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Flash internal parts...

 
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vic valis



Joined: 21 Nov 2001
Posts: 247
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got it really strong in my head to make a functioning Graflex-style flash. There was a prop-maker out there who used to make replacement parts and told me he frequently sold them to photographers restoring old equipment. His unit has been called up for service however, and has had to sell his stock and close his business. Bad timing on my part. So my question is about internal parts, especially the plunger housing for the bulb: is there anyone out there who stocks or could potentially have the innards for the old flashes out there... original or repro. Replica external parts are plentiful out there, and most can be fabricated, so I'm not worried about them... it's the internal hardware I'm looking for. Suggestions anyone? Or how about detailed internal drawings of the innards so that I could fabricate them? Yeah, it sounds like a story from a ******** fan, I know, but trust me: I'm a regular on the boards with quite a few projects going on right now. I recall there was at least one propmaker posting on these boards. Any suggestions from him/her?

jeff

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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me get this right. Rather than spending $150 for an original, you'd rather spend more than that and a month's labor trying to duplicate one.....

Oh yeah your one of us alright.

Now are you trying to make a flash bulb flash or an electronic flash that looks like a Graflex flash?

Not that I hang around with them, but all of the people making repro parts are interested in either external or non working internal parts. Even George Lucas went with non functional innards when he reproduced the Heiland for The Sharper Image.
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vic valis



Joined: 21 Nov 2001
Posts: 247
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone who obviously has not looked for a Graflex flash in the last few years... REPLICAS go for over $200; empty chromed pipes, cosmetic only. Originals up to $300. Some of us don't have the time to spare antiquing and comb through warehouses, much as I'd like to, so we take what we can get. I'm not looking to make an electronic flash disguised as a Graflex, I don't know if anyone CAN squeeze a 283 into one... Besides, flash tubes are a whole different shape than flash bulbs; it would look like crap trying to mount one in a flash pan. I just wonder if anyone can point to me towards the three housing portions, plunger and bushing, main spring, contact detents, nut plate, et al. All goes on the inside, only the bi-post nipples would be visible... not the pinch-clamp assembly, not any of the external parts. What good would the internal workings do me if I just want to make an empty, non-functioning toy? That should have been a big clue. Hey, if you don't know where these parts can be found, just say so. No problem. If anyone does know, great. If anyone can provide drawings or schematics, I want them.

And I already have a Heiland Synchronar, thank you very much, my only working flashgun, but it is post-war; of no use to my restoration. My Heiland Sol model "S" is the appropriate age, but does NOT work... anyone with info on disassembly and repairs, I'd love to hear about it.

jeff

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vic valis



Joined: 21 Nov 2001
Posts: 247
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Followup: I just updated my profile, so if anyone out there wants to see for themselves that my interest in authentic looking photos and equipment is real, just follow the link to my adobe homepage. And yes, the images under the "Verito" heading are portraits shot with a real Verito, with real hot lamps. Those should be proof enough that I love a challange. Still don't buy my bona fides, keep your knowlege to yourslf, but don't discourage those who might want to help out.

jeff

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jdman



Joined: 13 May 2001
Posts: 302
Location: Midwest

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

E-Mail me, Maybe, I can help. Russ Jdman@aol.com
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vic valis



Joined: 21 Nov 2001
Posts: 247
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apologies for that outburst of mine: I too would be doubtful about the story. One the things that makes this board unique is the patience and helpfulness everyone has shown me in the past, and shows everyone given that most of us start off clueless and ask the same questions as have been asked a dozen times before.

jeff

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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeff,
You took my comments the wrong way. You have to be a bit daft to be a die hard graflex guy, and this latest adventure of yours proves it. I don't think anybody here thinks you've gone over to the dark side. I certainly don't.

Now I'm trying to steer you away from reinventing the thing because I've been down (a similar) road way too many times! ( and still have the cast off projects in the basement to prove it)

It's one thing to 'repro' a Graflex flash to hang on a sash. It's quite another to mill, machine, etch,stamp and mold the parts to look even close to a working original, and do it for less than what the original sells for on ebay. (Ironically this is why nobody will start making Speeds and Crowns again)
I don't know of any photographers reproducing the equipment, and the "other' people, as you well know, are only producing the exterior components because it's too expensive and a waste of money (from their viewpoint) to make the internals work.

I just did a search on ebay for "graflex flash" and found 5 that sold. these were complete, some were 2 cell, some were 3. The low end was $156 and the high was $202 and that included a second 4 cell bottom.

If your time is worth $15 an hour then you've got about 10 hours of time to devote and $50 for materials before that $202 is used up. If you can make more than $15/hr then I think you should look into doing that, get the money and buy the real thing. And from the look of your website, you should be charging more than $15/hr

Another source is to look at the mini-speeds on ebay. Since 2x3 sheet film is disappearing, these have dropped in price. Occasionally the set will sell for less than the flash alone. I paid $200 for a 4x5 Speed with a case, some bulbs, a useless tripod and a Graflex flash.

That said, one possible source for part the internal circuitry would be an extension flash. It won't be a perfect fit because it wont't have the open flash button.

Good Luck

Les
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MR



Joined: 11 Dec 2002
Posts: 14
Location: New York

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is where it's handy to be on the good side of the SW geek set. Try going to one of the various prop boards and cutting a deal with someone who yanked out their Graflex guts to add a plasma blade to their Skywalker saburs or their Vader ROTJs.
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vic valis



Joined: 21 Nov 2001
Posts: 247
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I went a little overboard I think. When I see the remarkably high prices paid for $10 worth of materials, it makes me wonder if there isn't some way we could use the craze for our own advantage. Plus I'm cheap and stubborn, and admit that maybe the only reason I want that specific model is because they ARE so poular. When I get an idea in my head, it tends to stick like peanut butter: for a while I was restoring old Western Electric telephones in my off hours until I moved on to other hobbies (restoring Speeds), now I have all sorts of leftover telephone stuff waiting to go on auction. I'm getting pretty close to buying an speed and flash as suggested, but even if I get one I still think the curiosity will eat at me until I ge about half way through the project and give up. I never make things easy on myself. And again, to all the folks who've shown such patience: sorry. And sorry specifically to Les. teaches me to post from work.

jeff

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GraflexFlashLover



Joined: 12 Dec 2002
Posts: 20
Location: SoCal

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2003 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm one of those prop geeks. Have been for quite a while. Currently I don't know of anyone who makes repro Graflex parts that are functional. Doesn't suit our needs. The only person who may have was the guy that started this project Graflex Reborn. He made some of the best repro stuff ever, but his rep can be a bit flaky.

There's a guy at the prop boards who is currently making repro Graflex stuff that goes by the name Biskit. He may be able to help. I only say that he "may" because I'm not sure if his innards are functional.

I just sold off my only spare Graflex 3 cell, so I'm afraid I'm no help. Also, GL never replicated a Heiland, it was an MPP. That was the base for Vader's weapon. Heilands probably weren't used, but they are cheaper subs than an actual MPP. Though not anymore because a guy in Hong Kong made FABULOUS replica MPPs, too.

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vic valis



Joined: 21 Nov 2001
Posts: 247
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2003 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The stuff th guy who is no longer in business looked pretty good to me--even though I've never seen theinside of a Graflex--and while looking through his now-defunct site came across a step-by-step photo description for assembling the plunger capsule that would have been needlessly complicated for a non-functional item, and with all the holes for all the parts I would guess would be necessary. Downloaded it all in case I de find the parts I need, and they're in pieces. I'm in this for the long-haul: it may cost about the same if I were to buy one whole, but not only do i think of the piece-by-piece method as like paying it down on the lay-away plan, but one of my co-workers (and something of a geru to me) said "Jeff, for you, it's not any fun unless you are MAKING the thing." That may be what it's all about, I just have to tinker until I get it right. I'm a glutton for punishment.

jeff

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It said "good-bye."
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vic valis



Joined: 21 Nov 2001
Posts: 247
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2003 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So after I decide to start putting my flash together from parts I either buy or fabricate, I immediately start finding them on eBay; one guy even wants to get rid of a bunch of stuff and is offering to cut me a deal. Only problem is the innards. Well I explain this to a co-worker who points out that if the SW people are only interested in props and I'm interested in functionality, just put together all the parts into a non-functioning replica, sell it on eBay to a fan, and use the money to buy a working one. Now why this guy is only a co-worker and not my boss or a millionaire, I don't know. If I'm patient, I get a fully intact model, maybe even with the flash pan, and I'm not felling guilty because the model I'm selling is made from leftovers; the fan can do whatever he wants to it and he's not taking a functioning flash out of circulation. Maybe there IS a way to beat the system!

jeff

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vic valis



Joined: 21 Nov 2001
Posts: 247
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2003 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, to draw this whole thread to a conclusion; after collecting about half the parts I need to make a flash, I lucked into one on eBay (listed under photographic equipment, not movie props). I had the foresight to have bought the manual for this model a week ago, and it comes with sync cords and bothe the 5 and 7 inch reflectors, so now all I have to do is finish working on one of my cameras so I can use it. Just need to make a new bellows, and put the anniversary model together... gee, it sounds so easy...! Thanks everyone.

jeff

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I heard it once;
It said "good-bye."
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