Vintage Graflex restoration / protection tips?

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starving4rtist

Active Member
My vintage Graflex has some corrosion and rust forming and I wanted to check with the group:
  • Is there a safe way to remove the rust without harming the chrome finish?
  • Is there something I should be doing to protect it from further corrosion?
To be clear - I'm not hoping to get it back to like-new, I just want to get it cleaned up a bit and make sure the condition won't get worse over time. Thanks in advance for any pointers!

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ssdesigner

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm not sure whether or not the replica graflex makers plate their hilts like the originals, but if so it may be worth asking one of then to strip yours down and re-plate it.
 

Halliwax

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I always wanted to try this, I’ve used it on chrome bumpers and window retainers on antique cars with good results

Don’t know how it would work on a vintage flash though.. if I had one I would attempt it

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AstroZopyros

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I have a good friend who does a ton of graflex work. His method is to disassemble the graflex, soak the outer shells in Coca Cola over night, then rinse well with water and clean it with rubbing alchohol. After that he hand polishes it with Mother’s Chrome polish, and Mother’s aluminum polish. He said he doesn’t go too hard with the polish as to not mess with the plating. Here are his results:
 

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newmagrathea

Sr Member
What I've done when I've cleaned up Graflexs is use 0000 fine steel wool to rub any rust or dirt off. If there is something on the lower tube or upper tube only move the steel wool in the direction of the grain and use light pressure. The clamp and bunny ears, and some other small bits are steel and will rust, the upper and lower tubes are nickel plated brass. After I've cleaned the dirt and rust off I protect it with some oil (Barricade or WD40) or wax.
 

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ALLEY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
In keeping with the unique “used” look of the “Galaxy far, far, away...” I am in the school of thought of preserving as much of the aged and weathered patina as possible. That’s the difference between the extra price you pay for a vintage GRAFLEX and a brand new replica.

I would recommend a light polish with a standard non-abrasive metal polish (look in the appliance section at Home Depot, or Lowe’s), as has been suggested, but other than that, I would try to preserve, as much as possible, what you see from the natural weathering of 50 plus years of use.
 
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thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Wax, all the way. Johnsons, Caranuba, etc. those short, round tins of paste wax are what I use on almost everything. I oil my Obi saber with Barricade but I may change that
 

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