Camera restoration : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Does anyone have any experience with restoring the brass pieces on old field cameras? Most of he brass pieces have lost their finish and i was curious if it is an expensive proposition to replate. I have thought about just painting them black since the camera is more for use than show, it has limited value as a collector item. Any help or advise would be great.

-- Tim Ward (, February 08, 1999


If the brass finish is gone because of tarnishing then any brass cleaner with a lot of hard hand rubbing will restore the finish.

If the brass finish is gone because of brass plating flaking off then I would use a chemical rust remover to clean off any rust. If the metal is scatched and pitted then I would also use some fine steel wool to smooth out the surfaces. I would not paint the parts because paint will not hold up to regular use unless it is baked on.

If you are not sure if the problem is tarnish or plate flaking then assume it is tarnish. If the brass cleaner fails then you have a plating problem.

In both cases once the parts have been cleaned up I would coat them with a clear lacqure (I think that is how you spell it) to inhibit addtional oxidation.

-- Stephen Willard (, February 11, 1999.

If its like the brass on the Ansco 5x7 camera that Im restoring now, then its probably tarnish. Ive used Brasso and Tarnex with 000 fine steel wool and have gotten fabulous results. The Tarnex actually says not to use it with brass, but Ive seen no ill effects, and it works faster. I have any disasters, Ill let you know.

-- sheldon hambrick (, February 11, 1999.

There is a wonderful product called Never-Dull or Nev -r - dull or some such. You can get it at local hardware stores. It omes in a blue can and is basically cotting wadding treated with a compound of some kind. Rub it on, wait a bit and rub off. It works amazingly well although I wouldn't put it in the same abrasive class as Brasso. A lot cleaner and easier to use, but maybe not all the scrubbing power.

-- Sean yates (, February 11, 1999.

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