old metal

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by darinwc, May 11, 2006.

  1. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    how hard is it to restore the metal parts on old view cameras?
    i've seen some that look badly rusted.
    Screws and bolts can be replaced easily, but things like racks and pinions im worried about.

    Anyone have any experience?

    Those restored graflexes look so nice when they let the wood show.
     
  2. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I’ve had very good luck soaking badly rusted small parts in a phosphoric acid solution overnight. It removes all traces of rust, but it also removes any coating or plating, and leaves the metal with a grey finish. A better idea may be to send those parts out to a plating service, and let them remove the rust and restore the original plating, whether chrome, nickel, etc.
     
  3. metod

    metod Member

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    Darin, what comes to my mind is to sandblast those rusted parts. This method can take away all the grime and rust without disturbing the original shape of the metal. As for the rack, it might be well embedded in the wood and hard to remove. There you would have probably no other choice than carefully check the gears with small sharp file or similar. Maybe others will have a better idea....

    Metod
     
  4. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    phosphoric acid solution: will that work as well with steel and brass?
     
  5. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    Just a suggestion but glass blasting is less violent than sand blasting. If the sand is to course you end up having nothing left.

    jan
     
  6. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Rock tumbler with walnuts or such medium. Doesn't change the shape and re-works the integrity of the metal after being used a lot. It also shines it up real well in the process. Nothing else to do.
     
  7. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    sorry but I dont have any equipment to sand/glass blast.

    Regarding rock tumblers: i've used my chromega motor base and a cofee can as a rock tumbler before. Works great and is much more reliable than those cheap toys.
    But walnuts???
     
  8. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Go to Rio Grande metal catalog, and they have all sorts of mediums to polish rework metals with. They abe plastic beads, glass beads, crushed corncobs, crushed walnuts, and steel and stainless steel shot. If not there try Frei and borel in Berkeley/Oakland they have a more user freindly website. Just search under polishing. The coffee can works well. In fact you can use sand in it in a more gentle method than sand blasting. It is what they used (not coffee cans though but wooden tubs) in the middle ages to polish chain mail. Put sand in a container and roll it around for a few hours. Labor was cheap back then.
     
  9. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I use a DuPont product, used in automotive painting as a metal prep. Look at Napa. It works great for brass and steel, but monitor the immersion time carefully for brass.
     
  10. Frank R

    Frank R Subscriber

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    I have restored several old woodworking machines. The simplest and fastest method for cleaning all the rust, corrosion (and sometimes a little paint) off the various parts and fasteners was to use a fine wire wheel on a grinder or buffer. It took off the rust and left a polished surface. You can always use spray laquer on any parts when finished to shine them up further and prevent future corrosion, but this is rarely necessary.

    My experience with soaking parts is that I get uneven results and I still have to wire wheel them anyway to clean off all the gunk that is generated and polish them up.

    A very fine wire wheel costs about $5, I think.

    You will learn to hold parts at odd angles. Pliers help too on smaller parts. A small hand held brass or aluminum brush (looks like a toothbrush) helps get into tight spots that the edge of the wheel cannot reach.
     
  11. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    just send the parts to me, and I will run them through my tumbler. I also have a Foredom so I can clean any spot on it that might be to small to get to with the polishing medium. Using a wire wheel will shave off part of the metal, you want to preserve it as much as possible. I think I have a gallon or two of lacquer sitting around as well.