Graflex Speed Graphic

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Back in 2006 I bought two Speed Graphics from the US, sold as parts
cameras, described as all that was required to rebuild one good camera.

On their arrival in the UK I found two quite different cameras, the first
was a pre-Anniversary Speed Graphic, while the second was a
Pacemaker Speed Graphic, no parts at all were interchangeable,
and both at first appeared total write-offs Both had been poorly
stored, the body covering was loose, and large sections disappeared,
the pre-Anniversary had corrosion, while the Pacemaker had no back
& focus screen,the shutter was completely missing and worst still the
rear tracks for the focus rails were completely ruined and there where
holes in the bellows.

As t he Pacemaker had parts missing it made sense to begin to strip
the pre-Anniversary first removing as many parts as possible.

However the pre-Anniversary Graphic is not a standard model, it
has been modified as a Wide Angle camera and has a fixed focus-rail
bed, that doesn't fold away and the top of the camera body is cut
cut away to allow front rise with a wide angle lens. The rangefinder
is set-up for a wide angle lens, so the camera was an enigma

Part as ere cleaned the checked for damage, removing corrosion.

No parts were missing, but corrosion was severe on the aluminum
parts, and the focus frame was falling apart

The body, bellows & range-finder before removal of the rangefinder
and remaining covering, cleaning. Cracked and split areas of the
wood were re-glued along with the focus s screen frame.

After the body was cleaned and sanded down I had to decide how I
was going to restore it, whether to re-cover the body or leave the
wood as it was.

Mid restoration, the leatherette had long disappeared and the wood
was french polished instead. The bellows were in far better
condition than they appear in this image, they just had light splashes
of paint and dirt on them. (The bits are only loosely placed together
in the photo).

The shutter needed a small amount of work, there were a few small
pinholes in the blind and it was resealed by impregnating with black
acrylic paint which sealed pinholes while retaining full flexibility. Then
the mechanism was cleaned, and once re-assembled adjusted.

Rebuilding the back. All traces of corrosion were thoroughly removed
from the aluminum parts which then required areas filling before
priming and rubbing down read for re-paining with satin black.

The focus screen assembly was re-glued and French polished.

The front bed & focus track bed was also French polished, finally the primed aluminum
parts were spray painted satin black, as were the spirit levels. Once dry the camera
camera was re-assembled and the fabric of the focus hood was replaced.

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