There is a point at which cameras and parts need to get restored!Keeping them in their original poor state (e.g. broken & missing pieces) has no value -!-.
Repairing & giving broken items a new lease of life is actually
very rewarding. As VEF Minox items are rare, its even more fun seeing
Spring --- sourcing a new spring, & casting a new black seal
Bakelite --- castingbroken & lost bakelite pieces, filling cracks
Paint --- repainting the inside of the spiral (cream/white)
castingbroken & lost bakelite pieces, filling cracks
a few Minox daylight developing tanks have a weak or broken spring.
Years of using the tank (or storing it in a moist environment) would
have caused the spring to corrode. Often the screw inside is now very
rusty and prone to breaking! Sometimes the spring is has complely
dissolved into a dust. So?
What to do? How to repair a Minox developing tank?
1) Getting access to the screw - careful drilling
2) Removing the debris and cleaning all parts
3) Re-attaching the new spring to the lid
4) Attaching the spring to the metal rod
5) Casting a new seal (Ultra-black epoxy; SmoothCast Onyx)
6) Sealing the lid
7) Winding & Tightening the spring
8) All done!
very careful when drilling! Use a drill with a smaller diameter. The
bakelite is very brittle. In addition the VEF drawing was actually
incorrect (see below for the new drawing). The spring is first attached
to the top of the lid. Then the leaver is inserted and the other end of
the spring fixed to it using the little screw inside. Now all you need
is to insert the new seal.
[---Developing tank---] Broken and missing
bakelite pieces are far too often. So in the ideal scenario, you have
an intact douplicate. You use this intact souplicate (here the lid) to
make your silicon mold.
1) Create a silicon mold using the intact piece
2) Prepare the broken piece (strengthen the connection between old and new)
3) Add the broken piece to the mold and apply thin line of glue to seal it in at the edge
4) Apply the new black resin to the mold
5) Remove and prep the new piece
5) All done!
[---Developing tank---] Development tanks have
seen a lot of action over the last 70 years. The colour is almost
always faded. I am sure it must be due to the developer. Anyway,
discoloration is not a good enough reason to repaint. However if the
paint is badly chipped (see picture on the left) then you should
1) use very fine sandpaper to remove the paint
2) select the ideal paint
3) test the colour and painting on a differnt piece of plastic
4) once your happy with your painting skills, paint the spiral
5) All done!
Camera cleaning & minor servicing:
I do not attempt to repair or fix the mechanics of any Minox camera. Neither should you -!-. I do know my
limits! (Please contact DAGCamera or MSHobbies for this). However, I would like to be able to clean a camera and if
possible do minor servicing on it (e.g. replace broken glass). As I am not skilled to carry this
out, I scouted long and hard for a Test camera.
Basically to learn, I
have to assume that I will break something so it needs to be a camera
which was in too bad shape to rescue but also -not- be incomplete. That
is difficult! All the cameras that I came across and were complete were
too nice to be used for this. It is really difficult to find one. Even
heavily corroded or dented cameras were still too nice and should be brought back to life. Finally I found
a camera which is so badly corroded, is so completely gumed up, has so
many broken glass pieces that a repair job looks impossible. Even
though it still cost me several hundred dollars, this will be my
I try to upload a photo series on how to do (and how -not- to do
Photo series coming soon..