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11-01-2010, 08:28 AM   #1
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Cleaning MX, ME, K1000 bodies

Hi Everyone,

The MEs shutter is busted so I am taking this as an opportunity to open up the camera, using a service manual, and learning all the different bits and pieces inside - I'm excited.

Anyways, each of the three film cameras I have, the K1000, ME, and MX, have had their share of use over the years.

For the past 5 years though they've been sitting dormant in a closet. Each has their share or some grime, dullness in the stainless steel, etc.

I want to clean these cameras up and make them shine. I already plan to re-seal them using kyphoto as a reference.

But as far as cleaning the exterior - what do you suggest as a cleaning method? types of solvants (or not solvents like denatured alcohol), etc?

I plan to take the knobs off so that i can clean under them. I just don't want to use the wrong cleaning supplies where it can seap into something and ruin a part or two.

There are some scratches on the metal on the bottom of the bodies, I'm assuming there is nothing I can do about that?

11-01-2010, 02:15 PM   #2

Join Date: Feb 2009
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My default solvent to metal parts is naphtha (lighter fluid if you need small quantity). It evaporates quickly and does not leave any residue.

For rubber and glass, I use denatured alcohol.

I don't pour solvent directly onto the parts being clean. Instead, I cut up paper towel into strips about 1"X2", soak a paper towel strip with solvent, use it to clean the parts, and discard the paper towel strip.

The solvent vapors are pretty nasty, so work in well-ventilated area. I oftentimes work in the kitchen, near or under the exhaust fan (I know, the fan is not explosion-proof, but I don't use a lot of solvent).

Last edited by SOldBear; 11-01-2010 at 02:25 PM.
11-01-2010, 04:46 PM   #3
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Use caution. Many a well-meaning camera owner has turned a
dirty but working camera into a clean paperweight or doorstop.

11-02-2010, 07:41 AM   #4
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Original Poster
Use caution. Many a well-meaning camera owner has turned a
dirty but working camera into a clean paperweight or doorstop.
So I have this pentax ME which is busted, really busted.

The shutter is always open and it only moves down as I crank the wind lever, but as soon as the lever reaches the end, the shutter releases back to fully open position.

This all happened after the camera locked up and the lense couldn't be removed, the shutter release became stuck and so with the wind lever.

Anyways, the point I am making is that I intend to take camera apart, learn all the different internals, then put it back together. It's already broken and i have an MX and a K1000 so no worries and it will be a fun and great learning experience imo.

Point is, i'll be praciting cleaning up a camera body on that camera first

11-03-2010, 07:38 AM   #5
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Use LOTS and LOTS of fresh Q-tips, and lens cleaning papers.

Tougher, non-optical parts of the camera get wiped down with Windex and then immediately dried off. Anything critical/delicate/optical gets cleaned with Lens Cleaning Fluid (I use the KODAK stuff) on a Q-tip. It takes a while, and uses lots of Q-tips, but it does the job right and doesnt harm any surface I've tackled.

I have had some luck reviving vinyl parts ("camera leathers") with just a bit of pure silicone lubricant sprayed onto a soft rag, and gently rubbed into the vinyl. Leather parts (real camera leathers) should be treated like a fine pair of shoes, with an application of leather oil/and or polish.

If the scratched metal is on a black body (and you don't like the "brassed" look), I have filled scratches using a permanent black marker. No, it's not really permanent, but I didn't want to run the risk of "repainting" scratches.

These techniques have served me well when refurbishing an AGFA Isolette, two Zeiss Ikon folders, a Moskva-5 folder, a Rollei 2.8F, a couple of Yashica Mats, and a handful of Pentax SLRs.

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