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Lubricating a R B Auto Graflex

 
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Sirius Glass



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 123
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:28 am    Post subject: Lubricating a R B Auto Graflex Reply with quote

Is "3 in 1" safe for lubricating the Graflex?

I have just bought a 1919 3.25" x 4.25" R B Auto Graflex [95195]. It needs some lubrication for the usual reasons. Can I safely use "3 in 1" oil and put a tiny bit on the ends of the bearing shaft below the M disk and remove the hex screw near the B and P and put it a little in there? Gun oil? Sewing machine oil?

Steve
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3246
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is "3 in 1" safe for lubricating the Graflex?

NO.

3in1 is a vegetable base oil that will dry out and leave a gummy residue.
Water Disperant 40 will leave a gummy residue also.
If either of these is used for lubrication you will have to CLA every few months to keep the camera operating smoothly.

I use White Lithium Grease where a grease is called for and TriFlow machine oil.
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Last edited by 45PSS on Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sirius Glass



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 123
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you.

Any other ideas are welcome.

Steve
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3246
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

White lithium grease sells for around $3.50 for a 3 ounce tube at hardware and home improvement stores.

With tension at 1 and curtain closed after O (open) remove cap nut on the lower left of the tension setting plate. Remove the 4 screws holding the tension plate to the body. Insert small screwdriver into the tension shaft end (where the cap nut was) and lift the tension plate off the camera while holding the shaft steady. Release the tension of the shaft counting the number of turns clockwise to bring it to zero tension. Put a little grease on the tension shaft at the lower curtain roller mating surface. Put a thin layer of grease on the tension gear and release slide on the tension setting plate. Put a drop or two of oil on the shaft of tension setting knob at the tension plate.

Remove the curtain roller bushings on the left rear of the camera and put a fair amount of grease into the bushing and reinstall. Put a drop or two of oil on the tension shaft at the lower curtain roller prior to reinstalling that bushing.

Remove the mirror shaft end cap with tension spring. Put a small amount of grease in the cap and reinstall mating spring to mirror shaft and set tension so that mirror goes up and mates firmly under the ground glass opening without hitting hard. There are two or three sets of screw holes that the cap screws fit into.

Remove the shutter release lever and put a small amount of grease on the lever movements and mirror release lever and pivots. Reinstall lever and test that the mirror latches and releases easily and swings fully out of the light path without making a loud clunk when contacting the upper body housing.

Put a drop or two of light weight machine oil around the upper curtain roller end on the curtain wind plate, right side of the camera. Put a drop or two of oil around the wind key shaft and mirror shaft/cock/release levers. Alternative: make a brace to fit under the wind key and mirror shaft. Use a pin punch to drive the tapered pin from the wind wing (A) and mirror levers (H). Remove the wind plate and lube gears and curtain roller shaft with grease then reassemble. These pins become stuck and if the shaft(s) is not supported when the pin is being driven out the shaft will bend or break.

Put a small screwdriver thru the tension shaft opening in the tension plate and engage the tension shaft. Adjust the tension knob so that 1 is showing in the window and the wide space in the setting gear is to the above center of the tension shaft. Turn tension shaft counterclockwise 3 turns or the number of turns recorded during disassembly. Mate tension gear with tension shaft and seat plate to the body, secure with two screws only in opposite corners diagonally.

Wind curtain to O, trip shutter, curtain should close and lock securely. If it fails to close fully remove the tension plate without releasing shaft tension and increase tension 1/4 turn. Reassemble tension plate and test curtain closing again. When curtain closed smoothly, locks at the closed position, and does not make a loud clunk install the remaining two screws and tension shaft cover nut. Tension should be 3 to 4 turns.

Put a light layer of grease on the focus track and gear then wipe off the excess so that a just detectable layer remains.

Remove the camera back. Coat the entire length of the curtain with Pledge (yellow can) furniture polish and allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Wipe off the Pledge and dry the curtain. Reinstall the back.

Screws from this vintage were hand made and some size variation will occur. Pay close attention to what screw came from which hole and reinstall in its original position.

Gun oil may work, sewing machine oil is similar to 3in1.

The Instanteous/ Time lever (D) on your camera is a spring loaded, knurled edge, wheel with a small ball type seating lock. Push in on the wheel, rotate to the desired position and release.

Item letters referenced to figure 3, page 5, Graflex Cameras Instruction Manual , a better copy than the one on this site.
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The best camera ever made is the one that YOU enjoy using and produces the image quality that satifies YOU.


Last edited by 45PSS on Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:48 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1443
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,
I'll repeat it for the good of the cause: get to your nearest model railroad hobby shop and check out the Labelle line of lubricants. There are several formulations (most are plastic compatible) ranging from very light (101), light (108), medium (107), gear lube (102), to grease w/teflon (106). The very best, will not gunk up, long-lasting. Labelle Industries, 8101 East Research Court, Tuscon, AZ 85710-6758. There doesn't appear to be a company web site, but if you google "labelle lubricants" you will get many hits, such as http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/Glues_Lubricants_s/164.htm. Prices vary depending on retailer, and I get it quite a bit cheaper at area train shows, so shop around for best price; it's all the same, no matter who you get it from. (NB: I have no connection with this company other than as a satisfied user of their products for many years; it makes my trains run on time, and it will do wonders for your Graflex
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