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Tele-Graflex: R.B. back won't R, shutter repair questions

 
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ethics_gradient



Joined: 28 Jan 2011
Posts: 2
Location: Fl, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:36 pm    Post subject: Tele-Graflex: R.B. back won't R, shutter repair questions Reply with quote

I just got a 4x5 Tele-Graflex in the mail, which is in semi-working condition (pleasantly surprised given its age, really).

I can't get the rotating back to budge (it's stuck in portrait orientation). I can push down on the little silver knob on the side, and there's a bit of pushback from what I guess is a spring, but I don't hear any click, and the back won't budge. I was thinking if I removed the back I'd be able to take a look at the button mechanism, but to get the back off I seem to need to be able to rotate it in order to reach some of the screws

The other major thing is the shutter curtain. It appears to be pretty much intact and without holes or tears, but the material is very dry, and it's quite wrinkled in places. More crucially, it won't wind up to the 1/8" (narrowest slit)... I can get it about 4/5 of the way up, but there it stops. I've read about cleaning it in Lemon Pledge and would like to try that, but before I do, is it still possible to get another curtain made, in case I mess this one up? Also, would I need to be able to take the back off?

edit: There was a stray screw wedged on the shutter roller, I knocked it down into a crevice and I can now get the 1/8" slit to go all the way up, but can't quite wind it far enough to get it to lock in position.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3160
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I can't get the rotating back to budge (it's stuck in portrait orientation). I can push down on the little silver knob on the side, and there's a bit of pushback from what I guess is a spring, but I don't hear any click, and the back won't budge.

The back release button will not have a click. There are 4 squared notches in the back rotating ring that a matching lever fits into to lock the back at that position. The lever is spring loaded with one end against the release button and the other in the lock slot. Push the button in, lever turns on a post, increases tension on the spring, and should clear the lock slot in the ring. There should be a thin layer of grease between the rotation ring and the frame. If nothing is preventing the release button from going in until the flanged portion is against the back frame then the grease has dried out or corrosion has set in and caused the back to stick in place.

With the release button pushed in fully attempt to turn or wiggle the back with a fair amount of force while holding the camera body steady. If it does not release then apply some kind of solvent such as WD40 or penetrating fluid around the outer perimeter of the back sections, allow it to soak, and try again. The back frame is two pieces made of metal attached at the center by a metal band. The back side of the outer piece has felt glued to it.
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ethics_gradient



Joined: 28 Jan 2011
Posts: 2
Location: Fl, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

45PSS wrote:
Quote:
I can't get the rotating back to budge (it's stuck in portrait orientation). I can push down on the little silver knob on the side, and there's a bit of pushback from what I guess is a spring, but I don't hear any click, and the back won't budge.

The back release button will not have a click. There are 4 squared notches in the back rotating ring that a matching lever fits into to lock the back at that position. The lever is spring loaded with one end against the release button and the other in the lock slot. Push the button in, lever turns on a post, increases tension on the spring, and should clear the lock slot in the ring. There should be a thin layer of grease between the rotation ring and the frame. If nothing is preventing the release button from going in until the flanged portion is against the back frame then the grease has dried out or corrosion has set in and caused the back to stick in place.

With the release button pushed in fully attempt to turn or wiggle the back with a fair amount of force while holding the camera body steady. If it does not release then apply some kind of solvent such as WD40 or penetrating fluid around the outer perimeter of the back sections, allow it to soak, and try again. The back frame is two pieces made of metal attached at the center by a metal band. The back side of the outer piece has felt glued to it.


Oh, excellent! I put the bag mag in to get some more leverage when I twisted, and with some more elbow grease it finally came unstuck. The motion is still a little rough, but getting better as I move it. Is WD-40 the optimum lubricant I should use on the back, or is there something else more specialized that would work better? (I remember reading that you don't want to use it on the shutter, would be a little concerned of some of it possibly leaking in from the back).
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3160
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Water Dispersant 40 is not a good lubricant, it can be used for freeing mildly stuck parts and some cleaning. TriFlow or similar light machine oil for precision mechanisms is preferred. White lithium grease or light to weight bicycle grease works well on these old cameras.

When you get the back removed flush the rotation ring with a quick drying degrease, non petroleum based preferred, then apply grease to the edge of the ring via the lock slots. Put a little oil on the release pivot also.
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