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  1. #1
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Installing gear tracks in new rails

    I've just about completed the front rail for my 8x20. I need to put the gear tracks in the slot that I routed. The Kodak 2D that these came on used tiny brads to secure the gear tracks. My rails are out of walnut and would it be better to epoxy these in or use nails? Any suggestions would be helpfull.

    Stay Focused....or Soft Focused!

    Jim

  2. #2

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    From a wood standpoint, nails,to allow for expansion and contraction of the wood due to humidity. If you live in a very stable area humidity-wise (dry inside and outside all the time, say), it may not be a problem.

    From a photoggraphy standpoint, epoxy, as your tracks will stay better aligned.

    In the long-term, nails could be removed and readjusted. Epoxy is pretty much there to stay.

    If I ever get that far in my project I'll be using small screws. Not sure if that's an option for you.

  3. #3
    John Bartley's Avatar
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    In my Agfa 8x10 (1941), the tracks are held to the rails by very small screws which are countersunk into the rails to allow the teeth to clear as they pass over the screws. Everything stays tight and it is easily repairable.

    cheers

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    Hi Jim. In all that I have built I just friction-fit mine in blind slots let into the center of the guides for further tweaking if needed. It's a tight fit and I've never needed to adjust one. I've used cherry and maple but not walnut. The wood moves from the center out and wont split around the gear rack. Of course this wont help at all if yours are set in a rabbit or some other edge profile.

  5. #5
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Colin, the slots are rather tight. I may be able to set the tracks in and not have them move. I did want to secure them just in case. The problem is that the brads are so small that they will bend if i try to nail them in without pre-drilling the holes. They are so small that I've never seen a drill bit small enough to use to pre-drill! Hence my dilema? Thanks.

    Stay Focused....or Soft Focused!!

    Jim

  6. #6

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    I get you now. I remember seeing a 'micro' chuck that you chuck into a regular drill and tiny bits that go with it, just cant remember where now. If the chuck on your drill will grip it you could snip the head off a brad and use that for a pilot bit.....Or if you have a grinder you could grind a taper onto the smallest bit you have and try that...Or for a adhesive maybe a tiny bit of silicone caulk? That stays pretty flexible so you could dig it out if you needed too... (Sorry, just thinking out loud here....)

  7. #7

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    just found this.

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    I think the expansion & contraction of wood is more likely to pop the nails out then it would effect an epoxy glued section.

  9. #9

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    Hi Jim,

    You are a little ahead of me as I have worked out my design, but I haven't started buidling the rails yet. That is the project I'm starting today. I haven't worked out gear track detail yet, but here is a thought I had. How about epoxying two thin bolts to act as studs to the bottom of the tracks that could extend through holes in the rails pieces and install nuts on them on the bottom of the rails.

    Other than that, I think that the brad method might be the best way to go. My 2D is done that way as well with the brads about 2" apart. However, since you are making the camera out of Walnut (harder wood than Mahogany) the brads may be a little more of a problem.

  10. #10
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Hi, everyone and thanks for the ideas.

    Colin, the link you provided is great. I'll check it out. It sounds like a good possibility.

    Joe, I think your idea is good also. After all why would I want to remove the gear tracks after I install them? To build something else!!?? When I'm dead and gone and some one else buys my camera off of e-bay interplanetary they can deal with the epoxy!! right!

    Dan, that sounds like a plan also. I'll mull it over. How's the 8x20 coming. I've got to attach the gears to the front rail and the base soon, I'll post some pictures when it's done. Like I said I'm working on the easy parts first. I'm working my way to the back. Speaking of the back, I'm thinking that I will make the back frame 12"x24". I'm eventually going to buy one of Sandy King's S&S holders to design the ground glass frame around. He says the specs are like the ones on the Canham site. The question is: Should I wait to build the back frame until I get the holder or is the 12"x24" size right? Any thoughts? Thanks guys.

    Stay Focused ....or Soft Focused

    Jim

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