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  1. #1

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    what is the best wood for my camera project?

    I am planning on building a 4x10 expansion back for my old 5x7 linhof technica and I am looking for some advice on wood. I have an ebony and that is really nice but probably too expensive. It seems that walnut has been pretty popular. I guess hardness and resistance to expansion and contraction because of moisture are the most important factors here. i was thinking of using oak because i have some. Any advice or experience will be of great help here.

  2. #2
    Neanderman's Avatar
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    The best woods are the traditional ones -- mahogany and cherry. I find mahogany to be the easier of the two to work with -- cherry can be very squirrely and prone to tearout.

  3. #3

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    Quarter-sawn cherry or mahogany are very good trade-offs between workability, movement due to moisture, toughness, and expense.

    Oak tends to move a bit more, and the grain is more prone to tearout when making fine cuts.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderman View Post
    I find mahogany to be the easier of the two to work with -- cherry can be very squirrely and prone to tearout.
    Amusingly, my experience is the opposite. Just goes to show there's not one right answer.

  5. #5

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    what about australan lace wood?

    I saw a 4x10 camera that some guy in LA who does not make cameras too often and it was made of some kind of lacewood. I wish i could remember his name, their was a review of his camera in view camera when terry did that series on 4x10's. Anyways i saw one at samys and it was really nice. Anyone know about what i am talking about?

  6. #6

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    mdf

    arent some of the gandolphi cameras made of MDF?

  7. #7

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    Ebony, coconut, Lignum Vitae, etc

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicycletricycle View Post
    arent some of the gandolphi cameras made of MDF?
    Early Variants were made of MDF, which is a very suitable material but no-one loved it: the late Brian Gould, who owned Gandolfi (note f not ph) couldn't see why. Eventually, in response to pressure from many photographers incuding myself they made one in 'real tree' as a show-piece and now the MDF is a special order item that is almost never special ordered. I have two MDF Variants, but my 5x7 inch back (Variants can accept 4x5, 5x7, 10x8) is black walnut -- one of the first in 'real tree'.

    Quite separately from all that, well-seasoned teak is an excellent material: I had some cameras made to my design in India in the 1980s of teak, recycled, apparently, from British-era floorboards.

    Cheers,

    R.

  9. #9
    richard ide's Avatar
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    I am building a couple of cameras from Australian Lacewood. It is a hard wood but relatively easy to work with using carbide tipped tools. My final finish will be Tung oil. One I am making for a Wild 150mm lens utilizing a Wild bellows and other components. The other will be a field camera which will use Cambo lens boards, back and bellows. The quarter sawn wood is unlike any other and beautiful to look at.
    Richard

    Why are there no speaker jacks on a stereo camera?

  10. #10
    Curt's Avatar
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    Sycamore, why be conventional, get the best.
    Quite separately from all that, well-seasoned teak is an excellent material: I had some cameras made to my design in India in the 1980s of teak, recycled, apparently, from British-era floorboards.
    Recycled wood would be very retro and appropriate for the times. Some of the best grain and conditioned wood is recycled hardwoods.
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

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