sticky shutters

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by donald_miller|5, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. Now I know this is crazy and many would not try this but if you try enough dumb things you stumble across some that works. I acquired an old Argus with a frozen shutter that did not respond to lubrication with naptha. The common wisdom is a CLA which was not worth it in this case. So I soaked the component in a naptha bath for 2 hours. Then liberally lubricated it with light mineral oil USP. Then put it back in the bath for 1 day occasionally swirling it and removing from bath and shaking it. After 24 hours it was partially working. 2 days later after the naptha evaporated it was working like a fine watch. perfectly smooth action and has been so for 2 months. I tried the same with 2 other similar configurations with the same success so far. I have not done this with plastic components yet (do not think advisable) but these results are amazing to me and I have not seen it suggested before. It is worth trying on a camera that would otherwise be conscripted to the junk pile. The time periods and mineral oil are arbitrary and what is crucial is not determined but I know this has worked.
  2. Argus camera. Perfect results that seems to work in this case as well instead of complex CLA
  3. you're lucky it worked.
    Naphtha destroys most plastics and all rubber parts if allowed to soak in it. 90% Isopropyl Alcohol will work almost as well and does not damage parts but will cause paint to come off if warmed.
    I use 90%alcohol in an ultrasonic cleaner as it does as well or better than Naphtha.
    Lacquer thinner is an excellent degreaser BUT is will dissolve any bonded parts and will remove finishes.
    Use on bare metal only.
    Clock oil or similar light weight machine oil are better for cameras. 3in1 oil is not a good oil for cameras.
  4. 100% agree and you bring up issues that I should have addressed more.
    I should have emphasized more that I was referring OLD cameras which do not have plastic components. Paint and finish were a concern but I already decided that the camera was consigned to parts or junk. Also when I referred to configuration it was in terms of only bathing the shutter mechanism. The paints on these ( maybe from what were use in those times) were not affected but I knew that was a risk. Lucky? Yes. It was daring but what did I have to loose ? There is occasionally a question about sticky shutter where this might work. Next I will try alcohol but I question if its solvent properties will work.
  5. Full disassembly, clean, reassemble is best.
    I've serviced some large format shutters that had to have the dried grease base scraped off with a razor knife as no solvent would dissolve it.
  6. The clock repair fraternity call this the Duncan Swish method. Dunk it in some solvent and swish it around a bit. If it gets an otherwise scrap camera working then it has merit. Not ideal, but if it saves a camera from the scrap heap.........
  7. Yes, I've run into similar situations with old camera workings, especially lenses. That old lube turns into a substance that resembles crayon, and the only way to get rid of it I've found is to carefully remove it by scraping it away. I like using pieces of bamboo or toothpicks, and if required, carefully with dental picks.
  8. The ILEX shutter is not THAT hard to take apart for cleaning ;)
  9. I do it all the time. Anyone that works on cameras uses it, or the more commonly called lighter fluid. Your camera has a full metal shutter, so nothing short of acid is going to hurt it. Most plastics can be cleaned w/ it too, but you maybe need to test something first. I have never had any trouble w/ this though. The lighter fluid comes in a plastic container from the stores. Some people who do not understand chemistry or metallurgy will get on here and caution that it's a solvent. Sure, it's a solvent, just like acetic acid and glycerin are solvents. They're just very weak solvents. A Zippo lighter has a wick made out of cotton that stays saturated w/ lighter fluid for eons and it never shows any damage.
  10. I have a 75mm f/6.8 Grandagon that was stored for ages in a sea salt infested beach shed. It is hopelessly "frozen", so taking some advice from here I have submerged it in denatured alcohol to see what happens. Maybe it will turn a door-stop into a princess!
  11. If parts are rusted soak them in Cider Vinegar for half an hour, flush with water, then coat with a light coat of oil to prevent it from rusting back again. Shutter blades and Aperture blades should be coated with extra fine powdered graphite or similar powdered lubricant not oil.
  12. Timely comment John...
    I just finished refurbishing a nice old Carl Zeiss Jenna 80mm f2.8 in an Exakta mount. I don't know what kind of lubes the East Germans had available back then but so far every old Zeiss Jena lens I've acquired has been very tight and hard to focus. The lube gums up and gets hard. This 80mm was like it had been epoxied, it wouldn't turn at all no matter how hard I tried.
    I put it in a coffee can and submerged it in white gas (Colman fuel, I think just naphtha) for a couple of days. That got it loosened up enough to take it apart and give it a good cleaning, but like an idiot I forgot to first remove the front name ring. The plastic is fine, but all the lettering was removed. A little time with some white hobby paint and a small brush and it will be as it should be.
    Lovely lens now, I'm looking forward to putting it through its paces on my Varex.
  13. I think the take away from my first post is that the object be "submerged" for an extended period of time and then let the solvent evaporate. It may be that one would expect too much too soon. Years of caking and accumulation MIGHT simply need a long submersion with some encouragement. At his point in my life it is not worth my time to take it apart and scrape it and it might not be necessary at all, Under these circumstances it worked for me with consequences .
  14. Lens/shutter still submerged after 3 days in denatured alcohol, but nothing has "freed-up"! But it does look very clean, so now it is a clean door-stop!
  15. I go for Shellite, Ronsonol, Naptha or lighter fluid, whatever the common name is in the US.
  16. Now had it submerged in Naptha for several days. The aperture blades have loosened but are out of place. The shutter blades are exposed on the back side, but the other side with the front element group has not been penetrated by Naptha. I can't remove the front group even after soaking the threads in penetrating oil between being submerged in the Naphtha. This is becoming an obsession!
  17. Hi JohnC.. it does become an obsession.. Haaa Haa been there too!! Put the oven on low heat maybe 40/50 Celsius. Let the lens get warm.. say a full hour. Then while warmn dunk in the alcohol or naphta...
    That the aperture blades are coming out.. etc ...Are your repair skills up to putting this back together? I'd be hiding behind my in-experience but some folks just have it!

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