Resurrection of a Conley 8X10

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by nsurit, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

    Jan 27, 2005
    Texas Hill Country
    Multi Format
    I have what I believe to be a Conley 8X10 field camera. The name plate is missing, however my research heads me in that direction. At this point my interest is in getting it to the state of being functional, rather than bringing it back to a full restored glory. My initial intention is to get a modified film holder that will allow me to do wet plate, although film might also be in the future. Here is a list of missing parts, some of which are essential and others do not keep it from functioning.

    1) Carrying strap. Would be nice but not essential.

    2) Name plate. No big deal.

    3) Brass strips that hold the lens board in place. Replacements available? If not, what should the thickness of the metal be to fabricate a replacement?

    4) Lens board.. Seems to be 5 5/8" X 5". Is this a standard size or something that needs to be custom made?

    5) Three knobs. Although everything seems to work correctly, I am misssing one knob on both the front and rear standards and one on the knobs that operates the tilts on the rear standard.

    I would appreciate any advice on each of these items, with the most important ones being items number 3 and 4. If anyone has any parts that would work and are available please let me know or if you can head me in the right direction to get them that would be great.

    I am not interested in paying someone the big bucks to get this one up, running and restored and I don't mind spending a little to get it back to functioning.

    Thanks in advance for any help and/or advice.

    Bill Barber
  2. BobCrowley

    BobCrowley Member

    Jan 31, 2010
    4x5 Format
    It looks like a trip to AC Moore or Michael's might get some of what you need.

    The thickness of the brass might be about 1/16" or even thinner, perhaps 1-2mm, depending on where you live. Hobby stores sell strips of this.

    A handle might be confiscated from an old suitcase.

    You can cut and glue a lensboard from the hobby wood, which is like Baltic birch or something, that is available at Michael's. Cut it with a back saw, two pieces, one smaller than the other so they fit together in the front standard, and glue them together, let dry, then make the hole for the lens. You can sand/stain them, or paint if you can live without fancy wood.

    There are some cool cabinet knobs available that might be of the right brass style for you in home hardware stores, or check for industrial hardware. They take small orders.

    Good luck with your project.