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Dreibein 34 Restoration
Old 06-05-2018, 12:50 PM   #1
mkVsten
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Default Dreibein 34 Restoration

Years ago I purchased a Deibein 34 from someone in France who had it for sale on the EE. Typical for a lot of the early Elektron magnesium alloy tripods, there is a lot of pitting and corrosion from years of neglect. Sadly someone had previously used automotive body fill to cover up the majority of the pitting and put a coat of blaugrau paint on it. The pitting was much worse than presented in the photos and of course not knowing it was covered up... I bought it.

Here are some photos of the tripod from the seller...

















I am not a fan of restoring items like this, I prefer to keep the original finish on items in my collection, but this one has no original finish on it, and of course, the damage has been done by someone already in the past to try and make it look better. Its such a terrible refinish job, I need to try and make it look better

So I have pulled it out and decided to refinish it. A few questions...

When new, did these leave the factory with paint or were they just anodized?
Steel parts... I assume originally the steel parts were blued?

This one has a maker code 64 S/N 8450 followed by a small g below the serial #, is it possible to date the production based on this information? If a date can be determined, can a paint color be determined?

Will post some more photos of the restoration as it progresses...

Last edited by mkVsten; 06-05-2018 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 06-05-2018, 12:53 PM   #2
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None of the photos you posted are working.

Glen
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by whsammler View Post
None of the photos you posted are working.

Glen
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Working now? I can see them on my end...
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Dreibein 34 Restoration
Old 06-05-2018, 01:40 PM   #4
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Default Dreibein 34 Restoration

Photos are working now...thanks .

To answer your question.

I think the main body was painted but the pivot & spigot would have been anodized/blued.

These parts would not have functioned with paint on them.

Great tripod... Good to see has some good stuff representing.

Looking forward to seeing your restoration progress.

Glen
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Old 06-05-2018, 02:05 PM   #5
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MkV

Your marking would have been S64 so you may have another digit hiding beneath depending on the pitting and damage you mentioned.

Your waffens are Nazi and that would indicate post 1937.

Yes they were painted when they came out of the factory and yours was most likely to be field grey. Most pics you see will show really bad paint jobs as the paint did not stick well to the elktron alloy.

Others can say with more definition if the driebiens were primer coated in red primer but as I recall they were not..

Ive attached a pic of mine that has had the same as yours done, ie paint job prior to purchase, to show the markings pre 37 change over (same manufacturer but mine has "some" traces of the earlier colour scheme prior to the field grey. You also have the hooks on the legs you lucky bugger...mine were all missing and almost impossible to find ( I live in hope )
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File Type: jpg P8290001 (600 x 450).jpg (52.0 KB, 115 views)
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Old 06-05-2018, 02:43 PM   #6
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Tim,

Thanks for the info.

For sure there was no S before the 64 on this one. See pic below of the head after the crappy paint and body fill was removed.... you can see the amount of pitting



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Old 06-05-2018, 02:53 PM   #7
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Yup, that's typical of the electron alloy used, very prone to the corrosion effects of time.

Ive seen a couple of wrecks that were almost eaten away to nothing.

No wonder they moved to steel as the alloys were a strategic material and in short supply.

Regards and keep us up to date on the total package you complete.

I was wondering about doing mine as its not original finish, but I have to convince myself that the thing was in the 3 colour scheme before taking the first steps. Really hard to tell on the BW pics ive seen.

Regards.
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timg View Post
Yup, that's typical of the electron alloy used, very prone to the corrosion effects of time.

Ive seen a couple of wrecks that were almost eaten away to nothing.

No wonder they moved to steel as the alloys were a strategic material and in short supply.

Regards and keep us up to date on the total package you complete.

I was wondering about doing mine as its not original finish, but I have to convince myself that the thing was in the 3 colour scheme before taking the first steps. Really hard to tell on the BW pics ive seen.

Regards.
Any one know what year they dropped the S from the S64?
Careful removal may show if there is some nice early tri-color under your grey, but looking at your photo, the paint does not appear overly thick...

Hooks...

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Old 06-06-2018, 02:03 PM   #9
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ahhhhhhhhhhhhh...............I am electronically reaching out to take those hooks and rings from your table

They really are very hard to find by themselves. As an aside, how do the lower leg clamps come away from the main tube? I know how to remove the levers...tiny grub screw etc and undo the bolt, but how does the main fitting release? Pins...screws..??

Regards

Tim
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:03 AM   #10
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Tim,

The lower leg clamps are quite easy to remove, they are held in place by 3 screws to the main tube. The inner (or lower) leg is assembled first though with a collar which is held in place with an Aluminum pin. This collar has to be removed from the lower leg to slide the lower leg clamps off. See photo below of the components.



The collar on the lower leg is what prevents it from falling out when it is lowered.
Pretty simple.
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:18 AM   #11
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Close up of the inner leg finish. Its like a dark grey anodized finish, almost black.


Main tube finish below. Again you can see the effects of the corrosion on these and the improper attempt to cover it up. Obviously the method used did nothing to prevent
the corrosion from continuing to eat away at the original material. Not a great photo but you get the idea. The yellow you see behind the grey is bodyfill!


Some photos of the tube with the offending paint removed below. I just used a paint stripper, its quite effective to get the majority off. Time now for some wire brushing to clean it up.




The white spots are some type of filler previously used to fill in the pitted areas.

There was no original paint under the sloppy grey paint that was applied but you can see the original green anodized finish from the factory (or whats left of it) in some areas.

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Dreibein 34 Restoration
Old 06-07-2018, 07:55 AM   #12
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Default Dreibein 34 Restoration

I知 really enjoying this thread.

I知 in the process of restoring a Gestell 31 head & I知 going to be restoring a Gestell 40 as soon as it痴 out of customs here in Canada.

If found a place that does dry ice blasting that I知 going to use take off a layer of green paint applied post war to try get down the the original Ordnance Tan.

The aiming circle I知 also going to strip to bear as it was repainted post war & many parts that should be naked are covered in thick red paint.





I was thinking that for your tripod you could get the aluminum parts re-anodized to preserve them from future corrosion. Are you going to fill the pitting or are you going to leave them & repaint?

Keep up the good work. I love seeing this stuff saved.

Glen
Collector of Wehrmacht Optics, Ordnance & Field Equipment.
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whsammler View Post
I知 really enjoying this thread.

I知 in the process of restoring a Gestell 31 head & I知 going to be restoring a Gestell 40 as soon as it痴 out of customs here in Canada.

If found a place that does dry ice blasting that I知 going to use take off a layer of green paint applied post war to try get down the the original Ordnance Tan.

The aiming circle I知 also going to strip to bear as it was repainted post war & many parts that should be naked are covered in thick red paint.

I was thinking that for your tripod you could get the aluminum parts re-anodized to preserve them from future corrosion. Are you going to fill the pitting or are you going to leave them & repaint?

Keep up the good work. I love seeing this stuff saved.

Glen
Collector of Wehrmacht Optics, Ordnance & Field Equipment.
Glen,

Really curious to see how the dry ice blasting works for you. When it comes to stripping, especially with blasting your walking a fine line between all or nothing :-)

I found that using paint stripper works quite well on removing post war paint, using it with caution of course. A small amount applied with a Q-tip and removed as the paint starts to bubble. Just working on a small area at a time. Some post war paint comes off quite easy such as Norwegian repainted items.

Yugo paint is tougher! Here is a MGZ34 tin that came from Norway. Before and after. I could have been a bit more detailed in my paint removal, but you can see what was under that post war Norwegian green... Time consuming process, but well worth it in the end.

Before...





After...









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Old 06-07-2018, 09:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whsammler View Post

I was thinking that for your tripod you could get the aluminum parts re-anodized to preserve them from future corrosion. Are you going to fill the pitting or are you going to leave them & repaint?

Keep up the good work. I love seeing this stuff saved.

Glen
Collector of Wehrmacht Optics, Ordnance & Field Equipment.
Re the anodizing... You would never be able to get a uniform finish on the surface if the parts were re-anodized. There is a lot involved with anodizing in respect to finish and color and I dont think the end result would be worth the effort considering the pitting. My plan currently is to completely strip the body fill off and seal the surface with a primer designed for aluminum then repaint it. Its a coin toss on the pitting, I will wait and see how extensive it is. Once I shoot a thin coat of primer on it, it will give me an idea of how it would look painted. It is what it is and will never be what it once was, so in the end I may just properly seal and fill the pitted areas and shoot a nice coat of grey on it. It will present very nicely I think doing that.
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Dreibein 34 Restoration
Old 06-07-2018, 09:24 AM   #15
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Default Dreibein 34 Restoration

MkVsten,

That case turned out fantastic!!!!! Perfect patina.

I know what you mean by all or nothing with media blasting.

I have a pair of junk legs that have, fingers crossed Norwegian green paint on them that will be sent as test samples to the blaster.

Only reason I知 going with dry ice blasting is the original paint on the Gestell 31/40 legs was not that thick. So I知 worried that a gentile acetone or paint removal treatment will get past the green & original paint set into the wood & lift it all off.

Im hoping the dry ice blast will only take the green off. They got that green everywhere....so fingers n toes crossed.

Glen
Collector of Wehrmacht Optics, Ordnance & Field Equipment.




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