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I just recently acquired a MOOLY (SN 1803) and it's fully functional with the arm linkage but its very sluggish and when I opened it up there was a fair amount of rust and  dried grease which I cleaned out with some alcohol and now I need to oil all the gears and springs before I try to rewind it. 

Anyone know what kind of oil or grease I should be using for this? I don't want to over stress any of the parts with improper lubrication. 

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Posted (edited)

This looks like a job for a skilled repairman, like Don Goldberg. All the corrosion and particles should be removed. If I had it, I would soak in penetrating oil, scrap away any available residue and clean with compressed air. Maybe repeat a few times. If the corrosion is pervasive it may require further dissasembly. Good luck. Probably not the best to dissasemble yourself unless you are familiar with the very strong spring. A light machine oil, sometimes called "sewing machine" oil might help after everythin is clean. I use Starrett tool and instrument oil. A modern lithium grease might be helpful in high contact load spots. Again, someone with Mooly experience would be best.

Edited by alan mcfall

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Given the bad conditions, it must be completely disassembled: you must evaluate if it is worth it, because the cost will be very high. I did it with a very rare model... 850 euros...🐓

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My OCD would kick in and out would come a dental Jacquette scaler! Really, the unit probably needs a thorough manual cleaning.

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I would use something like PB blaster or BG products "Enforce" and soak the rusty parts at least overnight. Using a dental scaler to remove what you can get at after loosening up the rust is a good idea, as well as blasting it with brake cleaner/compressed air to get out as much as you can. I would not operate it before cleaning out as much as you can first to avoid damaging it. Or, as others have said pay someone to rebuild it, but might be more than it's worth to just buy a nice one, depending on the rarity.

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I have two MOOLY motors with Malcolm Taylor for service. My 2 speed one is just a bit sluggish on the lower speed, the single speed one had been water immersed. I have told Malcolm not to spend endless hours on the water immersed one, given that its actuator arm is missing as well. Malcolm intimated that different lubricants were needed for different parts, the gearing and the coiled spring housings. However, modern light synthetic greases are so far in advance of anything Leica used, I would think that if you used Nye Lubricants 795A (NG) Synthetic Grease or similar on all the components, you would not go far wrong. 

Wilson

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7 minutes ago, wlaidlaw said:

I have two MOOLY motors with Malcolm Taylor for service. My 2 speed one is just a bit sluggish on the lower speed, the single speed one had been water immersed. I have told Malcolm not to spend endless hours on the water immersed one, given that its actuator arm is missing as well. Malcolm intimated that different lubricants were needed for different parts, the gearing and the coiled spring housings. However, modern light synthetic greases are so far in advance of anything Leica used, I would think that if you used Nye Lubricants 795A (NG) Synthetic Grease or similar on all the components, you would not go far wrong. 

Wilson

Hello Wilson,

Greases for springs & oils for bearings are different & have different characteristics because they are doing different things under different circumstances.

Beyond that there are a number of different greases & a number of different different oils for different uses.

Best Regards,

Michael

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I prefer Blackfish oil.

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Posted (edited)

Blackfish oil refers to some sea mammals. I think there might be a few bottled ounces left in the world. Its harvesting has a distressing history.

Edited by pico

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3 hours ago, pico said:

Blackfish oil refers to some sea mammals. I think there might be a few bottled ounces left in the world. Its harvesting has a distressing history.

Hello Pico,

"Blackfish" might be referring to porpoise jaw oil. A lot of 19th & 20th Century lubricants come with distressing backgrounds.

I think that porpoise jaw oil would probably be too thin for a MOOLY's bearings & even less suitable for its spring.

Some fine lubricants are made from beans. Which, most likely, is distressing for the beans involved.

Best Regards,

Michael

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So do I use bean oil or whale jawbone oil. This is getting quite complicated.  

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Posted (edited)

Hello Bengi,

Welcome to the Forum.

Whale jawbone oil is different than porpoise jaw oil. And different beans have oils with different properties.

And there are many other types of lubricants.

I would suggest that you discuss this with someone who can look at this in front of them. And then discuss ways of cleaning the mechanism before doing anything else. For example: Removing the rust without damaging the mechanism is important. And the springs are more powerful & trickier to deal with than a person might think: You don't want to twist them or break them.

I would ask the person to show you examples of work that they had done. A properly restored to working condition mechanism sometimes does not look new. But it should look properly kept.

A good perspective to begin with is: Gentle & not aggressive. 

Best Regards,

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht

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Even the watch industry and watch repairers, who are on the Medes and Persians side of conservative have moved over to synthetic lubricants from fish and whale oil. Apart from not encouraging folks to kill these lovely and relatively rare mammals in the most brutal fashion to obtain the oils, the technical properties of synthetic lubricants are much superior. The lubricity and film strength are much higher. The lubricants can be tailored for purpose and generally are 100% non-hygroscopic or even water repellent. They do not evaporate, oxidise or harden like animal greases do. When animal greases oxidise, they turn partially into fatty acids which are quite corrosive and hygroscopic, which is why one often opens up an old piece of equipment, which had never been near water but looks like it has been immersed in sea water. The aircraft industry started to switch over to synthetic lubricants as long ago as WW2 and as I set out below, their use had been considered during WW1.

The last refuge for natural oils seems to be the continued use of castor oil in vintage rotary engines. There is absolutely no technical reason for this apart from the nice smell, as Alexander Duckham, C C Wakefield and Louis Coatalen (Sunbeam Aero Engines) showed in their experiments and field trials at Brooklands before and during WW1, where the first experiments with semi-synthetic oils were being made by Duckhams, Wakefield lubricants (Castrol) and the Pennsylvania Oil Company inc (Pennzoil). The downside of castor oil as any pilot of a vintage rotary engined airplane will tell you, is the unfortunate intestinal consequences of ingesting considerable quantities of this extremely powerful laxative. Even during WW1, great efforts were made to direct the exhaust flow containing the unburnt oil and oil fling downwards below the cockpit by careful timing of the exhaust stroke to position it as the cylinder was at its lowest position and air flow directing cowling. A pilot who is thinking about how soon he can get to toilet facilities, is not concentrating on looking out for enemy planes. 

Wilson

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Posted (edited)

Hello Wilson,

We have been restoring old clocks, among other things, since the early 1960's. Clock & watch technology was pretty much directly copied by the inventors of still & movie cameras from their beginning & throughout their development over time. Clock & watch technology is the basis of mechanical still & movie camera technology to a great extent.

Modern synthetic lubricants  may be good for the preservation of species, which is important, but there have been a number of 20th Century lubricants which are perfectly usable by today's standards of lubrication.

Back in the 1970's when  a new bottle of clock oil arrived I noticed that the old bottle still had 2 or 3 milliliters left inside. The clock oil that we use generally comes in 20 milliliter bottles. I decided to leave what was left on my desk, in the Sun, to see what would happen. Every once & a while I look at it. Sometimes I pick it up & swirl it around.

This is 2019. It looks good to me. It appears to be the same viscosity. And 90%, or more, of the clocks that we have done have still not come back for further service. Other than a small percentage which needed some adjustments within a short time after they were worked on.

Seems like that is reasonably good to me. Please keep in mind that a clock runs for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And holidays. Including Oskar Barnack's Birthday.

And clocks do the hardest thing that a machine can do: They repeatedly turn themselves on & off forever.

So, maybe some older lubricants are not that bad. Just like an M3 from the 1950's or 1960's that can hold its own with any mechanical "M" today.

Best Regards,

Michael

 

Edited by Michael Geschlecht

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Posted (edited)

Above is a photo of a very unique MOOLY motor in Lars Netopil's shop in Wetzlar. It will be featured in his auction on October.  This picture was taken by Albert Tsai who was on my Wetzlar tour two weeks ago. Not only is this MOOLY a schnitt-model (cut away), it also has unique engraving and a very unusual electric release. I have never seen anything like it. Jim Lager had never seen this one either, and he was with us on the trip an in Lars' shop.

A few days later we were in Ottmar Michaely's shop, and the subject of MOOLY's came up. Ottmar is one of the few people I know of who really understands the MOOLY and he has worked on and restored several of them. He has even sourced new clockwork springs for them from Switzerland. For those who do not know who Ottmar is, he is a Leitz, Wetzlar trained Master Technician, and did his apprenticeship at Leitz in the legendary Hausertor building. He is one of the few technicians trusted to work on the original Ur-Leica by Leica. He has been on his own for many years as an independent Leica repairman. As we were discussing the MOOLY, Ottmar disappeared into his store room, returning a few minutes later with some parts boxes. He showed us the many spare parts he had for the MOOLY, including the spring steel for the clock work motor, and original shop drawings of the MOOLY from Leitz. Absolutely incredible! I own two MOOLY's, and I have never been inside one of them, let alone being shown all the parts that they contain.

Here is a picture of Ottmar showing me the parts. Believe me, you do not want to work on one of these unless you absolutely know what you are doing. The clock work springs are very strong and if released unsafely can cause serious injury. One of the few truly dangerous Leica related things anyone can work on!

Edited by derleicaman
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I might get Malcolm Taylor to contact Ottmar (I am sure he must know him anyway), as one my two MOOLY motors with him, needs new springs. I had already given Malcolm the address of Cousins in the UK who source springs for clock repair and also Read Scientific who have in the past, made new springs for a Barograph for me. This had a similar dual spring arrangement to the MOOLY. The even more powerful clockwork motor drive in my Graflex Combat Graphic 70mm film camera, was known to have severed fingers, when being worked on by US army technicians, who did not know what they were doing. 

Wilson

 

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Hello Everybody,

Clock springs are often capable of causing significant injury. Music box & phonograph springs sometimes even more so. On top of which: A person improperly removing a clock/music box/phonograph spring from its protective barrel can sometimes inadvertently "twist" it to a point where it no longer functions correctly when it goes back in the barrel.

There are tools for letting springs down, taking them out & replacing them so that injury to the person or/& the spring or/& the mechanism does not occur.

Best Regards,

Michael

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9 hours ago, wlaidlaw said:

I might get Malcolm Taylor to contact Ottmar (I am sure he must know him anyway), as one my two MOOLY motors with him, needs new springs. I had already given Malcolm the address of Cousins in the UK who source springs for clock repair and also Read Scientific who have in the past, made new springs for a Barograph for me. This had a similar dual spring arrangement to the MOOLY. The even more powerful clockwork motor drive in my Graflex Combat Graphic 70mm film camera, was known to have severed fingers, when being worked on by US army technicians, who did not know what they were doing. 

Wilson

 

Thanks for reminding me about the Combat Graphic, Wilson. I wonder if the loss of fingers in this fashion would qualify you for a Purple Heart?

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