How to reglue vulcanite

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by james_lai, May 6, 2005.

  1. The vulcanite is lifting from upper back corners of the back door on
    my M4, but has not cracked. It appears to be loose up to about an
    inch in from each corner.

    I'd like to reglue it, but how can I lift the vulcanite off without
    breaking it?
  2. It's doubtful that you can do much of anything with the vulcanite without cracking it.
  3. Don't lift, inject or dribble some contact adhesive (the best is Evo Stick, get the non environmentaly friendly stuff, the water based one is not as good) into the gap and squeeze together, wipe off exccess, unsqueeze, let it go tacky (15 minutes to 1/2 and hour) and squeeze again. Don't worry about cleaning up the exccess too much, it rubs off if not too hard, less than a couple of hours of drying.
  4. Thanks for the quick responses. I'll look for some Evo Stick this weekend.

    Follow up question: Would heating the vulcanite (I'd remove the back door from the camera first, of course), say, with a hair dryer make it more flexible?
  5. What works best for me is Elmers glue (I've done this for years). It's water based and easy to work with; once the glue is hardened, that vulcanite isn't going anywhere.
  6. I would think that heating would tend to dry it out making it more brittle. My opinion. Good luck.

    Mark J.
  7. James, If it's not too bad, you may want to try a bit of heat. Remove the back door
    from the body. Grab a hair dryer. Put it on hot and heat up the area in question. It
    should make the residual dried glue tacky again. Then press and hold. It could do
    the job. (I learned this from John Van Stelten of Focal Point.)
  8. James.

    If it is just lifting, regluing it is the best way. BUT, if any of it
    is broken away or cracked, I would suggest buying a replacement panel
    for the door. It is available from DAG at a reasonable price. Just
    tell him what model M it is for. The panel has peel-away adhesive

  9. Forget about fixing the vulcanite. Get yourself a cool leather covering from Cameraleather.
  10. I have had this problem (a small corner cracking) on an old lens body (a 90mm Elmar with the vulcanite band around the base.) I have used the flooding technique - but in my case I used crazyglue.

    Figured I had nothing to lose and guess what -- it seemed to work fine. On another item - an old 111a (nice condition) there was a matchhead size broken away in the bottom corner near where the base joins the vulcanite. I filled it using a kind of bituminous trowelable waterproofing compund (no idea what it is called) and then manipuated it till it had the right surface. It started off with a kind of paste conssistency and over a few days hardened progressively It is very similar to the original vulcanite in colour and in texture and I can hardly tell where the missing piece was. The only problem I have is that I now need to find a good use for about a litre can of trowellable bituminous compond ( minus one matchhead size amount used in this fix.)

    I might add that I haunted the hardware stores auto parts stores for weeks before hand, looking for suitable options before settling on this one. Another option that I think would work if still available is an old black glue which used to come in a "toothpaste" type tube.(I recall it being called Bostick, in Australia.) It looked as if it would have the right color and set to the right hardness and texture but I could no longer find it on the shelves in this color. Perhaps there are similar products.

    All of these can be good techniques if you have an eye for detail, and a steady hand and they will put off the fateful day when you have to spend much bigger bucks on the problem.

    As an aside I have a camera with a pin hole in the curtain and I have recently bought a rubber based compound called plasti-dip. (I think it is available in a can or in a spraycan. I have chosen the latter.) My plan is to locate the hole using a flashlight shining in the back of the camera body and then to spray the compound into a receptical like the spraycan lid, perhaps diluting it a bit with solvent if needed. (I iwll experiment a little first.) I will then use a toothpick or tiny artist's brush to put a thin layer on the shutter curtain in the right spot. The compound seems readily available in Oz and in the states (seems to be a USA based manufacturer)and the brochure for it lists hundred of uses found for it by users (uses never originally intented I might add, including fixing the leather bellows on old folding cameras - which is what gave me the idea.) This use seems OK as it is guaranteed to stay flexible. I figure why not give it a go, if I fail I have to have the curtain replaced anyway.
  11. Thanks to all who responded.

    Henry, I tried the hair dryer. I heated the vulcanite until I almost couldn't hold the door anymore. It seemed to work at the time but now (a few hours later) the vulcanite is loose again.

    Anyways, my slow speeds have just stopped working so I'm going to take the camera for service next week and will have them take care of the vulcanite too. Anyone know what Kindermann charges for a CLA?

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