Remove old leatherette and glue?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Discoman, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Discoman

    Discoman Member

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    Okay,
    the leatherette on my camera is dead as of today. I had to peel some off to make a repair, and, well, the sides of the camera are covered in some horrible adhesive and the leatherette is curled into a tube. The leatherette on the rest of the camera is peeling quite badly. Attempts at cementing it back didn't really help, as now I have peeling leatherette that isn't quite so aesthetically bad, but coated in contact cement.
    Frankly, I think it's time to just start over with a new coating on most of the camera.
    The back door, top, and one side are still in superb shape, but the front, the focus/advance knobs, and the one side are dead.
    What do I need to use to remove the old adhesive, as well as to remove my mistakes with the contact cement?
    One thread on flickr said that Xylene was a good choice. I tried acetone, but that just gave me damp adhesive that didn't come off.
    also, my understanding is that new leatherette can be had in self-adhesive form? Can you just buy a sheet of self adhesive leatherette, as I doubt anywhere would have my particular camera parts available.
    thanks.
     
  2. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    This happened recently to my Mamiya 645, though I remedied it with a more unorthodox method.....cleaned the adhesive off with rubbing alcohol, gingerly sprayed some 3M Spray-on packing glue made for shipping and re-attached it.
     
  3. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    You didn't say what model of camera this was. At cameraleather.com you will find self-adhesive coverings in all sorts of materials for a very wide range of cameras, and there are instructions there for how to remove the old stuff too, as I recall. Note that some people have had bad luck with this outfit, while others (myself included) have been very pleased.
     
  4. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Depends on type of adhesive. Some you have to soak pretty well. Manual scraping of it is usually also needed with a piece of plastic or wood.

    The self adhesive backed coverings sound very easy to apply, and I have removed leatherette from cameras with it and it comes off easy.

    Pliobond is the other option to try, which is not rubber cement. If it gets anywhere else rubbing with a rubber eraser or your hand after its dried a bit gets it off.

    If you can taking apart the camera to work on each part would be easiest, especially if parts need soaking.
     
  5. lacavol

    lacavol Member

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    I have done two Leica III cameras and an Exa. Most of the work was done by carefully scraping with some places heated gently with a hair dryer. I spent a lot of time with them as I didn't want to gouge anything or scratch any of the metal which wasn't covered. If you have to make any holes in the new covering, get a cheap leather punch of the right size then sharpen it as they are always dull when you buy them. Oh, and do like a carpenter measure twice, cut once. Naptha might help also, but it is very flammable and tends to run. Be very careful with any solvent as it can run into the camera and carry glue with it. It will be almost impossible to perfectly match the original covering so plan on doing all of the covering. If it's close no one will notice, also you can get some custom colors and textures and go wild as I have a burgandy Leica now.