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Thread: Removal of graphite from aperture blades

  1. #1

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    Removal of graphite from aperture blades

    I have a copal 0 shutter I am cleaning, that has graphite lube coating the aperture blades. Attempts to remove the graphite have so far only been partly successful, has anyone here found a method to clean them/encountered this before?
    Jim

  2. #2

    Re: Removal of graphite from aperture blades

    Quote Originally Posted by aphcl84 View Post
    I have a copal 0 shutter I am cleaning, that has graphite lube coating the aperture blades. Attempts to remove the graphite have so far only been partly successful, has anyone here found a method to clean them/encountered this before?
    In my experience, Naphtha does a fine job of removing graphite and all other contaminants. Its fairly common for there to be some graphite and/or oil on shutter blades, and I've not yet encountered dirty blades that couldn't be cleaned with Naphtha on a Q-tip. If a blade has some tarnish/corrosion on it, I have used metal polish to clean that off, but that was only in extreme cases.

  3. #3

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    Re: Removal of graphite from aperture blades

    Thanks, this worked well for me.
    Jim

  4. #4

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    Re: Removal of graphite from aperture blades

    It works best when the blades are removed from the shutter. Otherwise it might take multiple cleanings to get even it partially removed.

  5. #5

    Re: Removal of graphite from aperture blades

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    It works best when the blades are removed from the shutter. Otherwise it might take multiple cleanings to get even it partially removed.
    I made the assumption that the OP had removed the blades from the shutter for cleaning.

  6. #6

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    Re: Removal of graphite from aperture blades

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    It works best when the blades are removed from the shutter. Otherwise it might take multiple cleanings to get even it partially removed.
    The shutter was fully disassembled, the previous owner had poured a large amount of graphite into the shutter and it had coated every surface inside. Unfortunately many people are given the advice to try to use shortcuts like this or lighter fluid and the shutters end up damaged, this one had a broken leaf from it.

    Most of the shutter parts were easy to clean, and I just replaced all the leaves from my parts stash yet the aperture blades coating held onto the graphite quite tenaciously. But it's back together now and working perfectly.
    Jim

  7. #7

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    Re: Removal of graphite from aperture blades

    I don’t know what would make someone think that putting graphite in a shutter is a good idea.

  8. #8

    Re: Removal of graphite from aperture blades

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    I don’t know what would make someone think that putting graphite in a shutter is a good idea.
    The lack of knowledge about how it really works.

    And to be fair, graphite does actually have a role on shutter lubrication. Graphite powder is still used to lubricate the blade actuating ring in some Compur shutters. Graphite is also still used to lubricate the blades of the aperture in some instances, especially old shutters with 10 blades or more, and which have grown stiff due to distortion damage or corrosion. But of course, you don't just dump a teaspoon of graphite in the shutter and call it done! You have to use an air blower of some sort to blow out any excess graphite, leaving just the thinnest coating of it on the surfaces. Chris Sherlock does this, and so do I. (On Compur shutters in Kodak Retina models)

  9. #9
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Removal of graphite from aperture blades

    All mechanical leaf shutters will fail some decade

    We need a new plan

    Maybe not me, but younger will

    I imagine electronic activated glass with adjustable aperture and shutter speeds, any size

    We are almost there
    2022

  10. #10

    Re: Removal of graphite from aperture blades

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    All mechanical leaf shutters will fail some decade

    We need a new plan
    Randy,
    I have serviced scores of Compur shutters on Kodak Retina cameras that date back to the 1930s. That makes many of them 75 year old or older. I have yet to encounter an 80 year old Compur shutter that could not be restored by proper cleaning, unless the shutter was damaged by misuse/abuse. Its not unreasonable to expect that most of these 1930s Compurs have at least another 80 years in them. They were well built and designed to function for many, many years.

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