Walnut nobs!

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Jim Fitzgerald, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    I would first like to apologise to Barry Young, and all of the other realy great camera builders out there! Barry's nobs sit proudly on the front standard of my 8x20 and the are truly fine work. I took apart my Zone VI 4x5 a while back to do some thorough cleaning. I looked closely at how it is made. It got me thinking. I have been making some 11x14 enlargements lately and I am pleased with this size. To me it feels right. So I decided to use up the left over Walnut from my 8x20 project. ( just need the bellows on this one). I decided to see how much of the brass I could replace with Walnut. I know I can't replace all of it but I think most of it could be Walnut. This project will be done with 1/16"- 1/2" thin Walnut laminated into the pieces I need. I will post my progress as I get parts done. The nobs in this post were cut from 3/4" stock with a hole saw on my drill press. I then cut the hole for the brass knurled nob insert with the forstner bit. I took a marker and drew lines across the nob and around. I took my Dremel with a slot blade and hand cut the score lines. I then sanded it to 800 grit smothed the groves with a small file and then soaked the piece in Walnut stain for a couple of hours. Each one takes about 1 hour start to finish. The staining takes a couple of hours but I did them all at once. To give you an idea of size the diameter is 1" and they are 3/4" thick. So you can build a camera in your apartment. I hope this gives people who are on the fence so food for thought about the building process.

    Jim
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2007
  2. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    At one time I was going to use the copper end caps 1/2 and 3/4 inch for copper plumbing and was going to knurl them with a hand tool that I go on ebay new for a fraction of the new price. I have used it for other things and find it does a great job. It can do diamond and several other patterns. It's great for a shaft when a press fit of a gear is required.

    How's the camera coming along?
    Curt
     

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  3. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Curt, the 8x20 is awaiting bellows and will be complete. The 11x14 is under way! This has to be the last one. I will use up all of my Walnut stock with this one I think.

    Jim
     
  4. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Are you happy with the way the knobs came out? That's all that really matters isn't it.

    Just FYI, you can get nice brass inserts that thread into softer materials like wood that do a pretty good job. I forget where I bought them, but I used some in the #2 size for the front of my pinhole camera. I bought them from one of the following:

    Smallparts.com
    Microfasteners.com
    McMaster-Carr
     
  5. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    Jim F,
    Once you have your quarter twenty insert glued to the wood find a short section of 1/4x20 "all thread" or cut the head off of a inch and half bolt. Thread the short section into the insert snuggly then place the threaded rod into your power drill cinch it tight in the chuck. Walla, an instant "hand lathe". Use a rasp or files even sand paper
    to shape what ever shaped knob you need.



    Charlie..............................
     
  6. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Charlie.... genius!! It is so great to see what we all come up with. Thanks so much. I am happy with the nobs. Thay are hand crafted not exactly perfect but that is what I like. Not for everyone but it's good for me. I can't wait to see how the 11x14 turns out. I have a lot of hand sanding to do. I sand up to 800 grit before I wet sand with oil. It gives a deep rich finish.

    Jim
     
  7. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    People used to pay a lot more for hand built things, maybe that time has past, then maybe not....
     
  8. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Greg, I think the thing I like about this process is it reminds me how we LF/ULF photographers work. Our art is hand crafted. I just found something that fit my nature in building these cameras. I have a great sense of acomplishment when I see the Walnut glow with a deep rich hew before I even put finish on it. Using the camera is a wonderful bonus.

    Jim
     
  9. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Well, people still think I'm crazy for using as many hand operated tools as I do. To me it still means something to have a really hand crafted item. There is no doubt that a Berlebach has nicer features than the tripod that I made, but it also has no character, it's just another tool. Mine has character with all the little flaws, and in the end it still supports the camera just as well, maybe even better because I would rate mine at about 100 pounds load, and theirs is only 20 pounds load.

    Someday after you are dead, that camera that you built may be worth a lot of money, especially if there are some pictures stored with it. And there is a slightly therapeutic value to making it with hand tools. It also goes back to the days when most equipment had to be made by the user (at least those that wanted to innovate). So it is truely geting back to the roots of photagraphy. In the end there may be more satisfaction in using it because you made it.


    As an after thought, I've drifted off to a few other things for a while, so I haven't built the 18 inch leg version of my tripod yet. I have used my tall pod a few times, and it seems to be rather stable with my little pinhole camera on it. It does need a real spreader though, the rope is bothering me for a couple of reasons.
     
  10. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Greg, I agree with what you say. I don't think I fully appreciate the tripod and the 8x20 yet. I mean I have not taken it out on its maiden voyage yet. When the bellows is done and mounted and I take it outside to get some digital pics of it I think then it will hit me. I'll put on the stabilizer bars and extend it out. I know the tripod will handle it. I sat on it and I'm a measly 130 lbs! I hope I did the back correctly so I get a proper image???!!


    Jim
     
  11. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Yeah, I put my weight on mine too, done that for years. The camera store people look at you funny when you go in and raise their tripod up, and then put a large amount of body weight on it to see how badly it flexes.
     
  12. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Greg the great thing about building your own is that you know that it won't flex!!! I think mine comes in with the 6x7 Majestic head at about 14-15 lbs. I did find a great case for it at Big lots!! Some kind of storage thing. Still can't figure out what it's for. It cost me $ 5.00!!The tripod fits in perfectly. It even has a place where I can put a strap/ sling to carry it. Kind of like building but not quite. I am going to learn to sew my own storage bags for my lenses and cameras. It is for me all part of the process.

    Jim