What does a refurbishment consist of?

I'm never sure 'refurbishment' is the correct word to use and might be misleading. I can't, for instance, make a camera 'as new'. But I can correct any functional defects, make sure the camera is working to within the original specification, carry out preventative maintenance (cleaning and lubricating) and clean external parts and replace light seals and covers etc. 

During a recent refurbishment of a 139, I took photographs at various stages. These should give some idea of what's typically involved.

Feel free to contact me if you have a camera you would like refurbished.

The camera as received

Before starting I'll assess the camera for any faults or defects. In this case, the top cover was in poor condition, the focus screen was messed up, the advance lever was badly scratched and the strap lugs were quite well worn. These parts were identified as potential replacement items (I always check with owners before replacing anything).

Next step is to dismantle the camera into its major component parts.

I then inspect the parts for any other issues and start to carry out what is required.

The prism assembly is removed to replace the light seals around it. If necessary the prism is separated from its frame to clean or replace the focus screen.

Removing perished light seals can be messy.

The shutter release magnet is cleaned...

... and the flash metering mirror is checked and cleaned (these often become unstuck and go missing).

The aperture display mechanism is checked to ensure the correct aperture is being displayed in the viewfinder. The main mirror is also cleaned at this point while it's easily accessible.

The viewfinder is reassembled and checked for cleanliness and focus (I check the focus of the camera on a target before dismantling and check again at this point to ensure nothing has changed).

Light seals and mirror foam are replaced and the mirror damper and mirror mechanism are lubricated.

There is one light seal in the chassis that typically needs replacing.

The film wind mechanism is checked for evenness of tension. Sometimes the take-up spool clutch doesn't give an even tension so it's dismantled and cleaned (not shown here as this camera didn't need it).

The curtain brakes on the shutter are checked. If they don't capture the curtains properly they can bounce.

Small parts are removed for cleaning.

Electrical contacts are cleaned.

Old light seals are removed and the chassis cleaned.

Parts are reassembled onto the chassis.

The camera is reassembled and essential controls are replaced so the shutter can be tested.

The shutter speeds are tested. Often the top speeds require adjustment.

Speeds are adjusted to get them as close as possible to ideal.

Top and bottom plates are cleaned as necessary. This might involve removing all the parts from the top plate, as shown here, if a lot of cleaning is required.

The camera is finally reassembled, new leather covers fitted (choice available) and film tested.