Jump to content


Photo

tools needed to repair binoculars

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Philip Levine

Philip Levine

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 590
  • Joined: 22 Mar 2007
  • Loc: near Boston, MA

Posted 28 August 2010 - 09:14 PM

I have never taken binoculars apart, and have different makes and models that need to be collimated and cleaned.
Before I start taking taking binos apart, what specific tools should I have on hand? Is there a name for a special spanning wrench used to loosen and remove objective retaining rings?
One binocular in particular, a Bell and Howell 8x40 extra wide angle set of binos, might present a problem. It has a metal "wrap around" rim, which may interfere with getting access to collimation screws.
Any tips or caution notes on disassembly, cleaning, collimation, will be appreciated.
thanks for any info,
Phil

#2 mercedes_sl1970

mercedes_sl1970

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 559
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Canberra, Oz

Posted 28 August 2010 - 10:32 PM

Hi

I've had a go at repairing/cleaning a few sets of binos. Firstly, and with all respect, consider professional cleaning first - it may seem costly, but might save you some heartache. Otherwise, I've found the following useful:
- Screwdrivers - a range of different sized, decent screwdrivers which fit the screws you want to undo; it sounds obvious, but it is very easy to strip the heads off old, brass/steel screws with poorly fitting screwdrivers.
- Retaining ring tools - you can buy adjustable retaining ring spanners (Microtools may have them, I think). As an alternative, I ground down the end of a set of needle nose pliers and with care they can be used, but be wary as they can easily slip. I also made a a "one-off" tool from a rectangular piece of steel I had - cut and shaped to size. On the use of retaining rings, it can be preferable to place the tool in a vice and then turn the binos against this.
- Loosening barrels - one of the best ways I found was using a rubber strap jar opener - these can be adjusted to size and generally won't damage the barrel and are very effective.
- Patience - patience, patience, patience.
- Practice - if you can, have a go first on a bino that you have no great love of...
- Adjustable pliers - if you do need to use pliers at any time, a set of adjustable ones can come in handy, but line the jaws with a small strip of leather bound with electricians tape.
- Cleaning - read up on various ways of cleaning optics - my approach is to use a blower, fine lens brush, and old washed cotton cloth/t-shirt and/or microfibre cloth; depending on how much dirt/fungus, you may also need acetone, windex, hydrogen peroxide, soapy water, etc, but everyone seems to have their favourite method, just take care with old single coated optics as they may not be as robust as modern coatings.
- Clean surface to work on - I find an old clean towel handy as there is less risk of prisms/lenses being scratched, screws bouncing on to the floor, never to be found. Oh yes, get one or small containers for all the bits and bobs.
- Be patient, go slowly and enjoy.

Good luck

Andrew

#3 Simon S

Simon S

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2312
  • Joined: 07 Jan 2007
  • Loc: Crawley West Sussex UK

Posted 29 August 2010 - 02:26 AM

A strap wrench is vital!

#4 Philip Levine

Philip Levine

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 590
  • Joined: 22 Mar 2007
  • Loc: near Boston, MA

Posted 29 August 2010 - 11:43 AM

thanks Andrew, Simon,
I was leaning toward sending some binos out for professional repair (Cory). I certainly would not want to shoot myself in the foot messing with my more expensive binos.
But I've got some other binos that I bought used on eBay that need some TLC, that I might try my hand at, or just get in touch with Cory.
It's a hell of a thing, to be bitten bad by the bino bug.
But once bitten....
Phil

#5 Rich V.

Rich V.

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4062
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Lake Tahoe area, Nevada, USA

Posted 29 August 2010 - 12:17 PM

Philip, since it hasn't come up, I'd like to mention that J.W. Seyfried's book "Choosing, Using & Repairing Binoculars" has a lot of useful information regarding the workings and repair of binoculars. It's good initial reading before going deeper.........

It's a paperback available from University Optics for $20.

http://www.universit....com/books.html

Rich V

#6 BillC

BillC

    on a new path

  • *****
  • Posts: 4391
  • Joined: 04 Jun 2004
  • Loc: Lake Stevens, WA, USA

Posted 29 August 2010 - 05:58 PM

A strap wrench is vital!


From time to time, you may come across something like an old Leica (Leitz in those days) that needs to have the objective removed. Here's where you may have to screw up your courage--a strap wrench won't work! What you have to turn is slightly less than an 1/8" and forms a half circle. What you may THINK is a removable objective cover . . . isn't!

With this, you may NEATLY notch both sides (with a jeweler's file or Dremel Tool) and remove the ring with a conventional pin wrench--spanner. Don't cut too deep; you don't have much metal to work with.

Then, when the work is done, and the ring reinstalled, you mix a little of the appropriate black paint with two-part epoxy,and fill in the slots. When duly hardened--don't rush it--you lightly sand the ring. If done with a little professionalism, you can't see or feel where the cuts were made. But, always remember this technique is a last resort. But, also remember that when working on some binos, you can come upon a last resort rather quickly!

Cheers, :jump:

Bill

#7 Gordon Rayner

Gordon Rayner

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2463
  • Joined: 24 Mar 2007

Posted 29 August 2010 - 11:42 PM

I have worked on the postwar 8 x 60 and 7 x 50 Porro and 10 x 40 Porro and a couple of Trinovids , as well as the WW II 7 x 50 for Navy use by Leitz. I have the plans for the 8 x 60 widefield Leitz for Kriegsmarine, of which I once bought a damaged specimen sight unseen, but returned it . I do not recall any situation such as you describe, but it has been at least 25 years since I did any Leitz work, except some of the WW II 10 x 80 x 7 deg with 45 deg. inclination Busch design Flaks(for which I have a copy of the Allied liberated Leitz version of the plans. I posted the glass types here a while ago). I vaguely recall making some special tools and fixtures for Trinovid work. That was a lot of bother for the very low number of specimens, which I owned.

Which model(s) require that special treatment(which I do not completely visualize) ? What do you suppose they would have done if repair jobs were returned to Leitz? What you describe sounds like a lot of bother, and that the factory would have tried to avoid subjecting themselves to it.

An often seen problem with postwar, pre- Trinovid Leitz binoculars is that the leatherette covering becomes brittle and then pieces of it fall away or are easily chipped off.

#8 Gordon Rayner

Gordon Rayner

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2463
  • Joined: 24 Mar 2007

Posted 30 August 2010 - 12:17 AM

As always, read Hanna in the ATM books, and the Navy books. You should enroll in a night school metalworking class, unless you already have such equipment and skills .

You will find that the slot widths on many optical screws, DIN, Japanese, and ISO(?) are narrower than the standard thickness of the US screwdriver which would span the length of the slot, if it could fit. So, one should thin the tips . Quench frequently as you grind, to retain tip hardness. I believe that WIHA are European pattern. $$$ but high quality.

A tap can be used as a thread comb, to clean up damaged threads.

#9 pcad

pcad

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2447
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 30 August 2010 - 07:29 AM

I recently overhauled a 6x24 Leitz Trinovid with very good results. The front housings unscrew from the flat plate with has 2 external screws near the focusing knob. I didn't need any special tools for this. For alignment, I found that someone had used shims to adjust alignment.

As far as special tools go, a good spanner wrench is all I've had to buy. I got mine from Edmund Scientifics.

#10 Simon S

Simon S

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2312
  • Joined: 07 Jan 2007
  • Loc: Crawley West Sussex UK

Posted 30 August 2010 - 02:12 PM

I hate repairing roof's, they are a nightmare.

#11 KennyJ

KennyJ

    The British Flash

  • *****
  • Posts: 34239
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2003
  • Loc: Lancashire UK

Posted 30 August 2010 - 04:43 PM

< I hate repairing roof's, they are a nightmare. >

Hear , hear !

About 18 months ago it took a full weekend for a nephew , a son - in law and myself to repair ours following heavy rain that caused water to leak through into our bedroom .

Kenny

#12 Simon S

Simon S

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2312
  • Joined: 07 Jan 2007
  • Loc: Crawley West Sussex UK

Posted 30 August 2010 - 04:56 PM

< I hate repairing roof's, they are a nightmare. >

Hear , hear !

About 18 months ago it took a full weekend for a nephew , a son - in law and myself to repair ours following heavy rain that caused water to leak through into our bedroom .

Kenny

Sorry people, but he is from up North!

#13 RichD

RichD

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1980
  • Joined: 08 Nov 2007
  • Loc: Derbyshire, UK

Posted 30 August 2010 - 06:18 PM

:funny:






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics