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  1. #1

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    Century Graphic Body Repair

    I believe the Century Graphic is made of Bakelite? The problem I have is one of the catches for the body's GG panel has broken off and the other is not too strong. The catches are pinned in to the body and I need to remove the pins and drill and tap holes for screws. I am wondering if I can heat the pins with a soldering iron to get them out? Has anyone had experience with body repairs on these cameras?

  2. #2
    Charles Webb's Avatar
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    Best is to very carefully drill them out, then thread the holes and use machine screws to hold things together. Using a tapered thread screw can and most likely will chip out and create a worse situation. I have used a threaded brass bushing (threaded to the size of machine screw you are planing to make the repair with) inserted into a slightly larger hole drilled into the Bakelite then super glued with a tiny drop or two. Rough up the outside of the bushing a bit with a file edge to get a tooth for the S glue to grab.
    I use 1/4 inch brazing rod, center drilled and threaded then cut to length.
    Make one bushing for each screw you plan to use. The most difficult of your problem is drilling out the old rivets.

    Charlie.............

  3. #3

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    Charles your method is sound, but unfortunetly the catch is on a stepped ledge that is 1/8th inch wide. Since the pins do still exist I might be able to clean, flux, pre-tin the catches with some solder and do a real quick soldering job, or maybe just use some epoxy. Thanks for your suggestion.

  4. #4
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    If the plastic is genuinely Bakelite, no amount of heat short of charring will hurt it -- but you do need to watch for thermal expansion of the brass pin chipping the brittle phenolic.

    You might be ahead to use a Dremel or similar to machine a clearance to allow use of the glued-in bushing method Charles suggested. Whatever you do, beware the infamous brittleness of Bakelite -- it's plenty strong, but has absolutely no give; it won't bend or stretch, it'll just hold absolutely rigid right up until it breaks.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.



 

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