Rigidity issue with 8x10 B&J

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by rootberry, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. rootberry

    rootberry Member

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    I know I know, Burke and James cameras are wobbly.. I knew that when I bought the camera (in almost mint condition) for 100$. Many a tweak and long hour have been spent on the thing, and it's a million times better then the day I got it, except the rear standard. The rear is still a little wobbly, which is due to the gear and tracks on the bottom. I was wondering if anyone has any tips for tightening up the connection between the two to give me just a little more stability. Or, ( and this is a much better solution), please mail me 1 Lotus 8x10 field camera.. I will gladly pay shipping :D
     
  2. blaze-on

    blaze-on Member

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    If there's room, try a couple mini quick-clamps. The kind you squeeze a few times to tighten.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2007
  3. DeBone 75

    DeBone 75 Member

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    B&J Camera

    I had one a few years. I loved the camera, but I had to sell it to pay other things. Wish I had it back. Now for the wobble . The rear standards are stamped out and bent. The bending tended to "cup" the bottom part that attaches to the camera. Although I never did it to mine, if you are adventurous you can grind or file the underside of the standard to make it flat. I was going to do it to mine but sold it before I could get to it. Other wise some small washers on both sides will probably help. Also on mine the part that raps around the focus gear was a little sloppy so I pinched it a little tighter. That did help. Have fun
     
  4. rootberry

    rootberry Member

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    Those are both good suggestions, on top of discovering that I'm missing two of the bolts that crontrol rise/fall on the back standard. I have 2 back there, but I'm supposed to have 4! I never realized it until I took the rear off to look at it.. I've got some work to do, thanks guys! =)
     
  5. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Going from memory, as it's been a few years since I've seen mine (though hopefully I will get it back, someday). when I refinished mine, it took a fair bit of work to get everything to play nice, the front standard and the rear should be dead flat against the carriers. as pointed out by Leslie, because they're stamped, they tend to cup slightly.

    I used a sheet of 320 grit sandpaper on a sheet of thick plate glass, spray some water on the glass, lay the sand paper down, spray a little more water and start sanding. once the surface is flat (indicated by total contact with the sandpaper) go to 400 grit for a little bit, then 600.

    I also found that the carrier wasn't perfectly flat, and a few mins with the 320 solved that.

    if you're not using rear tilts, you want all 4 knobs in the rear standard. since you don't have them, go to the local woodworking store and find some knobs with 1/4-20 threads (from memory, could be wrong) go ahead and get 4, the combination of smoothing and 4 bolts should clear up most of the issues.

    as far as the fit between the guides and track, some very judicious bending and tweeking will solve that, just be aware that aluminum work hardens when you bend it, and it takes a fair bit of heat to re-anneal. Out of curiosity, is it rigid when you flip the lock?


    erie
     
  6. rootberry

    rootberry Member

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    The rear standard locks, which of course improves the rigidity marginally, but not totally. This leads me to believe that the guides and tracks aren't exactly tight, but I was really afraid to even mess with that at all.. I got a few knobs for the rear standard ( I use mostly front movements) and that helped a little more. Bending the aluminum is a scary idea to me as I'm not mechanically inclined in the least.. It's amazing I can even remember to pull the darkslide before I take the photo..
     
  7. Kapono

    Kapono Member

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    Aloha:

    A possible solution for you is to have the lobes on the cam locks enlarged by welding or possibly even brazing on some material. Just go oversized on the material addition, and file down and polish the lobes. Another potential solution is to bend ever so gently the two springs that are underneath, don't break them, the two metal strips that offer some friction against the rack. The latter option was suitable for the B&J I am currently working on. I have a few photos posted at my webpage http://www2.hawaii.edu/~mkapono/bellows.htm .

    A hui hou!

    Mark K. Kapono
    Hilo, HI