Rolleicord Art Deco - can it be cleaned up externally?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by IloveTLRs, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    I got an Art Deco model a few weeks ago, and while it's been shooting great, externally it has seen better days. With a few screws removed it looks as though the metal plates (nickel?) can be removed. Is there some way of polishing it up nicely or should I forget about it?
     
  2. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Polished metal would not a good idea , it does not match with leather and loose all the original patina .
     
  3. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    I got myself the Art Deco model a few years ago and it came to me pretty dull, and with a nice green patina over a lot of the metal. I decided to use an easy, old-fashioned trick for polishing silver -- I used regular toothpaste (not the gel kind) and a soft toothbrush and gave it a good polish. It came out looking almost like new (minus the brassing, which is a different issue), and it still looks as good today as it did then (about 3-4 years ago now). I only wish it shot great too (it's only useful for the top half of all the shutter speeds).
     
  4. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    it doesn't hurt the camera's value to clean it up, and it's nice to have a clean camera. I wouldn't go overboard, though -- the brass that is showing will just tarnish again, but a nice scrub with a soft cloth and some window cleaner won't hurt a thing. You shouldn't have to remove those plates, either. Spray the cleaner on the cloth and scrub away.


    And, really, don't do too good a job - you want people to be impressed with your really old and gorgeous camera. Make it look like new they'll think its a digital thingy. GAH!

    do NOT use the dishwasher!
     
  5. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    Silver polish might work as well.
     
  6. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. Toothpaste and window cleaner didn't help :sad:
    I suppose I could try sliver polish, but removing the plates is far too much hassle and so I'm just going to give up. I appreciate everyone's help.

    The slow speeds were starting to stick on mine too, but removing and cleaning the slow-speed escapement fixed that.
     

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  7. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Love those Louis X1V Rolleicords! I would use silver/brass polish and nothing more aggressive. If that doesn't work I would just enjoy the patina!
     
  8. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    Wow, its very pretty as is. One could carefully use silver polish on q-tips and polish in situ, but its still a pretty camera in its current state. Enjoy!
     
  9. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    FYI, a common way to do color/paint inlays like this is to simply paint the whole piece, then carefully sand off the paint from the high points. What would be called 'lapping' most likely- put a grinding compound (such as sandpiper) on a flat surface, then rub the painted object across the flat surface.

    So, if you removed the panels, and if they were flat or could be help flat by adhering to a flat plate of some sort.... and you could, say, hold fine sandpaper (1000-2000 flat to a palte of glass, say.... then carefully wet sand the plates....

    Well, thought I'd mention a method. The problem with using polishes or such and trying to hit only the high spots is that hitting only the high spots is not easy!

    Another method- double-stick fine sandpaper to a small block and use this to lap the metal faces. Wrapping a layer of thin clothe around a block and applying the smallest amount of metal polish is also a possibility. Make the block big enough to not dive into lower areas.

    (Of course, not having one of these cameras to look at, I could be completely wrong about how they achieved the effect or what is possible to do to polish the metal.)
     
  10. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    I agree -- I'm not sure what the problem is here -- the camera looks great!