New finish for old cameras - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Ole, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That poll reminded me - those of you who have done this before; what stuff did you use to for finish on a camera? I know it was originally shellac, but I also know that others have used other products.

    I have some of the finishing I used on the wooden parts of my boat, which not only gives a wonderful polish but is also water- and salt resistant. But Eddie (Hill, of Gandolfi) was shocked that I would even consider using boat laquer on a camera - but maybe he's just not aboat person :wink:
     
  2. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    You might consider using a polyurethane varnish. This is what they use on bowling alleys where the surface must withstand a lot of abuse.
     
  3. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    Seeing as spraying lacquer is something that I've done before, I figure that when I do this beat up old Agfa of mine, I'll likely respray it in the same old boring grey/green finish that it originall had. Properly sprayed lacquer is pretty tough, so it should last another 65 years (longer than me anyway :smile: )

    cheers eh?
     
  4. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Member

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    If the camera is made from a hardwood, analine dye (sp?) and nitrocelulos laquer make a marvelous finish. I use this finish on musical instruments. It gives a glass-hard finish.

    On the Maple 4x5 I recently built, I used Watco Danish Oil because the Maple was too dense to take any other stain.
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Stain is not a problem - the camera is a mahogany Gandolfi.

    BTW, the teak bits of my sailboat got seven coats of thinned marine polish, lightly rubbed between each new coat.
     
  6. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I have refinished three cameras. I used sprayed lacquer on the two 8X10 Deardorffs and polyurethane on the 12X20. After using both, I would use polyurethane on the next that I refinish. It is a tougher finish.
     
  7. blaze-on

    blaze-on Member

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    I thought I posted this earlier..huh..

    Tung oil or danish oil...saturate, wipe off (several coats till sits on top).
    buff lighlty with #0000 steel wool. Finish with paste wax.

    So easy to touch up vs. plastic polyurethane...Every time you get a ding or dent with plastic it's much more difficult to repair. With oil, just give it a touch up coat of wax now and then..simple and durable.
     
  8. barryjyoung

    barryjyoung Member

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    I use whatever the piece calls for. For example, the nasty gray old B&J maple camera that I stripped the paint off of for my girlfriend got some minwax stain and before it was dry it got five coats of gloss lacquer from a Deft spray can. It wasn't something I wanted to spend a lifetime on. On the other hand, when I do a Deardorff, I hand rub orange shellac I prepare myself for the older ones and on the newer use an airbrush with lacquer just like they did near the end. So it depends on what the job calls for.
     
  9. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Having synthetic bellows on my camera frees me from a lot of "authenticity" concerns! I have no idea at all of when the camera was made, but a few remaining bits of black laquer could indicate the 50's. 1950's that is - Gandolfi started in 1885 and "Traditional" is not just a name :smile: