Another Homemade 8x10 Wet Plate Holder

Discussion in 'Plate Cameras and Accessories' started by bill schwab, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Having grown tired of modified film holders, I've been wanting to build my own dedicated plate holder for collodion work for some time, but after failing miserably at 2 previous woodworking attempts, I decided to go the Acrylic route after seeing several made in a similar fashion. My goal was to make one that could be used with any 8x10 camera without having to modify the camera back to accept the holder.

    After cannibalizing several old wooden holders, I came up with a basic design as well as the T distance to get the plate equal with the placement of the ground glass, I went about layering the acrylic so that I would have a shelf set at that distance that the plate could rest upon and then built upon that. It took a few weeks and a couple failures, but I finally got it. The result was a successful, light tight prototype that I've been continuing to improve on until I came up with my current design that has gone out to a few folks to test. So far, so good. I've been loving my original prototype and have run many plates through it without problems.

    Nothing like DIY!!! (Especially when there aren't many other options)
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2010
  2. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Bill, I so admire the ability to make something with one's hands other than a hopeless mess. Good job man.
     
  3. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    That looks really good Bill. I been working on something similar but copying a design that someone used on Quinn's collodion fourm. Real nice thing about plastic is its easy to clean and does not stain or absorb chemicals.
     
  4. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Thanks you guys. I used a lot of the ideas seen on Quinn's forum as well, Jim. There are some pretty ingenious people out there, aren't there? And yes, I think plastics are the way to go with the process these days. As much as I love the wooden gear, I'd hate to mess up the beautiful woodwork some people are capable of with collodion and silver nitrate stains!
     
  5. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Now...d'yah ship to Canada?
     
  6. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Sure! But better yet if you come and get one! :smile:

    It's going to be a good time, Colin!
     
  7. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    That is the shiznet!! So simple..
     
  8. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Ta-da!!
     
  9. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    High five Schwab.
    I'll report in soon.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    too cool :smile:

    can you make small ones, or just big ones ? :smile:

    john
     
  11. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Hi John,

    Thanks for asking... I'm working on a custom build right now in the whole plate size. So far so good. 5x7 should be no problem either and I may try a 4x5 if needed.

    Thanks Matt! You should have it Saturday...
     
  12. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Right you are, Bill...consider a pick-up done, then! Looking forward to it all.
     
  13. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Hey Bill,

    How about a 12x20? :wink:
     
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  15. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Dang nice work there, BTW.
     
  16. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Thanks!! If you're serious Robert, we have ways.... :smile:
     
  17. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Bill- I'd definitely be up for a whole-plate sized one. Give me an idea on price.
     
  18. rknewcomb

    rknewcomb Member

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    That is very impressive!!
     
  19. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Thanks again guys! And thank you for the interest, Scott! Let me get back with you on this. I am currently working on the whole plate version and will let you know when I have the design ready.
     
  20. Steve_7x

    Steve_7x Member

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    Bill,

    This looks very nice. Please keep us informed on how this enterprise evolves as I am interested in doing Wet Plate with an old 8x10 that I have (needs to be restored) and have held off on getting sacrificial 8x10 holders. Would this design allow for the use of the 8x10 holder and other format sizes like whole plate, 5x7, square (8x8) etc...? That would be ideal :smile:

    Steve
     
  21. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    That is the ideal holder. The one I am making for myself uses inserts that I had cut that allow for whole and half plate and 4x5 plates that I can enlarge.
     
  22. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Most definitely Steven. I've already done one for half plate and a panorama version. Quite simple to make an insert for whatever format you wish.
     
  23. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    What ever your futrue plans are on building these holders for sale Bill, I think there would be demand. There are a lot of folks like me who are either starting in wet plate or very interested that have modern view cameras and a fast lens or two. Even though it is pretty easy to convert a 8x10 holder to hold a plate a nice dedicated holder to fit modern cameras would be desired if one decided to shoot wet plate on a regular basis. Couple that with folks like Bostick and Sullivan who are now selling kits with the all the necessary chemistry it is becoming easier than ever to experiment with wet plate for a reasonable investment.

    I know there is a group that likes to keep everything close to period as far as gear goes but since I still shoot film I like the option of shooting a plate and maybe a sheet of film of the same subject with the same camera.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2010
  24. Steve_7x

    Steve_7x Member

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    I fully agree with Jim. Interested to hear about the results of the field tests and the price... it just lookslike the perfect way to get involved and shoot both wet plat and film. :smile:

    Steve
     
  25. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Thanks for the feedback Jim and Steve. I fully plan to make them available if all works well. So far, so good and I think they are going to stand up well. I've poured many plates through a few of the prototypes and all are working so far without a hitch. I'm just completing a whole plate version that will ship early this week. Unfortunately I have no whole plate camera to test on, but I don't see why the design should fail on a smaller holder.

    My plan is to make them in advance so that people don't have to wait for a long period when they order. I've also seen too many people get backed-up and get into trouble taking orders and getting overwhelmed. This way they will be shipped on order. The other thing is keeping the price down. They are pretty labor intensive at this point and even though I want to keep the cost below what I've seen custom ones go for, it is hard to make that worthwhile ... yet. It takes about 10 hours from start to finish at this point. Even though it is definitley more efficient to do several at once like I've been doing, it is still a lot of work. The plan is to have the parts milled so that assembly will be less labor intensive in the future. It's been a great winter project for me, but I'd rather give someone a job anyway. Even if it is only for a couple days at a time!

    For now though I am still planning to keep them well under the 400.00 - 500.00 I have seen and heard custom builds costing. Still sounds steep, I know, but it is not likely that demand will be enough to manufacture these on a grand enough scale to make them significantly less.

    Thanks again for the feedback as I really appreciate it. I'll keep you posted.
     
  26. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    The design translated well into the Whole Plate version and that too is now ready. One has gone out for field testing and I am now on to a 4x5 version of the dedicated wet plate holder. So far, so good!
     

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