Scratches on a Wista cherrywood

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by harley, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. I have some marks on my Wista cherrywood DXII from the bottom of my
    lensboards scraping the wood (two marks roughly 3/8" long). Any
    suggestions for repairs?
  2. While I too love the site of a nice peice of wood, skillfully finished, however my best advise is to just get over it. Gives your camera that "experienced" look.
  3. Marks made from dents or impressions that flatten the wood fibers can be raised by careful application of steam. Practice on a scrap bit of wood using an ordinary household steam iron with some cloth between the iron and wood.

    Some refinishing may be needed to blend the repaired area with the original finish. Formby's makes a refinishing product that's good for small projects like this - it's a blend of various solvents that dissolve and redistribute the existing finish. Too expensive and evaporates too quickly for large projects tho'.

    If the wood is simply missing due to a scrape, gouge, etc., this trick won't work well. Wood fillers never seem to work well other than to cover tiny holes for brads, etc.
  4. Buy 120 grit, 150 grit, and a sheet of 180-220 grit of sandpaper, sand around/and the marks themselves to get the marks and the area around the marks smooth and on the same level(not the whole camera, just a small area around the marks), depending on whether your camera wood was stained or not you need to find a Danish Oil(it comes in clear and with a stain to match the look of several woods) which you can use with a fine steel wool(not the one you use on your sink/the one sold for applying danish oil) or a rag, dip the fine steel wool/rag in the danish and apply to the area you've sanded, wipe off excess after 5-10 minuets and you're done unless you want to apply more coats.

    If you're not confident doing this yourself, understand go to a Rockler's or other Woodworking outlets with your camera, they'll walk you through making what is essentially an 'itty bitty repair', woodorkers are just like photographers they won't turn you away, they'll definitely be intrigued by your camera and will help you, guarentee you.

    Do the above before taking it to a woodworker, but having said that an Artisan may just fix for you or charge you a nominal fee, this isn't a big repair so don't pay out a roll, materials will come to$10-$20 for you to do it.

    This is assuming you don't have overcoats(polyurethane) on the camera which you probably don't, take it to a woodworkers supply outlet if you're unsure and they'll tell and as I said, they'll help, no biggie.
  5. When Sammy Hagar first starting playing with Van Halen, he and Eddie decided to head over to Sammy's studio to work out some riffs. Sammy was horrified when Eddie tossed his guitar in the back of his old, beat up pickup truck. Eddie just said, "Aw, gives 'em character."
  6. You should see my '73 Rickenbacker 4001! It has beautiful character.
  7. Many hardware stores have touch-up sticks (blend sticks) to hide nail holes and small scratches in every shade of wood there is if you simply want to hide the blemish.
  8. Since the subject of guitars has already been broached here, hearing about these scratches reminded me of what Pete Townshend had to say on the subject:
    ... So I don't have a love affair with a guitar, I don't polish it after every performance; I play the *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* thing.
    Which, by the way, is my take on the O.P.'s problem--sorta: the woodworker in me would tend to want to fix it, eventually. I know Fine Woodworking magazine has had several good articles on doing just these kinds of repairs in the last couple of years: try your local library and look in their index.
    (From Guitars: Music, History, Construction and Players From the Renaissance to Rock, Tom and Mary Anne Evans, Paddington Press Ltd., New York & London, 1977)
  9. The one sure way to prevent scratches in the future is to never take
    the camera out of the box, and certainly never put a lens on it. If
    you want to make photographs, get an old beater--scratched and dinged
    to hell. If the bellows does not leak, it will do just as good a job.
  10. If the wood has not been gouged and it is strictly a repair to the finish itself, remember to use a flat sanding block when doing the Danish Oil repair technique. The sandpaper will work better to sand the entire area if it is wrapped around a flat surface and kept flat against the finish. Use a flat sanding block to sand a flat surface. If you use a finger (the digit of your choice) to wet-sand the Danish Oil and not a flat block, you will be making a nice groove in the finish and wood. This will accentuate the used look.

    Answer #4: "Get over it" seems to be relevant here.
    I have a friend who buys a new SUV every few years (we like to guzzle gas out here in the west, drive up prices, pollute the air, increase global warming, etc.) As soon as he leaves the show room, he looks for brush to drive against to scratch up the sides. His reasoning is that it will happen anyway in "normal" use, so he "gets over it" right away. Works for him.
  11. As a user of both guitars and cameras, I can appreciate keeping them looking nice. But, there’s a difference between dings that matter and dings that don’t.

    My Telecaster (actually it used to be a Tele before I replaced nearly all the original parts and turned it into a bug-eyed mutant) had a heinous ding on the neck, right where my thumb would feel it. I used the steam method and re-sanded the neck. It disappeared like magic. So long as no wood is actually missing, your can re-animate a surprisingly large divot. A word of warning: steam raises the grain (wood, not film) and you’ll almost certainly have to sand.

    A 4001 with character? Is there any other kind? I played one for years (blue) and grew to love all the divots and buckle-rash.

    Don’t worry about the scratches. If you need a perfect camera, buy another one and keep it in the box.

    Rock on.
  12. Eh, I can understand Harley's desire to keep a fine bit of gear looking nice. That's why I suggested the steam treatment. It's a gunsmith's trick for raising dings and dents from gunstocks. Works well - I've used it on some of my rifle and shotgun stocks.

    BTW, Harley, the steam method may raise the grain above its original position. Furniture scrapers work better than sandpaper for leveling out a surface. They take more practice tho', so if you buy a set (they come in a set of three oddly shaped bits of thin, springy metal) plan on practicing on scrap wood. The idea is to raise a burr on the edges of the scrapers and use this to shave off just the tiniest but even amount of wood at a time. Once you've gotten the hang of a furniture scraper sandpaper will seem primitive by comparison.

    Me, I don't fuss too much over the condition of my cameras. You oughta see my Nikon F3HP and puts the ugh in ugly. I did get irate when my now-ex-wife "accidentally" knocked over one of my guitars and put a healthy dent in the back of the neck. She was always "accidentally" knocking over stuff that she didn't want in the house. I just learned to live with that dent, tho' it bugged me to feel it. I don't mind looking at wood damage - my favorite guitar had a huge gouge out of the front of the body - but I don't like feeling it on the back of the neck.

    BTW, speaking of Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar, Sammy also talked about trying to play Eddie's infamous homemade guitar with all the stripes. Said it was a completely piece of junk with a bent neck. The only reason Eddie could play the thing so well is he's got incredibly strong hands so the warped neck didn't bother him.

    BTW, did anyone notice that only *after* the collaboration with Hagar did Eddie begin to play "better" quality guitars and use more FX in his sound? I still prefer the rawer guitar sound of early VH but the production values of the Van Hagar era albums was better.
  13. I would also suggest that it's a good idea to sand whether you use a scraper or not, get plenty of practice before going the scraper route, steaming it up is good too, but you'll also need to sand, wetsanding is great after drysanding with your 120 grit and 150 grit, then wetsanding the danish in with 320 grit don't wetsand it coarse grit, but I recommended the sanding since it takes the least off leaving a bigger margin for error if you have't done these repairs before.

    Maybe we've started you off in a new career.

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