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Refurbishing Old Lights

Published : 14th April 2005

Greetings,

I've just come across an old Mole-Richardson Baby (Type 407). The lens and reflector are in beautiful condition and all of the wiring is swell. It has an old 750w lamp in it (which is the size of my fist) ans the whole unit lights up and works. Essentially I want to refurbish it and use it. Mainly I want to know about the do's and don't's of servicing the light. Is there any particular cleaner I should or shouldnt use on the body? On the Lens? on the Reflector? I'd also like to repaint it. Should I strip the old paint completely (which is almost gone and is flaking away)? I know I need special paint... do I purchase that from Mole-Richardson, or from other vendors? I'm think it'll be a fun project. I picked it up from an old-school Gaffer who claimed it was 70-years old.

Thanks guys,

Nathan Milford


Nathan Milford wrote:

>I've just come across an old Mole-Richardson Baby (Type 407). The >lens and reflector are in beautiful condition and all of the wiring is swell.

The best thing to do is to call M-R and ask them what to use. Good thing about M-R is that they have parts for probably every unit they ever made so you can repair them. In many cases they have upgrades to improve old units, but apparently you don't need parts. They will have the proper paint and can tell you what cleaners to use. If the Fresnel lens is yellowed they can supply a replacement.

Then put an EGT lamp in it and your baby will shine like it never did before!

Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614


> The best thing to do is to call M-R and ask them what to use.

Barbizon in NYC can probably help you also, if you're in the NY area; I've gotten parts from them, they've faxed diagrams etc

Sam Wells


>Then put an EGT lamp in it and your baby will shine like it never did >before!

Hi Wade,

Doesn't the EGT lamp need to be realigned to the center of the incandescent reflector/fresnal with a different socket base?

Jim Sofranko


Wade Ramsey writes :

>If the Fresnel lens is yellowed they can supply a replacement.

Isn't there a chemical one can dip yellowed fresnel lenses into that helps clear them up? Boric acid perhaps?

Mitch Gross
NYC DP


Mitch Gross wrote:

>Isn't there a chemical one can dip yellowed fresnel lenses into that >helps clear them up? Boric acid perhaps?

I don't know, if there is I'd like to know about it. We have some 5Ks that are about as old as his baby that could use some help.

Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614


Jim Sofranko wrote:

>Doesn't the EGT lamp need to be realigned to the center of the >incandescent reflector/fresnal with a different socket base?

I don't know how old his baby fixture is, but those made by M-R for the past 50 years or more use a medium bi-pin base. The EGT is a 1K direct replacement for the old 750 watt conventional globe and has the same light center length.

The older units had a round porcelain socket that the lamp had to be twisted into and were a bear to get old lamps out of after they'd corroded from heat. M-R has a retrofit aluminum socket that the bi-pins just push into--big improvement.

Wade Ramsey


Jim Sofranko wrote :

>Doesn't the EGT lamp need to be realigned to the center of the >incandescent reflector/fresnal with a different socket base?

Wade Ramsey wrote :

>I don't know how old his baby fixture is, but those made by M-R for the >past 50 years or more use a medium bi-pin base.

The gentleman I got this off of said the unit was around 50 years old. This was later confirmed by MR on the phone. It even came with the old 750w lamp. I'm heading up to barbizon today to pick up an EGT globe and some MR paint. I'm pretty sure Wade is correct but we'll fine out once I put the globe in.

>If the Fresnel lens is yellowed they can supply a replacement. Isn't there >a chemical one can dip yellowed fresnel lenses into that helps clear >them up? Boric acid perhaps?

The lens is a bit yellow, but MR said that the lenses of the era were already a bit yellow, today's glass is clear. The tech said it shouldn't change the color temp. But who knows.

Thanks guys,

Nathan Milford


>The lens is a bit yellow, but MR said that the lenses of the era were >already a bit yellow, today's glass is clear. The tech said it shouldn't >change the color temp. But who knows.

Since I never shoot with a light un-modified in some way, consider the yellowed fresnel a built in warming gel...!

Tom "up very late last night" McDonnell
DP/Operator
New Orleans, La


> Since I never shoot with a light un-modified in some way, consider the >yellowed fresnel a built in warming gel...!

Yeah, period look, period light !

Seriously, I have a couple baby 407's which are real oldies, they had
the std incandescent lamps (working !) when I got them, now they have
EGR or EGT, and are fine, except show their age - switch wise etc.

Sam Wells


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