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Thread: Any tips on how to repair lenses with Balsam Separation?

  1. #21
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Any tips on how to repair lenses with Balsam Separation?

    don't forget the correct fire suppression device

    and children

  2. #22
    Randy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Virginia, USA

    Re: Any tips on how to repair lenses with Balsam Separation?

    I soaked my cell in acetone - took about a week for it to dissolve and easily come apart. After cleaning the elements up, rather than balsam I used a drop of canola oil. I suspect that it is not as "permanent" as balsam, but after about a year, it had not discolored. I have since sold the lens fully disclosing my procedure to the buyer.

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Re: Any tips on how to repair lenses with Balsam Separation?

    Quote Originally Posted by manfrominternet View Post
    Whoa! Thank you so much for this! You just saved an otherwise flawless Bronica lens from probable destruction, as I was planning on boiling the “balsam separated” lens element in my effort to fix it tonight. (In this case, would it still even be called “balsam separation”?)

    I did a cursory search on Google and couldn’t find methylene chloride easily available in my area (and I live in Los Angeles!). Apparently you can’t get this at Home Depot. Is there a pre-mixed compound of methylene chloride, methanol, and ammonia available for optical situations/problems like this?

    Regarding optical UV glue, I take it that any old optical UV glue from Amazon won’t work, will it? Also, would it be safe to assume that Norland 61 has some sort of special optical property that Canada balsam doesn’t have? (I just bought a little bottle of Canada balsam from Amazon before even starting this thread, unfortunately.)

    Anyway, many thanks again! I appreciate it.
    Methylene chloride is a very strong solvent that is a significant health hazard (as in, touching it momentarily won't poison you, but major inhalation or skin exposure can cause various kinds of damage). Some paint strippers used it, but paint strippers with methylene chloride have been banned. I used it once years ago to build a slot processor by gluing acrylic. Maybe plastics stores still have it. However, you must use it cautiously.

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