Wet Plate Back for 4x5 Chamonix
Over the last few weeks, I have been busy fabricating a wet plate plate holder for my Chamonix. It's a work in progress, but I am over 2/3 rds of the way into it. The most difficult aspect was recreating a film back that fit the rear standard of the Chamonix, and more importantly, takes the brunt of the chemical stains!! That piece is done and the attached picture shows the new back, and the new ground glass frame. As I did not want to convert a 4x5 film holder for quarter plate, I made it 4 1/2" square. It maximizes lens coverage (approx 7" Darlot) and easily fits inside the square dimensions of the Chamonix rear standard and inside measurements of the bellows.
The photo shows the final trim piece on top and I plan on making one for the top and left hand side so they are flush on all 3 sides. Brass hinges on the left vertical side will finish that piece off and allow me to swing the GG out of the way. Then I will make a replica of the GG frame (which will be the plate holder) only a little fatter on the back side so I have room for a black phenolic resin rear door. I have some Garolite black phenolic ordered for that. The plate holder will fit inside the space the GG occupies when hinged open and have brass tabs locking it down.
I should have it completed this week and will post more pictures then.
New updated photos of Chamonix wet plate construction
Okay, I made significant progress this week with the plate holder itself, including the light trap....
For the light trap, I used 1/8" stainless steel tubing and routed out a channel in the thicker side of the plate holder with a 1/8" inch bit. Then I routed out a small U channel on the underside of the trap cover with a small coving bit and glued in some black suede. The two springs at each end were thin piano wire bent sharply so that 1 1/2" goes into the tube and the little legs stick down. Now comes the fiddly bit of holding it all down while the cover is screwed on. The good thing about having screws on this side is to allow for service and cleaning of any gunk that is likely to get in there. Next will be making locking tabs to secure the platholder into the rear camera frame, and rear door and locking tabs for that aswell. Then everything inside will get a seal coat of matt poly, and then painted flat black. The outside will get a poly finish.
The darkslide is 1/32" XX Garolite phenolic from McMaster-Carr. Looks like regular darkslide material. Now I've got to cut the slide down and add a handle... Easy peasey lemon squeezy.... as they say.
Next I have to build up the back of the plate holder with a door that secures that plate from the back. It's all down hill from here!!