1960s View-Master Repair Sawyers Model G

view-master repair
Original Sawyers Model pre-GAF era.


View-Master Model G

Year of Production: 1959 - 1977
Construction: Plastic
Background: The Model G had a long production run with many variation in color and maker stamps. GAF purchased the Sawyers company during the production of this Model.




The only downside to this beauty is grim and fogged optics. Cleaning these early viewers is often necessary 30+ years can accumulate a lot of mold and dust .I plan to disassemble this and post the process. Hopefully you'll find this entertaining.

Supply List:
  • Lint Free Cloths
  • Dawn Dish Soap
  • Plastic Pry Tool.
  • Novus Plastic Polish (optional) 
  • Epoxy (optional)

Dirty Eye-piece
Original Sawyers Logo
A look through the view finder.
Back Panels need work


OK Let's get started:

No screws in these early view-masters.  The two halves are held together by barbed metal tabs at each corner. I used a credit card along the seam and slowly pried it apart. When reassembling glue or epoxy may be needed to secure the locking tabs.

The plastic borders that surround the windows can be difficult to remove. Be patient and firm when removing these stubborn pieces. I was able to salvage my translucent windows after cleaning them. Often these need replacing or reinforced by an extra sheet of thin plastic. View this article for Window Replacement

Set the metal parts aside and submerge the entire view-master in a mixture of Dawn dish soap and water. This is the safest cleaner for grungy plastics.

After soaking and rinsing I buffed the entire surface, optics and back window panels with Novus #2. This will remove fine scratches and restores the original luster. 

Looking so much better!

After cleaning prepare the pieces for reassembly.
Remember to pay close attention to the brass bar orientation and spring attachment point.
Correct placement of brass bars

Spring connection tab

Spring properly attached.

Once all the pieces are secured in place, slowly snap the two halves together. As stated before glue or epoxy may be needed to secure the two halves. I would stay away from crazy glue, it will out-gas for several hours while curing and can permanently fog the optics.

Complete & Restored

Its worth mentioning that a dirty reels shouldn't be inserted into cleaned viewers or vice versa. It is highly recommended to clean both. Read more on Reel Cleaning here.

I hope that you have found this tutorial useful and informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and opinions below.


  1. Brilliant! My kids love my viewfinder that I had as a kid and suddenly it jammed and I could feel something was wrong inside. When I prized it open everything bounced out and I thought that was the end of that as I had no way of working out how it went back together.......until I found you! All unjammed and cleaned and back in working order thanks to you! Thank you.

  2. Hi Thanks so so much for your post, we have a gaf view master and it wasn't spinning the reels, i wanted take it apart and you post was invaluable in figuring it out and fixing the issue!

    You are a star!

  3. Thank you so much! You saved my day!!

    1. Glad I could help! This website began with these viewmaster guides. I was shocked years ago when zero repair information was available. So I started the site and made my own guides.

  4. Very helpful! Now I could connect the spring and the brass pices. Took me back 50 years! Thank you!!

    1. Aweomse! This article started the website! Long ago my viewmaster hit the floor and busted open. Google had Zero repair info. Once I figured it out (took a long time) I posted this repair article.

  5. Thanks a million! I had a lighted Model G which is slightly different. The back came of the same way and I was able to fix it! Your pictures were a great help, as once I got the halves apart the brass bars fell out and hit the floor....Thank you again!


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