Recently picked up a Baldessa 1b at the local 'antique' (junk, mostly) store for $5; it has a cracked RF window & sluggish focusing so I thought I'd try my hand at disassembly/repair (my first time with any camera). The top plate came off quite easily; it looks like the RF unit should be next. It also looks like there's one substantial-looking screw holding the unit in place, so my question is this: how do I break the torque on that one screw (it has a slotted head) without causing any damage to the surrounding casting/mirrors. etc.? I'm pretty handy with a screwdriver, but this thing must have been installed with the idea that it would never be taken out. And I just KNOW if I put any more leverage on it, the driver's gonna slip and take out the whole RF unit. I was thinking of putting a tiny bead of liquid wrench on it, but that seems a bit daft. Any ideas/help would be appreciated (and TIA).
Look for a screwdriver with a blade slighty too large and grind it exactly! to fit it the slot. Essential would be that the long sides of the blade run exactly parallel to the sides of the slot in all directions.
Fix the camera body to your work desk.
Turn the screwdriver whilst engaging some pressure on the screw driver head in the direction of the screw.
General advice, learned the hard way:
Originally Posted by charles_k52
As mentioned, for tight screws you should grind/file/sand the screwdriver to an exact fit.
Work on a plush white towel: It will catch little fiddly bits so they don't roll to the ground; keeps the camera from getting scratched; prevents slipping.
When faced with a recalcitrant screw, don't be afraid of picking up a _small_ drop of WD-40 on the tip of a toothpick and applying. Knock the screw to set up small shock waves to help get the WD-40 in between the threads. Leave in a warm place for several days, knocking the screw head now and then.
As you take it apart, take lots of pictures with a digicam, take lots of notes, and have a mini voice recorder handy for spoken notes. Especially note the position of the hairsprings and longest screws.
When undoing helicals make marks as to how things line up when assembled. Also mark the points where the helical comes apart so you can get it started on the right thread.
Make scratch marks across meshed gears so you can put them back 'in-synch'.
Keep screws and parts for each sub-assembly together on the the towel - the towel will keep the parts separated.
Don't take anything apart any more than you have to.
Mechanical linkages, shutter mechanisms, self-timers & stuff are best cleaned with lighter fluid.
Don't use 3-in-1, sewing machine oil, household oil, penetrating oil, WD-40 etc. for lubrication. Plain old SAE 10W30 engine oil works very well and won't gum up. If you need something lighter then try ATF. The best, of course, is a proper clock oil from Nye.
Helical grease can be hard to come by: you need something that doesn't separate. The best is Corning vacuum fitting grease. Grease for disc brakes, available at the auto parts store, also works -- see if they have it w/o any moly. The grease sold for lubricating helicals isn't very good because it dries out - as you already know.
Thanks for the kind encouragement -- I took both bits of advice and ground a small slotted, 1/4-inch drive tip to size. With a small breaker bar (yes, there was that much torque on it), the bolt finally broke loose. No damage to the RF (hooray). Now to figure out how the lens subassembly detaches from the body...
I don't suppose there's a Baldessa expert out there...? But having fun nonetheless AND haven't broken anything yet!
The is a couple books on camera repair and restoration. There are on ebay all the time but check amazon.com and I've always paid less than the starting bit in most cases. Also you can place the removed parts in empty containers with lids like baby food jars, yogurt containers, etc.
It's not the camera......
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