|Model D 1955-1972.|
The Model D is regarded as the best View-master ever produced. Introduced in 1955 it's the only viewer to have focusing eye-pieces and a battery powered back light. This viewer also sported 7x magnification compared to 5x of all existing models.The Bakelite build quality is superb for the Sawyers line and is held in high regard by view-master enthusiast.
Step forward 50 years and your Model D may lackluster. Most viewers will have fogged optics, corroded battery compartments or covered in mold. In this tutorial I will explain how to remove Bakelite oxidation and clean the optics.
|Gold logo doubles as the light switch.|
We offer a full Clean, Lube and Adjustment service on the Model D View-Master: Visit our store page for more information.
Do It Yourself Instructions:
- Flat-Head Screwdriver
- Small Plastic Pry Tool
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Microfiber Cloth
1. The first step is simple and most owners will be familiar with the battery compartment area To gain access remove the bottom circular nut. Once the to halves are separated detach the white diffuser shield.
2. Remove the four screws as shown below. Slowly lift the panel and watch for falling pieces. Many of the internal parts are free floating after removing the panel.
Use this image below as a guide when reassembling the viewer. Note the potion of the brass bars & locking bolt. The red arrow points out the tab for holding the spring in place.
3. Gently lift the metal disc upward, watch-out for the attached spring.
4. Remove the two screws and metal tabs as shown.
5. With the bars removed the eyepieces are free to release. Slowly pull the eyepiece away from the housing. A pair of spring-metal parts will fallout when removing this part. Don't worry this is normal.
The focusing wheel and support bar was left in place. Removing them seemed unnecessary for this tutorial.
With the retaining plate removed the optics should slide out of the eyepiece housing.
7. Now its time to separate the the lenses from the housing. Each plastic ring contains two identical glass lenses. Do not use metal tools to pry these out! The glass can easily chip. These lenses are not glued into place. Try using your fingernail or a soft plastic pry tool.
Each lens is shaped similar to a contact lens. The concave surface needs to face the outside of the black ring when reinstalled. Use the illustration below when assembling.
8. Soak each lens in rubbing alcohol for at least 5 minutes. This will kill the mold and loosen dirt. After soaking, buff the lenses with a microfiber cloth. Household ammonia is a great for cleaning glass too.
|Lenses are fragile clean gently|
|Clean optics ready to install.|
9. Now we're in the final stages. Before reassembly I would suggest dusting, washing or polishing the parts. The base chemicals used to create Bakelite break down over time. As it oxidizes the surface will become yellow and dull. Depending on the condition of the viewer a rinse is dawn dish soap should remove most of the dust and dirt. If the Bakelite part contains vintage labels or parts that can't be submerged, use a damp wash cloth instead. Make sure all parts are completely dry before assembly.
My preferred method is polishing the Bakelite.
Click Here for a full tutorial on Bakelite Restoring.
To reassemble simply follow the above steps in reverse order. I've added additional photos below to guide you through difficult areas.
|Results from Polishing|
Additional Reassembly Tips:
Plastic ink pens work great for setting the eyepiece retainer.
Note the location of the spring-metal parts under the focusing bar, these often fall out of place.
Make sure the brass bars are facing the correct way.