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Bent front Standard GVII

 
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troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a View II here I just got that looks as though it were dropped on its face once or twice. I will be completely dissasembling the standards as far as I can to get them into good working order, but before I do, I would like to know what the castings are made of as I will be needing to straighten the ears of the front standard base. If it is the same pot-metal as the rail guides of the Pacemakers it may be kinda scetchy??? It is not much, and I am good at this type of thing, but jeez I'd sure hate to crack it... anyone had to do this?
Also, I have a GVI that I had excellent results servicing all the rails gears, knobs etc, and I noticed on the GVII that there are coil springs behind the focus knob locks. If these are original I will keep them; if not, they bother me and will have to go bye bye (or maybe they are missing on the older one which has been mickey moused with). Othewise a very nice find I must say. My GVI was in far worse condition and now works smooth as silk.
Now I can stick something up close to one of these bigger lenses I have been messing around with. ( I have a couple Pacemaker adapter lens boards and a few GV boards so all set) Now all I need is time...

[ This Message was edited by: troublemaker on 2006-01-24 18:51 ]

[ This Message was edited by: troublemaker on 2006-01-25 23:47 ]
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Rangemaster



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 412
Location: Montana, Glacier National Park

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be careful, they are cast pot metal, I have broke them before,, if you need a set of standards, I have a GVI without a back, but has good standards and bellows that I could be persueded to part with, just drop me a note.

Dave

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troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks Dave,
yeah I will be checking very carefully when I dissassemble for any signs of cracks, and other droppage. Think I'll pop it off now and get back.
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't call it "pot metal" but it reacts about the same...

The springs are probably original. You can download the service manua from:
http://www.southbristolviews.com
under Graflex Manuals.
It will show you the parts blow-ups which may come in handy.
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troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rich,
Yeah they appear to belong there. I got the front all apart and thigns were just all out of whack, not a lot, just a woopy here and there, but nothing major. It appears a reasonably good attempt was made once at a repair as one of the threaded lock studs that pass through the assemblly to the botton knurled thumb nuts had been braised really nice. They just didn't attend to the main issue of the standard base and the this swing plate being bent. I took all parts to the vise and put a gentle squeeze here and there and a couple easy tweeks with a secret bending tool, and I have it very close. I also dicovered gthe center pin is not in the back swivel, so will deal with that after I get the front re-alligned. This was a quicky, but with a couple aluminum blocks and a huge sledge hammer I think I can get it almost perfect. Amazing what a clean and lube does for view camera focussing rails and tracks for a lot smoother experience. Pretty irritating when things chatter and shake and wont lock down.
I think it is cast zinc, and that's pretty much what we call pot-metal. But interestingly enough, I have had aluminum, stainless and titanium pots, but never had a zinc one... Anyhow, any serious force will definately break this thing.
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad to hear it may straighten out. I know that alloy does not bend well, or at least twice

The reason I say 'not pot metal' is because Graflex was only known to use two metals that I know of. One being a magnesium alloy and the other an aluminum alloy. The GV's were supposed to be aluminum alloy as are the Supers. The early backs on the Crowns & Speeds were magnesium as far as I know.

A zinc alloy is possible? It should be strong enough but more brittle. I've never heard of anyone using it for a camera though?


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troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah yes, I didi nto think of magnesium. Just like my VW busses crank case. A friend of mine lit himself on fire grinding the stuff. Mag is stronger andlighter, but I would prefer simple old aluminum myself.
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no idea if pure magnesium was ever used? Possibly. I know there was a long running 'urban myth' about magnesium wheels on cars igniting. Some people I spoke to said the wheels were an alloy that tended not to ignite so easily. Who knows? I suppose if anyone had a scrap piece, it could be shaved and lit up

By the way, I meant to mention. The reason for those springs in the standard lock knobs is so that you can pull the knob out and slide the standard along the rail. Much easier than turning the knob on the gear for long distances. Just in case you didn't know as I didn't for quite some time...
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troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yes I was wondering about that. As I didn't think one would want to wind the standards to and fro if using the camra a lot. I just got it last night so only tinkered with the bent parts and did a quicky dissasemble on the front and rear rail gearing, so I could see how she runs. I will get back to it this weekend probably.
However, I was curious about the size of the rails compared to the GVI. there was a post I read a while back about the rails being different sizes and the tripod pan tilt mount not being interchangeable. I thought this rather odd considering the cost of re-tooling etc... While I cannot deny what other people have found, I have what appears to be a wide gap between my GVI and II. The first being what appears to me to be an early production while the later is probably rather late as it is marked General Precision and has the balck bellows. Both rails are interchangeable and so are the tripod mounts, and not just close, they work well either or. A note on the early one is that there is a standard 1/4-20 swivel screw so one can swing the rail bracket mount over out of the way and use for any 1/4-20 mount camera. Whther original I do not know but it appears to be. The hacker who had the camera before me sure didn't do it that's for sure, he all but ruined a few things.
Something else also bothers me aboutthe GVII. It is not nearly as solid as the earlier model, and I got the rails to lock down nice and snug after cleaning and lubing. It's the rail itself as best I can tell; just has an awful lot of bouncy twist to it. I don't like it too much... I couldn't shoot it out on a windy ridge like I have with the big Pacemakers. I have noted there is room on the opposite side form the gear track where I could add a pice of bar stock that would stiffen the rail substantially. We do this a lot with all sorts of sailboat mast at the shop where I work my day job. This would just be on a smaller scale. I just do not like to alter vintage equipment if at all possible, and it is just a thought, not an intention, andI plan to switch backs and take the GVI one on the road anyway, so I just thought I would throw the bouncy ramble out there for comment as I become more familliar with my new projects...

Thanks
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm...

I've never heard of a 1/4-20 mounting screw on the GV mount? Is it the same design as your GVII? Could it ba an after market manufacture? Or could just be modifed? My first thought is that your GVI has a modified mount and uses a shortened GVII rail. How about that idea? I thought somoene had posted the measurments of the rails someplace? Worse comes to worse, I can try to locate my GVI and take a look. I never did compare the rails for myself. My GVI is an early model with the wings for locks instead of knobs so there's little chance it has any GVII parts.

I don't know about the stability problem. I've heard of one other person mention that. I don't see it in mine. But I think my B&J 8x10 is stable too, so that's a bit subjective

The only areas I've seen problems with the GVII are where the brackets connect tot he standards. This area can wear and not tighten down as designed. I firmed one of mine up when I got it. Of course I forget how

With the standard to rail connection, there's a lot of room for it being loose. The knobs have to be pretty tight. And there's supposed to be a 'paper' spacer in there that not only makes movement smooth (and prevent scoring in the metal) but also helps firm un the connection. make sure it's there.

But if you say it's the rail itself, ya got me? Are all the screw in the gear bar? Are the end caps in place? Maybe I'm just not that critical but I don't remember my GVII's being all that unstable?

I understand completely about not wanting to modify a vintage camera. Far too many of them fall into the hands of butchers with no repsect. There are some mods that I personally don't mind expecially if they're useful and don't show. Like the front swing mod for Pacemakers. I never did understand why graflex didn't incorporate that until the Supers as they made it way back in the early 1920's... Anyway. If you added a support bar using flush flat head machine screws with well formed beveled holes, I think it would be acceptable to most. Is there really enough room inside the rail for a support bar? Even though it would add weigght, it's an interesting idea.

But look into the standards to rail connection very closely first. That may be the problem.

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troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi Rich,
Oh don't worry, I will be checking and going through the entire camera and fixing lubing and anythign that be attended to will get attention. Like I said I just got it. The Standard slide mechanism threw me because it is a pull action rahter than an obvious squeeze. Would have helped if I found some old instructions, but I got the original sales receipt! R24 View Cmaera 209.61 with a 203 Optar 113.32, and I have that too with its cap. Date: 2/26/1968. n I even have the key for the case.
OK, as far as stiffening the rail, I wouldn't even cosider it until I verified that it was indeed a probalem and everything else has been attended to which will take alittel time. I just happen to work for a small familly business that has a shop fullof enough machines to make most mechanics drool. Drilling, tapping, deburring, countersinking, and all sorts of basic stuff is relative childs play. I could probably just make a raplacement rail if I thought I needed it. The latest project will be making a few nice sets of shims so I can give Dave's glass a try on one of my Pacemakers and then use for a couple repairs if satisfactory.
As far as the GVII seeming very twisty, keep in mind that I am much more used to the Pacemakers which are pretty solid compared to anything else I have ever seen. Old woody drop bed field cameras like the seneca I reparied and my Cycle are seem pretty rickety so it is relative.
Now as far as the pan head tripod bkt I can not dicern any differenc eat all in the castings. They are identical but are painted to match thier cameras accordingly. They are deffinately the same size and completely interchangeable. The older one for the GVI was probably retro fitted with the thumb screw for universal 1/4-20 mountimg, but a nice addition actually, and well done. I have no idea if anything was ever changed on theodler camera either, but the older smooth finish silver paint is appropriate and nitheing looks to have been switcherooed. Likewise with the newer GVII. I am thrilled so things are interchangeable. Otherwise I am just curious about why mine are one way and someone else suggests this can not be.
I messed around with the GVII a littel and everything gets nice and tight. Paper shims are in place and good condtion, and so once I get the front standard fixed up better I should be ready to roll. If I have replace the lower part of the front standard, I found a hammer finish spray paint that is pretty close to original and I am pretty adept at mixing colers and it should look original factory if this has to be done.
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, you have me pretty envious I do minor metal work but without much machining that a Dremel can't handle Unless you want to talk tractors and welding, but that's a different topic.

I spent quite a while searching for GVII instructions. After I found one, it wasn't very impressive. I think there's a PDF of it on my site. It's nice to have all the original documentation and about as rare as having that key!

Why shim with Dave's GG. Just use it in place of the original, Ektalite and all. Unless you don't like the lines. I know it bothers a lot of people. Doesn't seem to bother me at all and I like the brighter corners.

Odd about the tripod head. Could be a Graflex original? They did some strange things after all.

You wouldn't have taken 'before' pics of this camera? It would be nice to see a comparison once you're done. I love to hear old beaters being refurbished and ready for another generation of use
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troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OH well I'll try the GG different ways. I do not likethelines when setting up RF's on Pacemakers and some subjects; other times I like it so I don't know yet.
Ialso got some for the littel cameras wich I hope will help a bit withthe shorter lenses, but some for repairs anyway.

I can easily take before photos of any camera you like, but this one pretty much looks like any other in good shape. Just kinda dirty still.

Ans sometimes I pick up littel interesting things form old instructionmanuals that I wouldn't even think to ask... like the slide action standards we mentioned. Better to learn sooner thanlater with some things. I didn't evenunderstadn FP flash bulbs until recently untilI read an old SPeed user manual, although I understoof it needed to be the way it is, it is nice to have it spelled out so whether they are used or not, they are installed and working properly.

Anyway, off to themachine shop...

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