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  1. #21
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Yes, crazy indeed! I even built 2 Walnut tripods! One for each camera. For me I needed to see what I wanted to build. I'm no master designer but I can make decent copies! I took my 4x5 Zone VI and made a 11x14 just like it. I took my Seneca Improved 8x10 and made my 8x20. Yes I did this with hand tools in my apartment and lots of time and love went into the project. It depends on how you build things. Most important thing is to take your time and set no deadline. When you are inspired to work on it then do it. Took me a year and change to make the 8x20 and about 10 months to do the 11x14. Second was faster and more inspired. Good luck and don't let anyone tell you you can't do it. That is what i was told and I have some nice negatives and nice prints from both cameras that I wasn't able to make because I lacked a proper shop and tools.
    My 11x14 is with me on my avitar.

    Jim
    Last edited by Jim Fitzgerald; 06-26-2009 at 11:10 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: more info

  2. #22

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    If you wish to be part of todays "must have it now" society then go ahead and buy another camera to use the parts. On the other hand if you want to make something that is yours and you want to get the pleasure of designing and building it for yourself then get hold of a copy of Stroebels "View Camera Technique" look at other peoples ideas and decide on your own approach to the problem. Ther are many different ways to 'crack a nut'. Find your own, don't be a sheep, find your own way.

  3. #23

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    And if you are looking for some fine power tools have a look at the Proxxon program, they have some great tools for the fine work.

    Just get started and if you feel unsecure, start with some cheap wood to practice and when you are happy with the results start on the real thing with mahogany or what ever kind of exotic beautifull wood.
    Don't over-rush your self and step back at times to see the results and photograph the steps, in that way you will have a full record of the building.
    Make mistakes with the cheap wood, ask questions, there will be people here to help you along with answers and tips.

    And not to forget: post some pic's here when your camera is finished in a year or so !

    Peter

  4. #24
    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    "weather treated mahogany"

    Never heard of it. What is it? Mahogany is one of those names that gets attached to a lot of trash wood. There is only one real mahogany.

    The wood is the least expensive component. Yould be better off buying some really nice walnut or cherry or pattern grade Honduras mahogany.
    You're right, a lot of wood does get called Mahogany. Traditionally there are two "real" mahoganys: African (various Khaya species, probably all with slightly different characteristics) and Honduran (Swietenia macrophylla, which grows in other countries in Latin America besides Honduras). The imitation mahogany is usually from Asia, usually various species of Shorea, and commonly known as Meranti or Lauan in the trade. Not bad woods in their own right, but not Mahogany.

    More than anyone wanted to know about Mahogany I'm sure.

    But who is to say the OP doesn't have the real stuff? Take a sample to a good wood working shop, I'm sure they can tell you if you've got the real stuff or not.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by NormanV View Post
    If you wish to be part of todays "must have it now" society then go ahead and buy another camera to use the parts. On the other hand if you want to make something that is yours and you want to get the pleasure of designing and building it for yourself then get hold of a copy of Stroebels "View Camera Technique" look at other peoples ideas and decide on your own approach to the problem. Ther are many different ways to 'crack a nut'. Find your own, don't be a sheep, find your own way.
    Bingo! I'm having a ball just figuring out how to fill in the blanks from the information on the Rayment Kirby site. It's taken some thinking, lots of searching on McMaster-Carr and other suppliers, then some re-thinking.

    I'm planning on building two of these: #1 is a trial run to verify my design work was right & get my rusty woodworking skills a little better, then #2 will the the real thing.

    The thought of answering the "cool camera, where'd you buy it?" question with "it's not bought, I made it" is a nice incentive. Already getting some of that from the hot rod project. It's addictive...

  6. #26
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnywalker View Post
    But who is to say the OP doesn't have the real stuff? Take a sample to a good wood working shop, I'm sure they can tell you if you've got the real stuff or not.
    Does it matter? If it looks o.k. and is easy enough to work with, I'm sure it will be fine for a camera even if it is one of the 'imitation' mahoganies.

    I have made guitar necks with mahogany look-alikes which have worked out fine. The wooden parts of a camera do not need to be as stable as those of a guitar.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  7. #27
    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    I don't know if it matters or not. I personally prefer the look of real mahogany, but the real issue would be the stability of the wood after drying. The look-alike you used would obviously be good enough, but there are so many species sold as Mahogany one could never be sure which one you were getting. The look-alikes are sold mostly on the basis of colour, not physical characteristics.
    Last edited by johnnywalker; 06-30-2009 at 11:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  8. #28

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    To the original poster... what did you do in the end? Did you make your camera? Are you in the process of making it?

    I recently bought an old 9x12 plate camera, then after I realised that the bellows were shot, I figured I make my own camera that enabled me to make some straight square (actually, rectangular) bellows rather than tapered ones.

    I'm starting by copying the rear standard, and I'm amazed at just how 'complex'(?) the back is to accept the plate holders. Fortunately for me, I'm also waiting to receive a Proxxon milling machine! That should make things a little bit easier! I'd like to make a field camera, but it's harder than it first appears - I'm trying to avoid buying a rack and pinion (seem hard to get hold of and expensive here in the UK) but then some sort of friction focus lock increases the bulk. There are so many trade-offs in the build!

    Cheers,
    David.
    Creative Image Maker e-magazine is back! Find out more at http://creativeimagemaker.blogspot.com

    Thank you.

  9. #29

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    A few months have gone by since the last post. I am nearing compltion of a 5" x 7" camera using wood from a table top that was in use just after the Falklands war and has rested in a wood shed since 1984. It has proved to be totally stable and has finished to a beautiful colour. There was not enough material to make the lens boards so I used another timber that had been stored in the same shed for almost as long. Within days it had shrunk after cutting and glueing and the joints had opened. I have cut them back and filled them. Time will tell if they will be of any use. I have no idea what the original wood was, and anyway I cannot get anymore. Maybe we should give up hope and use veneered MDF for all future projects!

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