Spring repair/replacement on 8x10 back

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I've recently been having more problems with the back on my Deardorff 8x10. Due to age and use, the springs on the back have lost much of their springiness and no longer hold the film holders in place with much security. I have to push on the ground glass whenever I remove or replace a darkslide just to keep the holder from pulling back and fogging the film. So where exactly does one find replacement springs for an 8x10 back? Would any sort of heat tempering help? Perhaps some current wooden camera manufacturer could do the repair? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

-- David Munson (apollo@luxfragilis.com), November 28, 2001


Most of the flat springs I've seen on camera backs are Phosphour-Bronze (coppery coloured), and these won't take a heat treatment. In fact, any heating will only make them softer. They usually just need removing and re-shaping to get the 'set' back in them.
Steel springs can be re-hardened to improve their springiness, but it needs to be expertly done, otherwise they can easily be softened or made too brittle. Any chrome plating will be ruined by the heat treatment too.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), November 29, 2001.


I found some small bungie cords, used minatour eye screws and placed these over the original springs, works well enough for me. Bill

-- Bill Jefferson (jefferw@together.net), November 29, 2001.

David: I agree with Pete that you can probably remove the springs and reset them with a bit of bending. I would try to do it with hand pressure. I have had good results with resetting the curve on an old 4x5. Just don't bend them over an object with sharp corners...you need a sweeping bend.


-- Doug Paramore (Dougmary@alaweb.com), November 29, 2001.

Try Richard Ritter www.lg4mat.net he would be your best bet. He works only on large for mat cameras.

-- Todd Katz (rrmonet@netscape.net), November 29, 2001.

Hi David, Gandolfi cameras - www.gandolficorfield.co.uk (English L.F. camera makers since 1890's) would be a good place to have the springs replaced, but also a great source for advice. They are true craftsmen. The person to speak to is Edward Hill. Good luc

-- Stephen Vaughan (stephen@vaughanphotos.freeserve.co.uk), November 29, 2001.

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