Short Circuit Their Recording Systems - Building a Restraining Bolt

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Red Hawk

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
So as I continue the quest for ANH found props I realized that one that was missing from my collection was a vintage restraining bolt. After a healthy amount of searching and working with Troy (Seneca) to try to identify the right Arriflex lens (and at a less than mortgage payment type price) I arrived on a busted lens someone was selling for parts on eBay.


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Then came disassembly. This thing was loaded with tiny screws that you’d need a very small jewelers flat head screw driver to remove.

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After getting a bunch of the screws out the part that I really didn’t know was the top glass lens (at least the top in the pic above). I grabbed it with a pair of pliers that I’d wrapped in a rag to protect it and it twisted right out.

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Then came some little screws that are practically massive compared to all the rest.

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Once those were out I removed one more tiny screw from that brass ring, turned that counter clockwise a number of times using the little cut tabs and the middle section lifted off and the front lens and ring came right out.

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Then some sanding with 400, then 600 grit sand paper just to get the black paint off the center ring in order to get to the bare metal as seen in the prop underneath. Followed that up with a round of #0000 steel wool to clean it up and it’s almost ready to restrain some droids.

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Next step will be to add some black tamiya paint that I have left over from the macro build to cover over the numbers on the focusing ring.

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After that I’ll probably use some JB steel stick or something similar to fill those three little screw holes and put the small lens back in the top and should be all set.

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Thanks to Troy for all his help in looking at dozens of Arriflex lenses (note: when searching you’re looking for the Schneider Arriflex lenses, they’ll have the correct recessed line around the center section that you won’t sand in order to get the look on our model 3PO up there). Also thanks to Erick (erlomd) for sharing his experience with cameras and lenses.

I’ll post some more once I get the next few steps done and wrap it all up.

Would love to see what others have done with their restraining bolts and definitely open to other ideas for how to complete this sweet little prop.
 

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erlomd

Active Member
Awesome job!!! now that you have the restraining bolt off, keep an eye out on those droids!

looks like its coming together nicely! you may be able to fill that hole up (if its just for aesthetics) with either of the things you mentioned. I love how that majority of props used had some photography connection to them.

looking forward to the finished product!
 

Red Hawk

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Totally agreed, Erick. This took me a few hours and I had no idea what I was doing. You can totally see how bunch of film makers that deal with these lenses all the time could slap this together in minutes from a similarly busted lens.
 

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teecrooz

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This is the motivation I needed to get to work on mine! That turned out great!
 

Red Hawk

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Finished this off today. Stoked about how it turned out!

Started off by just painting over the numbers and symbols on the focusing wheel with black tamiya x-1 paint and filled those three screw holes on the “top” with JB Weld Steel Stick.

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After those dried, sanded and painted the holes in the same black.

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Then took this part of the lens which I was trying to figure out how to use again in the center to fill the large hole left in the center without sticking up beyond the ridge of the outside edge. Turns out that top lens is actually threaded in to the black cylinder. Just took a little finesse with a giant pair of pliers and came right off!

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Took that black piece, inverted it and placed it through the hole for a perfect fit, which obviously makes sense since it was in the same hole before just in the reverse position.

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Now it fits right in with the rest of my ANH props and looks right at home.

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This was definitely one of the fastest and most quickly satisfying prop builds I’ve done in a while. I would definitely recommend it amongst all the super long term projects that we all undertake. Thanks again for all the help and inspiration along the way!
 

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BlandoCalrssian

Well-Known Member
Couple questions, did you reinstall the brass ring or leave it off? And the little lens you stuck back up through the center, did you glue it place or is there another way you fastened it?
 

BlandoCalrssian

Well-Known Member
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So to partially answer my own question, I was messing around with the parts to see if there was a way
I could mechanically fasten the center lens in. I ended up going in a different direction, by completely disassembling the aperture housing and re-installing the silver part exactly where it had been fastened before with the three tiny screws. Not only does this eliminate the need to fill in the screw holes, but it also allows an uninterrupted passage through the middle for a fastening bolt, which I imagine is what they used to attach the bolt to the Threepio costume.
 

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