Back from the Bodge

BACK FROM THE BODGE

 

This piece is sponsored by the NSPBPF, the Nerdistan Society for the Prevention of Bodgery of Projectors and Films. The Society exists to expose and publicise the evils of bodgery and to support the re-homing and rehabilitation of its victims. We never scrap a healthy projector, unless its a Son (ugh!) or a Eumig P8 and we can transplant its transformer to save the life of another projector, nor do we bin a film that can be repaired to projectability. 

This is a case study about a once-proud projector, reduced to wallowing in its own dirt, with bits hacked off and bodged alterations. Readers of a nervous or sensitive disposition should look away now; be warned that you may find some of the pictures that follow disturbing. 

The projector in question is a Heurtier Superson Magnetic Sound Multi-Gauge machine. Pierre (not his real name) suffered years of neglect and needless brutality. Thanks to the NSPBPF, Pierre was rescued and is now well on the way to recovery although, sadly, some of what he suffered will be with him forever.

back-from-the-bodge back-from-the-bodge back-from-the-bodge back-from-the-bodge back-from-the-bodge

back-from-the-bodge back-from-the-bodge back-from-the-bodge back-from-the-bodge back-from-the-bodge

 

Here are the images of Pierre as he was when he was rescued by the Society. He had never had a good clean, the back of his lamphouse had been cruelly hacked away, for no apparent reason, his lamphouse top burned, broken and crudely "repaired" and a flimsy, unfinished supplementary lens holder stuck on. His amplifier was filthy and rusty and, worst of all, his front legs had been amputated, so he was unable to raise his head without help. 

The following pictures chart Pierre's slow progress towards recovery. The first step, after a thorough clean, was to deal with the battered lamphouse. Obviously, the damage could not be completely repaired, so a skin-grafting operation was carried out to cover the mutilated rear of the lamphouse, with the new skin moulded to profile and painted. Major re-constructive work was needed on Pierre's lamphouse top. First the extra bits had to be gently removed and the broken side glued back in place. The join was reinforced by thin steel pins, inserted into holes drilled in either side of the join. A strip of metal was then glued across the gap at the front, located by steel pins to add strength; similar pins from the remaining parts of the grid provided a basis for the next stage. The area was then covered by the modelling putty, Milliput, moulded to fill excess holes and to approximate the original profile. Heat resistant paint, followed on the outside by Hammerite, restored Pierre's original looks.

back-from-the-bodge back-from-the-bodge back-from-the-bodge back-from-the-bodge back-from-the-bodge

The original switches had been removed and replaced by non-matching ones, with completely different circuitry and a replacement mounting panel in unpainted aluminium. (You need to know that Pierre's motor is a condenser-start type; the motor switch had originally three positions, up=off, centre=run, down, against a heavy spring, was start. Anything more than a momentary use of the start position risks burning out the motor. Under the new wiring arrangement, one switch turns the machine on and off, the second provides the run and start positions, while a third switch with three non-sprung positions provides threading light on, motor on, motor and lamp on.)

Much of the internal wiring had been removed, including the 110/240v changeover switch originally fitted and the accompanying transformer. Also gone were the still frame mechanism and the lamp-centring arrangement (a second, different-size drive pulley for, presumably, 16 or 18 fps, took the latter's place). All this seems to have been in pursuit of fitting a different lamp. The choice was odd; an unusual 21.5v 150 or 250 watt, integral-reflector lamp; the former is A1/184. The necessary transformer was simply placed in the bottom of the lamphouse and left unsecured, tho' it is a fairly close fit. There is little that can now be done about these alterations without further trauma, save to paint over the bare aluminium of the switch panel.

None of the existing prostheses we have will replace Pierres front legs; fortunately, we were able to identify a donor in the shape of an already sick Heurtier silent machine. The transplant is not as good as the original but at least Pierre can once more keep his end up.

Probably the simplest job was to restore the amplifier. The top, which had previously been replaced upside down, was cleaned, sanded and re-sprayed. The main body was lightly sanded, all non-painted parts were masked with low-tack tape, and then an overall spray coat was applied. All of this was done in a single day, which just goes to show what could and should have been done before.

back-from-the-bodge back-from-the-bodge back-from-the-bodge back-from-the-bodge back-from-the-bodge

A final touch, again to show what can be done, was to provide a missing cover for one of the magnetic sound heads and create new labels, since the original Heurtier ones do not match their actual function and had been supplemented by crude stick-on labels. Not quite a perfect match, but........

There really is no excuse for this sort of treatment of a projector. Changes can be made without damage, without throwing parts away and above all without hacking lumps off. Please support our efforts to stamp out such practices and to rehabilitate sad cases such as Pierre. Send large amounts of money to my PayPal account now.