Stiff Movement on Mitchell Standard (advice)

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lilybettina
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 4:27 am

Stiff Movement on Mitchell Standard (advice)

Postby lilybettina » Thu May 12, 2016 4:39 am

I've just acquired a Standard Mitchell no 146 out of RKO/Desilu. It's missing a few items, such as the turret and front plate. However the movement is intact, but very stiff when I hand crank. Any ideas? Okay, so I'll use camera oil, but so far it's not making any difference. The camera had previously been 'bodged to do animation, although the matte system and fade unit is still there.

mediaed
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:53 pm

Re: Stiff Movement on Mitchell Standard (advice)

Postby mediaed » Tue May 17, 2016 6:21 pm

Just happened on this. Howgozit?

1) Missing parts: Check with Richard at Cinemagear. Ken Stone is another source.
2) Is there any strange noise? Clicking sound? Is the shutter open or closed? Open best to be certain not a shutter problem.
3) It is tempting but don't use WD40 or 3-in-1! Light machine oil recommended.
4) What it comes down to is the storage conditions since last used. Dry-good/hot-not so good/humid or damp-not helpful. Standard should have ball bearings that need the oil to soak in as well as the oil pads. Oil on the motor side as well as the film chamber rotating and eccentrics. Sometimes a camera just requires you to gently exercise it a bit every day and it may loosen up. Afterall, these cameras required pretty thorough maintenance every 3-5,000 feet of film even when in regular use.
5) If problem persists, may need a professional teardown and rebuild.
6) I take it there are inventory tags to identify. Interesting if you could post a pix or two. Hope to hear positive progress.

Best. ED.

lilybettina
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 4:27 am

Re: Stiff Movement on Mitchell Standard (advice)

Postby lilybettina » Thu May 19, 2016 8:06 am

Thanks Ed. I'm in comms with Ken Stone. Good guy. I used light machine oil. Still looking at various options. The movement is very very much looser when I crank using the top left electric motor port, it's just the big central cog that's tough going. Feels as if there's a fly wheel missing?
Attachments
DSC_0035 - Copy.JPG

lilybettina
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 4:27 am

Re: Stiff Movement on Mitchell Standard (advice)

Postby lilybettina » Thu May 19, 2016 9:40 am

It seems now that when my Mitchell was 'adapted' for single frame animation, the fly wheel was removed, hence the now stiffish movement when turning the crank.

mitchellbnc
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 10:03 am

Re: Stiff Movement on Mitchell Standard (advice)

Postby mitchellbnc » Thu May 19, 2016 12:17 pm

Very nice shot of your Mitchell sir. Thank you for sharing!

lilybettina
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 4:27 am

Re: Stiff movement

Postby lilybettina » Sat May 21, 2016 4:51 am

Pleasure. So this is what's missing internally from my Mitchell. A flywheel (from another Mitchell image) which may make the cranking a bit easier?
Attachments
20080610-michell-35mm-inside.jpg

mediaed
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:53 pm

Re: Stiff Movement on Mitchell Standard (advice)

Postby mediaed » Sun May 22, 2016 3:25 pm

Odd to remove the flywheel. Yes could affect the movement. As far as I can see removal accomplished very little other than limiting the camera in future. Coming from RKO, this may well have been a camera that could have been in the RKO Fearless blimp I feature in my member's article. ED.

lilybettina
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 4:27 am

Re: Stiff Movement on Mitchell Standard (advice)

Postby lilybettina » Fri May 27, 2016 12:58 am

Thanks for all this information. Very useful. As can be seen from my Mitchell inside, the big driving cog looks to be a replacement?
Attachments
mitch.JPG

mediaed
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:53 pm

Re: Stiff Movement on Mitchell Standard (advice)

Postby mediaed » Sat May 28, 2016 2:10 pm

Large gear does look different but we have to remember that these were hand built. It has been suggested in many resources that individual cameras were entirely put together and machined by one person.

I note that you have the dissolve timing adjustment as well as the controls for the floating iris and 4-way mattes. (Do they work?) But most of all I do want to say since your first post, you did not waste any time finding all the parts you needed to make this camera whole. Congrats. Took me few months on my last project.

The serial number is also intriguing. Number 146. There is a real problem with determining when these were made. I currently have part of camera # 253 from Warners with a given build date of 1928. Elsewhere on this site is #167 that purports to be from 1929. A Debbie Reynolds exhaustively researched Standard #257 is listed as a 1929 camera.

If we toss out the #167 video as inaccurate, that places your camera in a time period before the 1928 founding of RKO by at least 2 years. RKO did buyout, at it's founding, a small studio known as FBO (Film Booking Offices of America) that had been in existence sine 1922 producing mostly cheapie westerns and such. That may be a history on this camera. ED.

lilybettina
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 4:27 am

Re: Stiff Movement on Mitchell Standard (advice)

Postby lilybettina » Sun May 29, 2016 1:36 am

Thanks Ed. Unfortunately my Mitchell is not complete, missing the entire front panel and turret. I do now have a Mitchell side finder s/n 427 and a 'Peanut' motor to complete the 'look'. The dissolve mechanism is still there but disconnected. The iris and matte system is fully operational. The number 146 appears throughout the mechanism, on other parts.
DSC_0008.JPG
The 200ft magazine has '228' painted on if that is of any significance? I might also add that I'm UK based. I'm not certain how many of these Mitchells are currently in England. Not many I suspect.


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