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Old 01-03-2013   #81
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Originally Posted by Harry Lime View Post
Speaking of lacquer, is it true that it is made from black beetles or at least it used to be?
I'm pretty sure that there has to be a synthetic lacquer variant.
Lacquer is derived from a tree, and is called varnish in most of the world, combined with pigment it becomes paint. Shellac on the other hand is made from the secretions of the Lac beetle, which is browny red in colour. So no black beetle's were harmed. I guess it is unfortunate that the three letters 'lac' appear in each word.
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Old 01-04-2013   #82
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I was browsing through some old catalogs on the Westlicht site looking at BP cameras.

It is impressive just how bad the paint jobs are on the original BP bodies. Even the 'mint' in the box bodies have minor brassing and sometimes there is orange-peeling (bubbling). The paint looks like it will chip, if you look at it cockeyed.

Some of the heavily worn ones, the ones where most of the top plate is brass, look like there wasn't even a primer undercoat. The brass on these looks fairly coarse. Perhaps Leica used a diluted acid bath or white vinegar (yes, vinegar) to pit the brass for the paint to stick.

Others very obviously have a primer undercoating and those are mostly brassed on the edges..

I'm thinking I will give my M4 a white vinegar bath to prime the surface. Scalecoat type 1 paint appears to be self-etching and can be baked. Seems to stand up to wear quite well. Probably better than most original BP bodies...
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Old 01-04-2013   #83
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M3D #2 - David Douglas Duncan. This is the second of two cameras that Leica modified for Duncan. It became the template for the MP.
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Old 01-04-2013   #84
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This one belonged to Paul Fusco (Magnum). This is an excellent example of the dangers of taking a Leica out of it's display box and actually using it.
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Old 01-04-2013   #85
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Interesting Harry!

He taped up the frame counter window and added a M2 frame counter and chrome lever.
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Old 01-04-2013   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent.G View Post
Interesting Harry!

He taped up the frame counter window and added a M2 frame counter and chrome lever.
THe camera that belonged to Fusco is an MP. So, the framecounter is correct. Basically it is a modified Leica M2 with Leicavit. It's looks like the small circular post that is next to the framecounter on a normal M2/MP has gone missing and he put a piece of tape over the hole. You can see that little post on DDD camera next the counter disk. Very strange indeed.
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Old 01-04-2013   #87
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Thanks Harry. So it is an MP! Not a M2.

I am also curious why he replaced the advance lever to a chrome one since he used a Leicavit.
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Old 01-04-2013   #88
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THis is a factory repaint M2, repainted in 1980's, used through several wars~
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Old 01-05-2013   #89
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Nice M2...

I like the circular wipe mark on the top plate, next to the rewind knob.
Glad to see everyone made it back in one piece
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Old 02-22-2013   #90
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THis is a factory repaint M2, repainted in 1980's, used through several wars~
best looking of bunch to me
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Old 01-07-2015   #91
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Not converted yet, this is a WIP from my M2 which I've done in my spare time.. I use powder coating/electrolytic paint..

The final coat result get little thick in some engraving, make the text not properly pronounced..

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Old 01-07-2015   #92
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Nice work "yesaroos"
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Old 01-08-2015   #93
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there are my leica m3, one of them was modified to use the leicavit mp with m2's counter.

both of them was repainted at 30% glossy level.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/16047895208/
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Old 01-19-2015   #94
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I've done it.. she's just converted






I strip the timer & preview lever, cut the 'vampire tooth', clean the RF, re-skinned with Grip-Tac like material, implant new shutter from salvaged Canon F1.. so far, the shutter speed sounds good to ear.. unfortunately, the RF patch still can't align well on infinity and the vertical adjustment cover screw is MIA

Not perfect, but good enough for me
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Old 01-19-2015   #95
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Looks fantastic!
but did you strip the chrome first?

could you please give us a source for the grip-tac material (I guess we're talking about sheets, right?)
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Old 01-19-2015   #96
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Originally Posted by sanmich View Post
Looks fantastic!
but did you strip the chrome first?

could you please give us a source for the grip-tac material (I guess we're talking about sheets, right?)
yes, I strip the crome but not the nickel since I don't have the chemical.. powder coating required the part to be sand blasted first, thats partialy remove the nickle but not all.. so it might not brassed good..

for grip-tack like material.. I use 3M safety walk medium type for swimming pool, wich is intended to be comfortable to barefoot..
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Old 01-19-2015   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athland View Post
there are my leica m3, one of them was modified to use the leicavit mp with m2's counter.

both of them was repainted at 30% glossy level.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/16047895208/
Your MP replica is superb. Who did the conversion and did you weld up the m3 frame counter hole?
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Old 01-19-2015   #98
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Originally Posted by yesaroos View Post
I've done it.. she's just converted






I strip the timer & preview lever, cut the 'vampire tooth', clean the RF, re-skinned with Grip-Tac like material, implant new shutter from salvaged Canon F1.. so far, the shutter speed sounds good to ear.. unfortunately, the RF patch still can't align well on infinity and the vertical adjustment cover screw is MIA

Not perfect, but good enough for me
Very nice camera. Congratulations.
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Old 01-19-2015   #99
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I met up with someone over the weekend in Germany who showed me a boxfull of M2, M3 and M4's all painted in either black or green and they were simply stunning. The paint was a near exact match to original that I compaired to. More interesting were the Summicron rigid and 3 element elmar 90 that he had also repainted and I actually thought they were originals! i've seen a shintaro and these were better. He asked to remain anonymous but kindly shared his formula so my next repaint is going to be a test for me. I honestly thought I had got as far as I personally could with repaints but this box of gear has made me rethink my painting.
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Old 04-12-2016   #100
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I was quoted 172,500 JPY by kanto camera which includes repaint and overhaul including shutter replacement.
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Old 04-17-2016   #101
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Here's mine, a Black repaint M2 done by Nobbylon.

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Old 04-17-2016   #102
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I've done it.. she's just converted :cool
Nice! Very similar to my project.

I prefer the non-self timer M2.

This will have an M3 viewfinder when complete.

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Old 04-26-2016   #103
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20140914-M7-50V4-TMAX400-TMD1+4-7MIN-36 copy by Days of My Ordinary Life (Vincent), on Flickr
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Old 04-27-2016   #104
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Finished the project...

Lever rewind, no-self timer M2, 1964, #1093xxx, with M3 viewfinder from a donor camera that was otherwise not salvageable. The original M2 viewfinder prism had oxidation and was toast...

New curtains, full CLA. Also has M4-style loading.

I'm calling it an M234.







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Old 04-27-2016   #105
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Finished the project...

Lever rewind, no-self timer M2, 1964, #1093xxx, with M3 viewfinder from a donor camera that was otherwise not salvageable. The original M2 viewfinder prism had oxidation and was toast...

New curtains, full CLA. Also has M4-style loading.

I'm calling it an M234.
Fantastic result.
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Old 04-28-2016   #106
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Finished the project...

Lever rewind, no-self timer M2, 1964, #1093xxx, with M3 viewfinder from a donor camera that was otherwise not salvageable. The original M2 viewfinder prism had oxidation and was toast...

New curtains, full CLA. Also has M4-style loading.

I'm calling it an M234.
I love this
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Old 04-29-2016   #107
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Thanks for your comments.

I just realized this looks very similar to the Leica M-A...
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Old 04-29-2016   #108
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So... M3 frame lines?
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Old 04-30-2016   #109
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I am contemplating on repainting either an M2 or M3 ( I have both ) and my research hasn't really revealed a good and safe way to dechrome the parts; I'd prefer to have it done professionally in the US; I know it can be done at home but it's not worth the risks to my health.

Where would you recommend a professional dechroming in the USA? I prefer a place near Detroit, Michigan. My concern is that smaller pieces / parts might get lost and not handled properly by the big industrial places ( we have lots of those here in the auto industry here in Detroit) ..

As for paint selection, I prefer to have a durable, semi gloss finish in black. Any recommendation is appreciated.. I don't mind baking it either -

I would love to have a step by step guide - my Internet search has revealed some really old links that no longer exist or incomplete

ALL tips, tricks, leads, directions and pointers are greatly appreciated..

Cheers!
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Old 04-30-2016   #110
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So... M3 frame lines?


Yes, M3 frames. I thought about eliminating the preview lever too; should have done so...
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Beautiful work!
Old 04-30-2016   #111
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Beautiful work!

Beautifully executed..

Would you mind sharing how you dechromed the casing and what kind of pain you have used?

Did you carry out the CLA and install the M4 loading mechanism yourself?

inquiring mind is dying to know -

thank you !

Jimmy

Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Finished the project...

Lever rewind, no-self timer M2, 1964, #1093xxx, with M3 viewfinder from a donor camera that was otherwise not salvageable. The original M2 viewfinder prism had oxidation and was toast...

New curtains, full CLA. Also has M4-style loading.

I'm calling it an M234.







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Old 04-30-2016   #112
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Leica paint jobs are not a trivial process. Much much more involved than a forum post can detail.

Dechroming is not difficult or dangerous if handled properly. Do you want to go all the way to the brass? This isn't necessary if you use robust paint and don't care about brassing. Paint sticks to the nickel quite well. Removing the nickel is a lot more effort...

Finding the proper paint is not easy, either.

Send me a message and I'll be happy to send you some info.
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Old 04-30-2016   #113
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My early M3

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Old 04-30-2016   #114
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PM sent! THANKS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Leica paint jobs are not a trivial process. Much much more involved than a forum post can detail.

Dechroming is not difficult or dangerous if handled properly. Do you want to go all the way to the brass? This isn't necessary if you use robust paint and don't care about brassing. Paint sticks to the nickel quite well. Removing the nickel is a lot more effort...

Finding the proper paint is not easy, either.

Send me a message and I'll be happy to send you some info.
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Old 04-30-2016   #115
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Dechroming is a straight forward reverse electrolysis process. I use a car battery charger. The next step involves a sulphur heated bath to remove the nickel. Caswell plating have the chemicals you need.
I've used mainly military arms paint as it's durable and thin. This can be bought in the USA easily over the counter in gunsmiths. I used a model airbrush with compressor.
The hardest part is to not fill the engravings. I scribe out the paint after each coat.
I always used paint stripper to remove the engraving paint before de chrome/nickel to give the deepest engravings possible.
I've noticed some vendors selling BP cameras that have only had the top and bottom plates back to brass and the other parts only back to nickel. These cameras will eventually look awful and to me this is only doing half a job. If you are buying make sure you ask if everything was taken back to brass.
Back door ASA dials are a pita and need to be drilled off and after painting re attached with new rivets or tiny self tap screws.
Inlays can be redone with paint sticks from micro tools.
Just like painting cars, bikes etc, preparation is the key to a nice end finish. Dents need to be knocked out first and all nicks dressed so that the first few coats of paint can be flatted to obtain the best end finish. Start to finish used to take me an average of 50-60 man hours to get the results I wanted.
A few of my paints are on here,
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Old 04-30-2016   #116
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Wow, those look fantastic. Do you also re-vulcanise the grip?
I used to use aki asahi whenever I needed to replace the body cover but I always tried to keep the original.
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Old 04-30-2016   #117
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I used to use aki asahi whenever I needed to replace the body cover but I always tried to keep the original.
John,

Are you still doing black paint jobs?

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Old 04-30-2016   #118
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Quote:
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You have lots of company among painters, but why do you remove the nickel?

What kind of primer do you use to isolate the brass?

The Nikon rangefinders all used a black nickel base for their painted bodies, it's application technique one of the ways of identifying original paint.
I remove the nickel so that the camera will brass. You don't see original BP cameras with nickel underneath the paint. Well, M2 and M3 anyway. I never used primer, no need. The brass is cleaned with alcohol after preparation and then painted. Heating the parts opens up the metal allowing the paint to adhere and really bond. I've tried the primer method a few years back but it never worked great and the paint just chipped off. The way I do them, the only way to get the paint off is to sand blast or emery paper it off.
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Old 04-30-2016   #119
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The biggest pain is prepping the brass after removing the nickel. The parts have what is called 'smut' after chemical nickel removal (yes, that's a technical term) and it's a real PITA to remove. The best way is via bead blasting, which results in a nearly perfect surface for paint adhesion. I have painted in the neighborhood of 100 or so Ms and other cameras. A few were done with lacquer so they would brass, but most were done with a very robust semi matte black which is pretty much guaranteed not to wear off. Which begs the question, why bother removing the nickel when it's a big chemical mess followed by tedious bead blasting, if the camera is never actually going to 'brass?' The paint adheres to the nickel extremely well. The cameras I painted were not designed to closely match the look of original black enamel, so brassing ultimately was deemed irrelevant. There are cameras in the field coming up on 8 years now and they look just as they did when completed. One is listed on ebay as we speak...

Regarding vulcanite, I posted this a few weeks ago, but the closest match to replacement vulcanite that I've ever seen is this. A USA vendor and reasonably priced:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...87&postcount=9

The M2 I just finished actually had the parts painted about 6 years ago. The parts were stripped to brass on this one. The paint is extremely tough; even the lugs and the end bolts are painted black. It has the hugostudio vulcanite.

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Old 04-30-2016   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
The biggest pain is prepping the brass after removing the nickel. The parts have what is called 'smut' after chemical nickel removal (yes, that's a technical term) and it's a real PITA to remove. The best way is via bead blasting, which results in a nearly perfect surface for paint adhesion. I have painted in the neighborhood of 100 or so Ms and other cameras. A few were done with lacquer so they would brass, but most were done with a very robust semi matte black which is pretty much guaranteed not to wear off. Which begs the question, why bother removing the nickel when it's a big chemical mess followed by tedious bead blasting, if the camera is never actually going to 'brass?' The paint adheres to the nickel extremely well. The cameras I painted were not designed to closely match the look of original black enamel, so brassing ultimately was deemed irrelevant. There are cameras in the field coming up on 8 years now and they look just as they did when completed. One is listed on ebay as we speak...

Regarding vulcanite, I posted this a few weeks ago, but the closest match to replacement vulcanite that I've ever seen is this. A USA vendor and reasonably priced:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...87&postcount=9

The M2 I just finished actually had the parts painted about 6 years ago. The parts were stripped to brass on this one. The paint is extremely tough; even the lugs and the end bolts are painted black. It has the hugostudio vulcanite.

Dare I say it? the whole point of a BP Leica is that it shows brass when it wears, implying that that the owner has used it alot!l
Nobody wants to see nickel when the paint wears off!
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