BTZS Tubes DIY Homemade Build Your Own
Ok, so I am new to all this 4x5 stuff. I purchased a camera, and am also in the process of building one or more. So after readign through a bunch of posts I decided that I will give the BTZS Tubes a try even before trying trays. Seems that in some version of BTZS there is a description of how to make these, however, I am yet to see that and the book I have must be a version before that description was given. So I peeked through the forums and collected suggestions and got the following:
I do welcome any others, these were definitely intersting and well done.
I now have something that looks like it would get me arrested if I tried to send it through the mail. :) But with a dry fit, it seems like it will do the trick. For my first try I went with the design labeled #1 above. I may try others as I go forward, but this seemed the cheapest and easiest to get started with.
For others following my lead, here are a few things I have come up with.
1. The main tube was cut to 5-7/8" (149 mm)
It could have been cut to 6" (152 mm) but I ran into some straightness issues, so by the time I was done, it was 5-7/8 :)
2. The secondary tube was cut to 3-1/2" (89 mm)
3. When you dry fit these things together they certainly don't come apart very easily, but putting on a pair of rubber gloves makes quick work of it.
4. The smaller tube, capped, and attached to a coupler will hold 1/2 cup (4 oz or 120 cc) when filled to the to the line on the coupler.
Initially I bought one of those tubing cutters that ratchets and basically drives a blade through the pipe. I will probably take this back to HD one of these days. The problem is that with this style cutter, no matter what I did, I could not get a nice square cut on the tubing (especially on short cuts). Well I will be getting a twist style cutter for the future. I have used them successfully in the past for other PCV style projects, and they seem to make a nice clean square cut.
So not to be outdone by an equipment failure, I took the tube out to the electric miter saw and pulled that blade through it a couple few times. Make a fairly square cut, stinks like hell and leaves a lot of mess. When it was done, I ran a razor knife over the rough edges then finished with some 400 and then 600 grit paper.
I had to drive to a place over an hour away to get the ABS stuff, since it doesn't seem to be sold near me. Unfortunately, they only had 5 couplers and 2 caps. As it is, these caps are not flat exactly, and thusly will not stand up straight on their own. I will consider touching them with a beltsander or something to remove the little thing that sticks out and maybe that will help, otherwise I am not concerned that it needs to standup even though it may be nice. I got a 10 foot length of the ABS so I will be able to play with other designs. What I can actually get locally is SCHED 80 PVC. This is the grey stuff they use for electrical conduit. The endcaps they have available for it are very round so those will not like to stand up either. If I want these things to stand I may merely have to cut off a short piece of tubing and fix it to the botton like an egg stand. I assume the connectors and caps don't matter if they are actually PVC (sched 80) or ABS, since they are both lightproof, but the ABS pipe itself feels (at least to my untrained fingers) smoother and cleaner.
I also have an idea (different from all the ones I have seen so far, for a light baffle to allow daylight pouring, which I think will take up much less space than the ones I have seen so far.