Like Curt I, too, did a complete (and I mean
complete!) teardown and restoration. No two parts were left together by the end. I regret not counting them all just for fun. Mine is a later aluminum model. It even has a back-tilt fine adjustment thumbscrew mechanism I've never seen before in all the C1 photos I've looked at.
Fortunately mine, although pretty filthy when I got it, was absolutely complete, and with no broken parts. Even the original lock screws holding the front and rear standards together for storage were there. Also like Curt every piece on mine was stripped, cleaned and buffed as required to better-than-new quality. For instance, the vertical aluminum track for the front rise/fall friction gear now has a mirror finish.
I even took the time to carefully machine an asymmetric curvature into each of the friction gears. Now when they turn in their tracks only small part of their surface actually touches the track walls. This resulted in extremely smooth-turning mechanisms that do not require the use of any dirt-attracting lubricants.
The paint masking was very intricate. I used a black gloss epoxy enamel of the type used on kitchen appliances, chosen because it's extrordinarily hard and durable once completely cured. All interior facing surfaces, including lensboards, were repainted using Krylon Ultra-Flat Black. (This paint is now discontinued. It's replacement is noticeably less "dead" black, but supposedly more environmentally friendly. I understand the telescope makers were not happy either.)
Along with the camera I also similarly restored a 4x5 revolving back, a never-used, still in the original box NOS 5x7 back, and an 8x10 back. I also cleaned up a nearly new original equipment compendium shade. As luck would have it, the original camera bellows was in wonderful condition, requiring no repairs at all.
To top it all off, the camera also came with both 210/9 and 305/9 G-Clarons, both in black-ring Copal shutters. Once cleaned up they appeared defect-free and almost brand new. And both Copal speeds were tested by my lens tech as near perfect.
All of this took about a year to complete. Needless to say I'm thrilled with the outcome. And while it is indeed an imposing and heavy Beast, I love using it out in public. A gleaming, like-new Calumet C1 mounted on a heavy-duty hardwood tripod is truly a thing of beauty. Beats a polished rosewood camera any day. (And I own a rosewood 4x5, so I can say that...
P.S. As a quick-release mounting plate solution I've been using one of these
, which has thus far worked quite well for me. Click the "more images" link to see the underside.