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View Full Version : Removing the Covering from a Zorki 1


lkgroup
11-10-2004, 11:12
I recently got some custom coverings from Aki-Asahi.com Camera Coverings -- like the following auction: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=15234&item=3851341718&rd=1
for my Zorki 1.
The covering looks very nice. It only took a week to get to Washington State.

I previously received a covering for my Kiev4 which looked great and was easy to put on the camera. It made it look almost new.

Aki-Ashai recommends taking the Vulcanite off with paint remover. I was wondering if any of you have stippred the vulcanite off on any of your cameras. Looks like a messy project. I am looking for advise before jumping into this project.

I think I will document my project and take puctures as I go along.

Let me know if any of you have advise befroe I jump in.

Thanks

Leo

dwpayne
11-10-2004, 11:37
You might try poking around on this site for more info:

http://www.cameraleather.com/

dwpayne
11-10-2004, 11:40
Oops, should have given the whole URL (assuming that it really is "vulcanite"):

http://www.cameraleather.com/leica_m/vulcanite/

pshinkaw
11-10-2004, 12:20
If it is the original covering, it is vulcanite. I use a gel-type paint remover. It sticks long enough to do its work in softening the vulcanite without running all over.

Remove the moving parts, shutter crate etcetera so you don't gum them up. You should have just the empty body shell to work with.

Put some rubber gloves on. I use blue nitrile because the remover doesn't dissolve it and it is readily available.

Paint the remover on and let it sit for a minutes. It will soften the vulcanite but not dissolve it. Then use an old wood chisel (one of the cheap ones you get at the discount store) to scrape it down to bare metal. You may only be able to take of a layer. that is Ok, take off what is soft and apply a second coat later.

The removal process is actually quite simple, but messy and stinky.

On the Zorki-1 be careful. There is sometimes a plug on the back that covers a hole behind the pressure plate. It was used to calibrate the focus at the factory. Don't damage it with the chisel. Use the chisel as a slicing tool and don't chop with it.

Good luck.

-Paul

lkgroup
11-11-2004, 08:50
Thanks for the replies and links to the web sites on changing covers on cameras.

I have printed out the directions from those sites and will use them for the steps I will take.

Will post results and observations when I get further into the project.

Leo

pordiosero
12-17-2012, 23:58
Hi... sorry for refloating this thread but Im in the same boat and Id like to hear some advices as well as the results that lkgroup got...

Mine has what seems to be a thick brilliant black paint coating and I dunno how this may affect the whole process. In addition, Im a little bit concerned about the plug on the back cover mentioned before... I want to refurbish my camera, but dont want to mess up with delicate components...

wolves3012
12-18-2012, 01:16
Hi... sorry for refloating this thread but Im in the same boat and Id like to hear some advices as well as the results that lkgroup got...

Mine has what seems to be a thick brilliant black paint coating and I dunno how this may affect the whole process. In addition, Im a little bit concerned about the plug on the back cover mentioned before... I want to refurbish my camera, but dont want to mess up with delicate components...
If yours is painted over the vulcanite you'll probably need a couple of attempts to remove it. The vulcanite alone can also be softened by putting the bodyshell in an oven at about 200C. Needless to say, you must remove the bodyshell and have nothing else fixed to it when doing this!

As for the plug, I'm not sure any Zorkis ever had that but if they did, you'd see it quite easily from the inside, once you've removed the shell.

haempe
12-18-2012, 01:23
I had good luck with baking the shell in oven for 30 min around 150C. After that the vulcanite removes easily...

pordiosero
12-18-2012, 06:41
Uhm... may be Im wrong, but to bake a camera, even if its only the shell, sounds dangerous.... it could loose its shape...

However, is it easy to remove the shell?

wolves3012
12-18-2012, 09:22
Uhm... may be Im wrong, but to bake a camera, even if its only the shell, sounds dangerous.... it could loose its shape...

However, is it easy to remove the shell?
You don't bake the camera, only the shell - which is perfectly ok and won't distort it.

Yes, it's quite easy to remove the shell from a Zorki 1. Remove the 5 or 6 screws from around the top rim ( 3 at the front and either 2 or 3 along the back). Then remove the 4 screws holding the lens mount, remove that, being careful to take note of exactly what shims are under it and their placing. Retrieve the 2 mount-retaining plates from the inside of the mount. Push the RF cam in slightly and slide the shell off downwards. Make sure you retrieve the pressure-plate and its 2 springs from inside the shell.

pordiosero
12-18-2012, 21:47
You don't bake the camera, only the shell - which is perfectly ok and won't distort it.

Yes, it's quite easy to remove the shell from a Zorki 1. Remove the 5 or 6 screws from around the top rim ( 3 at the front and either 2 or 3 along the back). Then remove the 4 screws holding the lens mount, remove that, being careful to take note of exactly what shims are under it and their placing. Retrieve the 2 mount-retaining plates from the inside of the mount. Push the RF cam in slightly and slide the shell off downwards. Make sure you retrieve the pressure-plate and its 2 springs from inside the shell.

Thanks for the indications... though now it sounds even worse... dont really like to touch thouse shims. I did it before with my 3M and Im not quite convince about the results. Well, I guess that if I keep thinking on it I will end up removing the vulcanite and replacing it with some nice leather, no mattter shimps nor any other thing :)

wolves3012
12-22-2012, 10:58
EDIT to my post above: I forgot, there are 4 large-ish screws holding the crate to the bodyshell, on the front and spaced in a rectangle near the lens mount.

pordiosero
12-24-2012, 10:49
EDIT to my post above: I forgot, there are 4 large-ish screws holding the crate to the bodyshell, on the front and spaced in a rectangle near the lens mount.

And I just logged in to ask if there were any other screw because I could get the shell apart :D

Thanks man!

pordiosero
12-24-2012, 10:55
***... one of them doesn't want to get out... and dunno what to do. Any suggestion?

pordiosero
12-24-2012, 11:18
Quick update: I got them apart, and there's a pressure plate where the film slides, which is not fixed with screws but fits some inner shape in the shell... sorry if my english explanation was horrid :P

B-9
12-25-2012, 06:05
Yes! This should be like this, take note of how it sits in the camera. Put a piece of painters tape on the edge that faces up. If you put the pressure plate in backwards it will make it nearly impossible to load. If this happens, just take it back apart and flip the plate. The reason is simple, the spring and the pressure plate itself give a little at the bottom to allow you to slide in your film.

It can also be a pain getting the plate back in nicely, be patient, it may take a few goes.

Make special note NOT to loose any of the paper shims under the lens mount. I ripped on to shreds on accident and played hell making a new replacement.

I use a combination of baking the shell at my ovens lowest setting for around 20 minutes (watching it diligently) and using a chemical called "goo be gone" or "goo-gone". It has only a faint smell and is harmless to most camera parts and pieces. It also evaporates fairly quickly.

Be sure also to look for any tiny bit or cuttings of film inside your shutter crate, every zorki and fed I've been inside has atleast 3 or 4 pieces of film tucked in some strange places! Remove this garbage!

Good luck! And I know you'll have fun!
Merry Christmas!

wolves3012
12-26-2012, 05:43
Glad you got it apart. You may need some tips when you put it back together. It's not difficult but there are some pitfalls to avoid so here's how to tackle it:

When reassembling, lie the shell on its back and make sure the 2 pressure-plate springs sit in their recesses, they fit arched upwards like an upside-down "U". Fit the pressure plate into the shell, with the flat facing the top of the shell and the smooth side, chamfered edge upwards (pretty obvious, I know). Press the pressure plate gently into the recess and slide the innards into the shell. Don't forget to push the RF arm in slightly to clear the top of the shell.

One thing you may find difficult: refitting the inner retainers for the lens mount. Here's a (relatively) easy way, takes longer to type or read than to do!

Lie the camera on its back. Refit the shims in their correct positions, carefully lining up any holes. Lower the lens-mount into place (there's a flat recess on the inside, it must go facing the TOP of the camera), again making sure you line up the screw holes. In what you read below, left and right refer to your view looking down at the camera, lens mount hole facing up.

Now take one of the retainers and find a small screwdriver or pin that will pass snugly through the screw holes. The retainers have a stepped part and one side is flat whilst the other has slightly chamfered edges. The flatter side faces against the inside of the shell and the stepped shape should be on the right of the top retainer and the left of the bottom one. Put one retainer diagonally across the inside of the crate, roughly lining up the top, left screw hole. Pull gently upwards. Pass your screwdriver/pin through the screw hole and make sure it's lined up. Insert ONE mount screw and tighten it up just enough so it's not loose but you can still just push the retainer around. Swing the retainer upwards and use your guide to line up the second hole - for the top retainer, you may have to push the RF arm in slightly to let it move into position. Now, leaving the screwdriver/pin guide in place, tighten the first screw a bit tighter. Insert the second screw but do it up loosely and then loosen the first screw a little.

Fit the lower retainer next, same method as the top except it does not matter which end you put the first screw in. When you've fitted both retainers, tighten all the screws BUT not randomly! Tighten them a bit at a time in an X pattern (such as top left, bottom right, top right, bottom left). They do not need to be done all that tight either, just not loose enough to work their way out later though! The last bit is important because the mount is aluminium and you will distort it if you don't follow the tightening carefully. A distorted mount makes lenses stiff to mount and un-mount and makes collapsible lenses stiff to focus as well. It can also affect focus around the image area, making some parts out-of-sharpest.

By the way, you can also fit the bottom retainer first, it does not matter which order you fit them.