Installing gear tracks in new rails

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Jim Fitzgerald, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    I've just about completed the front rail for my 8x20. I need to put the gear tracks in the slot that I routed. The Kodak 2D that these came on used tiny brads to secure the gear tracks. My rails are out of walnut and would it be better to epoxy these in or use nails? Any suggestions would be helpfull.

    Stay Focused....or Soft Focused!

    Jim
     
  2. Terence

    Terence Member

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    From a wood standpoint, nails,to allow for expansion and contraction of the wood due to humidity. If you live in a very stable area humidity-wise (dry inside and outside all the time, say), it may not be a problem.

    From a photoggraphy standpoint, epoxy, as your tracks will stay better aligned.

    In the long-term, nails could be removed and readjusted. Epoxy is pretty much there to stay.

    If I ever get that far in my project I'll be using small screws. Not sure if that's an option for you.
     
  3. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    In my Agfa 8x10 (1941), the tracks are held to the rails by very small screws which are countersunk into the rails to allow the teeth to clear as they pass over the screws. Everything stays tight and it is easily repairable.

    cheers
     
  4. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    Hi Jim. In all that I have built I just friction-fit mine in blind slots let into the center of the guides for further tweaking if needed. It's a tight fit and I've never needed to adjust one. I've used cherry and maple but not walnut. The wood moves from the center out and wont split around the gear rack. Of course this wont help at all if yours are set in a rabbit or some other edge profile.
     
  5. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Colin, the slots are rather tight. I may be able to set the tracks in and not have them move. I did want to secure them just in case. The problem is that the brads are so small that they will bend if i try to nail them in without pre-drilling the holes. They are so small that I've never seen a drill bit small enough to use to pre-drill! Hence my dilema? Thanks.

    Stay Focused....or Soft Focused!!

    Jim
     
  6. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    I get you now. I remember seeing a 'micro' chuck that you chuck into a regular drill and tiny bits that go with it, just cant remember where now. If the chuck on your drill will grip it you could snip the head off a brad and use that for a pilot bit.....Or if you have a grinder you could grind a taper onto the smallest bit you have and try that...Or for a adhesive maybe a tiny bit of silicone caulk? That stays pretty flexible so you could dig it out if you needed too... (Sorry, just thinking out loud here....)
     
  7. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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  8. Harrigan

    Harrigan Member

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    I think the expansion & contraction of wood is more likely to pop the nails out then it would effect an epoxy glued section.
     
  9. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    Hi Jim,

    You are a little ahead of me as I have worked out my design, but I haven't started buidling the rails yet. That is the project I'm starting today. I haven't worked out gear track detail yet, but here is a thought I had. How about epoxying two thin bolts to act as studs to the bottom of the tracks that could extend through holes in the rails pieces and install nuts on them on the bottom of the rails.

    Other than that, I think that the brad method might be the best way to go. My 2D is done that way as well with the brads about 2" apart. However, since you are making the camera out of Walnut (harder wood than Mahogany) the brads may be a little more of a problem.
     
  10. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Hi, everyone and thanks for the ideas.

    Colin, the link you provided is great. I'll check it out. It sounds like a good possibility.

    Joe, I think your idea is good also. After all why would I want to remove the gear tracks after I install them? To build something else!!?? When I'm dead and gone and some one else buys my camera off of e-bay interplanetary they can deal with the epoxy!! right!

    Dan, that sounds like a plan also. I'll mull it over. How's the 8x20 coming. I've got to attach the gears to the front rail and the base soon, I'll post some pictures when it's done. Like I said I'm working on the easy parts first. I'm working my way to the back. Speaking of the back, I'm thinking that I will make the back frame 12"x24". I'm eventually going to buy one of Sandy King's S&S holders to design the ground glass frame around. He says the specs are like the ones on the Canham site. The question is: Should I wait to build the back frame until I get the holder or is the 12"x24" size right? Any thoughts? Thanks guys.

    Stay Focused ....or Soft Focused

    Jim
     
  11. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    to repair them when they break, or you .... ? accidents do happen ... :smile:
     
  12. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    Hi Jim,

    Just ready to start the day's work on the bed and extionsion rails. Got them glued together yesterday but still need to reinforce the joints. The gear tracks should come in from McMaster Carr tomorrow. Not sure if MC has the best prices, but I had to get a lot of other things (screws, knobs, etc) at the same time and it was just easier to get everything from them. Also, I can order online on Saturday and it's on my doorstep here in Palm Springs on Monday - very fast service.

    I've got the design figured out for the "double extension" vertical rising front standard/Lens board. As you know from earlier messages, this is necessary to accommodate enough vertical rise in vertical format and vertical fall in horizontal format. I started cutting out things yesterday while glue was drying on the other pieces, and the completion of the front standard comes next. Hopefully, the beds and front standards will all be done by the end of next weekend.

    While I haven't made the ground glass back yet, I have made the rear frame. According to my calculations the back size needs to be just about 11" x 22". The short dimension needs to be a little larger proportionally to accommodate the springs. I've made all my calculations studying my Kodak 2D so I'm 99% sure that I've got everything planned out correctly. I think that your 24" dimension may be a little longer than you will ultimately need. Consider that you might want to handle of the film holder to extend beyond the rear frame of the camera to make removing the holder and dark slides easier (just a thought).

    I would suggest that you hold on the back until you have the holder from S&S. Otherwise, there may be something you may need to re-build. I've already built a prototype holder so I pretty much know what my dimensions need to be.

    One thing that I'm finding out is that because I'm making the camera rotatable for vertical and horizontal formats, I'm a little worried about stability. I'm making most of the pieces a little thicker and stronger than what they might otherwise be, but I don't want a camera that shakes and wiggles. The one remaining stability issue is how strong will it be with both the front and rear beds attached and the camera extended fully out (36" possible with my design)? I may ultimately need to design stabilizer bars to attach between the front and rear standards to keep things tight.

    In looking at Tripods, My Ries J100 backpacker will certainly not be stable enough. I know you have built your own, and I was considering that approach for myself also. However, I started thinking that I don't want my photography career for the next year to be nothing but camera building projects. I actually want to shoot some photographs also. Therefore, I decided to try buying one. Rather than a photo tripod, I picked up a type of surveyors tripod yesterday on Ebay that looks amazingly similar to the Ries tripods. It looks pretty heavy duty. I think that it will be strong enough, but I won't really know until I get it sent to me.

    I'm anxious to see your progress photos.

    Dan
     
  13. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    Exactly. Also for refinishing, waxing, cleaing and general upkeep I think you'll be very very glad that you can remove the hardware.
     
  14. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    All right guys I see what you mean. Some times I go a little brain dead!
    Colin, I think the Harbor Freight kit is a great idea. I have the dremel so it should come in handy for other projects.
    Dan, great to hear you are making progress on the 8x20. I think the support bars are a good Idea. I've got the plan done for mine. I too want to be ready to shoot in the fall. I'll use the 8x10 if I'm not finished with the 8x20. I will take your advice on the back and wait till I get the holder and then build. I didn't do to much on mine this weekend because my youngest son was with me. He goes to college in a month and were are spending weekends doing things that interest him. Good idea on the surveyor tripod. I hear they are very stable. I am also using a Kodak 2D for design ideas so the 11x22 size should work for me. Good luck, can't wait to see it!

    Stay Focused ....or Soft Focused

    Jim
     
  15. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Colin, thanks for the idea on the micro tools drill bits. I decided to check my dremel bits to see if I had anything small enough for the holes I needed, and I did! I drilled as deep as I could and then pushed the brads in the rest of the way with a nail punch and the gear rails are installed! Thanks to everyone for the help.

    Stay Focused ....or Soft Focused!!

    Jim
     
  16. barryjyoung

    barryjyoung Member

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    Racks, not tracks, they are gear Racks!!!
     
  17. Kino

    Kino Member

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    No thingamabobs or whatchamacallits?
     
  18. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Barry, remember the part about being brain dead!!! Thanks for setting me straight on those thingamebobs!!!

    Jim
     
  19. barryjyoung

    barryjyoung Member

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    No problem Jim:


    Thingamabobs get out of hand sometimes. I have a terrible time keeping my whatsits out of the gizmos. Last time they completely fouled the Garfield Injectors and rusted up the muffler bearings.
     
  20. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Right On !!

    Jim