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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Little Elm, Texas
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    building 4x5 monorail, question about parts?

    hey all,

    I am planning to build a 4x5 monorail and I have some questions.

    I was looking at the handbuilt view cameras and I noticed that most of them have knobs on them that of course control the movement, but where do you find the knobs like that. Most knobs I have seen at home depot or lowes are for fixture, cabinets etc.

    My second question is what is a good modern material (not leather, don't want to spend $120 for a skin) to make bellows out of?

    also what is the normal length of the bellows for 4x5 and what is consider normal rail length?

    thanks,
    Scott Hunnicutt

  2. #2
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    Chicago
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    try smallparts.com or mcmaster.com and search on knobs. Porter's sells blackout fabric which combined with another material for the outside of the bellows could make a nice bellows. I used it to make a bellows and it worked fine (my skills were a bit lacking though!). You might look on ebay and find an existing bellows and design your camera around that.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    I don't know if this place would have them but it seems to have a lot of other parts that are handy for view camera construction. http://www.wmberg.com/

    Cheers,

    Bruce Horn

  4. #4

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    May 2006
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    Smallparts has a lot fewer of the odd cool things now that they are an Amazon store, so McMaster-Carr is probably the better choice now.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Clinton, AR
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    Scott

    Tandy Leather has a nice thin and very supple "Black Velvet Pigskin" (Cat. #9120) that will run about $30 - $40 depending on size (I recently got a piece about 42" x 24" for $31). It may have an occasional small hole where the pig had scratches or punctures, but a bit of dotting with a toothpick and some black acrylic ink or latex paint will fix things. Then with that dark cloth material on the inside, you will have a nice sturdy & light proof bellows.

    I suspect a search here will locate some bellows making threads. You can Google for bellows making and find some good DIY bellows making instructions. Also do a search for Ed Romney Camera Books . . . Ed is deceased, but his widow still sells his camera repair texts and she has his nice bellows making text for about $12.

    EuGene

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    There are several threads on making bellows, including one download book, and one purchase book, both are very good resources. Does Porters still sell the blackout cloth? That was suggested in the book that you can purchase.

    Ebay for pig or goatskin skiver, you can often find pieces big enough to do what you need for pretty cheap. Also you could go with composite or bonded leather which is significantly cheaper, and completely uniform since it is made out of ground up leather. Try this link http://apps.webcreate.com/ecom/catal...roductID=23842 If it doesn't work then go to their home page and go through the menus http://talasonline.com/



 

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