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  1. #21
    wildbill's Avatar
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    My dad is a carpenter and now retired, builds furniture for the hell of it. I've met a lot of craftsmen growing up but I've only ever met one guy who could make anything in his shop from parts for our lathe to wooden nuts and bolts. Wow! You've got a beautiful piece of equipment there to be proud of! Everything from scratch and it looks amazing. It must be a hell of a feeling to look at the ground glass.

    vinny
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  2. #22

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    BTW, to echo vinny, I really don't have any woodworking experience to speak of, and recently embarked on a very, very, very simple little 4x5 project. Now that I'm actually trying to cobble together a fairly simple camera (with nowhere near the elegance or precision of yours, and no film holders) I finally realize the kind of skill and work that goes into something like what you've presented. Very impressive.
    The universe is a haunted house. -Coil
    .

  3. #23

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    I used flat black linen for the liner and the Porter's cloth for the outside. I've used the headliner stuff and the spray 77 with equal success, though the headliner seems to dry with more flexibility. I haven't noticed any issues with flare, the linen is pretty non reflective, but then I'm using 100 year old lenses, eh.

  4. #24

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    Thanks Vinny. The first time I lit it up I did a little dance. It's such a joy to use my still knees knock on occasion.

  5. #25

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    Here's a few more of the mill setup for cutting the slots in the holders, and some of the freshly milled pieces before they were cut to length and joined. I use some featherboards and a special table mounted to the XY table of the mill to keep everything absolutely snug to the blade and table. The XY table makes adjusting the blade depth of cut breezy, and with the fine elevation adjustment on the column, you can easily dial in 1/128 of an inch adjustments for the cutter height. When I milled up stock for these I made a lot of extra material to use as gauge blocks and test pieces.

    Simply put, the center cut is for the septum, which is cut with a 1/16 blade at full depth. I feed it one way and reverse it and feed it again to make sure it is exactly centered. I then crank the fence out from the blade and lower the cutterhead 1/64 of an inch for a little rabbet that will form the film slot when the septum is in place. I then change out the 1/16 blade for the 1/32 blade, lower the cutterhead more to cut the darkslide grooves.

    Flipping the workpiece to run the groove on the other side will give perfectly symmetrical pieces. I also run the film gate slots at the same time. Having the cutter head registered from the table means that all side will line up precisely, so I wont have to keep changing the cutterhead elevation for different parts.

    That's probably the trickiest part- 1/64 doesn't leave much tolerance for slop around the four sides, otherwise film would jam mercilessly when trying to load it, and the darkslide would jam as well trying to insert it in the 1/32 slot. I did test the insertion force and widen the slot a little to allow for some seasonal movement- I didn't want to snap a darkslide on some snowy mountain somewhere trying to jam it in. I also tested the clearance for film by holding a piece of the septum material in the groove while sliding a piece of film along the slot briskly. That would be misery itself to make 8 of these * things only to find to slots were too tight to load any film in. After 18 months of use, including warm hotels, cold rainforests and arid badlands, no problems yet.
    Last edited by Colin Graham; 04-18-2010 at 10:38 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #26

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    One of the filmgate before the film-loading relief was cut out, and an assembled frame without septum and lighttraps. For the hinges I used black bookbinder's tape. The gate has it's own lighttrap so light-tightness in the tape isn't an issue. These piece aren't glued up yet, but when gluing up the frames, don't forget to insert the septum first ;-). Ahem, did that one... Also, don't get any glue on the septum itself so it can expand and contract (thanks Sandy King for that sage advice), and be careful not to get glue in the tiny slots- very hard to get it out once it dries.

    PS- I just noticed that the plan jpegs I posted yesterday got a little corrupted in the transition from the original CAD files, some of the dimension arrows and slashes doubled up and are otherwise confusing. I'll try to repost some cleaner renderings later.

    I know this is all a rampant mess, and I apologize, but it's the only documentation I have available from when I was doing this a year and a half ago. I lost some of the photo journal I was keeping of the process unfortunately. Anyway, this is the info that goes out when I receive emails and PMs, so consider yourself warned, this is as good as it gets. :-]
    Last edited by Colin Graham; 04-18-2010 at 10:38 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #27

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    Colin,

    How did you cut the garolite? I've heard rumors the stuff is difficult to work with. And what's the name of that slitting saw? It looks quite slick.

  8. #28

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    I get alot of questions about cost, so I recently tracked down the considerable paper trail of invoices and the total for all the materials for the camera and 8 holders, not including tools or lenses obviously, was just under 700. There was considerable nickle&diming of McMaster-Carr, unfortunately- they probably rolled their eyes when never they saw my name on an invoice...There alway seems to be one more spring, knob or screw you need. One day I hope to get a lathe for turning knobs and fabricating gears and so forth, but they have so much stuff it's hard to justify it.

    I also want to post a pic of a vertical mounting bracket, since this issue comes up often with banquet cameras. As 5x12 is relatively small it's not a complete horror to mount it this way, but I still get a little pale. The idea was stolen outright from the Lotus VMD, btw. I got the idea for the parts from Kerry Thalmann's arca-conversion- he found 8020 surplus on ebay, aluminum extrusions, very cool stuff. They have all sorts of different profiles, brackets and angles in all manner of sizes, like a tinkerer's erector set.

    The bracket mounts to the tripod head by way of a 3/8 thread coupling nut that's mortised into the aluminum and is locked and secured from above with a 3/8 bolt and lock washer. The camera attaches with 2 1/4-20 screws to keep it from spinning. I use a 3/8 screw on the Reis head for regular mounting, but only had the 1/4 20 knobs on hand so used them and threaded two matching holes in the camera's mounting plate. (That's the jr tilt head, btw, and it's plenty strong enough.) The knobs are captive, which means you can loosen them without fully removing them from the bracket and thus promptly loosing them. I simply fed some retaining nuts into the hollow parts of the bracket that keep them from unscrewing completely out of the bracket. Hope that makes sense.
    Last edited by Colin Graham; 04-18-2010 at 10:38 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #29

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    Steve,
    I cut the garolite by scoring and snapping the thinner stuff with a scoring blade. For the thicker stuff I cut it oversized on a tablesaw and trimmed it with a template and a small trim router and a bearing bit. It tends to flake out a little on the cut line, at least with an allpurpose blade, but I've heard that blades made for lexan and metals work much better. Those blades can get pretty pricy though. I liked using the template and router because all the parts come out exactly the same size and shape- including a slight concavity at the end of the slide so any sagging wont make it hang up and not go in the slot. (That step turned out to be unnecessary for 5x12, the stuff is very rigid at this size.) The router bit leaves a little burr, but dragging a razor blade over the edge like a scraper take care of that. All in all alot easier to work with than lexan. Also, glue sticks to it very well- I was going to pin the darkslide handles, but yellow PVA glue was plenty strong enough.

    The slitting saws are from McMaster Carr as well. They have different arbors paired to different blades, depending on what kind of collet you have. If i remember right my mill is an odd size - 2 morse taper- and I bought an arbor to fit the taper directly here. Sorry I can't post the link to the slitting saw page, M-C seems to have their own internal browser and I don't know how to link to it directly.

    BTW, the Little Machine Shop made me feel alot better about buying such a cheap little mill- they sell replacement gears and other parts for it, so I wasn't too worried about getting stuck for parts. All said it is surprisingly good for the money, plenty of gib screw adjustments in the table and head travel and the castings are decent. Good enough for rural work, as they say.
    Last edited by Colin Graham; 03-23-2008 at 04:48 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #30
    barryjyoung's Avatar
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    light traps

    Hi Colin:

    I am curious what you used for light traps? We had a terrible time here with fingerstock covered with velvet. Finally we switched to a modern material that works mo bettuh.

    Thanks
    Barry Young
    Young Camera Company

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