Cloth Light trap Material for Plate Cameras?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by rknewcomb, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. rknewcomb

    rknewcomb Member

    Messages:
    150
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I'm looking for the material that was used for the light traps in European single sided metal film/plate holders and inside the backs of vintage Plaubel Makina cameras. It is not a foam material nor is it exactly felt. Upon looking at it very closely one can see that it is a pile material much like carpet. Felt is a laid material of random filers much like paper is made and is flat on top. This is fuzzy with densely packed threads sticking up. In my Makina and the holders its about 3/32 - 1/8th inch thick.
    Anybody have any ideas?
    thank you!
     
  2. wobsy

    wobsy Member

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Coastal S.E
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    In the past 2 weeks I have been searching for exactly the same fabric. It is in fact velvet ribbon - black of course - and on my Thornton Pickard Triple it is quarter of an inch wide. 7mm seems to be the metric equivalent and I have today located a supply in the UK here;
    http://www.theribboncompany.com/ Originally it would have been cotton but it is now nylon. You are able to order it by the reel or get 1 metre sample. I have ordered 5mm and 7mm samples to give it a try. Maybe that'll be some sort of help to you.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,095
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes it's velvet, the thickness seems to be the problem, I need some as well but what I found last time I was back in the UK wasn't good enough, so Wobsy let me know how you get on please.

    Ian
     
  4. wobsy

    wobsy Member

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Coastal S.E
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Ian - I'll report back but I've been advised it may be up to 21 days delivery.
     
  5. rknewcomb

    rknewcomb Member

    Messages:
    150
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I looked at the fabric very closely as I said. I also have understood that even if I did find some cloth like it in texture, it would most likely be way too thin. I believe I'll have to build up the proper thickness by glueing the cloth to some thin cardboard or proper thickness foam sheet or something.
    As far as velvet ribbon goes, the black velvet ribbon that I have seen is very thin and actually more of a flocked material ie: cloth fibers adhered to a base of nylon ribbon. I think that this may not stand up to the repeated sliding of the holders over its surface. Flocked surfaces are matt and smooth with only little depth to the texture. Seems like ribbons were intended for temporary use as well.
    Wobsy, I do hope you have found something that will work. I would appreciate your evaluation once you receive it.
    Thank you both!
    Robert
     
  6. rknewcomb

    rknewcomb Member

    Messages:
    150
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I talked with Jon, the person who sells light seals on the auction site. He knows a lot about light seal materials. he described what we're looking for as a 1/8th inch stiff shag carpet. I agree, that is exactly what it looks like. He said that he has tried for 10 years to duplicate that material - no luck. The best idea so far is to laminate the thinner velvet material that he has with some thin foam to make the correct thickness.
    I think I'm going to give this a try.
    If anybody comes up with something better, please let me (us) know.
    thanks!
    Robert
     
  7. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    3,754
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Location:
    Meeshagin
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've been using "regular" velvet purchased at the local Joann Fabric in both ribbon and cloth and it works great. Route a channel, cover some finger stock with the material and you're good to go. I've done many plates and many pulls of the slide and all is working fine.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,095
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Bit difficult to route a channel in these German metal plate holders :D But I think you're right Bill velvet cloth seems thicker than the velvet tape available in the UK. The originals seem to use cloth rather than tape the cut edge slipping under a metal guide on my plate-holders, and on my Patent Etui camera.

    How thick is the tape you're buying in the US ?

    Ian
     
  9. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    3,754
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Location:
    Meeshagin
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sorry.... missed the part about the metal :smile:

    The tape I am getting has about a 1/8" thickness when laying flat with no pressure. The cloth is about the same, but the backing cloth is a little more stiff on the tape. For the spring light traps, the cloth works better as it is more supple and causes less resistance when pulling and pushing the slide.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,095
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Bill, I'll try the bazaars here in Turkey there's far more places in every town selling cloths & fabrics than in the UK, and I'd guess the US, there's still a tradition of street tailors, dressmakers etc. Maybe it's possible to find the heavier velvet here.

    Ian
     
  11. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Location:
    Boston area
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have used the loop side of velcro tape on a few of these, and on the camera back where they slide in as well. When I did it I was warned by a very knowledgeable member here (Ole) that the Velcro might shed particles into the film holders, but it hasn't happened yet. I must admit that I don't shoot 9x12 all that often so, ... take this advice with a grain of salt.
     
  12. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

    Messages:
    641
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Huntington B
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you can't find velvet ribbon, maybe try a strip of real velvet fabric. (My instinct tells me that what's being sold as "velvet ribbon" these days probably just has some fluffed-up felty stuff on it.) Good luck!
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,095
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Velvet ribbon I bought is genuine velvet but the pile isn't deep enough, I have some real velvet but it's been used as a dark-cloth for over 30 years so is too worn and prone to coming to bits :D

    It's a case of keeping looking.

    Ian
     
  14. Bob Eskridge

    Bob Eskridge Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The medium format Horseman cameras used a light trap of thin black nylon over foam. I plan to try the velvet cloth over foam when I get a chance. I believe a prior post has suggested the same.
     
  15. wobsy

    wobsy Member

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Coastal S.E
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I have finally received my 7mm velvet (nylon) ribbon from the Ribbon Company here in the UK. The groove where it goes in the plate holder is very shallow, the 7mm width is perfect and its thickness (or thinness, it is only 2-3mm) is also perfect for the Thornton-Pickard. I attached it with double sided tape and it all work perfectly now. FWW to anyone else
     
  16. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

    Messages:
    337
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Location:
    Surrey, Engl
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm making the rear standard for my new 9x12 camera to accept 'standard' 9x12 plate holders. I had figured that routing a channel to accept the velvet cloth (cut to the appropriate size) would be OK. Should I be considering mounting that on to something else first, rather than just glueing it direct to the wood?

    I was also going to use 3M Photo Spray to secure it - or would something else be better?

    Cheers,
    David.
     
  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,095
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Where can it be bought from ?

    Ian
     
  18. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Location:
    Boston area
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't know if it's available on that side of the pond, but 3M "77" adhesive spray is far more permanent than the photo spray. I'd use contact cement or "Pliobond" myself. (I don't actually know of this distributer, I just Googled the name of the glue and that one came up as a seller of small quantities.)
     
  19. greybeard

    greybeard Member

    Messages:
    377
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Cal
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Pliobond is indeed great stuff for this type of thing, even if it does stink to high heaven. There are at least three types (smooth surface, porous surface, and high temperature) and all are available in small quantities from McMaster-Carr.
     
  20. bowzart

    bowzart Member

    Messages:
    1,221
    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Location:
    Anacortes, W
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Light Trap Material

    Alas, Boeing Surplus is no more.

    However, over the 40 or so years I suffered from a serious addiction to the place, I amassed a fair horde of "might use this someday" stuff. I have a roll of 1/4 inch wide fabric material which has a fuzzy side. See picture. I have used this stuff in many ways, including light seals on doors, dark slide light traps in some of my homemade cameras, etc. I suspect it might be somewhat better than ordinary velvet ribbon for a lot of photographic purposes, because the furry side is very dense plushy stuff. It's very substantial. If you'd like to see a sample, pm me.
     

    Attached Files:

  21. wobsy

    wobsy Member

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Coastal S.E
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
  22. photomc

    photomc Member

    Messages:
    3,575
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    a bit off subject, does anyone have a source for the finger stock?

    Thanks, Mike
     
  23. Reinhold

    Reinhold Subscriber

    Messages:
    756
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    Washougal, W
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  24. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

    Messages:
    337
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Location:
    Surrey, Engl
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Here's the back of a 9x12 plate camera that I'm currently making (to fit with single sided plate holders). You can see that I've just used velvet in it, this lines up with the velvet in the plate holders. With a 1mm recess cut into the top piece (similar on the bottom piece too), it seems to OK...

    ...although I wont know until I've actually finished building the camera :wink:

    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    David.
     
  25. bowzart

    bowzart Member

    Messages:
    1,221
    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Location:
    Anacortes, W
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks! I have always wondered what it was. I have a whole roll of it, used a lot of it for various purposes. Works great.