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wanted: small scraps of vulcanite


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I have a small bit of damage to the vulcanite on my M3. 

It’s too minor to justify a re-cover job but I’d like to fix it up.

All I really need is a small piece from somebody who has done a full re-cover job and pulled off their old vulcanite.

Can anybody help ?

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No you don't want to do that.

Buy a pack of Black Milliput resin putty from eBay or a model shop nearby. It is a two part putty that you mix together in equal parts, so mix a small quantity and spread it into the surface you want to repair using a toothpick or similar to press it in and make sure it gets a good hold. Then when it is smooth and level using the wet end of a toothpick (or similar) to press into the surface the texture that matches the surrounding vulcanite. You have an hour or so to get it right. Then after another couple of hours it will have gone rock hard and look just like the original vulcanite. If you are going up to an edge, like the baseplate, don't let it dry while attached to the baseplate, run a wet knife along the join. All clean up can be done with water while it is still pliable.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Milliput-Standard-Terracotta-Silver-Black-White-Blue-Model-Sculpting-Epoxy-Putty/162165173986?var=463235371609&epid=6038821635&hash=item25c1cc2ee2:g:bE0AAOSwdzVXq4jo

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Thx! - this stuff looks interesting but it would presumably be more authentic to use a scrap of vulcanite if anybody has any. I read on the ‘net that the epoxy putty is hard to remove, but some folk reported success using acetone.

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3 hours ago, Michael Geschlecht said:

Hello 250swb,

Nice idea.

Does this come off easily if you change your mind?

Best Regards,

Michael

The putty isn't a glue so only bonds mechanically to whatever roughness there is on the mating surface. If the surface is smooth it will be a cosmetic bond and not very strong. When hard it can be chipped away until it gets back to the edge of the original vulcanite. As for changing your mind there are a couple of hours to decide if you've created the right vulcanite texture or to start again, or to wipe it off and abandon the idea. 

The alternative of supergluing old bits of vulcanite onto the body doesn't bear thinking about in comparison.

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that sounds promising 🙂

as you can hopefully see from the crude ipad photo, there’s a piece of vulcanite chipped off next to the base plate on my M3. That’s the only real place where the vulcanite is damages, at least the other spots are too small to worry about.

 

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Mine's been worse for years. Just patina, nothing to worry about. Lilliput (made in Dolgellau of all places!) sounds feasible but patching it with scraps is asking for it to look a mess unless you are very capable indeed.

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Edited by pgk
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I’m willing to try it, I’m a DIY kinda person and not afraid to roll up my sleeves a little. I have been thinking about trying my hand at doing a rudimentary CLA because there are no local services, but the thing appears to work fine so I’m leaving that idea on the side burner. My M3 is a chrome, of course, so patina is not the same and this bit of damage offends my eyes.

If I get a chance at a new M-P, which are usually BP, at a good price one day then it will be my pleasure to use til it’s showing some character.

Edited by Mr.Prime
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21 minutes ago, Mr.Prime said:

..... this bit of damage offends my eyes.

I would say that for most people interested in older film Leica's, a repair to the vulcanite would most likely be more offensive than the damage. A full replacement isn't horrendously expensive and is easy to do and I've done an M4 easily enough myself, but my last M4 will be left well alone. The one I did myself had needed substantial mechanical work too hence, why replacement covering was needed. Personally I'd leave well alone.

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wow, those new skins look top notch!

I hadn’t really considered my rather generic eBay purchase as a particularly fine specimen, hence not worthy of such an investment just yet but my feelings may change - thanks for the link, shall be a useful reference.

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29 minutes ago, Mr.Prime said:

wow, those new skins look top notch!

I hadn’t really considered my rather generic eBay purchase as a particularly fine specimen, hence not worthy of such an investment just yet but my feelings may change - thanks for the link, shall be a useful reference.

A $30 genuine new leather skin is a tiny investment on a working M3,..., or any working Leica.    

However, pay attention to the vendor, there are other vendors asking crazy high price, (a couple of hundred $$$). Avoid that. 

Many nice, genuine, high quality leather skin vendor (I have used) would ask only $20~30, but they are not on ebay. Just google to find them.

The top two of my list: Both are good in communication, quality, and after sale service. But you have to check who has the skin for your camera. 

-- www.cameraleather.com

-- hugostudio.com

The following is excellent too according to reference, but when I approached them, they could not ship to US.

--ahi-asahi.com

ebay also has some other vendors, but the ones I found did not have high quality genuine leather, only imitated leather. (not sure now). 

 

Edited by Einst_Stein
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To fill in small chips around the edges I’ve used liquid electrical tape applied and textured with a toothpick to create a similar appearance to the vulcanite. It matches pretty well with sheen and color, and it’s easy to remove when dry if you mess up or change your mind 

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v

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There have been other discussions about vulcanite replacement. I used Aki Asahi on a Nikon S.

On a Leica M2 I used small pieces of thin black leather, which gave it a different look but was ok as a patch-up. When the camera was serviced it came back with my leather replaced with real vulcanite repairs which are almost invisible.

 

Edited by Pyrogallol
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vor 18 Stunden schrieb Mr.Prime:

that sounds promising 🙂

 

rounded surfaces are not easy to fix. Generally vulcanit is very britle in room temperature, you need to warm it up to cut and bend.

Firstly I would warm up around missing place (using hair dryer) and cut existing vulcanite to have roughly stright lines, it makes easier cutting replacement, something like this

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Then prepare paper template, paper, because you might possibly have to do more than one. If you have one that fits transfer it on the vulcanit piece which I will send you. 

Next step will be to cut vulcanite to the size of templatre. As I mentioned above vulcanite is brittle, it will break when you will try to cut. I am using warming plate from cofee machine to warm up vulcanite before cutting, for cutting I am using stanley knife.

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Almost always as well grinding is needed to get perfect fit. In your case, if you do not have such warming plate you may carefuly grind in room temperature however there is a risk it might break.

I am using shellac based glue, this is how Leica glued vulcanite up to IIIc. Good glue is Super X, rubber based, not available everywhere. You may use as well contact glue (if this is a proper translation of German Kontaktkleber). Replacement vulcanite must be however warmed up to be bend, otherwise it will break. Again - if you do not have warming plate use hair dryer.  Finally I am using hard wax (applied hot) to fill in smaller pieces missing.
Send me PM with you postal address if you want to have a piece.

Edited by jerzy
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Wow, excellent advice and just encourages me further to give it a try.

I have some shellac in a tiny bottle, part of a repair kit I used to glue a replacement rubber ink sac into my mum’s snorkel fountain pen.

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