Wow. Thanks for taking the time to type in so much great information!
Yes I pored over many of your posts over on F295, they form an impressive amount of practical information and advice! The foam core sliding box camera really caught my eye and is what eventually made me decide to start down the "camera making" path!
This all started for me when I found my wife's grandmother's old Kodak 1A in our garage. I knew people used paper negatives in pinhole cameras, so I thought to myself, why not cut a paper negative to fit right into this camera. At that time, I didn't know that lots of other people have already gone down the path of paper negatives in lensed cameras. Some searching around on the internet led me to F295, and from there to reading probably 90% of your posts in the forums! Fortunately this was before the site switchover, so the links in your posts still worked.
It was a huge advantage to read about pre-flashing and other tips and tricks before I ever even started. Thank you for taking the time and effort of documenting and sharing so many of your experiments and explorations over the years. I started having fun results almost immediately. I really like paper negatives for themselves and not just as a stepping stone to using film.
I'm going to start with something very very simple, and then progress through your many good suggestions. One of the big attractions of your original foam core camera was the simplicity of the back. The little compartment to store paper will make it quick to swap paper ( the magnets were extremely clever ). I always have trouble in my changing bag fussing with the unexposed paper in one envelope and trying to open up whatever camera I'm using and get swapped without scratching or mixing up the exposed and unexposed sheets. Your design is made for easy changing. That means I can "focus" on the front of the camera and how the aperture stops will work and how the "lensboard" will work. I want to be able to swap lens and pinhole, and I want to make the front interchangeable so that I can increase the focal length without having to rebuild the back of the camera. The lens I decided to use has scale focus, so I think I can get close and then adjust for hyperfocal with that. Also, I think I mentioned in another thread, it projects a bright image onto the interior surface of the back of the box. I think I'll be able to set the focus point quite well by looking at that. It's going to be fun!
Definitely simple steps first before I start trying to do things like making film holders or a view screen!
Thanks again, I'm really happy to hear from you here! This thread is bookmarked for future reference!
Edit: P.S. Your PS is very clever and makes perfect sense. When I get to a focusing camera, that is a great approach. There is also something "basic" about using interchangeable known apertures and measuring the focal length to compute f-value. Very nice!