Not exactly camera building and it is closely related

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by nsurit, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I'm interested in trying my hand at building a split back contact printing frame. It doesn't look like rocket science, however a source for the spring steel is essential. Anybody have any suggestions on where one might get the steel or have the springs made?
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Most small engineering companies can make the springs, I had some made for a 5x4 camera back a few years ago and I'm about to get more springs made for contact frames when I've finalised the design.

    Ian
     
  3. GregW

    GregW Member

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    You could work around this by having the paddles that secure it be rigid pieces of something mounted on center pivots with a coil spring under it on the pivot. A ¼" of good hardwood for the paddle and a washer to protect it from the spring. That being said a quick google search turned up lots of possible solutions for flat spring steel. You could even do away with the spring and use a similar bit of engineering to a book press.
     
  4. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Their cheap enough on the auction site by using a "printing frame" search or you can buy the spring steel with the same search term. Build your next one with the spring steel and don't forget you need good felt.
     
  5. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    http://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-spring-steel-sheets/=ngn35m
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    sometimes car parts stores have springs for suspension
    not sure if they are light weight enough for a split back ...
     
  7. DannL

    DannL Member

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    FYI, I made a discovery years ago that may help in this project. Aluminum stock when formed into a curve, perty much retains the curve indefinitely. So knowing that, I made the springs for my 8x10 contact printer from 1/2"x1/16" aluminum stock that I purchased at Lowes (or Home Depot). I simply created the two springs with a slight curve by forming them around a large bucket. The contact printer frame itself was made from a solid wood picture frame. It still works like a champ. I can post a picture of this contraption, if desired.
     
  8. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    This will depend upon the particular aluminium alloy and what temper it's supplied in. Some alloys/tempers are like butter.
     
  9. DannL

    DannL Member

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    Then I wouldn't suggest using the "Buttery" type. Use the other kind. ;-)
     
  10. NormanV

    NormanV Member

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    Cut down hacksaw blades with the teeth ground off work well on my 10x8 camera.
    I interleaved thin strips of wood to beef them up.
    Most Model Engineering suppliers will stock spring steel strip but you will need to heat treat it after cutting and shaping it.
     

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  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Interesting recycling :D Nice thinking.

    Ian