Help with Refurbishing an Ansco 5x7 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

This weekend in my parents garage, I discovered an old Ansco 5x7 wood field camera that belonged to my Grandfather .

The front, rear standards, and rails are in decent shape. They could use some re-gluing/re-aligning here and here, but are basically in tact. One of the springs on the back is missing, but it looks like it could be easily fabricated. There is a metal ground glass frame, the glass has a grid pattern but one corner of the glass is cracked. The hardware is tarnished, and could be replated, but is all solid and working. The lens board has an Ilex 6.5 inch barrel lens on it that is in surprisingly good shape. On the back side of the front standard some one has mounted a Packard shutter. It's pretty dirty, but leaves appear to still function. I don't know if the piston is still air-tight. And of course, there is no bellows, but all of the mounting/anchoring points are still there.

All in all it looks salvageable; a nice spring/summer project.

Id greatly appreciate it if any one out there could give me advice on:

- some restoration hints/tips.

- a suggestion for a source for a bellows replacement (I already know about Universal Bellows)

- a source for spare parts (i.e. the spring for the back, 5x7 ground glass)

- any suggestions on texts/web sites on refurbing old wooden cameras?



-- sheldon hambrick (, January 26, 1999


Guess what I'm involved in the same basic process only its with a Burke&James 5x7. Mine is suffering from extreme rust on some things but is ok otherwise. Hardware; If you have a good (not the mom&pop ace ) hardware store around you'll be able to find replacement hardware for most everything. The springs for the back; are they flat springs? or V springs on a lever? A flat spring can be made and there are some people here in my area that do such esoteric arcane stuff. The ground glass; try Midwest 614-261-1264 The bellows; Give this guy a call he made me a real good deal on a new bellows for mine Jim Ormond Western Bellows Co. 9340 7th St Ste G Rancho Cucamonga Ca 91730 909-980-0606 Lotus wanted $290.00! This guy will make me one for $150.00 yours would probably run about the same. Also Lee filters has a division in the UK that does bellows. They are highly recomended by S.K. Grimes Other tips; If you are going to refinish the wood use a finish stripper and sand as little as possible or things won't fit quite the same. I use a chemical stripper and a set of cabinet scrappers. The packard shutter? Ive never dealt with one buty from what I know it sounds like it just needs some cleaning. If you have any other questions give me shout I'm pretty adept at working with wood and metal. Sounds like you got a real great find there. Ron L.

-- Ronald J LaMarsh (, July 13, 1999.

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