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loosening tight screws


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#1 tom lombard

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 11:00 AM

I'm wanting to declick some Nikon Series E lenses for use on my Bolex EL and the process looks pretty straight forward.  All except removing those 3 screws at the back to get to what I need to get to. What's the best way to get them loose?  I suspect there was some glue used during assembly but would a drop of something loosen them (and risk getting some where I don't want it) or would I be better off using a soldering iron to apply heat directly to the screw (and risk some damage to plastic parts)?  Any other tips?  Thanks, Tom


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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 01:22 PM

Try a small drop of acetone on each screw. That may help to dissolve whatever is holding the screws in. It shouldn't harm any metal or glass.


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#3 tom lombard

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 01:42 PM

Thanks.  Acetone worked... on my second lens :)  I managed to damage the head on one of the 3 screws on the first lens.  As I've got several of these lenses, I grabbed another and did a bit of acetone on each screw twice a day for 4 days before applying a screwdriver.  All 3 broke free without much of a fuss.


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#4 jason joseffer

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 01:33 PM

Good advice on the acetone.  Another trick to try is pushing a soldering iron against the screw head.  The heat can loosen up the locktite,  If you damaged the screw head and can't get it out, the next thing to do is try and drill it out.  Use a drill press and move slow.  I also recommend having a shop vac suck up all the metal dust it creates as you go.  This is a last resort option, but can work.


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#5 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 06:13 PM

Thanks.  Acetone worked... on my second lens :)  I managed to damage the head on one of the 3 screws on the first lens.  As I've got several of these lenses, I grabbed another and did a bit of acetone on each screw twice a day for 4 days before applying a screwdriver.  All 3 broke free without much of a fuss.


You don't need to apply acetone over days, it evaporates quite quickly, and the softening effect it has is fairly quick acting. I just apply a drop, wait a few seconds and then try the screw. If it won't give, apply another drop and try again. Always stop before doing damage. Applying heat can also help, as Jason just mentioned.

Rusted-in screws can sometimes be loosened by being soaked over a longer period with a rust inhibitor.

If a head is too damaged, drilling it out or drilling a hole for an easy-out are the only options. You need to drill very accurately with a drill press through the centre of the screw, since the screw is almost always harder than the surrounding material, and if you wander off centre, the drill will veer off and destroy the screw hole. If you're really good, you can use a drill slightly under the tapping recomendation, and be left with a donut screw head attached to a spiral of thread, that easily twists out.
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#6 tom lombard

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 03:00 PM

Thanks for the tips.  As I have in excess of half a dozen of the Series E 50mm lenses, I bailed on my first one as soon after getting one screw loose but could see I was damaging the head of another one.  I had tried the heat as well but think I may have been too eager & not let it heat enough.  I didn't realize the acetone worked that quickly but wanted to be on the safe side & give it plenty of time to work so & didn't end up with multiple lenses with messed up screw heads.  I think I'll be better off pursuing "real" 16mm lenses for my Bolex but may declick a couple more of the Series E for adapted use on my Canon DSLR.


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