Author Options:

How to repair a small metal joint? Polaroid SLR 680 camera. Answered

I recently bought a £200 polaroid camera off e-bay for only £20. It was sold cheap due to a break on a hinge. I knew it was something I could fix, or that the camera might work with anyway.

I am asking if anyone has any better suggestions for fixing this joint? So far my best plan is to cut out a small metal bridge, and attach it using epoxy resin.

I have attached 3 pictures, an overall shot, a close up, and a comparison shot to the other side which is in one piece. They are all high res, so you can click on the images and view them larger for more detail.


I would go with a little bit of JB Weld. once it dries, you can sand it smooth, and it will look like nothing happened.

would it be hard to manufacture a new hinge out of thin guage metal... you could probably do it with a drill press, a file, and a pair of tin-snips.

i'll go with the solder in this case, lesser chance of hitting that wiring, since solder is (i think..) ment for small stuff. if u use epoxy, u might need to find a way to press it, as for glue gun, might still to big, for the aluminum brazing, havent tried it yet, but u might damage some parts, thses are just my opinion...

Instead of regular epoxy get some JB weld, a two part epoxy used for metal. Drill small holes on both sides and twist a wire through it and apply the JB weld.

You could use solder or a glue gun. Glue guns are strong indeed. If you have no soldering/glue gun why not use super glue. It's cheap can be bought locally. If I were you I would use a glue gun.

Don't tell me that is what is commonly known as white metal? Aluminum allow, normally filled with bubbles used to cast some parts.

I have never been able to do much with it, but if you can braze and then file off the rough edges, that might be the strongest hold 


7 years ago

I would use glue. Thats how skilled I am. If there's room for error, lots of it.


7 years ago

The brake is a stress fracture, Epoxy will not handle the shear.
Brazing if suitable for the metal will puddle a poor bond adding with blobs..

Heliarc weld, Someone with a good arm could weld it with shields and cooling clamps. Heliarc can do Al and Fe stampings or pot metal. Just lap (cover) the brake with a short metal link of the same metal type and tig it in 7 places.

Spending another £20 for a duplicate camera with different broken parts might be cheaper way to go. Can you still get 680 film?


If you have access to a micro tig welder that can be turned down very low I. E 5 to 10 amps max then it could be re joined and you could use Kevlar material to to protect plastic

Drill very small holes in either side and wind stiff steel wire (like small-gauge bailing wiring) through them and twist it down tight.

I have fixed things like this with a mechanical connection using a few very small screws through an additional piece of metal.

Phil B

7 years ago

Is it possible to remove the broken part so you can work on it without any risk of damage done to surrounding pieces from heat of a torch, etc.? Would it be possible to fashion a new part as a replacement? To me the part appears to be made of steel. Would it be possible to weld it with a wire feed welder at relatively low heat? Failing these suggestions, your epoxy idea is probably about the best you can do.

Useful as ever Grem!

I will sort you out an avatar soon, I promise.

If you can't fix it with tape, you've not used enough tape.

Is there enough clearance to build something with milliput around the break?

How's this for a starter?


How good are you with tiny tools?

Where the back side of the hinge rubs against another piece (leaving out riveting on that side), it looks like you can either replace the end bit of the hings (everything after the break) with another piece of metal bent to shape or epoxy (on CLEAN, ROUGHENED metal) a chunk of metal over both.

You could give up on the hinge and epoxy it stiff and open : )

You might be able to flip the broken side free of the backing piece and rivet a new chunk over both, but that might not let the hinge work well.

You could glue or MAYBE screw a new hinge to the outside of the case. Would look ugly, but would be easier than the other options : )

Caveat: All the following is guesswork.

Looks like pot metal, from the surface of the break (and the fact that it broke at all)...

Brazing sounds plausible, but you'd need to get it clear of surrounding plastic, right?

Glue... I'd worry about the strength-versus-fragility issue, especially for a moving part. Normal superglue, for example, wouldn't seem a good choice here; not enough surface area, and it doesn't deal remarkably well with flexing. One of the newer flexible superglues might work, but that's still a pretty small surface to take the strain.

If space permitted, I'd be tempted to "sister" the joint, cutting another piece of metal to suitable shape and attaching it to bridge the gap. That would give you larger surface areas for attachment on either side, and would stiffen the joint.

Any ideas on metal ? We've just bought a micro-torch which, if the metal can be brazed, this thing could braze.


Is the broken part removable? Or is it riveted to other bits?

As you can see, it is riveted, the larger section on the camera is one big metal section, also riveted. One of the sides is attached to a plastic section, so I am not so sure about a method using heat.

If the epoxy doesn't hold up you could drill the rivets, repair/replace the broken part then re-rivet?

.  Epoxy will probably be too brittle. I'd try brazing or silver solder.
.  But epoxy would be much easier than brazing/soldering and pretty cheap. I'd give it a try. Cleanliness is next to Godliness - good surface prep is a must.

Would epoxy with metal be better with a roughed up clean surface?

. Probably. There's all sorts of epoxies - read the label to be sure.