Replacing Foam Seals on RB67.

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by snegron, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I am thinking about replacing the foam light seals on the film backs of my RB67. I have several questions abiut this.

    A) There is a company (www.micro-tools.com) that sells several foam kits. Which should I get for this project? There were several sizes and thicknesses ,some self adhesive.

    B) How do I remove the old gummy seals? Do I use a solvent? If so, which type and how?

    C) Should I scrap the idea and send it off to a pro?
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Is the camera exhibiting signs of light leaking?...

    Just curious,

    there is a guy on ebay that sells foam kits for just about anything you can think of, if your going to replace them, make sure you clean all of the residue off from the old seals, or it will not stick correctly and you will end up with the seals comming off after a short amount of time.

    Dave
     
  3. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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  4. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Member

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    Go with the foam material that Jon Goodman sells. It is of a type that will not go gummy in another 20 years. His "kits" for general rehabilitation contain several thicknesses and densities of material for applications ranging from door seals to mirror damper.

    So far, I have rehabbed about 40 RB Pro and Pro S backs. You have a very messy project in front of you, and the thin seal on the insert is much easier to place using material that does not have adhesive--Jon's kit has precut strips that are great for this. Glueing these two thinline seals on the ends is sufficient. The ones that go on the back itself are not too difficult. Be sure that you do not use too thick a material along the hinge section.

    You will need denatured alcohol, acetone, contact cement, the bamboo tool that comes with the kit, a dental pick, toothbrush, small sable brush, surgical scissors, tweezers, a very sharp X-Acto knife, metal straight edge, cutting board, some shop rags, a syringe to apply alcohol, and a great deal of patience with your first one... You will find that getting the self-adhesive strips into the back channel without them catching on the side and rolling about is somewhat challenging! You must also cut these strips yourself, as the material kit does not have but one size of precut, non-adhesive material. That is too narrow for the back... Foam material at the thin widths you need cannot be cut right with a scissors (only the end cuts), you must place the foam side down, line out the width with your straightedge, apply pressure (careful, as too much will create a beveled cut) and cut in two smooth passes. When filling the channels, do not premeasure an exact length. Always make it longer, and cut to fit once the bulk is placed and tamped down. Otherwise, you can be short and cause a light leak. The same goes with cutting where one seal butts against another.

    The corner sections on the insert can be a little tricky. Here, make sure that you use a thick enough material...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2006
  5. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I've used Jon's kits on a number of 35mm and MF cameras. They are quite easy to use and come with a handy tool for removing the old seals as well as detailed instructions. On my first camera, I took quite some time because I was expecting it to be very difficult. I've problably done 15 now, and I feel comfortable saying that if you can process your own film, you have what it takes to be able to replace the light seals in your camera.

    Go at your own pace, take notes if you need to, and don't start with the idea that you can't do it and you'll do just fine.

    - Randy
     
  6. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    I've used the stuff from Micro tools... Most recently I put some on a Pinhole camera to try and stp a light leak. Even though the foam is compressed, it still does almost nothing. Makes me think that I was a lot of time putting it on the couple of other cameras that I had rebuilt. It's not something that I'll buy again.

    I also have some flocking that Jon Goodman sent to me, if the light seals that he sells are made of the same stuff, it would be a much better product! Check with Jon about what you need. If you do a search for his name, you'll find his email address in a post that I made (maybe others too). He also reads and posts to the Yahoo "camera-fix" group, and probably a few others.
     
  7. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    Can't say enough good stuff about Goodman's products. I have done several 35's, a few RB67 backs and EVERY one turned out perfect. Not a tough job. Patience is a definite asset.
     
  8. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Thanks everyone for the info! It seems like everyone here agrees that patience is needed to replace the foam seals. I am concerned that I might not do it right and have a light leak. Are self adhesive foam seals better than the ones that adhesive needs to be applied to? I live in Florida. It is always very hot and humid here. Will this affect any particular type of foam seal?
     
  9. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    Jon's kits work just fine in the Florida heat. Mine were replaced years ago and have never been a problem.

    - Randy
     
  10. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Thanks! I tried searching for Jon Goodman and Interslice on Ebay, no luck. Does anyone have a link to his website?
     
  11. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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  12. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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  13. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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  14. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Thanks for the links! I will order a kit this week. Hopefully I can reseal my backs. It looks like the backs have 4 seals: one on the hinge side, one on the opposite side or latch side, and two curved ones on top and bottom of the back. I also noticed that the film holder section has several small seals as well. It also appears that the square seal on the back of the camera body needs replacing too. Now that I am inspecting the camera, it appear that I need to reseal the inside of the body as well near the mirror housing. Will I be able to reseal all these with just one kit, or should I order two?
     
  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    John can probably answer your question direclty. There are two types of kits - he suggests the larger for medium format.

    It looks to me that the larger kit I purchased has a lot of seal material.

    Matt
     
  16. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Member

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    One kit will do it, and will have all of the thicknesses you need. The thin ones on the insert are the more difficult, and will be where the dental pick comes into its own. Also, as I stated before, it is easier to glue one end, pack into the slot, and glue the opposite end. If you try to glue the whole thing you will have a situation...