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Always"watching"

Releasing a Siezed Screw-Fitting Binocular Eyepiece Adjuster

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I am currently restoring an old pair of Russian binoculars and have encountered a problem. The eyepiece diopter focus adjuster  has become completely siezed in the completely down position, requiring it to be released and unscrewed in an anticlockwise direction.  Because this fitting is for adjusting the diopter range in the eye, it would have been "damped" to give some resistance, like the central focusing wheel on the binoculars. I have tried using spray silicon lube to no effect and even considerable force won't shift the siezure.

I would really appreciate any bright ideas on how to free the eyepiece focus adjuster so that I can get these rather nice old binos fully working again. I should say that these binoculars are a hefty metal item in true Soviet style, and probably date from the 1960s/70s.

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Not sure about binos but if it was a car plus gas or similar.Let it soak well in .

Edited by Bonzodog

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I would add a small amount of heat. Perhaps heat the end of a screwdriver and with that gently warm the area immediately surrounding the grub screw. 

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Thanks for the suggestions so far.:thumbsup:  At Steve's suggestion and just in case readers might not have the complete picture of the problem, I show here below a picture of binoculars that are pretty much identical to my own:

 

DSC01427s1.jpg

(Pic from bestofbinoculars.com)

 

The offending component is the individual focusing ring for poor eyesight shown in the picture on the right-hand eyepiece. This focusing ring is jammed tight or seized and won't turn. There are three minute screws (as small as those in a watch movement) spaced at intervals on the knurled wheel of the focusing ring but I haven't dared try and remove them as yet. 

Any further recommendations gratefully received and I will try them one by one, starting at the easiest.:)

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2 hours ago, Always"watching" said:

starting at the easiest.:)

Check to see that the focus ring hasn't been over tightening fully home, or fully out first. You should be able to see by comparing the height of the adjustable lens with the fixed one (left) if the right side is sitting higher then it's out, and vice versa if it's lower. 

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Thanks guys. I have checked the heights of the two eyepieces as you suggest, Steve @WRENCH, and there is a distinct difference, with the focusing ring clearly having been over-tightened in one direction. I don't reckon this is going to be easy but after lockdown, I may be able to chase up a guy I met a while back who restores binoculars and other optics. This is a safer bet than trying to deal with the matter myself.:biggrin:

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3 minutes ago, Always"watching" said:

Thanks guys. I have checked the heights of the two eyepieces as you suggest, Steve @WRENCH, and there is a distinct difference, with the focusing ring clearly having been over-tightened in one direction. I don't reckon this is going to be easy but after lockdown, I may be able to chase up a guy I met a while back who restores binoculars and other optics. This is a safer bet than trying to deal with the matter myself.:biggrin:

Sounds like something the Repair Shop would do! I hope you get it sorted. :thumbsup:

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As said, heat, get your Mrs Hairdryer on it, it sounds like it could well be grease block, where the original grease gets contaminated over time and goes hard.

Heat will soften it.

I did have a set of 1980's soviet bins and the dioptre adjustment was very tight even when new..

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Just a big thank you to EVERYONE who contributed to this thread. The member who came up with the correct winning solution was @Biker, followed closely by @al_kaholik in second position and finally @DJJazzyJeff, who did suggest heat but then wasn't so sure. I used a hairdryer to warm up the offending part of the binoculars and this immediately released the stuck focusing ring. The only problem is that when it cools, the ring becomes hard to turn once again, but I reckon that I can gradually ease the stickiness, perhaps using something like WD40. The main thing is that I now know what is causing the part to seize and it is evidently curable. :thumbsup:

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If you can get the dioptre ring off completely then do so and clean off all of the old grease, then reassemble using Synthetic grease.  

I would advocate against WD40 as it will only give temporary results and over time you'll be right back at square one. (WD40 is also a muck magnet).

If you do completely disassemble it, if you can get a spot of cutting paste, then run it up and down the thread just to polish it and remove the notoriously Russian rough threads, BUT not too much or your dioptre may become loose and floppy, now we wouldn't want that would we?

Hope this helps

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If you are able to use a solvent to dissolve the gum that is in there, you could apply a small amount of silicone grease back in there 

 

@Biker beat me to it!

Edited by al_kaholik

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2 hours ago, Always"watching" said:

The main thing is that I now know what is causing the part to seize and it is evidently curable. 

Good result. :thumbsup: 

These Soviet era binoculars are excellent, I have a pair of 7 x 50's which are my favourites. I've stripped and cleaned them many times over the years, and I still prefer them to my more modern and expensive ones.

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The only reason I sold my Soviet ones was because of the weight, they were so damned heavy, conversely though, they were really robust.  They came with two sets of filters too.

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I can totally agree with you, dear @WRENCH and @Biker now that I have sorted out the eyepiece and cleaned the lenses. Amazingly, there isn't a scratch or mark on any of the external lenses and the coatings are in tip-top condition. I have tested the binos in the field, and they appear to be optically rather good. As with your own Soviet binos, Steve, mine are also 7 X 50 and therefore have a good light uptake; they also come in a nice leather case and, like yours, Biker, they have additional filters in pockets inside the case. If I didn't have arthritis in my neck, I would use these binoculars while walking, but they are just too heavy and will be used for static bird spotting where I can use them through the car windows or resting on a fence/ledge.:biggrin:

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