spanner wrench and camera tools
I'm interested in stating to work on analog cameras and lenses. I'll need a spanner wrench for sure and maybe some other tools. Let me know what you might have and a price for shipping to Canada.
www.micro-tools.com sells all of that stuff and the prices aren't bad for new tools.
...yeah, I checked them out and it's a little on the pricey side for me. Any opinions on the cheap $15 ones on ebay?
Microtools can get that way. That's where I got mine & they'll out last me for sure.
A lot of the oldtimers used to grind down the tips of needlenose pliers to different sizes & reshape them for special uses.
I think the Tomosoy books may have some pretty decent pictures.
When it comes to screwdrivers, don't scrimp, buy quality.
The jeweler's screwdriver sets at the Harbor freight ,Radio Shack & hardware store will cost a lot more than buying from Micro Tools.
Cameras don't use Phillips head screws they're JST crosspoints, available from Microtools. The difference is the shape of the blade & ability to grip the screw. I use 1, 1.5, 2mm for most stuff. Once every third or fourth blue moon a 3mm. You only need one handle, the blades swap out. Straight blades I use a set from MT that are made in France that range from about .5mm to 3mm. They're tool steel & can be resharpened.
You're going to need a multi-tester. Digital can give a finer reading but an analog meter can do some things the digital can't like test a cap for leakage.
A good soldering iron or soldering station with a grounded plug, tweezers, both straight and curved tip, a couple of toothbrushes to clean the body externally. A larger brush to sweep off large mung, smaller soft brush for cleaning front surface mirrors & screens. Don't use those two for anything else and DON'T wipe them on your fingers they'll pick up oil & put it on the mirror or screen & then it's a pistol to remove.
Solvents like rubbing alcohol, liquid lighter fluid, goo gone, Acetone. Contact cement to reinstall coverings, dental probes an accurate metric scale 6"
The list just goes on & on.
You've given me a lot to think about and great advice. But for maybe 10-20 projects, would the ebay ones be good enough?
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Probably good enough for a while or years even. There's probably good ones & not so good ones.
You may find a need for both pointed and flat tips though. Pointed for fasteners with the two holes and flat for items with grooves.
I need to reiterate though, don't scrimp on the screwdrivers.
Forgot, you will need some jewelers pliers too. Long nose and maybe duckbills. Sears has some that are not too expensive. Quality on these isn't as important as long as the jaws are aligned.
I've been a camera technician for years...started in 1989. I haven't repaired full time for 10 years, but I still repair the odd camera every now and then...I understand you are on a budget, so if I can suggest a few things...
file - buy a diamond file - these are small, flat files used to sharpen knives and fish hooks (mine came from a outdoors store) - this will be one of the handiest things in your kit...
screwdrivers...the cheap flat bladed ones you can buy for a couple of dollars are fine - buy 3 or 4 sets...now with your diamond file grind down the blades so that they are thinner, and actually fit into the slots on cameras. As you've bought a few sets you can also narrow the width of some of the blades so they fit better... I have a nice set of flat bladed screwdrivers, but I also have a dozen cheap screwdrivers that have given good service over 20 years...
You can also grind down the tips of the cross point screwdrivers to fit cameras better, but I would suggest buying a handle plus replacement tips (ebay is probably fine for these - the more tips you get ythe better) - just order a pack of each sized tip until you find the best size for you
Pliers - buy a few cheap pairs.
- Get at least one small needle nozed one (without serrations on the gripping part - if there are serrations then you need to grind them off as they will damage/mark things you grip)..
- a small flat nosed pair - good for bending right angles..flat blades - no serrations!
- a big pair - you would be surprised how often size matters...
Soldering iron - just about any soldering iron will do - I actually used to use a battery powered (rechargable) soldering iron when I only had a few joints to solder (like unsoldering flash contacts..). Get a small one with a stand (temp controlled is good, but not necessary if you are not planning on replacing IC's) - personally I use needle point tips - 1/32 and 1/64th..but then again I do IC's...
Lens removal tools.....
Rubber blocks - these are indespensible for taking name rings off lenses, removing counter screws etc. I would get a rubber stopped like the one off a chair, and fit a short piece or wooden dowell to it - this will let you unscrew caps from wind levers etc...
Larger rubber blocks will unscrew name rings etc - you can make them from rubber rollers (old fuser rollers from photocopiers are ideal) - just use a craft knife to cut them down to the right size - I have ones that are 49mm, 55mm and 67mm in diameter - I find these will remove 99% of name rings I come across..
You also need a tool to remove tight name rings/dismantle lenses etc...I have a couple..
- I bought a large pair of cheap needle nozed pliers, then ground the points down so they would fit into the slots around a retaining ring on a shutter. I can also dismantle lenses with these..If you get a second pair try to bend the points so they face outwards a little - you need this shape for some shutters, and it also helps prevent slippage when dismantling lenses..
- metal calipers - the spring loaded kind you use in toolmaking. In Australia you can buy them for $5 from a discount store..Get a couple of pairs - grind 1 pair to a point, and grind the other pair flat first, then taper the points (like flat screwdriver blades) - I've used these for 20 years, and because they are spring loaded and have a worm gear to set their width they are easier to hold...
Tweezers....don't skimp on them! I use 3 pairs - one is quite large and thick, with fine points - I use these for everything from undoing pin screws to holding springs, bending things etc...
Then get a needle nozed pair - these are iseal for hlding springs in shutters, holding wires when soldering etc..
And if you intend to work on shutters get a non-magnetic pair - last thing you want to do is to magnetise a part of a shutter (or aperture blades if you are cleaning oily diaphragm blades)...
Magnet - I have a old magnet off the back of a speaker - I magnetise the tips of some of my screwdrivers - much easier to work on a camera if the screw stays on the screwdriver tip (again don't use magnetic tools on shutters!)
Side cutters - for cutting wire (and cutting replacement screws down to size, springs etc...) - buy the best you can afford (I'd suggest 5 inch ones) - nothing worse than a blunt pair of cutters....
Ice cube tray - when I first started learing to repair I was taught to use a ice cube tray to keep groups of screws together - front cover, bottom cover, mirror box etc - it keeps oyu organised, and makes life eaiser...
Digital camera - drawing a wiring diagram is one thing, but having a photo is even better..you can use a film camera, but digital is immediate, and really this is the sort of job they are suited to..
If you are planning to repair Canon cameras a pair of small circlip pliers will come in handy too...
If you have any specific questions semd me a PM
Thanks for all the awesome info. I saved it in a word document so that I can use it later and print it out.