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Graflex FP Shutter For 6x8 View Camera--Questions

 
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leighmarrin



Joined: 04 Jun 2010
Posts: 2
Location: Santa Barbara, Calif., USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:56 pm    Post subject: Graflex FP Shutter For 6x8 View Camera--Questions Reply with quote

Hi, I recently bought an old Auto-Graflex focal plane shutter for a whole plate camera. As stated by the seller, it needs a CLA. It fits my Century No. 2 WP view camera, for which I have a 5x7 reducing back. It appears to be the older version of the view camera shutter.

Here's a link to the seller's pictures of it on Photo.net:
http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=968871

The shutter curtain is slightly wrinkled, but has no holes. Most of the shutter speeds appear to be in the "ballpark" range, but I've not tested them.

However, I can't quite roll up the shutter far enough to use the smallest 1/8" slit/aperture: it just gets too tight and I don't want to force it.

When I first tripped the shutter, I kept my finger on the small sliding release knob, and at the end of the shutter's travel, it often would bounce back open. HOWEVER: I found that by releasing the shutter with a "flicking" motion, thus only leaving my finger on the shutter just long enough to trip it, that this bounce-back problem was eliminated, and the shutter would fully close.

Is this problem just another indicator of it needing a CLA, or was this a design limitation of the early shutter? As the sliding release knob is so small, I wondered if this might have been intentional.

I was very surprised that the small nipple below the shutter release is for a pneumatic bulb tube. The pneumatic release is only practical with time exposures, as all the other settings have the "bounce-back" problem at the end of the shutter's travel.

Were I to attempt a CLA using a manual for one of the Graflex SLRs, would my shutter be fairly similar, except for the mirror release linkage? Anyone care to speculate if a CLA would allow me to use the smallest 1/8" slit, or perhaps my shutter has shrunk too much in its ~90 years of life?

Thanks for any comments or suggestions.

Leigh Marrin in Santa Barbara, Calif.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3229
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Graflex Focal Plane Shutter was virtually unchanged from introduction in the early 1900s until 1947.

The shutter operating instructions for a Graflex SLR or Anniversary or older Speed Graphic will apply to your shutter. The shutter service instructions in http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/manual-pdf/AnniversaryService1.pdf can be used as a guide. Take digital pictures of assemblies before disassembling for reassembly reference.

I am capable of doing a CLA, contact me off forum if interested.

If you cannot wind to the smallest aperture then the curtain has swelled or tension is not at its lowest setting. Step the tension to its lowest setting then try winding to the smallest aperture.

Get a can of Pledge natural beauty furniture polish (yellow can) and starting at one end of the curtain coat both sides with the Pledge then wind to the next position and repeat until the entire curtain is coated. Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Using clean cotton cloths wipe all Pledge form the curtain. The lemon oil and bees wax in the pledge will soften and clean the curtain.

CLA required test: With tension at 1 (lowest setting) and curtain a O (open), trip the shutter. The curtain should just fully close and lock in position. A loud or hard clunk suggest that the tension preload is too high. If the curtain fails to fully close or lock then something is preventing the curtain from moving freely. A CLA is required if either is true. On reassembly after a CLA the pretension of the tension spring (setting 1 tension) that just gets the curtain to close and lock securely should be 3 to 4 turns.

The trip lever must be released for the curtain to lock.
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leighmarrin



Joined: 04 Jun 2010
Posts: 2
Location: Santa Barbara, Calif., USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply. I checked the shutter's closing at the O setting: seems to be perfect. It closes completely and very quietly.

Also, thanks for the link to the Graflex manual. FWIW, the shutter release assembly on mine is externally different from the Anniversary, in that it uses a small sliding knob that moves upwards, rather than a bent arm. Mine also has a nipple for a pneumatic tube.

I may take you up on your CLA offer... if I attempt it myself, I'll take lots of pictures.

Thanks for the tip on using Lemon Pledge to clean the curtain. But does the furniture polish spray also have some petrolatum products in it? If so, wouldn't the petrol-oil eventually damage the cloth?

--Leigh in Santa Barbara.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3229
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
FWIW, the shutter release assembly on mine is externally different from the Anniversary, in that it uses a small sliding knob that moves upwards, rather than a bent arm. Mine also has a nipple for a pneumatic tube.

Minor variations of a major theme, nothing more. Minor differences internally over the years also.

Quote:
Thanks for the tip on using Lemon Pledge to clean the curtain. But does the furniture polish spray also have some petrolatum products in it? If so, wouldn't the petrol-oil eventually damage the cloth?


The label nor the web site state what propellant is used, just no cfc's. http://www.pledge.com/furniture-care/default.aspx

I have used it on a number of Graflex cameras and other makes of camera bellows without any problems. I have never used the wipes.

The rubber coating on the earlier curtains dries out and prevents the curtain from winding up as flat as it did when new. Pledge will soften it but may not soften it enough for the shutter to wind to the smallest aperture. A 1915 RB Auto would wind to 1/8 aperture just after wiping off the Pledge but would not a few hours later. One may have to sand off the inside edge of the housing to get the curtain to wind to 1/8 aperture or replace the curtain.
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