Walnut 11x14

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Jim Fitzgerald, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Well, I thought I better update everyone on my camera building. The Walnut 8x20 is a joy to use and look at. I had some wood left over and decided I liked the 11x14 format for contact printing. I'm using my Zone VI 4x5 as my design and I'm building the 11x14 like it. I've been very lucky so far in that I got a Deardorff 11x14 back off of E-bay and also my bellows for great prices. The bellows with the frames matches my dimensions exactly which makes things even easier. I have built the back standard supports, box, rails, bed and I'm working on the front standard right now. I learned on this one that reverse engineering is the way to go, after all thinking backwards fits my nature! This is a picture of the front standard. I have slots to cut and pieces to make. As you can see I'm making a lot of the parts from Walnut instead of brass. It will cut down on the weight and should be durable enough for years to come. I'll post more as I go along.

    Jim
     
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  2. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Great project, Jim! Thanks for sharing with us!
     
  3. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    Jim,

    Please keep us posted as the project progresses...
     
  4. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Been working on the front standard today. I've got 22 sheets of 8x10 from Yosemite to print also!! Maybe if I take a break. I'll post some more pictures later. The Deardorff back is mahogany and I'm adjusting the penetrating oil color so all will match. As before hand rubbed to 1500 grit with diamond pads.

    Jim
     
  5. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Looking good, Jim!

    Vaughn

    PS...I haven't even started developing my Yosemite Negs yet -- perhaps this weekend!
     
  6. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Vaughn, I developed the 8x10's and the 8x20's and they are all good! Only 2 of the 8x10's are questionable. My carbon composition is a winner as are several others. The Efke-25 gives me some good contrast. May have some exciting news in a while.

    Jim
     
  7. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Well, the afternoon has been going well. I finished the front standard. I need to do the lens board brass to hold my lenses in and the brass for the bellows to attach to and do the finish oil and polishing. I attached some other photos of the base, rails and the Deardorff back ( I turned it backwards so you can see it better). Sorry about the focus on one of the close ups. I need to do the routing for the gears and the racks next. My Dremel comes in handy for this and then I'll be on to the back standard. Hope to have this up and running in a couple of months or so.

    Jim
     
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  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Looks great!
     
  9. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    Jim,

    Great progress - it looks almost done. Now the dilema - 8 x 10! 11 x 14! or 8 x 20! 8 x 10! 11 x 14! or 8 x 20. Too many choices - too little time. Now promise me again that this is the last one you are going to build.

    Yeah - I've heard that before. I see 12 x 20 in the distant future.

    We've got to get together again when you get finished. Sounds like another trip to Joshua Tree is in order. Or perhaps the Salton Sea this time or the slot canyon at Mecca.

    Dan
     
  10. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Dan, can you hear me say NO MORE! After I get the 11x14's done that's it! I'll need to concentrate on using all of this great equipment. Can you imagine when we hook up I'll bring all three! 11x14 and 8x20 in the back seat and the 8x10 up front! I have the 8x10 and 8x20's in backpacks and now I'm going to have to find something to put the 11x14 in. Got a great REI Mars 85 pack that fits the 8x20.
    I am finishing the metal on the front standard today and then I'm moving to the base. I need to rout the slots for the gears and the racks in the rails. I have the metal parts that I got from McMaster Carr. Then it is on to the back box and back standard. I need to cut the holes in the box for the support arms cut out the slots for the swing then dry mount everything. Once that is done then I can get into final finishing. The back ground glass frame is done. It is from a Deardorff 11x14 and I'm using some Mahogany accents with the Walnut to make everything go together. I'm using as little brass as possible. It will keep the weight down but more importantly I wanted something unique. It should come in at about 12 lbs.I've already got three film holders and some FP-4 on the way from Don Hutton from the Large Format Forum. I think I'll pick up a 10 sheet box of Freestyle APHS film for testing.
    This camera was much easier to build. The experience of the 8x20 was very helpful and things just fell into place quickly with this one. I'm really happy with how this camera is turning out. It is a little more precise and tight. Not to bad for using hand tools. Still has a hand crafted look to it which is what I like. I would think I should have it done in no more than 2 months. From this point on I'll be concerned with maintaining all of these beasts. Could use to redo the bellows on the 8x10, make lens boards, etc. I will finally be able to clean the sawdust off of the apartment floor and put some tables away. Once this is done then it is on to Carbon transfer printing.
    I would love to hit all three places. Maybe one of those weekend shoots. Slot canyon with LF/ULF's would be fun. I need to workout again.

    Jim
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2008
  11. Gustavo_Castilla

    Gustavo_Castilla Member

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    Jim I am almost done with mine I will post some photos latter
    by the way anybody has 11X14 holders ???
     
  12. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Gustavo, nice to hear you are almost done. I'm going to post some shots of the front standard with the tilt and the brass parts I made. The tilt for the camera is designed after the Zone VI that I have. There is a bolt on each side of the lens board frame that I epoxied to the brass plate that attaches to the frame. You have to drill a recess in the frame for the blot head to sit in and then screw everything tight with two screws, one on each side of the bolt. The rails for the front standard are Walnut and I ran my Dremel with the router bit to run a channel for a brass plate to run on. I then drilled a series of holes for the bolt to go through and sanded it smooth. This piece is made of brass on the Zone VI and I wanted to see if I could make it out of wood. The problem was that the clearance is so tight that the Dremel jumped and widened the track just a bit. The tilt rides on this track and when you tighten the lens frame to the rails everything tightens up. It seems to work ok but I will know once I get a lens mounted to the frame and test everything out. I hope this makes sense. If you see it you will understand.



    Jim
     
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  13. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    Looks really good Jim, those walnut knobs are a great touch.
     
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  15. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Colin, thank you. I'm quite proud of those. It is amazing what you can do with a hole saw, dowels, a dremel, drill bits and some creativity. The picture does not do the knobs justice. I epoxy a knurled nob inside.

    Jim
     
  16. walter23

    walter23 Subscriber

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    What's even more amazing is that a skilled photographer busy building one of the most technically demanding cameras could take such blurry crummy photos of his camera construction :wink:

    Looks pretty nice. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2008
  17. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Walter, they are digital! What do you expect!! I was in a rush to take them and I will try to do better when I get the camera finished. I only have a point and shoot and they are low res shots. Also, it is hard for me to see when I do macro shots. I'll put the camera on a tripod next time for the shots I post. Thanks for your comments.

    Jim
     
  18. walter23

    walter23 Subscriber

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    I was just bugging you.
     
  19. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Walter, it is no problem. It is frustrating with my digital camera. I want to post better pictures in the future so I have to learn its limitations. Hope to post some more work soon.

    Jim
     
  20. barryjyoung

    barryjyoung Member

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    knice nobs Jim

    Hello Jim:

    I love the walnut knobs and hats off to you for finding a great solution.
     
  21. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    That's why I bought a "cheap" digital back for my real camera. No more futzing with a P/S digital when I need/want to document something like this for the web. That and my P/S died.
     
  22. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Barry, I appreciate the compliment. Your brass knobs stand proud on the front standard of the 8x20. I thought I would give my idea on the knobs a go and although they are not perfect they are hand carved and hand crafted. I will see how they hold up in use when I get the camera done. No progress to report as I just got in from a business trip.
    Greg, My digital will have to stay P/S for now. I think everyone can get the idea of what I'm trying to do and if anyone needs specifics just ask. I'm working on the back box now and making the arms that hold it off the bed out of walnut instead of brass and they seem to be solid and strong. I'll get some more pictures posted soon. My youngest son is home on spring break and we are going to spend time together this weekend so no building for a while.

    Jim
     
  23. Gustavo_Castilla

    Gustavo_Castilla Member

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    My WIP 11 X 14

    Hi guys here are some photos of my work in progress just need to finish the back.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2008
  24. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Gustavo, Awesome!! Nice to see it coming together. You are going to be done well ahead of me. I can't remember when I was over if you had the back and ground glass from another camera or if you have to build it. If you have to build it it can take some time. Call me if i can help.

    Here is my front standard completed. I just have to put some finish on the knobs. It has base tilt, axis tilt, swing and shift. Am I going to use all that stuff??? Hell, I don't know but it is nice to have! Next I' going to rout the base and the rails for the gear racks and then finish the back. Need to make the metal brackets to hold the back on and do some finishing. I have the bellows already, holders and film. The lens is an Ilex 21 1/4 F-10 Process lens that I know will cover.

    Does anyone know where to get the brass piece that goes in the bottom of the bed for the tripod to screw into? Some guy has one on e-bay in stainless but I would like to use brass. Richard Ritter? Maybe I should send him an e-mail.

    Jim
     
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  25. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    O.K. - Now I'm getting jealous - both of you guys have 11 x 14's. I'll have to get over that. Great work to both of you by the way.

    Jim - here is what I did on my 8 x 20. My first attempt was to use a threaded insert (got at Lowes) that I pounded into the bottom of the camera base bed. I assumed that it would hold sufficiently. It worked for a while, but with the 8 x 20 back rail attached, there was too much stress on the threaded insert and it pulled out (twice). My next attempt seems to work much better. I used a T nut but installed it from the top of the camera base instead of the bottom. My thinking was that it would be much stronger because attaching the camera to the tripod would squeeze the tripod to T nut through the base. There shouldn't be any chance of pull out failure that I had with the simple pound in threaded insert.

    1 - drill a hole for the T nut all the way through the base the right size for the small end of the T nut.

    2 - drill a larger hole big enough for the flange of the T nut partially through the base from the top. I drilled it deep enough so that when the T nut was inserted, the bottom of the small end would be just about all the way through the base (it's about 1/16" short of it).

    3 - countersink the small hole a little from the bottom of the base so the hole will be easier to "find" when trying to get the tripod screw into it.

    4 - I drilled three small holes in the T nut flange and screwed it into the base for added support.

    Note that the T nut I used has "wings" on the sides that call it a "pound in device" to secure it. They don't really hold very well which is why I used the screws.

    See in the pictures the top of the base which shows the recessed hole for the T nut and the bottom of the base which shows the opening for the tripod screw as well as my previous to attempts with the threaded inserts. I left the holes there to remind me what I went through incase some one asked me questions like this.

    You might have to get over the T nut not being brass - I'm not sure if you can find it brass or not. If you want to go this route with a steel connector, let me know. I have a lot of T nuts left and I'll send you a couple.
     

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  26. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Dan, great idea on the T-nut. Gotta go with brass though. The camera is looking real good and I want to use brass. I may contact Richard Ritter and see if he has the brass insert like the one that is in my Zone VI. If not then I'll try plan B. I'll post some more pictures when I can.

    Jim