Glueing joints and light leaks?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by egdinger, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. egdinger

    egdinger Member

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    Okay so I finished sanding the kodak 3A, only problem is the sanding made the darn thing fall apart! The sides fit together using box joints (I think that is what they are called). The front attaches using butt joints. I'm wondering how these can be glued without causing light leaks?
     
  2. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    I ony do woodworking as a hobby, so if anyone with real experience weighs in, I won't be insulted :smile: ..... I would clean up the the joints, removing the old glue but not removing any wood. Then I would dry fit them to make sure everything is going to assemble properly when the time comes. I would use ordinary carpenters glue such as "Tite-Bond" and once glued and assembled, I would clamp it TIGHT while making sure the corners are square. It's the tight clamping which will keep it light-tight. You can never have too many clamps :smile:.

    cheers
     
  3. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    John hit the nail on the head - lots of clamps and keep her square. Once it's back together and you have the finish on the outside, there is no reason at all why you can't attack any lightleaks from the inside. FWIW, I use the flattest black paint I can find for the inside of lensboards and cameras. Krylon makes an ultra-flat "spray-bomb" that works very well.
     
  4. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    You didn't sand the joints did you? Are they loose when you put it together? Or are they still tight? If they're loose you might want to consider one of the other glues. Something that fills gaps better.
     
  5. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    If the joints are loose I recommend a polyurethane adhesive, Gorilla Glue is one brand. These expand and fill gaps very effectively, but the wood must be clamped well or the expanding glue can move it. It is a good idea to dampen the wood joints first as these adhesives react with water to cure. Also, be sure to use quite a bit less than you think you'll need, it does grow a lot. A few tests on scrap wouldn't hurt.

    Richard Wasserman
     
  6. phfitz

    phfitz Member

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    Hi there,

    If you are worried about lightleaks, you can add 'printer toner dust' to the glue. Just mix it up in a pint size deli tub OUTSIDE, this stuff is messy.

    The polyurethane glues are nice but may have enough hydraulic force to break the finger joints on a 3A, try some 'tite-bond' or Elmer's yellow carpenter's glue.

    Good luck with it.
     
  7. egdinger

    egdinger Member

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    Thanks, so it looks like I'll just clamp it good and attack any light leaks from the inside.
     
  8. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    Now that is a novel approach! I've gotta give old toner a try, it should work like a charm...
     
  9. Mark G MacKenzie

    Mark G MacKenzie Member

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    Choice of adhesive for vintage wood cameras

    Hi. I would like to jump into this thread but also please don't think I am ranting or flaming because I take strong exception to all of your suggestions for an acceptable adhesive.

    None of the modern adhesives should be used when restoring vintage wood camera equipment for the same reasons that affect fine furniture restoration.

    Animal hide glue was used originally. With a failure figure of slightly more than 3000 lbs. per square inch it is almost the same in strength as the PVA based construction adhesives. Wood fails at or before this tensile strength.

    Ever notice that once a modern construction type adhesive has been used to repair a wooden joint that it doesn't fail but the wood around it does? The net result is destruction of the wood piece for all intents and purposes.

    A wood joint properly put together with hide glue is good for longer than any of use will live and well into our children's lifetimes and when it fails it can be restored easily and exactly as it was originally made.

    When dry and cured, hide glue wood joints will not stand up to water immersion but then how many of us are planning on drowning their cameras? Hide glue joints will withstand extremely high humidity expecially if the joint is shellacked (sp?) or varnished (that finish is on their for more reasons than it looks pretty).

    Aged glue joints made with hide glue are easy to take apart and clean up.

    Also, hide glue molecules are smaller (way smaller) than the micelles of the modern construction adhesives. This is why the modern construction adhesives don't penetrate into the wood and cannot be used for consolidating aging and porous wood. Old joints glued with these adhesives will not plump up and will be mechanically loose. Properly reglued with hide glue, these joints are tight.

    Last but not least, the evils (also includes the smell) of hot hide glue pots are a thing of the past with the modern versions. Yes you can run a glue pot if you wish to (I do) but I also use the cold versions which can be applied and worked with just like the PVA carpenter's adhesives.

    Basically, if you love your camera and have put the effort into refinishing and refurbishing it properly, finish the job.

    These cold application hide glues are the cat's meow for adhering leather and cloth to wood. Ever wonder how the leather on desks was applied?

    I hope I haven't offended anyone, it is not my intent. Only to inform.

    If anyone wants to contact me off list please do so.

    Regards

    Mark MacKenzie, M.A.C.
    Art Conservator
     
  10. egdinger

    egdinger Member

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    I don't think your post was inflamitory in the least, and your position gives you some authority on the subject. I just used elemers wood glue. I don't think it is any kind of animal hide glue. But I wasn't doing a proper restoration on this camera, just something for fun.

    Problem is, one of the joints didn't go back togeather right and now it has light leaks, so what can I use from the inside to block the light?
     
  11. Kobin

    Kobin Member

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    So mark, what are the brand names of some of these cold animal hide glues, and where would one be able to find them?

    K.
     
  12. Mark G MacKenzie

    Mark G MacKenzie Member

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    Liquid Hide Glue

    Hi again. Fortunately, since a practical cold hide glue formulation was arrived at a few years back it has become a lot easier to get. I did a quick web search and a lot of hits came up. At least one of the big mail order wood working type stores "Woodcraft" carries it. You will love this as it comes under the heading of "if you can't beat them join them" but Titebond markets a liquid hide glue and I bet this is the brand you will likely find.

    I have used for some years Franklin's hide glue but I am not sure they haven't been bought out by someone within the last year or so and I am in Canada. I know that Woodcraft services the US.

    By the way, HOT hide glue is definetly not for the faint of heart and I really don't recommend it unless you are willing to put in an apprenticeship. However, the cold liquid hide glue is way, way much easier to use and has the very much added feature that it is extremely tacky. Take a drop between finger and thumb, press and then separate, you will feel and hear the tack. The construction type PVA's are very slippery and this often causes joints to slide during clamping up.

    Oh, yes, at Woodcraft, the cost of a 16 oz bottle iw $9.99 US. I have seen a 8 oz size going for approximately half of that price.

    If I haven't caused enough consternation and there are more questions email me and I will try to help.

    Regards

    Mark MacKenzie
     
  13. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    A couple weeks ago I started designing a quarter-plate wetplate view camera to be made from lacewood. Lacewood is a nicely figured sort of orange-red wood that exhibits kind of a chatoyancy (sort of sparkles as light hits it from different angles).

    Well, as the project evolved and I made the bellows, I ended up eventually choosing a shiny, copper-colored spandex material (sort of sparkles as light hits it from different angles) for the outer layer. I thought it looked best from the several materials I contemplated (faux crocodile leather, some burgundy suedes, silks, etc.).

    So now I've obtained some copper round stock to make the focusing knobs and tonight a metalsmithing friend lent me a plating machine so I can copperplate the gear rack and pinions. Apparently, this thing is evolving into a copper camera. (I haven't decided whether or not to let the copper pieces oxidize though.)

    For the joints on the extension bed the instructor in my adult ed woodworking class suggested using simple butt joints with copper dowels and I thought that might actually look cool. I may also make and use a few copper splines in this project. He suggested using crazy glue to fix the copper dowels and wood together.

    Y'all think that might work or would something like hide glue also bond these dissimilar materials together?

    Joe
     
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  15. Mark G MacKenzie

    Mark G MacKenzie Member

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    Adhering copper camera parts

    Whew, I really want to see what you have when you are finished it sounds like an "Art Nouveau" dream.

    Hide glue is not for your project as it really doesn't shine when adhering metals. Unless the data sheet for your cyanoacrylate adhesive talks about a truly permanent capability I would be careful of using it here. They actually don't stand up to humidity and "working". They often fail in several years without notice or it could stand up longer.

    You might be better off with an epoxy. The "Gorilla Glue" mentioned previously is I believe some sort of polyurethane I haven't read up on it for some time but it has garnered a good reputation for long lived extremely strong joints. It may be best overall for this use.

    Hide glue would stick the copper bits down but I am afraid they would not be shock resistant.

    Regards

    Mark MacKenzie
     
  16. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I have no expertise whatsoever. Nevertheless, I would worry that copper dowels would be problematic because of contraction and expansion with temperature fluctuations. The metal would move while the wood wouldn't.
     
  17. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    Hmmm. Never thought of that. I'm not sure but suspect humidity and the wood expanding/contracting more than the metal might be equally an issue.

    Joe
     
  18. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

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    I'd like to jump in and second everything Mark has said. I've been a woodworker for a long time and everything I've read about archival restoration praises hide glue. I'd also like to point out that if you need to fill gaps do not use gorilla glue. It's purpose is as an adhiesive and will not span a gap with any sort of strength causing your joint will fail. I would recommend epoxy to fill gaps.
     
  19. dmax

    dmax Member

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    A quick and direct answer to your question: Black Liquitex acrylic paint, medium viscosity. These come in very small plastic containers (about 200ml) from art or hobby stores. I use the "Carbon Black" version for a zillion photo-related applications, including restoration projects. Straight from the container, it is viscuous enough to hold its place in confined spaces, but "wet enough" to help fill gaps where it counts. Tilt or position the workpiece so that the Liquitex can seep into the gap correctly. I hope this helps.
     
  20. RichSBV

    RichSBV Member

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    I fully agree with Mark and MenacingTourist. The other problem with polyurethane glues is the expansion when they set. They can exert quite a bit of force and move pieces while setting up.

    My two favorite glues are the Titebond liquid hide glue for all the reasons above. And for other reasons, especially emergency repairs is the Hy-pur hot melt polyurethane glue gun. It's a Titebond product also. The glue does expand while setting but seems much stronger than the room temp glues like Gorilla. I've used it on things like chair legs that have refused any attempts made with hide glue or other wood glues.

    Never use Crazy glues on wood. It won't bond and it's far too brittle. Wood flexes and the glue has to also. Hide glue may not seem to flex, but does in the context of wood joints.

    I would also be suspect of metal dowels in wood. The wood would expand/contract with humidity and the metal with heat/cold. What's the chance of them expanding/contracting together? Use good hardwood dowels...
     
  21. argus

    argus Member

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    When I was into organ restauration, I used glue made from animal bones.
    I bought bulk material from a factory nearby where animal remains are processed.
    Mixed it up into hot water until I got a nice paste.

    Glue like this has been used for centuries and is very strong. If you ever have to separate pieces, just heat it with a hot air dryer and take the pieces apart without risk of damaging box joints
    It's perfect for glueing wood on wood & wood on leather.

    [edit] OK... it's called hide glue in English, I just found out about that and we're talking about the same thing. (I always used French literature)

    G
     
  22. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    Is the woodworking hide glue the same thing as an oil painters' canvas glue sizing? Photographic ossein sizing?
     
  23. Mark G MacKenzie

    Mark G MacKenzie Member

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    Hide glue yes, same thing no

    Same family, diffierent stuff. Historically and still used but now not exclusively, the glue you are referring to is "rabbit skin" glue. Smells like it to when you warm it prior to mixing in the calcium carbonate filler.

    It has less strength due to many factors. It does have to be more flexible and this is reflected in the ultimate strength.

    As an aside if you are using hot hide glue of any sort and the odour gets to you neighbours or loved ones, try adding a very small drop of oil of cloves. It will not only mask the odour to some degree but is a preservative as hot glue will eventually "go off" and begin walking away on you. If you hale from a middle east background you accomplish much the same but you would use garlic. Probably not the thing to make vampire caskets from.

    Liquid hide glues have amongst other things a preservative. By the odour I have always suspected formalin or something similar. Unless thinned out and left out uncovered I have never had any cold liquid hide glue go off.

    If you warm and sometimes lightly thin the hide glues you can actually immerse decayed and rot deteriorated wood in a pot of it. Once it has absorbed the glue and cured, it has been consolidated to a great degree. Not for anything structural but it works on classic furniture where you need to preserve. Of course you can't do this with any wood you can see through parts for that we do other things.

    You are right to be wary of metal pins of substantial circumference in wood. Especially if the wood is not sealed. Note, use of substantial circumference descriptor. Wood, cycling through humidity changes, and meeting a noncompressible material (the metal peg) will change its hole size due to a phenomenon known as "compression set-tension hold". However, if the pin is narrow it seems to suffer less ie. nails. However, wooden pegs, dowels, tree-nails, trennels, whatever, actually hold better, longer, and more sure. Having said that copper and other metal pins have been used for hundreds of years for decorative purposes.

    Sorry to have strayed away from hide glue and into the pin discussion.

    Regards

    Mark MacKenzie
     
  24. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    I believe Elmer's brand may be "wabbit skin" glue. :smile:

    FWIW, I'll also be wabbetting some white baffles in this camwa as well.

    Seriously, thanks again for the info. I'm actually leaning towards a bridle joint now after reading all this.

    I'd still like to use some copper pins in the camera though. What would you consider to be a "substantial circumference"? Originally, I was thinking of 3/16" diameter dowels in 3/4" square stock.

    If I used a simple butt joint and glued that with the hide glue and then added a copper pin as described above, what sort of strength might that joint have compared to a bridle joint?

    I suppose I could always use a threaded insert in the long end piece, cut some threads and a screw slot on the dowel, and just screw the two pieces together (+/- some glue on the butt joint). That might look cool.

    Joe
     
  25. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Here in the midwest a favored wood for hardness and toughness is the common hedge tree, also known as Osage orange and bodark. I'd use it in preference to metal for dowel pins.
     
  26. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Wrong Elmer... :wink:

    Elmer's (assuming you're talking about white glue) was casein (milk) based about 40-45 years ago. It's been polyvinyl acetate since around 1970. It was never gelatin based (hide glue, bone glue, what have you), though the *original* Elmer's glue was a "hide" glue; Elmer, the bull on the label, was there because he was the source of the glue, back when "glue factory" was the destination for any animal bone that wasn't due to wind up on a table as part of a cut of meat. Of course, you can get almost any kind of glue you want with the Elmer's brand on it -- Elmer's makes an aliphatic resin (yellow) carpenter's glue identical to Titebond, and a waterproof version just like Titebond II, for instance. Wouldn't surprise me in the least to find Elmer's now making a liquid hide glue similar to the Titebond product Mark mentioned.