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Thread: Graflex RB auto

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    Graflex RB auto

    Can anyone recommend someone qualified to work on a shutter from a Graflex RB auto (3 1/4 x 4 1/4). Thanks.

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    bobfowler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David
    Can anyone recommend someone qualified to work on a shutter from a Graflex RB auto (3 1/4 x 4 1/4). Thanks.
    Uh... David... I hope you're not planning on using that camera with the holders I just shipped you, those holders are for 4X5!
    Bob Fowler
    fowler@verizon.net
    Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

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    Thanks, Bob, but no its not. I picked up the 3x4 auto on eBay. I am going to hang onto the holders from you. I probably jumped the gun buying them. If I really like the 3x4 I might go to the 4x5 but I don't want to go down the road of being an equipment junkie.

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    David, I just happen to have a 4X5 with no holders or lens, begging to come to your house. Also have 3X4 holders to sell. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Carol of Flutot's camera repair doesn't work on these antiques as well.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

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    you might go to graflex.org and do a search for fred lustig.
    he is a repairman/machinist who bought up all the parts &C from the olde western division of the graflex corp ( wd service ). he will re-furb / re-calibrate your shutter, and if needed put a new spring or a (new) curtain.

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    I got some info from one of the regulars over at the Graflex site on how to fix the shutters. Look in the RB forum for a post of mine concerning the same camera. Everything was intact on mine, but the shutter mechanism was locked up. I got it working ok, but now need to time it. You can also use shuttered lenses if need be. Measure the back to front lensboard distance and get a lens and board. An shutter angle adapter would probably be needed. As concerns the backs, I could use some slotted holders myself.

    If you don't find the info, I can email it when I get home in a week or so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David
    Can anyone recommend someone qualified to work on a shutter from a Graflex RB auto (3 1/4 x 4 1/4). Thanks.
    You are most likely the person best qualified to work on the shutter. They are extremely simple to repair. If you keep notes and some photos as you go, then you will be fine. As added inducement, imagine a Graflex SLR with a silky smooth shutter action, rather than the usual graunchy Graflex grindathon. I was amazed by the relative butteriness of my shutter after I replaced the curtain and properly lubricated all points within and without the camera.

    Go for it!

    jk

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    I completely CLA'd my 4x5 Speed Graphic.. It was nerve-racking at some points (governer mechanism and winding the shutter blinds back mostly) but honestly it isn't that bad at all..

    Jon, what material did you use for the curtain? I am curious! I'd love a new/spare curtain!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip P. Dimor
    I completely CLA'd my 4x5 Speed Graphic.. It was nerve-racking at some points (governer mechanism and winding the shutter blinds back mostly) but honestly it isn't that bad at all..
    Jon, what material did you use for the curtain? I am curious! I'd love a new/spare curtain!
    Hi - Well, gather 'round... it's an interesting yarn. At the time I started, the only known source for shutter curtain material in the universe was Micro-Tools. However, at the time there were a number of threads making the rounds that impugned the quality of the Micro-Tools material, to say the least. Stories of curtains that stuck to themselves and/or leaked light kept me from taking the plunge. So, I looked for an alternate source forever with no luck. Finally, after probably ten or more hours of research, I blundered across prefabricated Leica curtains from a Japanese seller on eBay. I had the brilliant idea to ask him if he bought the fabric from Micro-
    Tools. The answer was "no, it is Japanese fabric." He said it was much better than Micro-Tool's, and he offered to sell some to me. It was twice the price but remember, I was gun-shy, so I went for it.

    Well, in the meantime, curiosity got the better of me and I asked the Grand Master of Graflex repair if he would send to me a swatch of the M-T material. Turns out the Japanese material really is different from the M-T stuff. The Japanese is about 50% heavier per unit area. When held right up against a strong halogen point-source, the Japanese material shows zero transmittance versus the M-T material which shows occasional micro-pinholing. (I have no reason to believe the pinholes are of concern in practical use, by the way. The Grand Master has rebuilt more shutters in the last year than I have in my five previous lives, and he has never had any problem with the M-T material.)

    If you are really interested, then I could send to you a swatch of each, as long as you promised to return it. I ended up using the Japanese material despite my concerns that the extra weight would throw off the timing of the shutter. As it turns out, I had no such problem. The best part of all was unanticipated. Since the entire camera was apart, I had a chance to lube everything properly. The combination of the pliable new curtain material and the lube job yielded astounding smoothness in the action. I think we all have become accustomed to really noisy, graunchy Graflex shutters. I no longer believe that such nastiness is par for the course with monster SLR's; I think it is a symptom of a camera that is crying hoarsely to be rebuilt.

    Now bear in mind that these are just the ravings of a novice camera hack. I would recommend spending plenty of time hanging around the Graflex.org site if you really want to learn something. The collective wisdom of the Masters will have you on your way to SLR heaven in no time. Best of luck.

    jk

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    Thanks for the offer of a material sample, Jon, but I wonder if you could let us know the source for this material. Was the purchase a 'one off' eBay thing or can it be purchased otherwise. Thanks. Also, depending on how expensive it is, it sounds like it might have applications for a darkcloth.

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