and have held up now for years.
    Good Luck

  6. #6

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    Apr 2009
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    Seattle area, WA
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    Re: Catastrophically broken Wista 45SP, any hope for repair?

    I've used JB Weld for forming aperture pins on blades that were missing the pins. I had no "punch" or any other way to get the pins in the blades, my fix is still holding up fine. It's good stuff, don't discount it, it may feel like a duct tape fix, but if it works and gets you taking pictures again it's worth it.

  7. #7

    Re: Catastrophically broken Wista 45SP, any hope for repair?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Contact Bob Watson at Precision in IL. But the color of the camera does not appear to be a current model. How do you know it is the SP? Does your bellows come off?
    The bellows do come off, and it's one of the old brown-and-wood-pattern models (though a previous owner replaced most of the wood with purple velvet). It has microswing, a revolving back that comes off with two latches, and no front swing.

    Sounds like JB weld might be the way to go about it while saving as much of the finish as possible. If that doesn't work, there's a busted up 45D on eBay for $117 + $80 shipping...

    Edit: it's possible my camera is a late-model 45 D, since they apparently introduced the rear swing knobs late in the model run. Not sure what the difference would be between it and a 45 SP, if that's the case.

  8. #8

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    Re: Catastrophically broken Wista 45SP, any hope for repair?

    Quote Originally Posted by atomicthumbs View Post
    The bellows do come off, and it's one of the old brown-and-wood-pattern models (though a previous owner replaced most of the wood with purple velvet). It has microswing, a revolving back that comes off with two latches, and no front swing.
    Contact Precision. Phone will help you the most. Just use google

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