Escaped Rapax shutter spring

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by eyesage, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. eyesage

    eyesage Subscriber

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    I recently opened up the Rapax shutter for my 135mm Wollensak Raptar lens had gradually been slowing down to the point it would simply stick open at speeds slower than 1/25th to see what could be done, but seeing the the delay mechanism was not a discreet unit that could be easily removed thought better of going any further. Before I could get the face plate back on however a spring jumped loose and I have been unable to determine exactly how it goes back in. I was hoping someone who is more familiar with these things might be able to suggest how I might return it to its original position.

    rapax001.jpg
    Here is the spring in question, the coil is about 4mm across.

    rapax002.jpg
    Here is the rest of the shutter with the face plate off. The red arrow indicates a post that seems to have no purpose as it is and is just the right thing to be an anchor point for the coil of the spring, and it's also in the general area the spring jumped out from, so I'm assuming this is the starting point. I haven't been able to find how or what other part or parts it is supposed to give tension to.

    To get a better sense of what the part might do I put everything back together without the spring and so far as I can tell the shutter still appears to work at the higher speeds. At lower speeds though it has the opposite of the original problem as they are obviously too fast. One second sounds more like 1/8 of a second. It still works on T, though if the shutter button isn't pressed and released very quickly when the shutter is opened it will close again. It doesn't work on B, though to be honest I'm not sure if it ever did.

    (The shutter had flash sync contacts BTW which were removed many years ago and this didn't affect the workings of the rest of the shutter and I'm not concerned with that.)

    Any suggestions, even if they're just highly educated guesses, about what this part does and how it can be returned to its original position would be appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    Joe
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    That could be the Bulb Lever Spring.
     
  3. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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  4. rjbuzzclick

    rjbuzzclick Member

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    I run into this problem myself from time to time, and it's hard to solve without having the parts in hand and without being an expert (which I'm not). When I get really stuck, sometimes just staring at the pieces, or walking away and then taking a second look will help.

    The post you mention is probably the best place to start. Most likely, the spring is supposed to be installed with the two ends slightly closer together under tension, and that tension would slightly constrict the coil in the middle of the spring. Start there, and find posts that the spring coil will fit, then look for places to catch or anchor each end of the spring. Also, many times one end of the spring will be anchored against the inside of the case and there may or may not be a groove there. Also be sure to flip the spring over vertically and horizontally when looking for places it could go.

    To me, it looks kind of like the spring that puts tension on an M/X flash sync switch and provides the "detent" for the two settings.
     
  5. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    The link I posted shows clearly where and how the spring is installed. Fifth picture down, IIRC.
     
  6. rjbuzzclick

    rjbuzzclick Member

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    Thanks. I'll keep my mouth shut in the future.
     
  7. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Shutters are tough stuff, but thanks to you guys, I'm getting less afraid of them. If I just ply my mind and attack the task like all the other kinds of repair work I do, everything will come out alright.
     
  8. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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  9. eyesage

    eyesage Subscriber

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    Thanks Reid. This is sort of the logic I had been following but you got me to take a second look and try some things I haven't before and we may have the problem licked. There are a couple of tabs that are to the right of the post in the photo from my first original message. One of them was attached to a lever that was already spring loaded, but the other was just free floating. It seemed like this must be it but any logical way I could come up with to use the spring to put tension on it either didn't work or put an odd torsion on the spring that caused it to pop back out again. Following your advise I tried flipping it and twisting it around a few more ways and came up with something that tensioned the lever, stayed in place, and when I put the face plate back now seems to be causing the timing gears to engage properly. Better yet I must have loosened some gunk along the way because it's not sticking at slower speeds any more. Shutter durations are still about twice the marked speeds which is frankly as good as it's ever worked as long as I've owned it and I can compensate for that. The only strange thing is that now when the shutter speed is set anywhere between 1/10 and 1 sec. I can't cock the shutter. The cocking lever just won't stay engaged. If I move it to a faster speed to cock the shutter though I can then move it back to a speed in that range and it will fire normally. Unless someone has a brilliant and sure fire solution to this I'm going to put the lens back together and live with it as is.

    - Joe
     
  10. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    JOE,
    you apparently ignored my post. The link is to a Factory service manual for the Rapax/Graphex #1, #2, and #3 shutters. It gives detailed instructions from start of disassembly to reassembly.

    If you are just a shade tree er, lay it on a solid surface and beat it with a hammer.
     
  11. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    p.s. the time and bulb levers are sticking.
     
  12. rjbuzzclick

    rjbuzzclick Member

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    Joe-keep at it, you'll get it. Download the manual that shutterfinger posted the link for (I did-thank you!). There are a couple of diagrams showing all of all the spring locations that will be incredibly helpful.
     
  13. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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  14. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    IF you keep using the shutter in its current state it will deteriorate to a pile of some usable parts.
    Example #1- blade opening spring broke. I was able to make one from brass that worked but was not as strong as the original which is copper.
    Example #2- arrived with the pin in the timing gear next to the cable release socket broken off. It was run until it stopped. I made and installed a new pin.
    both shutters came back with speeds at the edge of tolerance for some speeds and within tolerance on the other speeds except for 1/200 and 1/400 speeds.
    Back to doing a CLA on a #2 Graphex.
    Wollensak Raptars were re badged Optar for Graflex Corp. cameras.
     
  15. eyesage

    eyesage Subscriber

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    Thanks for persisting through my short sightedness - I admit I was skimming the replies I the first time saw it and missed that the link was the whole point of your post.

    What an amazing resource! I'd have appreciated having it even if I wasn't having issues with the shutter right now. I have the .pdf saved now and certainly hope I can confirm whether or not I have the spring placed correctly, but it sounds like you're suggesting more serious attention is in order here. Nothing resembling my specific symptoms appears in the troubleshooting list, is there anything specific you think may be needed here or just a general CLA? I should mention that the issue cocking the shutter when the speed is set between 1/10 and 1 sec. seems to have worked itself out with some use. The chief issue that remains is simply that shutter durations are about double what is marked which I understand is pretty common with these shutters.

    I'm also curious about all the references to M and X synchronization but this shutter has no selector as this shutter has no such selector and the terminals are just marked X. Is this a special version, or maybe M synchro was phased out at some point?

    -Joe
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2013
  16. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    The Rapax came in 3 versions
    No flash sync,
    Full flash sync M-F-X as covered by the manual. M, red or black and F are types of flash bulbs; X is electronic flash.
    X sync only.

    The X sync only has a simpler flash sync parts and is fairly easy to service as some components are the same as the full sync shutter.
    The speeds being slow says the shutter is due a full disassembly, clean, lube, reassembly. It will stop and die.
    See: http://www.graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=6103 (scroll down to the pictures)

    They are not as difficult as they seem. Keep each sections parts separate from the others for easier identification.
    A trace of oil is all that is needed where oil is called for, a dab of white lithium grease or similar about the size of a straight pin head or less is all that is needed where grease is called for.
    Use a degreaser that leaves no residue to clean the metal parts. I use CRC Quickdry electrical contact cleaner. Isopropyl Alcohol works well also.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2013
  17. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    Tip: use a digital P&S in macro mode and take pictures as you remove parts as this makes reassembly easier.
    Rub extra fine powdered graphite into the shutter blades and aperture blades and their pivots without bending them or leaving fibers behind.
     
  18. rjbuzzclick

    rjbuzzclick Member

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    To expand on shutterfinger's good advice...When I disassemble shutters, I have one of those plastic "bead boxes"-basically a flat rectangular plastic box that's divided up into compartments. Each component of the shutter I remove, along with it's associated screws and springs, goes into one compartment. When you get ready to reassemble, you just start at the last compartment and work backwards. I use naphtha, white lithium grease, and gun oil.