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05-30-2018, 11:31 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Loctite "Weld" Metal Epoxy on a Camera Repair - I Did Indeed

And I think it may have worked. It's a JB Weld type of 2-part mix, slow cure. Still waiting a solid 24 hrs before I try it for real, but the bond seems good.

Three nights ago I was repairing a very neglected and nasty Konica Autoreflex T4 for a friend who wanted to shoot it. Had pulled the top plate and prism, removed the viewfinder and cleaned everything. Re-foamed the mirrorbox bumpers. Re-foamed the doors. Cleared the finder, prism and focusing screen. Cleaned all exposed contacts and de-grimed everything as it were. Tidied up everywhere. All was back together, every bit and bob in it's place, shooting happily and smiling at the now clean finder image. The last step, I went to snug the retaining cap that holds the advance lever in place after positioning it back atop the camera and... whilst giving the spanner, literally, the last little "bump" the old pot-metal threaded portion of the cap snapped right off inside the shaft and the cap popped back off. Bricked. Done. Kaput.

I WAS MAD! In no way was the tiny threaded piece recoverable, and in the middle of the advance and transport mechanisms I was looking at a total tear-down and finding a donor camera to boot for the privilege. Not going to happen. I was about to 'paper-weight' it. Then I realized I had nothing left to lose. Such a stupid failure for a camera that was literally finished and ready to shoot with for the foreseeable future. But here I was. So why not. And tonight I epoxy-welded that sucker in place after cross-hatch scoring every tiny contact surface. If the bond takes well, the top plate of this camera is never coming off again without destroying the advance completely, so this was it's last "service". I hope it appreciates the second chance. And I hope the bond holds and allows for snaps of many photos to come.

If nothing else, it was a kinda fun experience, and the T4 was $12 all-in, plus another $7 for the Loctite epoxy. Fingers crossed.

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Last edited by Eyewanders; 05-31-2018 at 12:13 AM. Reason: photo
05-31-2018, 01:06 AM   #2
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Although a two-part epoxy is going to be very strong, the torque/force needed to advance the film on that small weak spot seems likely to fail.

Why not acquire an autowinder for the T4 to circumvent the need for the manual advance lever?

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05-31-2018, 01:29 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
Although a two-part epoxy is going to be very strong, the torque/force needed to advance the film on that small weak spot seems likely to fail.

Why not acquire an autowinder for the T4 to circumvent the need for the manual advance lever?

Konica Minolta Camera Motor Drives & Winders | eBay
It's only vertical force that might break it i this case. The lever is (was) only held captive by the broken cap. The lever itself has a notched cutout within it that seats over a mated piece that's thread onto the shaft's exterior (the threaded interior of which is where the cap's broken piece was.. er, is). A good knock to the lever could break it free, though even that is helped a bit because the tip of the lever flexes. Jury is still out but the bond isn't going to be taking the force of advancing the film, just retaining the lever itself, which was the function of the very, VERY thin-diamter thread that broke. My hope is that is may actually be *stronger* now.

---------- Post added 05-31-18 at 01:30 AM ----------

Winder's are fine and fun sometimes, but I rarely use on camera's this vintage. The nicest thing about the T4 (for me personally) is it's size/weight vs. functionality, which becomes a little moot with a winder screwed on.
05-31-2018, 06:30 AM   #4
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I've had good luck with J-B weld in making adapters for lenses, generally as strong as the aluminum or brass it was coupled with, and absolutely permanent. I've even used it for the coolant system on my car, saving at least a hundred dollars!

05-31-2018, 10:19 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cipher Quote
I've had good luck with J-B weld in making adapters for lenses, generally as strong as the aluminum or brass it was coupled with, and absolutely permanent. I've even used it for the coolant system on my car, saving at least a hundred dollars!
Making adapters? That's far more impressive. What sorts have you done? Yeah I've used it for auto related stuff but never in camera. This is a first for me.
05-31-2018, 10:45 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
Making adapters? That's far more impressive. What sorts have you done? Yeah I've used it for auto related stuff but never in camera. This is a first for me.

Primarily to glue rings together for lens hoods and permanently attaching old lenses to cannibalized mounts. Make sure you want to do it, because it won't come apart again!
05-31-2018, 11:04 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cipher Quote
Primarily to glue rings together for lens hoods and permanently attaching old lenses to cannibalized mounts. Make sure you want to do it, because it won't come apart again!
Ahh - sure. Ring stack sandwich. Yes, I'm very aware of the implications of this type of bond. It was a bit early, but it's such a small application and amount I went ahead I just did a couple test advances and everything seems to be fine, if a bit stiff. But even the stiffness started working itself out after 4 or 5 pulls.

The more I consider the physics of how the lever *was* held there, the more I think this may actually work. It just occurred to me as well that because the weld oozed up through the two small spanner holes on each side of the cap it providing even more lateral purchase and bond than there was initially.
05-31-2018, 03:35 PM   #8
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I'm gonna call this a success, tentatively! Just wound-on 50+ times without so much as a wiggle. Still to come is the test with added tension of a loaded roll, but I'm (knock-on-wood) pretty confident this thing has more life to come.

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Last edited by Eyewanders; 05-31-2018 at 03:48 PM. Reason: photo add
06-09-2018, 07:47 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I've used JB Weld on all sorts of stuff, but only one camera so far. It's a Nikkormat FT3, which was missing a strap lug. Fortunately I had a donor Nikkormat, so I removed the lug from the donor and JB welded it onto the FT3. Worked better than I thought it would. That lug is on there now. I haven't attached a strap and yanked on it real hard yet, but then I take care of my gear; I don't abuse it.
06-13-2018, 11:45 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cooltouch Quote
I've used JB Weld on all sorts of stuff, but only one camera so far. It's a Nikkormat FT3, which was missing a strap lug. Fortunately I had a donor Nikkormat, so I removed the lug from the donor and JB welded it onto the FT3. Worked better than I thought it would. That lug is on there now. I haven't attached a strap and yanked on it real hard yet, but then I take care of my gear; I don't abuse it.
Very nice. Did you bond it front and back of the cap or chassis? Yeah, I'd imagine that's a good "stick". I've used that kind of expoxy as well here and there, but on a camera it sure gave me pause. There's a spring mechanism in the same shaft I was bonding to that allows the lever to spring back at the push of the release button which turns off the meter. If it had gotten in there the whole thing would have been hosed. I had to clean up a bit in the tiny gap underneath the lever where it'd oozed out and was making the action a little stiff, but it eventually worked out and smoothed out. This particulary camera was for a friend and he's been using it now for a week and a half without problems. Crisis (somehow) averted.
06-14-2018, 07:59 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
Very nice. Did you bond it front and back of the cap or chassis? Yeah, I'd imagine that's a good "stick".
What I did was remove the top cover before I glued the strap lug on. The cover has a sort of slot that fits over where the strap lug is and I didn't want any JB weld bonding to the cover or else I might never get it off again. And yes, I glued it onto the chassis, since that is where the lug mounts.
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