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Graphex shutter stiff/stuck ring: partial disassembly?
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DennisT



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 8
Location: E WA state

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:31 am    Post subject: Graphex shutter stiff/stuck ring: partial disassembly? Reply with quote

One of the three estate sale Graphics that I got this past weekend has a Graphex shutter that is pretty stiff. Acts to me like it is dry and needs cleaning, etc.

With 45PSS's tips, I've downloaded the Graflex shutter service manual. I see it has a nice write-up about taking them apart in stages. So if I do, for example, stage one, which effectively removes the first covering ring, I should be able to see most or all of the internals without taking tiny pieces out. Then is it possible to very carefully clean and put tiny, tiny amounts of lube in it without further disassembly?????

I hear lighter fluid is good for cleaning.

I have some very thin watch oil which is not supposed to thicken or dry out, (if that is possible over the long term).

Just trying to do my homework here. Doing fine work is not new to me.

Dennis
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1442
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first thing I would try is the "Ronsonol soak." Remove front and rear lens elements (unscrew CCW) and squirt the Ronsonol lighter fluid (naptha) into the front works, around the perimeter of the hole where the front lens was, while exercising (i.e., cocking and releasing) the shutter through all its speeds. You can also squirt the fluid into the slit where the shutter release lever resides, and into the synchronizer housing (if so equipped). In my experience, if the soak doesn't improve matters, then the shutter probably needs servicing; further disassembly (stage 1) probably would be futile, unless you yourself are prepared to work on it. If it needs parts (springs, etc.) you'd be better off sending it out, and there are several recommendations, as well as some cautions, that we can come up with for you. I myself would not use any lubricant on the shutter mechanism. Be sure to let the fluid evaporate *completely* (overnight) before reinstalling the lens elements. With luck this may be all it needs.

Last edited by Henry on Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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DennisT



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 8
Location: E WA state

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:24 am    Post subject: Bingo Reply with quote

Henry: Thank you for the tip. Actually, I had seen your similar comment when I did, "search," for such things earlier today. I immediately went downstairs and tried Ronsonol. I was able to find my $0.79 can right away; no idea why I had it in the first place.

Worked. After removing the front lens, it was easy to see a lot of stuff inside the shutter already, which I liked. Everything works now except when I turn the outer ring beyond 200 speed toward 400 speed, the ring stops. I also notice the ring movement is not entirely smooth. I suppose, in field camera work, that ring could eventually pick up a bit of fine dust. That's what it feels like. Over all, everything inside the shutter looks really clean....to the eye anyway.

But tonight it was working with residual fluid on the parts. Tomorrow I'll get the real story.........

Still confused about no 400 speed though........

Dennis
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3230
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you found the manual for the Graphex then you should read the servicing section for the size you have. On a scale of 1, very simple, to 10, extremely difficult, the Graphex is a 4.5 to 5.5. On a scale of 1 to 10 ability, 1-knows what a screwdriver is, 10- capable of servicing space craft, 3 able to handle small common mechanical items should be able to handle the Clean and Lube IF you can read and follow instructions.

All you need to go from 200 to 400 is elbow grease.
High speed is nothing more than a booster spring that is twice as strong as the basic main lever spring that has to be compressed to give the higher speed. These springs can become stuck or the coils slightly corroded together causing extra force to be applied to the speed selector ring the first few times it is operated after a long sit. Figure 11 item 4; figure 17 item 12.

The service instructions are written for a complete tear down to bare case and reassembly. The shutter blade and aperture assemblies normally do not require removal/disassembly.

Use the site private message feature to contact me if you would like me to service your shutter or camera(s).
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bartbob



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 102

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been told that naptha isn't good for shutters with some non-metal parts in them as the lighter fluid may soften/degrade them. Are there any such parts in that shutter? Such as insulators in the flash sync parts?
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1442
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some shutters have plastic diaphragm leaves, I'm told, but AFAIK our Graphex shutters don't have plastic. The only "plastic" I've found in mine are the little insulators in the synch contacts, and naptha has not been a problem for me. YRMV!
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bartbob



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry wrote:
.... but AFAIK our Graphex shutters don't have plastic.
Henry, would this apply to a Wollensak Full Synchromatic shutter used with the Graflex 90mm f/6.8 Optar lens? The one I got started out somewhat erratic and slow in all speeds (B,T, 1/2 to 1/400th). After some use at all speeds, it's now settled to a smaller spread in repeatability but still about 50% slow at all settings. 1/400th setting fires at 1/160th, 1/200th fires at 1/90th and 1/100th at 1/50th......

Last edited by bartbob on Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ilex shutters have hard rubber shutter blades.

The flash sync insulators may seem OK but when you have to remove them they may disintegrate on reassembly.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
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Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I said, a few posts above, that "I myself would not use any lubricant on the shutter mechanism," I lied (failing memory, for shame). Mix fine powdered graphite (sold as lock lubricant, in a small plastic tube, at the hardware store) into Ronsonol in a suitable container, such as a fine needle applicator, and squirt this mixture into the shutter as described above. Keep shaking the container as you work, as the graphite falls out of suspension rather quickly. When the naptha evaporates, you will have a very fine coating of graphite on the moving parts of the shutter mechanism. This may be the answer to stiff shifting into the 1/400 sec. speed.

What I've described is controversial, and there are those whose opinions I respect who would never advocate or employ it, on grounds of small particles coating inner surfaces of the lenses, etc. But I've never had a problem with it.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dip a round tooth pick in TriFlow then wipe the inside of the gears or the shaft that the manual lists to oil. The fine sheen that results is all that is needed. I put a similar trace of white lithium grease on gear teeth.

Too much lubricant will be as bad or worse than dried lubricant.

I do put the extra fine graphite on shutter/aperture blades pivot points.

Henry,
What proportion do you mix the graphite to Ronsonol?
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DennisT



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
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Location: E WA state

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:04 am    Post subject: good Reply with quote

I'm pleased with this thread. I'm learning a lot, which I need. Keep it up.

Dennis
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
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Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

45PSS wrote:
I dip a round tooth pick in TriFlow then wipe the inside of the gears or the shaft that the manual lists to oil. The fine sheen that results is all that is needed. I put a similar trace of white lithium grease on gear teeth.

Too much lubricant will be as bad or worse than dried lubricant.

I do put the extra fine graphite on shutter/aperture blades pivot points.

Henry,
What proportion do you mix the graphite to Ronsonol?


Um, ah, eh (he shrivels from embarrassment)---well, I'd have to call it "exact guesswork." Couple of squirts of the graphite (and I've found that not much comes out of the tube per squirt, but that depends somewhat on the size of the exit hole that I've punched in the tip with a sewing needle; please don't ask what size needle :-} ) Then add the Ronsonol direct from the container into the applicator bottle, which holds 1/2 fl. oz. and IIRC I only put in up to about 1/3 full, so say 1/6 fl. oz. As you said above, too much is worse than too little when it comes to lubricants, so I try to be sparing with the graphite quantity.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If after the carrier fluid dries out and 25 to 30 shutter fires you notice specs on the inside of the glass you used too much graphite.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I photographed "tapping a heat" (i.e., releasing molten iron from the blast furnace) at Bethlehem Steel, there was a lot of flake graphite floating around in the cast house, and I was concerned for my camera gear (I was shooting 35mm Kodachrome64 in a Minolta SRT-101 for this assignment). But I didn't notice any effects. I probably should have been more concerned about what I was breathing!
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was looking at my Super Speed's lens one day a few months after a complete CLA and there were specs on the inside of the glass, extra fine powdered graphite that I had applied to the aperture and shutter blades.
It has only happened once though.
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