E-1, Rubber Grip Repair

Started Jan 20, 2011 | Discussions
LaMesa Senior Member • Posts: 2,370
E-1, Rubber Grip Repair

Dear E-1 owners,

I know that this common problem has been addressed before, but I think I found a nice solution which some of you may want to try.

The rubber armour of the E-1 grip is connected to the camera body and kept in place by a sticky film. This film tends to become less sticky because of aging or of camera use, so that the rubber peels off partially or totally. This is what happened with my camera:

The sticky film can still be seen in the area next to the lens. You can start lifting the film with the tip of a pocket knife and then roll it off with your thumb. The film must be totally removed and both surfaces carefully cleaned with benzine(petroleum ether). Over a period of weeks I kept experimenting with various kinds of tapes and glues, with no satisfactory results. I came to the conclusion that instant adhesive would be best, but had hesitations. Instant adhesive is not water resistant and not long term stable. Furthermore, it is very liquid and runs everywhere, creating a mess. Finally, I found this new product:

Pattex Ultra Gel is an instant adhesive, which contains rubber components. It stays elastic and it is weatherproof. When you press both sides of the dispenser, one small drop is pumped out of the tip and stays right there. It can easily be applied and doesn't move. The dispenser tip stays unclogged and free of dried residues, which is nice. Pattex products are available in many countries, but not yet in the US.

I applied the gel to an area of about 1 square inch around the IR receiver and kept pressing the rubber for about 10 seconds. This produced a very tight bonding. Then I proceeded sepwise towards the borders. With both thumbs you can squeeze or stretch the rubber in shape for a few seconds. Actually, the procedure is not overly difficult. As an exercise, you can make trials with little pieces of rubber from an old inner tube. Of course, during the procedure, you want to take the lens out and replace it with the camera lid.

The result is absolutely flawless. It is so solid, I believe it will outlast the camera.

Good Luck and best Regards, Herbert
--
http://www.pbase.com/herbRD
Olympus E-1, E-330, Vario-Elmar 14-150mm

Palin0_0
Palin0_0 Contributing Member • Posts: 624
Re: E-1, Rubber Grip Repair

thanks for the tip........

regards

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E1, E3, E30, 12-60, 14-54 ,50-200, 11-22, 14-45

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Tim the Grey Veteran Member • Posts: 6,310
Re: E-1, Rubber Grip Repair

Or buy the complete grip kit, with new (revised and improved!) sticky tape backing, for around £10?

That's the price I last saw one for, from an Olympus service Centre...

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JustFred Senior Member • Posts: 1,532
Re: E-1, Rubber Grip Repair

Funny that you should post about this today as I just fixed the front rubber on one of my E1 bodies about 2 hours ago. I replaced it with a new rubber and the supplied double sided backing. I ordered the complete rubber grip kit from Da Vinci in Germany.

Now...The old rubber that I took off I had actually replaced about 5 months ago and I used PattexExtreme Repair. I also used the Pattex Ultra Gel

They did not work really well and soon were loose again. This is what the blurb says about those products.

Not suitable for: glazed, washed and oiled surfaces, polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), ptfe (z.B. PP) · Gluings of plastics such as PP and PE · For gluings with glass.
You see the rubber grips are made of some sort of polyethelene material.
http://shop.conrad-uk.com/brand/PATTEX.html

I read somewhere that if you heat the surface of these type of rubber materials with a naked flame you change the molecular structure on the surface and it will then bond really well. Yet to try that once my rubbers come loose again, because they will that's for sure.

Here is another industrial speciality glue I have ordered and will try the next time my rubber comes loose again.
http://www.glueonline.co.uk/shop/Acrylic_Adhesives.html

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tuttlejr Regular Member • Posts: 150
Re: E-1, Rubber Grip Repair

I have found that GOOP does a fantastic job for repairing. Lasts a very long time.
Great for shoes among other chores.

JustFred Senior Member • Posts: 1,532
Re: E-1, Rubber Grip Repair

This problem is due to the type of material used. The soft grips are molded from TPE - ThermoPlastic Elastomer - a mixture of a thermoplastic and rubber. This stuff can be molded in a few seconds vs. several minutes that rubber takes. So for a mass-produced product, TPE is an amazing space-age material. You can alter the softness of the material by changing the ratio of plastic to rubber. Google "Santoprene" for more information.

But rubber contains oil, and the more rubber you have in a TPE, the more oil you have. Over time, the oil can migrate from the rubber to the adhesive. This can cause it to come loose. If you use a harder TPE like the low-end Nikons and Canons, it will adhere better, but you lose the soft grip. Anything that would not come loose would not be removable for service. So you have to decide between soft grip or good adhesion. I'll take the soft grip.

Heat and solvents are the enemy of the adhesive. Leaving the camera in a hot car will soften the adhesive, and if you start using it right away, you cause it to "slip" and tear the bond.

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OP LaMesa Senior Member • Posts: 2,370
Re: E-1, Rubber Grip Repair

JustFred wrote:

Now...The old rubber that I took off I had actually replaced about 5 months ago and I used PattexExtreme Repair. I also used the Pattex Ultra Gel
They did not work really well and soon were loose again.

Thanks for your reply. As I said, I made several trials. There was a chemical reaction of Ultra Gel with both the rubber surface and the coating of the camera body. The resulting connection is extremely tight. You should have taken Ultra Gel alone.

I didn't know about the cheap replacement kit from Da Vinci. Nevertheless, I prefer the tight bonding over the sticky tape fixation.

Herbert

Edited: Just read your last entry. O.K, that makes sense and is an interesting point. Thanks again.

http://www.pbase.com/herbRD
Olympus E-1, E-330, Vario-Elmar 14-150mm

JustFred Senior Member • Posts: 1,532
Re: E-1, Rubber Grip Repair

Hi Herbert,

Apparently it's very difficult to get a good bond between Thermoplastic Elastomers and other substrate's such as metal. I have come across some heavy duty industrial grade glues for this purpose and they involve using a special primer first and theb the glue. I am still planning to order one of those products and try it out. I did try the ultra gel on it's own and it did stick but it did not have a high peel strength. I could peel it off without much of a problem even after letting it dry for 48 hours. I have heard that the thin double sided adhesive strips made by 3M work quite well so I will try that also. I have been scouring the web looking for a glue that will bond this difficult material to metal and I found that someone has invented a 2 part glue specially for this and has applied for a patent. Here is the link. It makes for interesting reading.
http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5051474/description.html
Cheers
Fred

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JustFred Senior Member • Posts: 1,532
Re: E-1, Rubber Grip Repair

Going to give this 3M product a try. The worlds strongest 2 sided adhesive tape. Used in construction and serious heavy duty applications.

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/3M-Industrial/Adhesives/Product/Bonding-Tapes/VHB-Tape/

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JustFred Senior Member • Posts: 1,532
Re: E-1, Rubber Grip Repair

JustFred wrote:

Going to give this 3M product a try. The worlds strongest 2 sided adhesive tape. Used in construction and serious heavy duty applications.

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/3M-Industrial/Adhesives/Product/Bonding-Tapes/VHB-Tape/

Also Joe's product sounds good.
http://www.filmtools.com/stickystuff.html

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Olympus E-1 Olympus Zuiko Digital 11-22mm 1:2.8-3.5
JustFred Senior Member • Posts: 1,532
Re: E-1, Rubber Grip Repair

Hey Lamesa, I just tried the Pattex Power Gel which also contains a rubber in the gel (I think it's probably the same stuff as Ultra Gel). Anyway..yes it works like a bomb. I have a E1 which I use for spare parts and I just tested the glue by glueing the rubber front handgrip which was detached anyway back with Pattex Power Gel. I first cleaned both surfaces with alcohol ketonatus. Well after 15 minutes I tried to test the bond strength by pulling the rubber grip from the body. It was stuck on so tight I had to use a pair of pliers and actually tore the rubber grip so tightly it was stuck on.
Great stuff. Thanks.

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pka Senior Member • Posts: 1,820
Re: E-1, Rubber Grip Repair

This is what I have used on two E-1 bodies successfully ...

JustFred wrote:

Going to give this 3M product a try. The worlds strongest 2 sided adhesive tape. Used in construction and serious heavy duty applications.

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/3M-Industrial/Adhesives/Product/Bonding-Tapes/VHB-Tape/

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mrmut
mrmut Contributing Member • Posts: 631
Re: E-1, Rubber Grip Repair

LaMesa wrote:

Dear E-1 owners,

I know that this common problem has been addressed before, but I think I found a nice solution which some of you may want to try.

A bit late, but thanks a lot on this!

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Deviantfotografer
Deviantfotografer Contributing Member • Posts: 977
Re: E-1, Rubber Grip Repair

I had to do the dame thing with my E-500.... I used a similar glue on it and it worked just fine..... Oly wanted too much to repair it, which I assume they would so something similar too.....
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take care and happy shooting!!!
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mrmut
mrmut Contributing Member • Posts: 631
Re: E-1, Rubber Grip Repair

Deviantfotografer wrote:

I had to do the dame thing with my E-500.... I used a similar glue on it and it worked just fine..... Oly wanted too much to repair it, which I assume they would so something similar too.....

Have you reused old grip, or got a replacement one?

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