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  1. #1

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    Tripod socket for DIY Large format camera

    I am in the process of building a 8x10 field camera and i am wondering what the best way to make a tripod socket is. are there parts you can buy some where? i have a 1/4-20 thread tap so i could tap the threads myself but im just not sure of the materials to use, how to mount it on the base, etc.

  2. #2
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    What you need is a T-nut. I bought one at my local hardware store for $1.

    f/22 and be there.

  3. #3

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    An ultra simple way is to go to a hardware store, get a 1/4-20 nut, chisel a recess for it, and install in into the bottom of the camera (or a piece of wood, and then attach the piece of wood to the camera.

    This is how I did it with my 12x20 pinhole. I carefully chiseled out a six-sided hole for a hex nut, from the back side, leaving about 3 or 4 mm of thickness in the bottom plate underneath the nut. I then glued a plug over the nut to retain it (though I did not glue the nut itself).

    I suppose you could do just as well by drilling a simple circular hole that is a bit undersized, and then bashing a hex nut in with a hammer, and aligning it with a nail punch. Obviously, this should be done in a piece of wood separate from the camera, and then the wood should be attached to the camera.

    There are other sorts of nuts aside from hex nuts too. I just got lazy.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  4. #4

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    Thanks for the fast responses!
    i think the T-nut is what i need. i tried using a regular nut but it just didnt seem sturdy enough to me.

    Thanks for the tips!

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Barry Young here on APUG made a couple of nice brass tripod sockets for me at a very reasonable price.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  6. #6

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    If you can't find a T-nut at your hardware store, try a model store. 1/4-20 T-nuts are frequently used, in addition to nylon bolts, to hold the wings on model aircraft.

    Roger.

  7. #7
    3e8
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    You can get 1/4-20 threaded inserts at most hardware stores, you drill a larger hole and this screws right in, and has a 1/4-20 threading on the inside. This is probably the easiest way to do this.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3e8 View Post
    You can get 1/4-20 threaded inserts at most hardware stores, you drill a larger hole and this screws right in, and has a 1/4-20 threading on the inside. This is probably the easiest way to do this.
    I agree with 3e8 on this point. I tried t-nuts on 16x20 and 20x24 inch cameras. They were not strong enough for that size, but may work for 8x10. The problem with t-nuts is that the load is placed on the base of the nut, with little of it spread into the supporting wood. Over time, the shaft will become loose in the wood and the camera becomes wobbly. With the treaded insert, the load is moved up into the wood. Because the edges of the insert are curved, attaching the screw actually forces the sides of the insert into the wood, creating a more solid bond. I now use the inserts on all my big cameras. But again, the t-nut may work fine for 8x10 as they are not as heavy.

  9. #9

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    The T-nuts should be installed from the top so when tightened down on the tripod it clamps the wood rather than being pulled away from it.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    With a T-nut or the kinds of sockets that Barry made for me (with 1" flanges, which are wider than most T-nut flanges and wider than the flanges on the original tripod sockets used on both cameras), the flange should be on the inside of the baseboard, so that when the camera is screwed into the tripod or QR plate, the flange presses down on the wood and makes the camera more stable.

    I use Arca-Swiss-style QR plates, so I got these sockets to add a second tripod hole to my 7x17" Korona and 11x14" American Optical cameras, enabling me to attach a QR plate with two screws for additional strength, and so the camera doesn't twist on the tripod.

    The attached images show the flanges of the two sockets on the Korona looking down from the top. The one with the larger flange is Barry's and the smaller one is original. The bottom view shows the RRS B35 QR plate attached to the bottom of the baseboard.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 717Sockets.JPG   717QRPlate.JPG  
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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