A few things I learned from my experience building cameras :
1) Tools can be : good, cheap, new. Pick any two!
2) Low volume = expensive
3) The little do-dads cost in total more then the big ticket tools. For example, I got a 14" band saw in good condition for $150. Two good band saw blades, $60, band saw fence $120, band saw cool blocks, $20, Band saw tires $35.
Oh, and unfortunately the hardware kits/parts are not yet available.
John alluded to a point worth making - do you want to cut & bend any metal items? Cutting timber is simple to achieve, cutting metal _sheet_ can be difficult to do cleanly and time-consuming without a guillotine. Whilst there are plenty of ways of bending metal, a proper bending tool makes a good clean job - but at least you could use a wood-faced vice for that.
The other thing I left out of my list was the metal lathe - ideal for making the knobs you'll need (especially if you've access to a knurling tool). You can get mini-lathes to do the job pretty cheaply - Google "mini-lathe".
I wish someone would buy Ron Wisner's former camera factory and resume building those wonderful wooden field cameras- some of which were downright glorious. Someone could make a fortune just custom building those leather kid-skin bellows lined with Chinese silk.
"A certain amount of contempt for the material employed to express an idea is indispensable to the purest realization of this idea." Man Ray
>Someone could make a fortune just custom building those leather kid-skin bellows lined with Chinese silk.
Based on the interest I had so far in the bellows kits, I doubt that. But then again, I'm not using leather and it is a DIY kit...
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Something else I missed was repeatability making metal parts by hand. The industry changed when making firearms with interchangeable parts became possible. Earlier, every weapon was a one off.
Originally Posted by vickersdc
If you have the machinery it's easy but even simple things like struts can be a challenge.
Do you make things with power and machine tools now?..Evan Clarke
I'm lucky enough to have access to a very well-equipped toolroom so my preference for hand tools really is a choice rather than a necessity.
It also occurs to me that one could buy two or three very nice cameras for the cost of the equipment mentioned so far.
Buy a mill and eventually you'll need an indexing table... or something else... and so it goes on.
Hand tools don't necessarily have to be used freehand. I've used hardened and ground rod & flats as tool guides for many purposes. Perfect box joints can be cut with a simple hacksaw using guides. A cross-vise has "micrometer" travel in two directions, easily accurate enough if you adjust out the backlash.
I find it's just more fun figuring out how to do things well with minimal tools.
I know a bit about building cameras; and it is a tricky craft. The tools I can not live without in my shop are:
The table saw,
router table (although I use a small grizzly shaper instead of router table)
good dato blade for the table saw,
a box or dovetail jig cause ain't nobody gonna want a camera with butt joints and screws in the standards.
And a lot of studying how cameras are put together to allow for wood movement.
maybe it's easier to let a machine shop make the metal parts you can't buy off the shelf. has anybody done that?