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Thread: LF wood

  1. #1
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    LF wood

    I'm going to be building a large format camera in the foreseeable future and was wondering what would be a good would to use for the back and the box? Gonna try something like a Graphic/view kinda thingy or something. Let me know. Thank you all.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
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  2. #2

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    I think traditionally it has been cherry or mahogany or walnut, but you can use most any hardwood that won't tend to warp bad.
    have fun with it
    Erik

  3. #3

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    The reason for the tradition is that these are among the more stable woods, especially cherry and mahogany. The side benefit is that they are pretty too.

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    JBrunner's Avatar
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    FWIW I usually proto things out of baltic birch ply before I go screwing up mahogany.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    FWIW I usually proto things out of baltic birch ply before I go screwing up mahogany.
    But Pine is cheaper
    It's not the camera......

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    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freygr View Post
    But Pine is cheaper
    True, I just find I save time, no planing etc, and it behaves more like a hardwood.

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    Well planing just got easier for me. I had to purchase a very nice planer for a project I'm currently working on. I just hope the buyer doesn't have a heart attack with the price increase I'm going to have to make. The cost of the plywood just went up 30% and the hardware went up only 10%.
    It's not the camera......

  8. #8
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Walnut! Can't get enough of it!

    Jim

  9. #9
    Don12x20's Avatar
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    Talk to your local hardwood supplier or find someone locally that builds fine furniture (not just furniture)-- the term you'll be wanting to discuss is "move" as in "how much will the wood move"? Defines how much it expands and contracts under humidity, etc. Its of concern to fine furniture makers in that gaps open up between boards (even with gluing) and warpage occurs.

    Also, how the wood is sawed from the log is critical.

    And you will want wood that is aged for some time, rather than "fresh wood".

    While many cameras are made of walnut, it "moves" a lot but not as much as pine. If you tend to have wide swings in humidity or are headed for the tropics, you might want to choose a more appropriate wood. (Mahogony or ironwood both "move" very little). Ironwood is the wood that moves the least, but good luck machining this wood -its hard as iron (plus dust is poisonous).

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Fitzgerald View Post
    Walnut! Can't get enough of it!

    Jim
    Yes, walnut is best for looks and toughness but it tends to split easy because it's so dense (hard).

    There's Peruvian walnut that isn't as hard as black walnut and has better - straight - grain, it's slightly wooly like poplar and very easy to work with. This is my favorite wood for picture frames because the dark color and grain is totaly consistent, unlike all the other hardwoods. Staining isn't necessary, only a clear finish is. I buy it rough sawn from a lumber yard that deals with exotic wood.

    I also plan to build a camera, or two, or three. I have three planned but none are built while I practice making a bellows first. I feel confident after reading about the experiences of others who built cameras from scratch.

    Paul
    "Pictures are not incidental frills to a text; they are essences of our distinctive way of knowing." Stephen J. Gould

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