Jump to content

Bolex maintenance and repair

Gil Solorzano

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone

I've been rebuilding an early 50's vintage H16 which was completely frozen, and so far I've dissembled the camera, cleaned it, obtained new parts where needed, and have actually reassembled the workings. It runs! And yes, I have a repair manual which has been essential to this project.

I realize there's much more to it like alignment and adjustment, but until the camera is film tested can it be determined if the rebuild was a success. And I do intend to use it once this is done. This camera will compliment my vintage H8 and REX1. The REX was professionally serviced. 

Anyway, thank you for staying with me, now if anyone has tips, advice, sources, parts, etc, please,  anything would be appreciated.

Right now, I'm looking for light seal materials. My supplier informed me sealing material for older cameras is no longer available, but didn't elaborate on substitute materials or methods. If anyone has information, how to, or advice, please and thank you!

Also, are there special lubricants for the Bolex? If so, what type? Are they easily available? And what substitutes an be used?

Well, thank you folks, I intend to get this camera running, and I have discovered that taking it apart was a challenge but was easier than I thought; and putting back together isn't that hard. The challenge is the adjust, sync and alignment. 

I sincerely thank each and everyone one of you who respond with anything, including stories and anecdotes about using these great cameras


Gil in Washington DC USA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

Hi Gil,

well done on getting your Bolex running again!

You may have to just experiment with a light seal material. Try something like a black caulking compound or gap filler. I’d avoid anything silicon based as it can be hard to remove for the next overhaul.

The original Bolex lubricants were fairly standard graphite and lithium greases and light machine oil, I wouldn’t stress too much. It’s a relatively slow, sporadically operated mechanism with fairly large tolerances running at normal temperatures, almost anything will do, as long as it’s not too heavy.

I wrote a little blog post about servicing Bolexes that might interest you:


There are lots of Bolex stories and tips in the archives here, it’s worth exploring old threads.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...