proper use of graphite for blades

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by darinwc, May 28, 2009.

  1. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    I have some sticky shutter blades in an Olympus Pen EED that just seem like they need to be hit with some graphite. The action just is not smooth.
    Is there a specific type of graphite to get and what is the best method to apply it?

    THX
     
  2. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Ummm, NONE!
    If the blades are icky don't make them sticky.
    They should be dry as should the housing.
     
  3. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    My problem is that I have thouroughly dissasembled and cleaned the blades, but they still require more oomph that I think the little spring can put out reliably. The way this shutter is designed, they rub against the housing quite a bit and I would like to reduce that friction.

    so... do I need to 'spray' a little graphite between them and leave a little 'dust' there for it to work? -or do I have to rub it onto the blades and then blow the excess dust away?
     
  4. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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  5. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    OK heres the deal with graphite: It's messy stuff! The little tube it came in squirts irregular amounts and it gets all over.
    Use it in a separate work area than where you dissasembled your camera!

    What I ended up doing was squiting some into a plastic film container. I dipped the tip of a Q-tip into the stuff and then tapped it on the edge (like a cigarette) to remove the excess.

    With the shutter assembly -completely- dissasembled and removed each blade individually. I used the Q-tip to rub the graphite onto the surface of each side of each blade. It grayed the surface a little, kinda the shade of a pencil mark.
    I also hit the shutter housing in this case.

    After I was done, I blew away all the graphite dust, twice, before I reassembled the shutter mechanism.

    Did it work? I think so. The action is improved, but it was not a huge difference.
    I would not reccomend this for most shutters, but in the case of this olympus pen eed I was working on, the mechanism is very weak.
     
  6. pnance

    pnance Member

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    In the olden days, as a Linotype operator, we would polish the spacing tabs with graphite. This was done by taking the spacers and rubbing them on a board with graphite. I wonder if polishing the aperature blades this way, then wiping them clean would help remove the stickyness? Hopefully the wiping would remove any loose graphite.
     
  7. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    I once new a camera repairman that put graphite and blades into a rotating tumbler used for polishing rocks.
    In that way the blades got covered with a thin layer of graphite, so it makes some sense.
    I did it a couple of times by rubbing the blades with Qtips and graphite.
    It might help, but be shure to use an even underground when you do it.

    Peter
     
  8. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    You do not have to believe me, but, a long time ago, in the Hasselblad factory, there was a kind of a rotating cylinder (like a concrete mill in miniature, a tumbler as Archphoto told?) with hard rice grains in (the one they eat in China) and the tiny parts got polished during a long time in it. I wonder if some kind of rice powder might do the job for you...

    Good luck,

    Philippe
     
  9. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I like to take a small amount of rubbing alcohol, 70+% iso or similar (not acetone, lighter fluid has worked for me in a pinch too) and mix it with a small amount of graphite. You want an almost slightly runny paste.. I dab a q-tip in and gently swab the blades, let dry and fire it over and over again. Shake it out/etc. You don't want graphite floating around.

    YMMV.. it helped an older graphex shutter for a while but the real problem was the spring. Eventually all speeds faster than 1/30th or so fired at the same speed (like 1/30th), but all the slower speeds work fine. 1/1 is like 2/1.
    I still use it, amazingly.. the glass looks like someone (not me!) cleaned it with a brillo pad or took it to the beach. Ah well.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    interesting notion that rice might be of some help.
    sounds good to me!

    at the coffee shop i worked at, we sold burr grinders/coffee mills
    and it is recommended that one puts uncooked/raw white rice through
    the grinder to clean off the burrs -- if / when they get gummed up from
    oily coffee beans ..
     
  11. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Wow thats a really good idea.. I have a small grinder at home i have to clean periodically.