Vintage Graflex on the way....

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by hunky_artist, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. hunky_artist

    hunky_artist Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys, I've got a vintage graflex flash on the way which I'm going to turn into an ANH Luke. As far as i can tell the flash has some slight marking on the body and maybe a little rust/corrosion on the clamp (not too much as far as i can tell)

    For those of you who have the real deal, what's the best way to clean these up a bit? I'm not after a brand new 'MR' look... just to make it look a bit cleaner. I've heard you can use steel wool on them, is that right? and what effect would that have on it?

    Thanks in advance for your help. :D

    Darren
     
  2. franz bolo

    franz bolo Sr Member

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    I wouldn't mess with it if I were you. Just use a clean rag and maybe some soap.

    FB
     
  3. dcarty

    dcarty Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I agree, stay away from the steel wool (even if it's fine 0000 steel wool). I got my "hero" Graflex off ebay about 3 years ago for a song because there was some rust around the clamp area and "ears". As it turned out the the rust was very light surface rust that hadn't penetrated the finish and looked much worse in the picture from the auction. I bought some Turtle Wax Chrome polish at K-Mart and took and old t-shirt and a tooth brush to it. After about 5 minutes work it was practically mint (seriously, I don't think it was ever used it just sat in a box and rusted).

    I'd wash it first like Franz Bolo says and then if it needs any further work maybe try the Chrome polish (I don't think it makes any difference but when I used the polish I followed with the grain of the finish).

    Good luck.

    Dave C
     
  4. hunky_artist

    hunky_artist Well-Known Member

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    thanks guys. :)
     
  5. Sporak

    Sporak Sr Member Gone but not forgotten.

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    Remember, it's brass under the nickel plating. If you go too deep with anything it WILL show.

    I would take glass cleaner and a paper towel...or T shirt and go over it real good..
     
  6. Probe Droid

    Probe Droid Master Member

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    Blah, blah, blah.

    These things were built to last. There hasn't been a new G made in more than 60 years and thousands of them are still around. If that isn't a testiment to their durability I don't know what is.

    I've gone through more of these flashes than half the board combined. If yours isn't a total wreck, if it just sports the usual signs of age, spray it with either WD-40 or a bathroom cleaner called Scrubbing Bubbles and let that stuff loosen up the old residue and wipe it clean with a towel.

    All the prissies here will have coronaries at this advice, but ignore them. You want a Graflex that looks like a warhorse like the ANH saber, then trust me.
     
  7. Mah-Al Thorn

    Mah-Al Thorn New Member

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    Apologies for the necroposting, but I have something of a follow-up question. I just got my own vintage Graflex flashgun, and am trying to take it apart for cleaning and conversion to a working LED saber. I've only worked with the replica flashes before, and on those units, the bulb release--or "rabbit ears"--are easily removed because the pivot pin is a screw. On the vintage, the pin seems intended to be non-removable. (The end of the pin facing the bottom of the flashgun has been hammered down to create a bit of a flange.) Is there any way to take the flashgun apart without removing that pin?

    Also, I was expecting to find four tabs on the inside of the clamp, to fit into the slots on the top and bottom tubes. If there ever were any tabs, there's not much left of them. And if someone clipped them for some reason, it was done long ago, since the thick layer of rust on the inside of the clamp completely covers the remainder of the tabs. Hopefully, there is enough left of the tabs to hold the flashgun together. (It was together when I got it, and doesn't seem to have been taken apart for years.)

    What a beautiful thing this old flashgun is. It's no wonder the prop-makers looked at it and saw an elegant weapon from a more civilized age.
     
  8. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    It will take on a yellow tint if you use anything too abrasive.
     
  9. Mah-Al Thorn

    Mah-Al Thorn New Member

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    Thanks. I tried WD-40, benzine, soap with a teflon-safe scouring pad, then finally moved up to a Dremel with a wire brush. I didn't do any damage, and though I got off the most obvious rust, I still have some unsightly black patches on the surface of the clamp. I thought about replacing just the clamp with a replica, but the replicas available through Parks Sabers have just the sort of yellow tint I think you're talking about. They're just not as silver as the original. I guess a knock-off is just a knock-off. :rolleyes

    I suppose I could just embrace the blemishes and go for a "time-worn yet well cared-for" look.

    Either way, I'm still wondering how to get around the pin I mentioned.
     
  10. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Lol! I looked at the original post. I think you are stuck with the pin unless you break it and replace it with something else. As for tabs, I can't remember, but if you get a tight fit, then who cares about what it looks like inside? :)
     
  11. Mah-Al Thorn

    Mah-Al Thorn New Member

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    Well, since the tabs slide into the slots and keep the pieces together...

    Hmm. I'll see if I can hammer the pin out and get in back in again without causing too much damage.
     
  12. parfaitelumiere

    parfaitelumiere Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I met same problem on mine with tabs.
    it brings problem,because if you want to make a usable prop,these tabs really help to have something strong.

    About the bunny hear pin,it's another problem,it's hard to remove,and near 100% times damaged when removed.
    but.....
    you can remove the black bulb holder without removing the bunny ears,or,just try,not sure it works...
    This black holder is made of 3 layers,staying together with two bolts,you can see them inside the flash,if you remove the bolts,and all buttons,the black element will come in 3 parts.
    the front has a rim,and can't go inside the flash,so you have to remove it using strengh to let it go between bunny ears and flash.
    for 2 other parts,you will have to remove the oval sliding button,but it's easier to put bac on the flash,and you can modify it for electronic effects if you want.

    to bring you flash stronger for using you can put a 35mm aluminium or steel tube inside,all lengh,will help.
     
  13. Mah-Al Thorn

    Mah-Al Thorn New Member

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    Thanks for the excellent advice! I was able to empty the flashgun by basically pulverizing the three black plastic parts and pushing them out the bottom of the upper tube.

    Now to convert it. I can decide what to do about the blemished/tab-less clamp later.
     
  14. parfaitelumiere

    parfaitelumiere Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    ok,so you destroyed the rim on the black part,it's another way....
    means you won't have problems to put a blade holder from inside,good.
    about the clamp,you can just find another one,better,quite perfect condition,even a replica would be good,because the "graflex" word is hiddent by a chrome strap.
    You keep the original clamp for a OB1 lightsaber,using,as I do,some Russ parts.
    I had exactly same problem as you;bad clamp for a graflex,but perfect for a weathered OB1^^

    You have pics of your stuff?
     
  15. Mah-Al Thorn

    Mah-Al Thorn New Member

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    Thanks. I may do that. Here are photos are of the flashgun.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Mah-Al Thorn

    Mah-Al Thorn New Member

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    Ugh! Curse my impatience. I took a chance on powder-coating the clamp in so-called "Patented Ultra Chrome." I used the same powder on a brass Kolbold D-ring holder the other day, and was pretty satisfied with the result, so I thought I'd try it on the Graflex clamp. It looks awful. :cry

    Oh, well. The damage isn't permanent. I just have to strip the PC off with some gasket remover, then I'll be back to square one.

    Note to self: Never use "chrome" powder coat on anything larger than a domino. :rolleyes
     
  17. DemonSeed

    DemonSeed Well-Known Member

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    If you decide to make the ESB version, the textured tape would hide most of that. The top shell looks really clean, and thats always a good thing.
    Congrats on your first graflex, beware, a fever soon will hit you where you need every version. lol

    btw the graflex isn't chrome its nickel plated.
     

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