How do you attach your gear racks?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Jim Fitzgerald, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    I'm working on the racks for the 11x14 and I need to secure the racks to the rails. I've seen the small nails that are used from my other old cameras and I wanted to know how everyone else is attaching them. Would epoxy be a good choice? Is there something I'm missing?

    Jim
     
  2. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Jim, on the 4x5 field camera I made the racks were small and I was not sure that cementing them into slots, no matter how tight, would work. I ended up brazing on brass extensions to the bottom of each rack and drilled holes for screws. the racks were screwed to the extension frame on the inside. I have two racks sitting here for the 5x7 I hope to build this Summer and I was thinking of either screwing them from the bottom up, drilled and tapped or from the top at each end with a pin or even a small screw.

    I just looked to see how the Shen Hao cameras racks were attached and am surprised to see that they are screwed to the inside of the rail just like I did on mine. I had nothing to go on when I built it in the '80's, I guess mechanical attachments are intuitive.

    I think if you were to put the rack in a tight slot with some cement/adhesive on the bottom and put a screw or pin at each end it will stay in place. You could of course cross pin it. Drill a small hole in the rack from the side and put a pin in from the inside or outside of the wood rail. It would hold it from forward and upward migration. One on each end and one at the middle would work fine. By pin I mean a small brass wire, you could plug the small holes with a sliver of wood and it would be invisible to the eye.

    Curt
     
  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I would think screws would be preferable to glue, or pinning through a plugged hole, as screws are reversable if repairs are ever required, whereas glue and blind pins are not.
     
  4. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Thanks, guys. I hadn't thought of pins. My other cameras have screw but they are so small. Any idea where to get such small screws? Thanks.

    Jim
     
  5. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Micro-tools, smallparts.com, or hobby stores that cater to model train enthusiasts.
     
  6. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    Here's an older thread on it. Again, wouldn't consider epoxy or glue simply from a maintenance standpoint. Nice to be able to remove all hardware for refinishing, repairs, etc.
     
  7. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    Hi Jim,

    My Kodak 8 x 10 has screws, but they are very small. Finding some that size and then drilling through the racks won't be very easy.

    I just used a couple of spots of Epoxy glue on each rack to lightly glue them in place. Note that it almost isn't needed because the the racks fit pretty tight in the slots just by themselves. The glue has loosened up once or twice from the stress, but another touchup with some epoxy makes is all good again. Even if the racks loosen up in the field, it doesn't seem to matter much in the actual operation of the camera - I.E. - while focusing.

    Dan
     
  8. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    2-72, and smaller are in the Hobby Shops were model makers and crafters get parts. You can get the taps to match there too. I bought all of my brass screws and taps at the local shop. Model railroading and airplanes require these parts. I'm sure there is on close to you, a Hobby Town or the like. I screwed into Cherry wood and used the tap in an eggbeater type of old hand drill and did it all by hand. I don't think your racks are going to just fall out either, one other idea that I thought of just now is the adhesive tape that 3m makes to put trim on automobiles. A version of it is right there at the Home Depot, it's a permanent way to fix metal to other surfaces. You could still get the racks out if you had to but they won't move. I bought a roll and used it to fix a reflector to a steel step on my Jeep and it hasn't come off and has seen a lot more environment than a camera ever would.

    A screw from the top of the rack will have to be countersunk or filed down if you want your pinion to roll over it, that's some close tolerances to work with. Drill and tap the bottom of the rack and screw from the bottom of the rail into the rack?
     
  9. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Guys, thanks for all of the great options. When I go brain dead I know I can post something here and my friends will get me on track. Working on the base/bed right now. I have all of the holes drilled for the gears and the teflon dampers. I started rubbing in the oil finish and wet sanding. I was out today shooting the 8x10 with two of my lenses for the 11x14. My Hybrid Voigtlander Euroscop is amazing. I'll post some pic's in the gallery when I can. Negs are drying now.

    Jim
     
  10. matti

    matti Member

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    OK, I have no experience in camera building, so take this for what it is worth. (Nothing!)
    But I have experience with epoxy and fasteners.
    If you put epoxy in a hole, the screw be much harder to pull out. Also, you could still unscrew it later. (Maybe you need to heat the screw a bit with a soldering gun but probably not...) This applies to both wood screws and machine screws. If you drill an oversize hole and fill it with epoxy/silica, it will be even stronger.
    I suppose this isn't really needed. But might be a good idea, for example with the tripod attachment.
    /matti
     
  11. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Great tip! Thanks and I'll keep it in mind.

    Jim