Cleaniong Burke & James 8X10?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by nsurit, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I've just purchased a Burke & James 8X10 camera in pretty decent shape from that online buying site. The camera is broken down into its component pieces and before or as I reassemble it I'd like some advice on cleaning/lubricating to insure the best operation upon completion. As previously stated, it is is pretty decent shape. The geared tracks seem a little dirty. What is the best way to clean? Should the geared tracks and gears be lubricated? If so, with what. Should anything be done to the groves in the wood that the camera base pieces slide in? Anything special to lightly clean the wooden surfaces? Murphy's oil soap? Plain water? How would one lightly clean the metal surfaces? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Bill Barber
     
  2. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    I'm partial to wax on all of the wooden sufaces. It's reversible, helps protect them and aids in sliding surface to surface (wooden grooves.) The rack and pinion gears and track can have a light coat of lubricant, but don't get sloppy with it. I have used a teflon lubricant stick in very small quantities. Wax might work here as well, keeping it all simple and removable with solvent (I'm allergic to turpentine and hate the smell of regular mineral spirits, so I use odorless artists paint thinner or very small amounts of citrus based degreaser or cleaner, changing the wiping surface frequently. Butcher's Wax is readily available and easy to use.

    In terms of cleaning, Murphy's works well. Just keep the area you clean at any one time pretty small and don't soak the wood. The wax will also do quite a bit of cleaning in the process of application and buffing, but any water-based dirt or grime should be taken off first. If more extensive cleaning is necessary there are "finish restoring" fluids available at home improvement or hardware stores that go a long way to making the wood look new again. I lean toward minimalism, however. Not much sense in doing the "strip and refinish" thing if it isn't necessary- it generally lowers the value to antique-y types, but users don't really care. Whatever level you're comfortable with.
     
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  3. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Are you talking something like a Johnsons paste wax? Would a silicon grease be an option if used sparingly? Bill Barber
     
  4. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    For those who might be looking at this and actually care -- Bill and I continued in PM's. Johnson's would work fine.