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Restoring my vintage Nikon 7x50 advice required

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22 replies to this topic

#1 Mrzuiko

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 04:37 AM

Hi all,

I have a pair of vintage Nikon 7x50's tropical which are rubber clad,the rubber is breaking down and cracking so I've decided to take it off.

I intended just to clean up the glue residue I say this because when I took off the rubber from the top panels I found lovely unmarked black paint.......but when I took off the remaining rubber to my horror I found bare metal.

So I was thinking mask off the bare metal and under coat and then top coat with something like smooth hammerite,but then also thought about replacing with leatherette.

So here's the problem.......I require a pattern to cut the panels has anyone here replaced their leatherette and used a pattern these Nikon's look very similar to other vintage bins maybe if there's a pattern that someone could send in a file it would be a great help I then could print a paper version to see if it fits or to make any adjustments.Or would you just paint them.....thoughts please.

Clear skies and keep safe.

Ash.

Attached Thumbnails

  • bins 1.jpg
  • bins 3.jpg
  • bins 5.jpg


#2 DeanD

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 06:33 AM

Hi Ash, they look a bit scary like that: poor little things! ;)

 

Personally I would be thinking of cleaning them up a bit more so they are nice and smooth: say 600 or even 1200 sandpaper, and spray painting them. The "hammerite" textured finish sounds interesting, and I suspect would do the job nicely without the hassle of trying to get leatherette (or real leather!) properly fitting.

 

Good luck with an interesting project: and make sure you send some "after" piccies of whatever you decide to do!

 

- Dean



#3 Grimnir

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 07:09 AM

Assuming that the optics are in good order this is a quality binocular and well worth preserving properly which means re-covering not painting. Since you're in the UK I would get a quotation from Gary at East Coast Binocular Repairs:

 

http://binocular-repair.co.uk/

 

for having them re-covered in either rubber or leatherette. ECBR are very fairly priced and do excellent quality work. (For the USA I recommend Cory Suddarth.)

 

I would definitely not paint them.

 

Good luck!

 

Graham


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#4 Ant1

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 07:57 AM

Hi

 

I would use some paper to make a template then apply some leatherette to it. It's really not difficult.Capture.jpg

 

 

On a Porro with american style body like yours here's where the seam shall be located :

Capture.jpg

 

Regards,

Ant1


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#5 Foss

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 09:56 AM

Great pix Ant1, do you have any "after" pix to show? I've thought of trying my hand at it.

~ Foss



#6 Ant1

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 11:30 AM

There you go :

 

Capture.jpg


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#7 Mrzuiko

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 12:10 PM

Thanks guys for all your replies........yes they are a quality binocular and the optics are first class stunning views and only paid £52 or $68 so well worth getting the job done properly......I'm going down the recover route....no paint.

Thanks Apollo for the link my next step was to google some binocular repair specialists and even get in contact with Nikon UK and USA see if they can help with a pattern for recovering myself.

Watch this space....pun intended!

 

Ash.


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#8 edwincjones

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 12:22 PM

I think they look ok as is without "plastic surgery"

 

edj



#9 Mrzuiko

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 12:47 PM

Evening all, I decided to have a go at covering them myself,have ordered some leatherette and will make a paper pattern but will probably make the paper patterns in sections then once they cover the body hopefully in a single skin but with seams I will transfer to the leatherette and glue them on very carefully!!

I have been quoted £75 from Harry Truman at Intrasights to do the job,then you have to factor in P&P........I will see what the paper template looks like and if I'm happy will take the job on myself......if not I will send them away,I did email Nikon UK and USA support just in case they have a vault where they kept the vintage stuff in!.

I will phone my local repair guys because they might know where I can send them too.

Stay safe people.

Ash.

Edited by Mrzuiko, 09 November 2020 - 12:48 PM.


#10 Mrzuiko

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 03:23 AM

Hi Ash, they look a bit scary like that: poor little things! wink.gif

 

Personally I would be thinking of cleaning them up a bit more so they are nice and smooth: say 600 or even 1200 sandpaper, and spray painting them. The "hammerite" textured finish sounds interesting, and I suspect would do the job nicely without the hassle of trying to get leatherette (or real leather!) properly fitting.

 

Good luck with an interesting project: and make sure you send some "after" piccies of whatever you decide to do!

 

- Dean

Hi Dean,

I've emailed Nikon support here in the UK and they have asked for photo's so they can identify these binoculars,I've asked if there are pre-cut leatherette panels available as if I'm not mistaken they look identical to the "prostars" just waiting on the reply and hopefully good news!

Last resort will be painting them with "rubber" paint but if I'm honest I like the look and feel of leatherette!

I'll post pictures when I've finished.

 

Regards Ash.


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#11 Mrzuiko

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 03:27 AM

I think they look ok as is without "plastic surgery"

 

edj

Hi Edj,

Thanks for your comment but I think they deserve to be covered up......it gets cold at night! lol.gif

 

Regards Ash.



#12 Rich V.

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 01:02 PM

Mrzuiko, I'm attaching some photos of expert re-skin jobs done at Suddarth Optical Repair here in the USA.  One is the same Nikon discussed here.  These examples were re-skinned by Eric Suddarth, Cory's son.

 

Cory Suddarth says the Zeiss style body (like the Celestron) is much easier to cover than the Bausch & Lomb style body on that Nikon.  Molding the skin to the body's contours looks like the tricky part.  Pretty sure magic is involved in there somewhere too! 

 

Rich

 

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

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#13 Rich V.

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 01:04 PM

A couple more pics here.  Thanks, Cory...

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_4577.JPG
  • IMG_3758.JPG


#14 Grimnir

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 05:47 PM

A couple more pics here.  Thanks, Cory...

 

Another superb job from Suddarth Optical - no doubt whatsoever about it, Cory and Eric take huge pride in their work.

 

Graham


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#15 Mrzuiko

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 12:58 PM

Mrzuiko, I'm attaching some photos of expert re-skin jobs done at Suddarth Optical Repair here in the USA.  One is the same Nikon discussed here.  These examples were re-skinned by Eric Suddarth, Cory's son.
 
Cory Suddarth says the Zeiss style body (like the Celestron) is much easier to cover than the Bausch & Lomb style body on that Nikon.  Molding the skin to the body's contours looks like the tricky part.  Pretty sure magic is involved in there somewhere too! 
 
Rich


Hi thanks they look great.......I've tried to make a template and can't get it to fit correctly around the prisms,I've odered some black gun cloth tape to wrap them so I can attempt to get a tight fit,I've still got the rubber shoulders and the lens surrrounds to go back on.
I'll post a picture when I've done the job.
You never know it might start a new craze.....the tape is self adheasive so won't slip.All else fails I will send them off to be covered by a proffesional as my Tropicals only cost me £52/$68 but I'll try the tape first as it only cost me £6/$8 and it might just work.

Stay safe and clear skies all.
Ash.

#16 Mrzuiko

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Posted 31 December 2020 - 01:33 PM

Just a quick final update....I have applied another bandage to both sides and given them a good coat of clean resin...they are dry they just need a little more time to cure.

I'm happy with the result they feel good in the hand so I won't be sending them off!

......I might recover my Tento 8x40's because their a much easier two piece design

Happy New Year gang.

Ash.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 7x50 mk2.jpg
  • 7x50's.jpg

Edited by Mrzuiko, 31 December 2020 - 01:35 PM.

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#17 Mark9473

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Posted 31 December 2020 - 06:23 PM

Looks cool, I like that!

#18 pat in los angeles basin

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Posted 31 December 2020 - 06:27 PM

Give it a couple hundred hours of handheld observing- bet it takes on a nice patina! I like it too.  Regards, Pat



#19 Mrzuiko

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 02:21 AM

Looks cool, I like that!

Hi Mark,

 

Thanks it was a nightmare trying to recover these in leatherette in one piece because of the design so I had to think out of the box and go with the self ahesive bandage (£5/$7) for 5 rolls and resin we already had.

A little double sided carpet tape to anchor the ends and then just wrap......simple but effective job done!

 

Ash.


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#20 Mrzuiko

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 02:26 AM

Give it a couple hundred hours of handheld observing- bet it takes on a nice patina! I like it too.  Regards, Pat

Hi Pat,

 

Thanks can't wait to get under a clear sky been cloudy over here for too long!........the bandage will toughen up once the resin has cured.

 

Ash.



#21 Rokkor

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Posted 01 January 2021 - 09:11 AM

I just bought an early model of these and figured I would attempt to replace the leatherette - it's totally missing. Perhaps it's going to be quite the challenge. 



#22 Mrzuiko

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Posted 02 January 2021 - 02:25 AM

I just bought an early model of these and figured I would attempt to replace the leatherette - it's totally missing. Perhaps it's going to be quite the challenge. 

Hi,

Yes it will be a challenge just like mine!.........I tried for days to get a good working template but it's the porro design that is the problem.

If you get them covered please share your results and how you covered them here as I would be interested.

If not then I would send them to Suddarth Optical.

Please keep us updated.

 

Ash.



#23 Mike G.

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 01:40 PM

Mrzuiko, I'm attaching some photos of expert re-skin jobs done at Suddarth Optical Repair here in the USA.  One is the same Nikon discussed here.  These examples were re-skinned by Eric Suddarth, Cory's son.

 

Cory Suddarth says the Zeiss style body (like the Celestron) is much easier to cover than the Bausch & Lomb style body on that Nikon.  Molding the skin to the body's contours looks like the tricky part.  Pretty sure magic is involved in there somewhere too! 

 

Rich

not to go OT, but those snakeskin covers are wild!  I'm tempted to send off some perfectly good binos to have them recovered in that!




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