Graflex 5 cell - Help!

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thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi everyone,

I'd like to ask for some advice - My dad has been out of the prop world for a while, I've been doing most of the gig lately, but a few days ago he surprised me by winning a flash off line. He asked me about the one I got from craig's list, said this one looked a bit different.

Well he nearly hit the jackpot! It's a 5 cell. There's a tiny bit of rust on the bulb release and the clamp is a bit weathered, which means this is going to be an AWESOME saber

My questions -

1) The 4 cell bottom does not have a Graflex logo. In fact, it's not an inward stamped Graflex tube. The bottom is smooth, with a single groove notched around the outside and it's all one stamped piece. Who made this? It's old, it's chrome plated brass, the notches are stamped out - not cut (the rim or edge sinks in towards the cuts), they're also not symmetrical, one side gets stuck, and it smells the way a Graflex should. What gives?

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Photo on 1-16-15 at 3.03 PM.jpg Photo on 1-16-15 at 3.05 PM.jpg

It also came with a "3 cell" adapter, which is what I'm assuming got my dad excited. It's a piece of wood with some screws and a wire that sits inside. Weird huh? Also, ignore that horrid checkered mirror on the floor - my grandmother passed away and, forgive me, had some questionable taste. Those squares are different types of fur.

Photo on 1-16-15 at 3.01 PM.jpg

2) I'm willing to cut this 4 cell to length but how can I, with basic neanderthal tools, cut new notches? how the heck do I cut my own lock mechanism? Will someone do it for me?!

Thanks!

best
Tom D.
 
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Cadger

Active Member
Re: Graflex 4 cell - Help!

1: I'm only guessing but could the larger tube be custom made by either a company or a handy man to get more jucice out of the flash?

2: I would cut of the top, and measure the lock slits carefully. Then outline the slits on the now shorter bottom half. Cutting with a dremel and finishing with some nice files an maybe sandpaper should do it. If you work carefully and take your time I think you'll do it.

Carving all the text into the bottom is the difficult part. ;)
 

James Kenobi 1138

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Graflex 4 cell - Help!

Graflex did make a 4 cell extension with a stamped bottom. The same factory may have made this one unstamped as a 'store brand' accessory for your Graflex flash at a bargin price.
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Graflex 4 cell - Help!

Store brands - you know that just might be it - I forget that's not a new thing.

Is there a template for the locking notches on graflex bottoms out there?
 

James Kenobi 1138

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Graflex 4 cell - Help!

If it were me this is what I would do.

Go to the hardware store and buy a big pipe cutter that plumbers use to cut copper pipe.

Measuse and figure out how long a 3cell Graflex tube sticks out from the clamp when properly inserted.
Measure from the bottom up and mark that spot and draw a line 1/8 higher.
Use the pipe cutter to cut the tube down, that way the cut part is hidden inside the clamp.

Then take the top part you just cut off and insert in in the clamp and lock it down. Mark around where sticks out of the clamp. Remove it and measure up 1/8 inch.

Cut the top part off with the clamp slots. Now when you hold the top with slots and the bottom together it should be the same height as a 3cell. If it's a little too long you can remove more material from the TOP and not the bottom as you want to make sure the cut is hidden inside the clamp.

Then you can join them by glueing a tube, dowel or PVC inside the pieces making a new, shorter tube but using the original cut slots.
 

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Probe Droid

Master Member
Re: Graflex 4 cell - Help!

Graflex made 4- and 5-cell extensions for the battery cases. I've had a few of both over the years. They are not stamped with the company logo as they were accessory pieces but they're authentic. Later, the company also made extensions for Graflite flashes and Heiland made extensions as well that simply screw on.

Congrats on your purchase.
 

OldKen

Master Member
I actually want to see this now...

Would be a double handed broadsword Luke...

I like it!

Put a THIRD red button below the clamp on that bitch!!!

(Your welcome!)

LOLOL!!!
 

NeoRutty

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Or keep the regular top, add two slaves jutting out the sides of said top...

Then with the extra long t-track you have the Luke version of the Ep 7 3-way hilt...


I kinda want that now...

Gotta find me a 5 cell bottom and some slaves!
 

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thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
You guys kill me


Ok, the idea of cutting this up I'll leave on the back burner, I'd rather leave it all in one piece.
Can someone draw out a template of the graflex slots? Pretty please?

Even without that, It's just a (width specific) right angle. The notch is so tiny, I can just file out the rest of the horizontal axis and voila!

Any advice for what stylus to use to mark up a chrome tube for measuring? Sharpie? Crayon?
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
Wrap a piece of paper around your 4 Cell top and then with the side of a normal HB pencil ... start rubbing the slots design onto the paper ... remember like Indy Jones in The Holy Grail? Simple and effective ... now use that piece of paper as a template :) . . . Or sell the 4 Cell to NeoRutty for a premium and then start looking for a 3 Cell bottom ;) As for that piece of wood ... you can always use that inside a 3 Cell for a perfect counter balance weight, yes?

Chaim
 

NeoRutty

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Why a premium? ha.

i do now have plans to make a Luke broadsword, so could use the bottom... But I've seen the, on ebay from time to time...
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It works, but if you use a 2 HB you'll have to go hard. (Chuckle chuckle) I used an x-acto to cut a 27 mm thick strip of paper, the distance from my grips to the rim. I also used a sewing measuring tape to get the circumference and taped the seam somewhere other than where I had to shade. I'm going to cut my 5 cell to length and use this as a template.

- - - Updated - - -

I totally would sell this if I had a link to a real 3 cell bottom lol
 

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NeoRutty

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Bah. If I could swap you I would. Oh well... While I'm totally into this weird design idea, I'm in no rush.

That said, if anyone has some graflex slaves their not using, pm me.
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER


it would appear I measured a couple mm too long on that slip of paper, which is why I made sure to get some shading of the actual rim, so I know where to tape it when the time comes.

On a side note, I find that 3 cell adapter to be really clever. This guy, whoever he was, wanted to be able to use this with only 3 batteries, so he finished the space with a dowel, and the screws/wire finish the circuit from the spring in the bottom. It could also be a store bought thing, I've never seen a more perfect wire wrap, which smells machine to me.
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
Photographers of that particular era were sometimes very resourceful ... especially when shooting pictures in rural envirements with no immediate access to parts or batteries ;)

Chaim

On a side note, I find that 3 cell adapter to be really clever. This guy, whoever he was, wanted to be able to use this with only 3 batteries, so he finished the space with a dowel, and the screws/wire finish the circuit from the spring in the bottom. It could also be a store bought thing, I've never seen a more perfect wire wrap, which smells machine to me.
 

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