Replacing Camera "Leather"

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by BradleyK, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

    Messages:
    892
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Location:
    Burnaby, BC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As part of the restoration effort of one of my F2 bodies (a 1973 chrome F2/DE1 gem, that was well cared for, if little used, by its former owner), I have decided to "releather" the camera, to lend it a little personality. My question is: Is there an easy way to remove the factory covering? I tried the "prying method" (a Swiss army knife under a corner of the covering and lifting the raised piece) on a parts body and the effort gave me pause to reconsider. However, looking in at the offerings of www.cameraleather.com, my interest has again been piqued...
     
  2. vysk

    vysk Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, Cana
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    For a Nikon F2, the glue is ancient and dry. I use the chisel blade from an Xacto knife, and just work at it. I might drip in solvent but, choose carefully, as the wrong solvent seeping into the camera can do very bad things. ie. acetone will dissolve black paint.
     
  3. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,200
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A good quality lighter fluid could be used and it does not attack the paint as much.


    Mike
     
  4. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Yes, mike c is correct, use (sparingly) lighter fluid in conjunction with gentle, persistent prying with a small screwdriver. Some are easier than others. The problem is the caked on gunk that remains on the steel. Some of this might also have to be (patiently) removed with (even) a screwdriver. - David Lyga
     
  5. Lukas_87

    Lukas_87 Member

    Messages:
    114
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Prague, Czec
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Does anyone know any better camera leather "shop" than cameraletather.com?
     
  6. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,721
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    Duvall, WA,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Aki-Asahi Camera Coverings... http://aki-asahi.com/store/ Limited selection of cameras on the site, but, might be able to get raw stock to use to make your own kit.

    -J
     
  7. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,672
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I've recovered a couple of cameras (OM1 and a Hasselblad) with the griptac material from cameraleather. Great stuff, perfectly cut and easy to install. Doesn't look as classic as vulcanite or nice leather, but it is really grippy. Morgan delivered both of them in 7-10 days or so. Other folks say they've had delivery problems with him, but I suspect part of the problem is that he may not always have stock of more unusual colors or materials. Might want to double check with him about materials and lead time before ordering anything unusual.
     
  8. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

    Messages:
    2,115
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    a good soak with naphtha usually does the trick, you can also soak a clean rag, and let that sit over the area to let it penetrate. You are better off getting plastic or wooden scraping tools, anything metal may slip and mar the other bits of the camera. The precut ones are easy enough, or if you want something that is unique or a covering material that no one makes you can buy the leather and cut to fit. Make sure to check the thickness of it, too thick and it will not sit flush. Book covering material comes in tons of colors and is thin and easily workable. If you can remove the covering in one piece, its easy to trace it with pencil onto the new sheet of leather, if not you can carefully measure and work slowly.
     
  9. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,343
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver B.C.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Another good option is hand sanitizer works well on instillation. Also do not get impatient on the wait like removing the old stuff before you get the new product. The wait is worth it for the final product. I always said there is entirely too much pebble black on most camera and besides making great photos you can always look good doing it. I did a Burgundy colour on an Canon A1and an MA power winder.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2013
  10. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

    Messages:
    892
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Location:
    Burnaby, BC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for the suggestions, folks. As far as coverings go, I've narrowed it down to white cobra, red snake or blue kid leather (and, yes, I will willingly admit these to be odd choices for a vegetarian of 35 years' standing). I am aware beforehand re the thinness of the white cobra; however, given this particular F2 is a body I rotate through a couple of times a year and not one that sees constant use - unlike my F5s or my F6 - I am not too concerned about premature wear, if I decide to go this route. Most likely, though, I will opt for the red or blue covering. In the case of the former, I wonder if a red F2-DE1/MD2-MB1 might be a little over the top?:D
     
  11. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

    Messages:
    3,941
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    ɹǝpunuʍop. F
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Go to a medical supplies outlet and ask for skin prep swabs (alcohol-based) or adhesive remover wipes containing siloxanes.
    I use Welland Adhesive Removers, used for cleaning up aggressive surgical dressing adhesive after removal. It is very strong and effective. Once a corner of the leather is raised off the camera, the swab is rubbed in a forward fashion. I did this to a Ricoh GR1 years ago and it worked a treat; no guarantee it will work for old cameras with unknown adhesive.