The Walnut 11x14 is done!!!!

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Jim Fitzgerald, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Well, I'm going to officially call it done tomorrow. 10 months 14 days. I am so stoked right now you don't even know! I thought the 8x20 was huge, this baby is huge. It sits very nicely on the Walnut tripod. I still have some minor cosmetic things to do but "The Beast II" is done. Take a look at the pictures and let me know what you think. Damn, Walnut polishes up nice!!! Whohoooo!!

    Jim
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2008
  2. Brian Bullen

    Brian Bullen Member

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    Excellent work Jim, it looks fantastic! Where did you get the bellows and what is the max. ext?
     
  3. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    I got the bellows off of E-bay for a great price. Something like $125.00! The guy I got it from had a camera just like mine and the bellows fit perfectly! It fit so well it was like it was made for my camera. Thanks. The extension is about 36".

    Jim
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2008
  4. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    OMG Jim...can you build ME a camera? :D

    All I need is 4x5.

    I'll even pay for it! :D

    Great job, by the way. It looks incredible.
     
  5. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    Fantastic work, Jim. This is definitely something to be proud of. Now go shoot with it!
     
  6. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Stephanie, the camera building is done for a while. After the 8x20 ( 1 1/2 years) and the time I've put into the 11x14 I need to clean my apartment! I may build an 8x10 at some time in the future but for now I am done! This thing is huge! I love it! Thanks for the kind words.


    Jim
     
  7. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I'd seriously love to build one, but I'd need someone with the woodworking skills to help me. It really is such a neat project. Can't wait to see prints. :smile:
     
  8. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Walter, thanks. You bet I'm going to go out and shoot with it! I've got some FP-4 in the fridge and three holders ready to go.

    Stephanie, the trick for me was having something to copy. In this case it was my Zone VI 4x5. I got the 11x14 approximate size from the Wisner site and I use thin strips of Walnut laminates together. It proves to be strong and easy to work with hand tools. It just takes a lot of time, passion and love.

    Jim
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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  10. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Jim...

    Congrats! An amazing accomplishment...thanks once again for the inspiration. Can't wait to see it in person...
     
  11. vdoak

    vdoak Subscriber

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    Great job Jim!

    What did you use for you finnish? Did you make your own control knobs? Did you do your own brass work? If so what did you use to cut an shape it? What did you use for the spring material on you ground glass holder? questions question... :smile:

    Good work on the comed joints!

    I look foward to seeing some pictures taken with it. Could you post a few?

    Victor
     
  12. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Congrats Jim! wow!
     
  13. Dinesh

    Dinesh Subscriber

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    What a beautiful looking camera.

    Well done Jim.
     
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  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Congrats!
     
  16. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    It certainly is beautiful, and it looks really well made. I’m impressed.
     
  17. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Totally impressive. Congrats! Wish I could do as well with my woodworking... heck, I wish I could do 1/10th as well!
     
  18. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Thanks, everyone. I'm impressed with how nice this one came out. It is not perfect but my cameras are built more by hand and less by machine so my tolerances are not as tight. It is solid, stable, light tight and looks really cool on my Walnut tripod. I'm going to make some final adjustments today and put on the finishing touches and then I have to find a way to transport this camera. I'll weight it when I can also. Seems to be in the 12-14lb range.
    To answer some of the questions. I made my own knobs. Basically they are cut from 1 1/4" Walnut stock with a hole saw to the appropriate size on my drill press. I then take my Dremel and put the groves in them and then take a bit and drill a hole in the center and epoxy in a Knurled Knob. The brass stock is cut from a door kick plate that I got from Lowes. It seems to be the right thickness and I just copied the parts from my Zone VI 4x5. The great thing I managed to find for this camera is the back and the bellows. I managed to find a Deardorff back without the ground glass on E-bay for around $100.00. I had to cut it to fit the back of my camera box and make two new ground glass hold downs. I took it apart and refinished it. It is made of Mahogany so I used a Mahogany stain than I rubbed into the new Walnut first and then followed with Watco danish Oil. The oil sits for a day to soak in and then I wet sand with oil and diamond hand sand pads to 800 grit starting at 220. This process polishes the wood to a very nice patina. Three coats of paste wax and she is ready to go. This takes some time and is real fun on all of the small parts but the finished product is something to see. I forgot to add that I dry sand everything first mainly by hand to 220. I keep the door closed to my darkroom and it is going to take a while to dust my apartment. The bellows was a great find. Again, off of E-bay for a steal. Cost about $ 125.00. The back and bellows saved me about a month or two in construction time as I do not work fast.I can't wait to try her out and I will post some prints when I can. Any more questions I'll be happy to answer them.

    Jim
     
  19. schrochem

    schrochem Member

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    This is very beautiful Jim.
    Any picks of it racked out?
    I'm considering changing the bed of my Korona 11X14.
    I just don't like how it's constructed.
    I was thinking I could keep the back, the bellow, and modify the front a little then make a bed around that.
    You've kind of encouraged me......
     
  20. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Scott I'll try to get some pictures of it extended out tomorrow. Just got home from a very long day at work, 14 hours on the road. I did manage to weight it today and she comes in at 16 lbs. I was hoping for around 12-14 lbs. but what are you going to do. I replaced as much of the brass as possible but I think that this did not reduce the weight that much. It was much easier for me to work the wood with my hand tools. Thick brass would have been a real challenge. If you want I can tell you how the bed is constructed and the rail system.

    Jim
     
  21. schrochem

    schrochem Member

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    Thanks Jim, I'm very interested in how you constructed the bed and rail.
    I guess you could have saved weight with a lighter wood but walnut has a majestic quality to it.
    It's always been one of my favorites.
     
  22. larsco2002

    larsco2002 Member

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    Kits?

    I had a Bender 4X5 kit, which was actually quite usable. The woodworking part is pretty much done when you get the kit, insofar as cutting pieces to size. You must do the sanding, gluing, attaching screws, etc. The nice thing about the Bender kit (and they have 8X10) is that building one of them may prime you for a scratch built camera. That's if you find out the woodworking is easier than you think it might be.

    There have been some threads on APUG for Bender, so maybe a search.

    Also, there is another precut kit that is more of a flatbed 4X5, but I can't think of the name right now.

    Here is a link to Bender.

    http://www.bender.com

    Oh yes, found the other camera... a Bulldog 4X5. Not very pretty, but precut and you assemble. Here is an article on the Bulldog.

    http://www.ephotozine.com/article/Bulldog-5x4-self-assembly-camera

    And before I close, That Walnut camera from the OP is great... Very nice looking and looks like one of the dreadnaughts of LF cameras. I can hardly imagine contact printing something that I can just frame and hang right from the neg.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2008
  23. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Thanks, for the nice comment on my 11x14. Going to load up some holders with the FP-4 I have and take her out tomorrow. I have some 11x14 Azo to contact print on. Can't wait!

    Jim
     
  24. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Jim, you did a great job making the camera, having made a 4x5 Wista type I know how must work goes into each part. You have to design it first but bringing the design to reality is no easy task. To get the right function with a fine fit and finish might look easy to someone looking at the photos but making each part work together and finishing it as a product of your imagination, from concept to completion, is the ultimate creation.

    Curt
     
  25. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Curt, thanks. You are right. I learned something with this camera also. The fit is not exact but it works fine I now know the critical parts that need precision tooling. If I replace my 8x10 with my own camera I know exactly what to do. Thanks.

    JIm
     
  26. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    A beautiful camera! An inspiring project! Thanks for sharing your handy work. My wife gets worried when I get inspired. Oh, well . . . Bill Barber