Flocking

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by suzyj, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. suzyj

    suzyj Member

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    So here's the interior of the mirror box on my newly acquired M645 (with the mirror removed and put aside for safe-keeping):

    [​IMG]

    It's a bit of a mess. Bits of the grey goo covering sides and bottom (and the back of the mirror) are crumbling and going everywhere. Application of a fingernail turns it to mush, and use of lighter fluid makes it slimy muck.

    I've resealed a pile of cameras, but never encountered this stuff before - the mirror boxes have always been matte black painted, not coated in mush.

    I can get it off (I'm patient, and expect to spend the next few weeks doing so) using lighter fluid and a bamboo scraper, but I'm wondering what's best to replace it with.

    I bought a light seal kit a while back from Jon Goodman that included black felt (much of which has been used up on doors). That's probably the most appropriate material from the stuff I have, but I'm thinking it might be a tad thick.

    Otherwise I found some stuff that's made for lining telescope tubes: http://www.fpi-protostar.com/flock.htm That looks pretty cool, and appears to be thinner than Jon's felt.

    What are people's thoughts?
     
  2. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Reading the headline, I thought you were going to flock it yourself...

    I would like to have a sample in my hand. But I got not much choice on flocked liners over here anyway.
    High-Tack indicates longevity (though it is not necessarily so), but it sure means trouble installing in small mirror-boxes.
     
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  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I think I would brush paint it with matt black and try it out and only then think about sticking felt on if there was a problem.


    Steve.
     
  4. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    The trick is to not remove all the backing before installing. After cutting to size and test fitting it, peel away a little backing along the opposite end. Carefully align the piece and press down the far end, which will anchor it. The piece is pressed down as the backing is slowly peeled off by pulling with tweezers or very small needle-nose pliers.

    EDIT:
    I have found that on cameras with focal plane shutters, holding open the shutter with the "T" setting if the camera has one, or using a locking cable release if it doesn't, makes it easier. A smooth tool from the focal plane side is used to push down the material as the backing is peeled. The shutter is also protected from harm during the process.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2010
  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    You can get paper with flocking on it at most craft stores, I'd use pliobond to install it.
    You sometimes find this on the back of SLR mirrors.
    Where are you located? For your profile)
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You can also buy non-adhesive flocking paper from Edmund Scientific, which I use, also with Pliobond as John Koehrer suggests.
     
  7. suzyj

    suzyj Member

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    I'm in Sydney, Australia (I've edited my profile to reflect this).

    Thanks for the Edmund tip - their flocking looks perfect. I already have a roll of the tape micro tools sell for holding leatherette down (wonderful sticky gummy stuff). Unfortunately micro tools won't ship pliobond outside the US, so I'm unable to use that.

    I spent a few hours removing the existing flocking last night. It's on a thin transparent base, which was relatively intact. I found that by getting a blade under the base layer and lifting it, I could peel it off without leaving too much goo behind.

    On the side shown (as well as the base and back of the mirror), it should be relatively straightforward to cut flocking paper to size and reinstall. The other side included a little thin brass sheet, which was covering some stuff, plus an arm to articulate the mirror. The camera originally had flocking under this arm, which will doubtless prove challenging to replace.

    Otherwise, this camera is a gem. It's in beautiful condition with very few signs of use.
     
  8. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Be sure to put back the brass sheet.
    If the transparent backing is intact enough, you should be able to use that as a pattern. If it's sticky, put a piece of paper or plastic on it to cover the stickiness, then cut to the original edge of the backing. If you find yourself having lots of trouble getting pieces in, cutting them into a couple of sections might make it better.
     
  9. suzyj

    suzyj Member

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    Yes, I was careful not to destroy the brass bit. I'll put that back in under the replacement flocking.

    Unfortunately the plastic under the existing flocking will be of no use as a pattern - it broke and stretched quite a bit during removal. I'll just spend some time making a new pattern using thin card stock.
     
  10. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Have fun!
     
  11. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Pliobond is a contact cement, over here there are several made under different names so I'd guess you have an equivalent.
    It's applied to both pieces to be glued. allowed to tack up & put together. You have to be sure of the placement before they're allowed to come together because they aren't coming apart.
     
  12. suzyj

    suzyj Member

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    I went hunting locally, and found some matte black card from an artists supply place, which I've used, with flat black enamel paint on the areas under the mirror pivot arm where it was impractical to put the card. It looks really good now.

    [​IMG]