Graflex Variations: Facts and vs. Replica

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Drew Baker

Sr Member
I was looking at clamps recently, specifically the pins in the lever. We've all heard about the dull Folmer pins and the shiny machined Inc pins, but I'm thinking there might be another factor that I haven't seen discussed: positioning.

Take a look at this:

pins - 6 up.jpg

It looks to me like a progression of the design, that the middle row's shiny pins are placed in holes positioned like the holes for the "Folmer" pins, then the Inc design was revised with more centered holes. Considering the flashes I've found these clamps on and the relative paucity of dull-pinned clamps compared to the number of smooth-pinned flashes out there, my hypothesis is the shiny rivet near the lever's edge is an alternate or transitional version from the late "Folmer New York" and "Folmer with patent" eras.

Or has this already been worked out before and I just haven't seen it?
 

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Diego86

Active Member
Absolutely agree! And I also add that this type of consideration can be made on almost all components of the flashes. It's possible to reconstruct their history simply by observing them and using logic.
 

v312

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Could you post some pictures of the other side of the lever for the middle row?

I don't have any that are that close to the edge. The "centered" Inc pins like in the 3rd row have usually much bigger pins (diameter wise) than the Folmer ones for which the original hole placement was designed. So I'm wondering if that's not making the side of the lever dangerously thin - which could be another reason to move it other than aesthetics.
 

BENnotKENOBI

New Member
As I've been reading the thread for the ANH Graflex details, I've been itching more and more to get started on my replica. I'm not crazy about trying to hunt down a genuine Folmer, and the price doesn't excite me. And I'm even less crazy about converting a genuine flash for a build. So, my question is: What is the general consensus of the most accurate replica Folmer Graflex? I was thinking about getting the Gen2 from the Graflex Shop. I figured that this was the best thread to ask.
 

BTTUK

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
As I've been reading the thread for the ANH Graflex details, I've been itching more and more to get started on my replica. I'm not crazy about trying to hunt down a genuine Folmer, and the price doesn't excite me. And I'm even less crazy about converting a genuine flash for a build. So, my question is: What is the general consensus of the most accurate replica Folmer Graflex? I was thinking about getting the Gen2 from the Graflex Shop. I figured that this was the best thread to ask.
That manufacturer is banned from the RPF, so we are not meant to really discuss them or promote their work on here.

With that in mind I have no qualms in pointing you in the direction of a Roman Props Graflex flash. It is a high quality replica, which to me is the best available anyway.
 

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BENnotKENOBI

New Member
That manufacturer is banned from the RPF, so we are not meant to really discuss them or promote their work on here.

With that in mind I have no qualms in pointing you in the direction of a Roman Props Graflex flash. It is a high quality replica, which to me is the best available anyway.

Oh sorry! I didn't know that. I know Roman's is currently out of stock. If no one knows when he'll get his in, I'll shoot him an email.
 

BTTUK

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Oh sorry! I didn't know that. I know Roman's is currently out of stock. If no one knows when he'll get his in, I'll shoot him an email.
No need to apologise, as you say, you didn't know :). I'm not sure when more will be in stock. He may see your post here and jump in to reply
 

Drew Baker

Sr Member
Could you post some pictures of the other side of the lever for the middle row?

I don't have any that are that close to the edge. The "centered" Inc pins like in the 3rd row have usually much bigger pins (diameter wise) than the Folmer ones for which the original hole placement was designed. So I'm wondering if that's not making the side of the lever dangerously thin - which could be another reason to move it other than aesthetics.

I've put the top right one on top for reference, then the two from the middle row:

pins verso.jpg
 

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Drew Baker

Sr Member
I have 2 Incs and one patent Folmer, all three have their pins relatively close to the edge.
Like the one in the bottom left of my six levers, the middle row levers, or something different?

I think it's also tricky to nail down clamps because they're the easiest, and possibly most obvious part to swap when mixing and matching parts. I've certainly done it with some of mine.
 

v312

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Talking about progression of design, here's a quick summary of the flash history to put it into context.

1940 July 19 - the the well-known us. pat. 2310165 for the flash is filled with the patent office. It basically describes the "Telegraph" flash variant.

1941 - "Telegraph" flashes are released to the market.

1942 - Design is changed to what we call "no patent Folmer Graflex"

1943 February 2 - Patent is granted. While I could not find any specific information on the actual date, I assume that by the end of 1943 the bottom stamp was changed to proudly include the patent number.

1945 - Company is renamed to "Graflex, Inc" (so the stamp changes accordingly)

1948 - The "Graphlite" flash is released. I assume it means the old flash was not produced anymore after 1948, but is possible that they were still selling (and maybe making) both models for some time.

1613899847214.png
 

sbeall

Active Member
Cool info, v312. Thank you for posting that. I went to school for photography, and I still have a soft spot for old camera stuff, which probably explains why I like the flash-based lightsabers so much.
 

v312

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There's some minimal difference (1mm or less) in the total length and also how much of it is threaded that I've noticed, but I think it's just sample variation, as it varies within the levers with the same type of rivet.
 

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BRRogers

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There's some minimal difference (1mm or less) in the total length and also how much of it is threaded that I've noticed, but I think it's just sample variation, as it varies within the levers with the same type of rivet.
Yeah if that’s the case (with the quantity of hilts the boards collectively possess) it would be great to catalogue that specific item, I don’t think it’s been touched yet
 

BRRogers

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
FFD7A0CD-4A35-48B9-AE50-8EE7DB56D8A4.jpeg

this is why I ask.
3 different REPLICAS all based on vintage pieces.
The top being the one of the most interest because I also consider it my most accurate replica for an ‘ANH era’ graflex (folmer patent)
 

v312

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I only have some shiny rivet ones at the moment that won't be a total hassle to disassemble:
1615070859084.png


But I don't remember seeing one that looks any different as far as the threading and length are concerned.
 

BRRogers

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks for that v312

I've realized the tell is easy... for assembled sabers. Just as deconstructive as removing the card
The bolt on the long one would extend past the clamp bar, and the threads would be visible passing all the way through the negative space in the clamp like so... obviously some variations expected
159FB7C7-7EB9-44E0-9F05-C1A3E893ACE0.jpeg

4D97093C-F560-4FE2-A72A-753CC64F3A9A.jpeg

Again, these are one and two of the most recent (considered accurate) replicas
 
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