Brass Shim Stock

Discussion in 'Pinhole Photography' started by Randy_Va, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. Randy_Va

    Randy_Va Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Location:
    Fairfax, VA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I am working on my first pinhole camera, and I am looking for material to make the pinhole from.

    A lot of people have suggested using .2mm brass shim stock, but a thorough search of the local Michael's didn't turn up any. What is the intended use of this stuff so I have a chance of finding some in the store.

    The clerk I asked had no idea what I was talking about.
     
  2. bill williams

    bill williams Member

    Messages:
    73
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hobby stores, craft stores, sell flat thin sheets of brass stock. Look in the area for model airplanes. I'm not sure of the brand, but I believe its something like K&E? Anyway, you should be able to find packages of something like 6x9 inch brass stock in very thin sheets.
     
  3. NormanV

    NormanV Member

    Messages:
    198
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Falkland Isl
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    A bearing supplier should have some. It is used for precision packing in engineering.
     
  4. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,678
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    If you want simple and cheap, try a soda can. The material toward the top is thinnest. Just make sure you paint the backside black.
     
  5. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,380
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Any hardware store should have it.
     
  6. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

    Messages:
    351
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    If you want/need specific thicknesses, you can order from McMaster Carr. They have just about anything you could ever need.
     
  7. Roger Thoms

    Roger Thoms Subscriber

    Messages:
    910
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Another source you might try is an autoparts store. The soda can will also work, I've made pinhole cameras out of 1 quart and 1 gallon paint cans by simply drilling a hole in the side of the can. This is supposedly way to thick but it does work. The attached image is taken with a quart paint can camera, with 0.020 pinhole drilled directly in the can.

    Roger
     

    Attached Files:

    • 0394.jpg
      0394.jpg
      File size:
      72.4 KB
      Views:
      129
  8. vdoak

    vdoak Member

    Messages:
    112
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    Drammen Norw
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Online metals there in the U.S. will have what you want. I have ordered from them and been very satisfied. The other sources I have used locally are hobby stores (model train section) and trophy plack stores /engraving shops. The kind used for brass name plates on post boxes works ok.

    http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.cfm?id=1116&step=2&top_cat=79
     
  9. Bill Harrison

    Bill Harrison Subscriber

    Messages:
    139
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Location:
    Shokan, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Brass

    Randy, I have massive amounts of brass shim stock. I haven't measured it but it looks about .2mm and 1/2" ish wide in ribbon form. Send me $1.50 for postage etc and I'll send you 12" ... Should be enough for 10-12 ... Bill, PM me
     
  10. Bill Harrison

    Bill Harrison Subscriber

    Messages:
    139
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Location:
    Shokan, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
    brass

    Checked in the shop. .25mmx15mm (just under 5/8") I've used black foamcore to mount a 1" piece. ... as a lensboard for my view cameras....
     
  11. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

    Messages:
    450
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Location:
    Huntsville,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm just about to finish building a pinhole camera. All I need to do is make the pinhole and wait for the film to get here. Since I recycle the aluminum soda cans we drink out of, i'm just going to use that. I see no reason why that wouldnt work fine.
     
  12. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,466
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Aluminum from a soda can will work fine.

    To answer the question of where to get brass shim stock.. Try Ace Hardware. The one near me has varying thicknesses of aluminum, brass, and stainless steel flats, rods, and tubes. All in small quantities and relatively inexpensive. Perfect for small projects.
     
  13. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,475
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The maker is K&S & as earlier post say, Hardware, craft, & hobby stores. I got a bagged assortment of different sizes & thicknesses at American Scientific & Surplus for a couple of $$.
     
  14. greybeard

    greybeard Member

    Messages:
    377
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Cal
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The best reason for using shim stock is that it is very thin, and you want the edges of the pinhole to have the smallest possible thickness. The classic technique of using a blunt punch to make a dimple, and then sanding off the convex side until the pinhole is the desired diameter, will give you a thinner edge than any shim stock that is robust enough to handle. Heavier starting stock, within reason (soda can and on up) is actually easier to work with.
     
  15. Tom Miller

    Tom Miller Member

    Messages:
    53
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Location:
    Twin Cities,
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    The best material I've found for home-made pinholes is the disposable aluminum lids for steam table trays. Here is a link mainly to show what I'm talking about.
    http://www.package4less.com/aluminumfoilhalfsteamtablepanlid-case100lidsDisposable.aspx
    The lids are less than $1.00 each at retail stores like Party City. You can probably make 50 or 100 pinhole apertures out of one. They are thin aluminum, thinner than a pop can but thicker than aluminum foil. I've found brass shim stock to be harder to work with than aluminum; it can crumple too easily.
     
  16. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

    Messages:
    744
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Wellington,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Another good source of material for making pinholes is the metal sliding "door" on 3 1/2" floppy disks.
     
  17. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

    Messages:
    618
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    Albuquerque,
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    Look for K&S Engineering's sheet metal display, usually found in any Ace or True Value hardware store, and in many hobby shops.

    ~Joe

    [​IMG]
     
  18. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,935
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I find I can work pretty well with 0.002 inch brass by keeping it in the larger sheet and holding it stretched against a flat surface while creating the pinholes. I then cut out sections after the pinholes are made. I find 0.001 inch is just too flimsy to work with easily. Hobby shops catering to railroad modelers seem to be the most reliable source of the K&S stuff around this area.
     
  19. Randy_Va

    Randy_Va Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Location:
    Fairfax, VA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks for all the help, I found the exact K&S display pictured above at my local hobby shop. I picked up the variety pack with .001, .002, .003 and .005. Now to see how long it takes me to horribly mess up this camera.
     
  20. pkeubanks

    pkeubanks Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Location:
    Georgia
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    I have always been able to find it at an auto supply store.