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Thread: Does anyone know a cheap send-away place that can do a very basic CLA on a Wollensak

  1. #1

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    Does anyone know a cheap send-away place that can do a very basic CLA on a Wollensak

    Hey, so I've mentioned in the past that the front shutter (standard Wollensak-made "Graphex" in an Optar 135mm) on my Pacemaker Speed Graphic is gummy--as in, the slow speeds don't work at all, the high speeds all look like about 1/125th, and the dial is literally painful to turn.

    I'm on a very tight budget but I'm too afraid to CLA it myself. I was going to replace it with a Compur #1 rimset in a 135mm Xenar, but I realized that the Compur won't work with a standard solenoid, and I did want to do flash sync. Also I think I'd miss the 1/400th top speed of the Graphex.

    I genuinely don't think there's anything damaged about this shutter, just old lube/lube washed away (the camera seems to have been in water momentarily.)

    Is there anywhere in the U.S. that I can send it that'll give me a basic CLA for a really economic price? $100 plus shipping would be my absolute ceiling. Am I crazy to think that that might be doable?

  2. #2

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    Re: Does anyone know a cheap send-away place that can do a very basic CLA on a Wollen

    In my (limited) experience with shutter repair, usually the timing escarpment just needs to be flushed with alcohol (or put in a Ultrasonic bath if you're fancy). Get a set of jeweller screwdrivers, some tweezers and a magnifying glass and try it yourself, it will save you quite a bit of money for basic work.

    In copal shutters at least, the timing escarpment is held in by 3 screws, remove it and flush the whole escarpment assembly, sparingly place some sewing machine oil on the hinges and you're good to go.

  3. #3

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    Re: Does anyone know a cheap send-away place that can do a very basic CLA on a Wollen

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwatson View Post
    In my (limited) experience with shutter repair, usually the timing escarpment just needs to be flushed with alcohol (or put in a Ultrasonic bath if you're fancy). Get a set of jeweller screwdrivers, some tweezers and a magnifying glass and try it yourself, it will save you quite a bit of money for basic work.

    In copal shutters at least, the timing escarpment is held in by 3 screws, remove it and flush the whole escarpment assembly, sparingly place some sewing machine oil on the hinges and you're good to go.
    I've looked into it, but I... I can't. I've ruined a shutter before. Thankfully it was just a little tiny Compur on a Certo Dollina 2 35mm folding rangefinder, but I don't think I will trust myself to open a leaf shutter again.

  4. #4

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    Re: Does anyone know a cheap send-away place that can do a very basic CLA on a Wollen

    Quote Originally Posted by RLangham View Post
    Hey, so I've mentioned in the past that the front shutter (standard Wollensak-made "Graphex" in an Optar 135mm) on my Pacemaker Speed Graphic is gummy--as in, the slow speeds don't work at all, the high speeds all look like about 1/125th, and the dial is literally painful to turn.

    I'm on a very tight budget but I'm too afraid to CLA it myself. I was going to replace it with a Compur #1 rimset in a 135mm Xenar, but I realized that the Compur won't work with a standard solenoid, and I did want to do flash sync. Also I think I'd miss the 1/400th top speed of the Graphex.

    I genuinely don't think there's anything damaged about this shutter, just old lube/lube washed away (the camera seems to have been in water momentarily.)

    Is there anywhere in the U.S. that I can send it that'll give me a basic CLA for a really economic price? $100 plus shipping would be my absolute ceiling. Am I crazy to think that that might be doable?
    Not if they are fully experienced at that price.

  5. #5

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    Re: Does anyone know a cheap send-away place that can do a very basic CLA on a Wollen

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Not if they are fully experienced at that price.
    It does perilously approach minimum wage, doesn't it? Eh, maybe I can save up for a couple of months and go higher. Do you have someone you use regularly?

  6. #6

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    Re: Does anyone know a cheap send-away place that can do a very basic CLA on a Wollen

    Quote Originally Posted by RLangham View Post
    It does perilously approach minimum wage, doesn't it? Eh, maybe I can save up for a couple of months and go higher. Do you have someone you use regularly?
    Virtually any camera repair person can do a CLA. That is repair 101.

  7. #7

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    Re: Does anyone know a cheap send-away place that can do a very basic CLA on a Wollen

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Virtually any camera repair person can do a CLA. That is repair 101.
    The only one in my city is about 85 and is essentially retired. She's nice but she's probably forgotten how to do it. Sending it away looks like my only option.

  8. #8
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    Re: Does anyone know a cheap send-away place that can do a very basic CLA on a Wollen

    It occurs to me you may be young enough, maybe have good hands and eyes to learn CLA

    The problem is parts, as there are none and the same parts break all the time

    Depends on how you want to spend your time

    Almost all shutter repair folk are old

    I would look up that 85 year old woman and have a chat, but I am old, have bad hands and can't see tiny things

    I do have repair books, that are not that great, but many learned from those same books


    Time or money, we seldom have both...

    Quote Originally Posted by RLangham View Post
    The only one in my city is about 85 and is essentially retired. She's nice but she's probably forgotten how to do it. Sending it away looks like my only option.
    sin eater

  9. #9

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    Re: Does anyone know a cheap send-away place that can do a very basic CLA on a Wollen

    While I can certainly understand being hesitant to do the cleaning yourself, the service manual for Graphex shutters is available online and is quite good. I stripped down a Graphex #3 shutter following the manual and taking pictures every step of the way. I use a plastic 'bead box' container for all the parts, and every piece that came off was put in order in one of the compartments with its associated screws and springs. I also took my time and picked at it over the course of about two weeks. It wasn't all that difficult, but I do have a comfort level with such things.

    Sometimes a flush with naphtha and exercise of the shutter is all that's needed. The risk there is that the flushing can also move some of the grit and grime to other parts of the shutter where it can cause more problems.
    Reid

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rjbuzzclick/

  10. #10

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    Re: Does anyone know a cheap send-away place that can do a very basic CLA on a Wollen

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    It occurs to me you may be young enough, maybe have good hands and eyes to learn CLA

    The problem is parts, as there are none and the same parts break all the time

    Depends on how you want to spend your time

    Almost all shutter repair folk are old

    I would look up that 85 year old woman and have a chat, but I am old, have bad hands and can't see tiny things

    I do have repair books, that are not that great, but many learned from those same books


    Time or money, we seldom have both...
    Ah, well, I have poor eyes for my age (astigmatism with double vision) and I am terminally clumsy. You know how on 35mm you're not supposed to shoot handheld below, say, 1/60th for a 50mm lens, 1/30th for a 28mm lens and so on? I generally round up by a stop or two because I'm so bad at keeping the camera still.

    The first two times I opened a leaf shutter, it wasn't a good time, so I'm gonna play it safe and not open any more. Thanks for the advice, though!

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