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Thread: Wollensak Studio Shutter

  1. #1

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    Wollensak Studio Shutter

    I recently acquired a Wollensak Studio #3 Shutter (patent Mar 12 1907) with a Wollensak Velostigmat series II lens. The shutter is stuck in open position (f4.5). Cable release does nothing. I can remove the lens rear cell to access the shutter. Would oiling the shutter be advisable? Any other suggestions?

  2. #2

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    Re: Wollensak Studio Shutter

    thay rae very simple machines. take it apart and see what is jamming it up. take digital pictures to help you put it together if you need.

    this the shutter is also the aperture. can you move the aperture ring at all?

    to answer your question, NO, oiling it will not fix it all by itself. you will need to open it up and take a look at what has got it hung up.

    good luck.

    eddie
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  3. #3
    Jim Graves Jim Graves's Avatar
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    Re: Wollensak Studio Shutter

    You might PM Jim Galli ... he has a lot of experience with these. I believe the Studio Shutters may require a longer throw cable release to work properly ... but, Jim'll know.

  4. #4

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    Re: Wollensak Studio Shutter

    Oiling a shutter is almost always a bad idea. What happens when you flip the lever that closes down the blades?

  5. #5

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    Re: Wollensak Studio Shutter

    The shutter is stuck in fully open position. I can not move to a different aperture setting (I presume this is done by turning the outer ring relative to aperture setting). Switching the open lever to closed position does nothing. Is there something I'm not doing correctly?

    The glass looks in very good shape (no cleaning marks or scratches), so really want to rescue it.

  6. #6

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    Re: Wollensak Studio Shutter

    Access the shutter from the front. Each blade has a solid connection and one that is on a common ring that rotates making them open and close. Sounds like this ring is stuck from dirt etc. Be gentle. I use a product called "rubber buffer" which is made for buffing rubber before being patched. It's also a superb cleaning agent that will not harm the black phenolic blades, and leaves no residue behind.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  7. #7

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    Re: Wollensak Studio Shutter

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Howk View Post
    I recently acquired a Wollensak Studio #3 Shutter (patent Mar 12 1907) with a Wollensak Velostigmat series II lens. The shutter is stuck in open position (f4.5). Cable release does nothing. I can remove the lens rear cell to access the shutter. Would oiling the shutter be advisable? Any other suggestions?
    Stuck shutters are very problematic. My success rate with stuck shutters is about 50%. After a lot of painstaking work you may find the only way to salvage the lens elements is to get a replacement shutter. On a highly valued piece of glass, like you have, its well worth the wait, even if it takes a year for one to become available at a reasonable price.

    Short of sending it to a shop known to be experienced with wolleys and CLAs (Clean Lube and Adjust) there are some rules you might want to follow. Perhaps the most important are having the correct tools and (if you are lucky) a factory repair manual or DIY series of photos on the web.

    Before starting have a clean workplace, good lighting from multiple sources, hands free magnifiers and a large tray to catch any tiny parts that fall out.

    Lens wrenches can come in very handy, but one slip can destroy an element.

    Try soaking the shutter in Naptha (Ronsonol combustible lighter fuel) overnight. If that does not free it up its not a good sign. I use an ultra-sonic liquid bath of ronsonol.

    This is a procedure known to be dangerous so please take precautions.

    The cable release not working can be a sign of mechanical damage inside. Sometimes plungers are to long and get driven into the mechanism to hard (hence the replacement shutter from someone who salvaged it from a lens that might have been cracked in a fall). If your lucky it may be a bent part but often there is metal fatigue so be careful.

    Once everything is working there is the need far less than a drop of lube on the inside (NEVER THE SHUTTER BLADES) to help keep it from wearing out any sooner than need be. This is where experience (or a factory manual) really helps out.

    If you can at least get the shutter moving you might want to get a quote on the lubrication part.

    Once it all is working there is something to be said for "working" your vintage shutters once every month or two since the old factory lube can solidify and freeze up the shutter while its in storage.

    I have a weakness for distributor cam lube, feeler gauges and LF stuff in general

    All the best,

    R.
    Last edited by rvhalejr; 4-Jan-2009 at 20:31. Reason: Getting rid of EOL <cr><lf> that make it look funny

  8. #8
    wfwhitaker
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    Re: Wollensak Studio Shutter

    Doug,

    Do NOT oil the shutter. It needs to be cleaned. Studio shutters are notorious for jamming after years of non-use. They almost always jam in the open position because of the way they are constructed. It's simply the crud of ages causing the mechanism to bind.

    If you're comfortable working on small mechanical devices, have at it; they're relatively simple as shutters go. But the shutter/aperture blades are fragile and should be treated gently. They're made of an antique synthetic material and not metal. Do not use strong solvents. My best suggestion is to contact Carol at Flutot's Camera Repair and send it to her.

  9. #9

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    Re: Wollensak Studio Shutter

    Quote Originally Posted by rvhalejr View Post

    ...Try soaking the shutter in Naptha (Ronsonol combustible lighter fuel) overnight. If that does not free it up its not a good sign. I use an ultra-sonic liquid bath of ronsonol...
    So you have experience working with Studio shutters? Enough to recommend soaking the fragile blades in Naptha?

    I had Carol Miller at Flutot's get my Studio #4 working and I also recommend her highly.

  10. #10
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: Wollensak Studio Shutter

    You can flush an all metal shutter, like a Synchro-Compur shutter with metal blades, in naphtha. Some Compound shutters sometimes have paper blades that will be destroyed by anything liquid. Some shutters have phenolic blades that will deteriorate when exposed to a solvent like naphtha, so the shutter blades need to be removed before cleaning the shutter.

    There isn't much in a Studio shutter, since it doesn't have adjustable speeds. It's fairly easy to remove the blades and clean the rest of it. One of the blades is a double blade, so make note of where it is, so that when you reassemble it, you can put it in the right place and position the adjacent blade between the two halves, otherwise it won't fully close in the "closed" position, which it needs to do.

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