The bit between the camera & tripod

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by John_Brewer, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. John_Brewer

    John_Brewer Member

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    A few months ago I bought a B & J Grover 8 x 10 for the lens, Packard shutter and back off of E-bay for US$50. The idea was build a system kit, 5 x 4 to 8 x 10 around my other B & J camera which is of the non monorail variety ie VERY heavy and not terrible practical in the field. My wife tells me it must weigh over 20lbs. So, to lighten the load, i've had the Grover out with a view to using it.

    The last few days i've been refurbishing the monorail including stripping it of its ugly grey paint. The red bellows have been tidied up with red liquid isulation tape and all in all it looks quite pretty. Unfortunately I can't use it because the tripod mount is missing.

    Do any of you have any ideas on how I could construct such an animal using DIY tools and knowledge?

    Thanks

    John.
     
  2. Surly

    Surly Member

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    Is the tripod thread gone from the bottom of the camera? I need a little more info.
    I'm not familiar with the Grover (at least the non-Sesame Street one) so I dont know the configuration. Are we talking metal or wood? Either way I can help--
     
  3. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    A lot of these older field cameras had a metal ring in the bottom instead of a plate with threaded hole; those are usually intended to take tripod legs directly instead of mounting on a separate complete tripod.

    Is that what yours has?
     
  4. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    John is not talking about a screw thread hole, he's talking about an entire tripod head.

    The Grover has a six-sided monorail. It came with a tripod head, and on the top of the head was a clamp that folded over the six-sided monorail to hold the monorail (and thus the camera) to the tripod head.

    The only solution I can imagine is taking the monorail to a machine shop, having them take a cube of metal a few inches on a side, drill the bottom for whatever thread your regular tripod head takes, machine out the top of the block so half of the monorail will drop down into the machined out portion, then make a strap to go over the top part of the monorail - again machined to fit the six-sided monorail, and drill and thread a couple of holes to bolt down the strap. No idea what this would cost - you may find another camera with the tripod mount cheaper. I don't think wood would be strong enough given the length of the Grover monorail.

    I hope the above description is clear - if you've seen a photograph of the part you're missing, I think you'll u
    nderstand what I'm talking about.
     
  5. phfitz

    phfitz Member

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    Hi John,

    If your tripod head uses an attachment plate like Bogen, you could just drill thru the monorail and bolt the plate on with counter-sunk machine screws. Get some tubing that the screws fit thru, cut 2 stubs that just fit inside the monorail so you don't crush the rail when you tighten the screws. You can tape these to a long dowel to fit them in place. Do use 2 screws so it doesn't rotate in the field. Standard bolts will work also, they just don't look nice.

    Just a thought.
     
  6. John_Brewer

    John_Brewer Member

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    Thanks all, juan you are right about the part missing. It is a clamp like affair which attaches to a six sided monorail. This unit then attaches to a standard tripod head.

    John
     

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  7. wfwhitaker

    wfwhitaker Member

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    John,

    I have the part you need. PM me.
     
  8. John_Brewer

    John_Brewer Member

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    Problem solved thanks to Will.

    John.
     
  9. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Aaah. I was just going to suggest it was probably cheaper to get that part fabricated from maple than from aluminum (and wind up looking better, too).
     
  10. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    That was my guess also. A block of Maple with a hole drilled in just smaller than the outside dimension of the hexagon. Cut in half, then clamped tightly to impress the correct position of the points of the hex on the inner surface of the drilled hole. A little work with a chisel to reinforce those grooves, then drill four holes in the block for screws and wingnuts to tighten the block to the rail. A brass 1/4-20 insert inserted into a hole drilled in the bottom, you would have a nice looking reliable base for your Grover. I have thought about doing the same with my 5x7 Grover as the standard base adds about 2 inches to the height of the camera and I have had to make a plate adapter for the head of my 4x5 tripod (And all sitting on a 1/4-20 brass head mount screw for the tripod.


    BTW, I now have a scond 5x7 Grover without the rail or the mount. I am thinking of a hardwood base with t-slides (a woodworkers fixture making product) to allow for lateral movement for this camera. What do you think?


    tim in san jose
     
  11. John_Brewer

    John_Brewer Member

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    Cool idea, you could make giant stereo pics or anaglyphs. :smile:

    John.