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Thread: Time

  1. #1
    Curt's Avatar
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    Time

    I needed several lens boards for my Bes. 45 enlarger so I looked around the shop and found some 1/8" plate aluminum, from an aircraft surplus outlet, and proceeded to mill them. First I cut the plate to size, did the layout, cut the hole and finished the first one. It took an hour. One hour to get a lense board. They are quite expensive unless you buy them off eBay. I got tired of waiting and mine are ever bit as good. It just took longer than I thought to make them.

    Making anything takes so much longer than expected. It can chew up a lot of time. Now sitting down and making a field camera from design to drawings to shop to finish can really take a lot of time. If it is done "on the side" in "spare" time it can take what seems like forever. Time really is again the determining factor when you say "I can make that for a whole lot less". I hear myself saying that in my head all the time. Then I step into the shop and start looking for material and parts and on to machine setup and adjustment etc. It's a reality check.

    Curt

  2. #2
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    For us without a machine shop, tempered hardboard also makes functional, if not elegant, lens boards. So does the Baltic birch plywood from hobby shops.

  3. #3
    Curt's Avatar
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    I cut the aluminum out on an old table saw with a Vermont American metal cutting blade and drilled the hole with a hole saw in a small drill press. No metal shop, no cnc, no metal lathe, no mill, no complaints. Just wanted to make the boards like the original ones; no more no less. Anyone with a little motivation could do the same. I am not one for duct tape solutions.

    Curt

  4. #4
    Charles Webb's Avatar
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    I have long made my lens boards out of 1/8th inch Aluminum, but I do use my mill and 10 inch lathe to finish them. 20 minutes on a slow day.

    To make them out of hard board or ply wood about tripples the time for me.
    Two hours and a bit to make a 5x7 back for my little Deardorf today. But will take a couple of days for stain and gloss finishing to be complete.


    Charlie.................................

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt
    ...Anyone with a little motivation could do the same...

    Curt
    It may cost a lot of time but in the end you had a lot of fun!
    At least, I do.

    G

  6. #6

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    Dear Curt,

    Long ago I learned the following:

    The first half of any job takes nine-tenths of the time.

    SO DOES THE SECOND HALF.

    Cheers,

    Roger (currently in the middle of trying to make a wing-nut for a Gandolfi tripod).

  7. #7
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    Amen Curt. I have more than 450 hours into the production of drawings alone at this point. Every time I make the next part I end up modifying what I thought would be ideal. That means changing the drawings. I am up to the third revision of drawings now. Currently I am building the fixturing for the first run of parts. The CNC mill is finally up and running as it is supposed to. There are more than 130 drawings in the new design not counting standard items I can buy and maybe half of those require at least one custom made fixture to make production efficient. What you say is so true. You can design and build your own field camera from scratch, but to date I have invested more than $12,000 in shop equipment and more than 800 hours total. Admittedly, the time and money required to tool up to produce field cameras is greater than making one. Still, I could have bought a very nice camera from one of the established camera builders for less than the hours it would have taken to build one from scratch if one values their time at all. This is the very reason I have decided to sell camera kits. For people who want to assemble nd finish their own field cameras, save thousands of dollars and have the pride that comes from teling people you made the thing. I could not agree with you more.
    Barry Young
    Young Camera Company

  8. #8
    Ole
    Ole is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    ...Roger (currently in the middle of trying to make a wing-nut for a Gandolfi tripod).
    Roger. when you've finished that project please let me know what you did and how you did it. My Gandolfi tripod is in sore need of some "refurbishment" - I believe the previous owner kept it locked up for at least 50 years in a damp cellar. And then there's the German Monster Tripod - 8 kilos of massive wood, with the biggest cast-iron head I've ever seen (weighs as much as my 24x30cm camera, with plates and lens). That one has no mounting screw at all, but I've managed to lay my hands on a few good long 3/8" bolts. Maybe I'll get them both usable by next spring if I plan to finish by September...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway



 

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