there is usually a hex nut the tensioner sleeps under, like on a slr or speed graphic.
this one had the tension-knob and key to adjust the shutter speed ( numbers 1-6 ) and ( slits in fabric )
and no hex nut.
when the knob was turned, there was a little covered end of the roller that turned too ..
and that was the tensioner.
after a handful of emails back / forth we realized that was what needed to be turned a little bit
while holding to the knob.
as for the rest of the camera and how i fixed it ...
i removed the bottom plate ( had patent dates on it )
and popped open the back.
on the bottom of the camera is a hinged spring that i worked back and forth
and lubricated with a tiny bit of light oil ...
i took the ground glass off and stuck my hand inside the camera from the top and
with the same oil, i pushed the latch spring in and out ( it holds / releases the mirror )
and i lightly smeared oil on the metal housing inside the box that allows the back standard to slide
back / forth with aid of the spring on the bottom.
i pulled and pushed the rear standard back and forth, and worked the mirror with the lever on the side of the camera
and the shutter lever until the light oil seemed to work its way into where it needed to go.
i put the base plate back on and pulled the lens standard out and in on the rails,
and made sure the back standard ( slides back and forth ) was seated against the inside of the camera body when the lens standard
was pulled out all the way ...
and it seems to have done the trick ...