Help request re: Thornton-Pickard rollerblind shutter

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by tremainiac, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. tremainiac

    tremainiac Member

    Jan 13, 2005
    Toronto, Can
    Medium Format
    Hi ...

    I'm quite new to APUG, and I'm just hoping someone more knowledgable and experienced than myself might be able to give me some advice. I recently stumbled upon, and aquired for a song, a Thornton-Pickard mahogany and brass folding 5x7 view camera. It's in beautiful shape. I've given it a good cleaning, and the original leather bellows are fully intact, as is the original brass f8-f64 'rectoplanat' lens. It came with one original mahogany film holder (2 films), originally 5x7 but modified to 4x5. The only problem is this...the shutter. It was working when I first picked it up, but only one or two clicks later and the spring was gone. Not surprising, as the "College" edition was produced from 1912-1926, as far as I've been able to tell. It's a classic rollerblind shutter, a divided curtain runs between two spools inside the wooden shutter pull a string (with a bright red tassle on it!) and the shutter sets and locks, then you depress a lever on the side to release it. So, what I need to do is fix the spring mechanism inside, and also replace the curtain, which is very old and full of holes. I have ablosutely no idea how to do this. Can anyone give me any advice? Suggest a place to look? Give me a good starting point....anything? I usually shoot medium format, and this is my first experience with such a camera, and I'd really love to get it working. Any advice, ...and I do mean ANY advice would be helpful.

    Thanks and happy shooting,

  2. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Multi Format
    Hi tremainiac,

    Let's begin with the important stuff: welcome to APUG and may we welcome you in our midths as another APUG-addicted subscriber soon.

    About the shutter problem. We can't tell anything definite based on what little information you gave us, as there are different types of TP shutters. Perhaps you can post images to clarify the situation and we can talk you through the spring problem.

    However, if you've never done this before, you might want to consider sending the shutter away to someone who will fix it for you. Perhaps Bert Saunders, who can be found on, can be of help. He has repaired many curtain shutters before that may be similar to yours.

    In theory, we could probably fix your shutter as well, but we are not into commercial repair or anything. Besides, we are way too busy to take on anyone else's repair jobs. We'd be glad to find the time to finish our own TP shutter projects.

    For replacing the curtain: I can recommend the shutter curtain material sold by MicroTools - you can place a custom order for the size you need. (Up to a maximum width of course).

    Don't despair though, these shutter curtains are rarely really way beyond repair, unless you've got woodworm or something. Be sure to check out the cog wheels are still okay and have all their 'teeth' - replacing one of these can only be done by machining a new one or stealing a good one from another shutter.

    Hope this helped a bit.