Saturday, August 7, 2010

Restoring the Gallus Derby-Lux

As you might remember, from the earlier post the camera was a mess.
Luckily, at the time, I was on a prolonged vacation, between jobs and had the time for such a project.

So I started striping it:
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I removed the lens and protected the inner lens with tape, so I could use the needle pliers to unscrew it.

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From left to right: front lens element, diaphragm, barrel with helicoid and back lens element.

This was a necessary step, not only to clean everything, but also, to find why the diaphragm was stuck.

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Lens-board removed.

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Back plate, DOF scale and red/green windows. There are two sets due to the half size (4x3cm) and a sliding device, behind the pressure plate to choose which set will be used.
I find this DOF scale a master piece.

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The focal plane shutter box, with the cloth curtains in terrible shape: dried, curled...
The leather bellows, fortunately in very good shape, it's glued to the other side

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In the foreground, the curtains. I used the pliers and screwdrivers as weights to keep them "straight".

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Removing the pressure plate and the back coloured window switcher.

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Now all it's left is the bare body.


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This is a nice and rewarding part, have all the aluminium parts polished.
I used a silverware polish.


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Soaking the coloured windows, in plain water, to remove seventy years accumulated dirt.

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The same treatment for the curtains, in order to uncurl and a desperate attempt to hydrate them.
I left them overnight soaking.

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The lens cleaned and mounted on the lens-board.

You remember what I told you about the diaphragm being stuck, it wasn't. There was a missing pin to transfer the movement of the selector to the diaphragm itself.
After trying a lot of different odds and bits, from pieces of wire to small screws, I found the best replacement part in my wife's sewing basket...a pin that I cut to fit leaving the head, that was a perfect match to the hole in the diaphragm barrel.

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Left: the coloured windows are glued in the outside, they rest under the DOF plate.
Right: reassembling the window switcher and the pressure plate.

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The shutter assembly before and after the cleaning.
Lots of q-tips and acetone did the trick.
On the right picture you can see clearly the steel rods connected to the shutter dial, that doubles it's function as shutter cocking and the tension copper rollers.

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Left: glueing back the curtains, with contact cement. Right: curtains ready to reassemble.

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Left: first curtain in place.  Right: second curtain being reassembled.

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Left: the amazingly simple shutter mechanics Right: the shutter speed selector

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Left: the shutter assembly Right: also with the film gate and guides

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Almost done, it's only missing the lens assembly.


Here she is in all her glory

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After all this work I found, on testing, that the curtains couldn't perform as I expected.
So next time I'm going to show you:
How I made a new set of curtains to the Gallus Derby-Lux.

Stay tuned (o;