The word photography means "painting with light." In a way, there's a certain romance to it -- capturing a specific moment in time, holding it forever entangled in a two-dimensional space. Because of the romance that comes with photography, many people lean towards the older styles of cameras. They want to take photos the same way people used to, rather than use all of the technology available today.
That said, finding parts for older, out of style cameras can be difficult. It's important to shop at a reputable dealer that can provide you with working pieces -- not scrap. Looking at OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) is usually the best bet and can reveal a treasure trove of odds and ends. Click here to find an array of parts for just about any camera brand.
You'll also need basic tools. The most common tools used in camera repair are precision screwdrivers, needle files, precision tweezers, clamps, dental picks, soldering irons, and wire. The precision is needed because you'll be dealing with a lot of small, hard to reach parts. You'll also need a steady hand for removing and cleaning the lenses of old cameras.
A bit of basic electrical knowledge can also be helpful; the way the flash is generated is through the build up of a charge that is rapidly dispersed. This can put the inexperienced at risk of electrical shock if they aren't careful.
However, all of the tools in the world won't help you without the knowledge necessary to repair and old camera. It's a good idea to look through a guidebook beforehand. In this type of work, hands-on experience is usually the best option, but there can be a steep and intimidating learning curve to overcome. Start small and work your way up. Consider taking a class if you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself to begin with.
Repairing old cameras can be a very rewarding activity, allowing you to explore photography from an entirely new light. When you understand the equipment, you can take much better photographs. Give it a shot and see what you think; you may just discover a new hobby.