So I bought this Leica I (model E) from 1938 from a Dutch expat living in Sweden last month. He bought it a decade ago and never got around to using it. The camera looked alright with some 3rd-party real leather covering on it. The top appears to have been repainted as the engravings had been painted over. The shutter curtains were okay though, being my main concern. It was missing the shutter button collar, like they often do. At least I had a couple of replacements from Nobby Sparrow on hand. Just not the exact type with chrome plating. But once in my hands the camera felt ...crunchy. Winding wasn't smooth and shutter sounded a little sluggish. Even with the tight Zorki take-up spool removed. Nothing for it but to tear it down! The first step was tearing off the leather skin as it was covering the screws that attach the shutter crate to the shell. And some of those screws around the top were rusted/oxidized in place and required the application of a dremel tool to remove or at least cut down. Generally not a good sign. The serial number on the shutter crate matched the one on the top, so that at least hadn't been obviously messed with. Some more interesting problems emerged. Apart from a bit of surface rust on some parts of the shutter crate. Underneath the skin on the body shell was a load of filler. It was covering up some massive pitting on the body shell. massive pitting as in a hole straight through it!.... uh-oh.... Other side of the shell, same story. Though the damage was not as extensive. Not sure what had happened to the camera. Possibly it spent some time in a really damp environment, like the bottom of a well. Maybe? It also took a ding on the side as you can see by the uneven edge after cleaning away most of the old skin and filler. But I've got this covered though! Literally. With some 'cold weld' epoxy. I taped off the edges and the inside of the hole and just modelled the gooey stuff into an approximation of the required shape. As I had to wait 24 hours for the epoxy to dry, I had some time to clean the shutter mechanism. I didn't want to mess around with it too much as it was working. So I did not disassemble the shutter crate completely to get at the rollers and the drum, and possibly messing up the spring tension and curtains. I carefully wiped some 80 years of grime out of the gears and applying a minimal amount of lubricant to the bearings. After this first round of cleaning the shutter felt much smoother already: youtube movie of the shutter firing at 1/100th Only 1/500th still appeared to be partially capping at this point, but another once-over seems to have cleared that up too. Nice! A day later, the epoxy on the body shell was ready for some sanding. The dent hadn't been fully filled in yet, but another small dot of epoxy and more sanding would sort that out later. The optics of the viewfinder were cleaned and re-attached and everything was test-fitted. Next, the Zorki take-up spool that came with it just wouldn't do. These are too tall and tend to scrape the bottom of the film chamber in a Leica. They're also rather tight on the spindle inside the camera. Requiring strong fingernails or pliers to remove it. Unfortunately I did not have a spare Leica spool that originally came with these cameras (The Leica SPULM, if you must know). I did however, while digging through the bits-box, find half a Leica SVOOP take-up spool from 1950s that was missing a flange. And I dug up half a FED take-up spool that was also missing a flange. A bit of violence with a hammer, a vice, another glob of epoxy later I had a complete spool. Huzzah! After cleaning it up a bit it proved a perfect fit for the camera as well. After tapping out the remains of a broken screw and replacing it (with spares from Nobby Sparrow) all that was left to do was wait for the replacement covering to arrive (from Hugo Studio). That only took 10 long days of waiting to arrive! Loaded up with Double-X and ready to rock. I think this one's ready for another couple of decades of happy snapping.