split in old wood view camera body

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by spoolman, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. spoolman

    spoolman Subscriber

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    I recently traded for a Canadian Camera Co. Glencoe 7 4x5 camera that has a split in the top of the body. What would be the best way to repair it ? I was planning to fill the spilit with carpenters glue and then once it had set fill in the split with wood filler.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Doug
     
  2. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    Sounds like the best idea there is. Maybe get some water down in the split first, so the wood will be wet enough to "wick" the carpenter's glue into the wood. Then use a c-clamp or 2 and some wood blocks to protect the camera wood, and it'll fix up just fine. Might not even need the filler afterwards. And if you're of a mind to really be expert about it, mask on either side of the crack with the special masking tape car painters use to mask for pin-stripe painting. Just to keep the glue at the crack and not all over the wood. Do it up like that, and you might not see where it was ever broken.
     
  3. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Can you squeeze the wood back together without cracking it some place else? Sounds like the wood has dried out. If it has, you're probably going to be shoveling against the tide. The wood might just keep splitting until it is in two pieces. Whatever you do, be careful. If the wood is dry and brittle, the attempt to repair it might make it worse. Without looking at it, we can't really tell.

    Maybe, just maybe, if the wood isn't too badly dried, you can put it in a humidity chamber for a while and slowly raise the moisture content of the wood back to normal levels. The wood will swell. The split will go back together enough to be clamped together. You can use marine glue (AKA: "Gorilla Glue") to mend the split. Also, consider using a mending plate on the hidden side of the wood if you can.

    I've not done this myself but I've seen others do it. The process can take weeks or months, even. But, if done properly, you'd never know it was ever broken.
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    If possible, it would be good to determine the cause of the split. If it split because of dropping or other similar physical cause clamping and gluing the split should work well. If it is split because of wood movement, then you should rectify that, if possible, otherwise the split will recur, glue or no glue.
    Movement is a fact of life for wood, while heating and cooling seasons make it worse, it will always move in reaction to the relative humidity, and the assembly needs to accomodate that. For example, does it have metal corner pieces that keep the wood from moving?
     
  5. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    Gorilla glue? Friend, I'd give a lot of thought before fooling around with THAT stuff. Especially on something like that. I don't think so. I think the OP was on the right track with Elmer's Carpenters glue, after getting the wood to leech a little water so the wood will wick. Gorilla glue wicks into wet wood too, but then turns to spray-on foam insulation with no holding power at all, practically. That stuff is about like a styrofoam soft-drink cooler.
     
  6. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    It's supposed to foam up. That's why it works. But you have to clamp it solid. If you don't, it will do just as you say. It will foam up and make a mess but it won't stick.

    I watched a guy use it to mend split wood but I didn't do it myself. It was the lid to a small chest. He clamped the crap out of it. Bar clamps and battens. It wasn't actually "Gorilla" brand glue. It was a commercial, polyurethane glue. Maybe there's a difference there.

    To be honest, I think I might change my suggestion to the carpenter's glue. Although I have used, "Gorilla" brand glue and it has worked well for me, it is a one-shot deal. You have to do it right the first time or you'll be screwed. No second chances. Carpenter's glue is easier to use and, if you don't get it right, you can do it over.
     
  7. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    I like the polyeu glues like gorilla glue too. I'm just picturing that ugly yellow foamy looking crack on the top standard of a cherrywood camera. I think I'd rather have the dark shiny meniscus down in the crack. I fixed my split pine outdoor deck posts with the foamy glue and it's strong as steel. But that yellow crack is not too pretty.
     
  8. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    If the crack resists closing by squeezing and the split side surfaces are relatively flat, you could get a piece of similar wood and slice off some long shavings with a plane. Work (carpenter's) glue into the crack and brush it on the sides of the shaving. Slide the shaving in to fill the crack. Trim, smooth and blend after the glue dries. If you can't get at the inside, you could still do this if you avoid sliding the shaving in deeper than the thickness of the wood.

    (Patience is a virtue!)
     
  9. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    Now you're talking a first-class job. I like that kind of work.
     
  10. spoolman

    spoolman Subscriber

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    split in old wood view camera body

    henry finley: that sounds like an excellent solution. The split is about 4 to 5 inches long and is on a diagonal along the top. Yes the wood is dry so I'll apply some water to re-hydrate it and hope the glue will migrate into the split. I was going to try and find a thin piece of comparable wood to glue to the underside of the split to add strength.

    worker11811 normally I would follow your suggestion but I feel more comfortable using this glue along with clamps.

    Thank you all for your help in this project.Once it is complete I'll post pictures of the finished and re-covered camera.

    Doug
     
  11. spoolman

    spoolman Subscriber

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    split in old wood view camera body

    DWThomas: if the method I'm going to use doesn't work I'll give your suggestion a go.

    Doug
     
  12. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    Hot dang! I mighta been right on here, finally. Maybe. Let us know how it turned out. PS--I don't think you need to add wood to the underside. I believe you'll find your repair is the strongest area of the wood.
     
  13. snederhiser

    snederhiser Member

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    Hello Doug;
    The crack is probably an issue related to the wood shrinking. Take some yellow glue (Titebond) and thin with a very small amount of water. Then proceed as Dave suggested. Using a small brush to work in the glue and appling to the wood shavings. Clamp lightly if needed, Steven.
     
  14. fotch

    fotch Member

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    I would not use yellow glue since it can move if under tension. My first choice would be hide glue. It is reversible and extremely strong. It is used in making violins, repairing pianos, and antique furniture. The best kind you heat although Titebond does make some that you use right out of the bottle although not as good as the type you heat.
     
  15. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    Thanks Fotch. Now I learned something again on here. Hide glie, huh--never had heard of it.Could very well be better than my idea, which I was convinced was the best of all these others. I need to check out some of this "hide glue". If it's for violins, then stands to reason it's for wood cameras, too.
     
  16. rwreich

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    As a violinist, I'll second the use of hide glue. The main benefit is that it's very flexible when dried so that the wood can still resonate (a very important property of instruments). The downside, of course, is that the glue will need seasonal maintenance. Still, if the wood breathes seasonally, as it should, then repairing this crack with hide glue won't result in another crack from built-up tension.
     
  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I repair a lot of badly damaged, split. broken, in fragments parts, cameras and wooden TP shutter casings. I'm now using a 2 part glue, comes in a plastic bottle which you apply to one surface and then a catalyst you spray on the other.

    In a case like this I'd use the glue then clamp tight and apply the catalyst, I want to avoid any filling if possible.

    Ian