Today I brought home an Ansco Studio #5 has #38 stamped on bottom. The bellows are excellent. Everything works except rear focus gearing. I bet I can fix that. BUT it is ugly. Factory grey peeling all over with plenty of rust. The thing is fairly tight with the joints swelled and paint gone.

I do want to shoot with it and it came with a working 4.5 inch double piston Packard. I have a few barrel lenses.

It needs oil on all moving parts. What type of oil is good? Thinking not motor oil as some will drip onto unpainted wood. Olive oil? Linseed oil? Ideas?

The bellows are so nice and extremely tough, that I do not want to remove them. I could scrape the existing paint, but it seems to be coming loose all over, except under the standards near the bellows.

I could scrape and repaint grey or I could be an idiot and try to 'improve it' with natural wood finish.

I have read quite a bit here about refinishing horrors and endless projects.

What do you people think?