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  1. #1
    BradS's Avatar
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    How to cut the groove?

    Hi,
    I'm building a 4x5 view camera and am presently working on the design of the back. I've built one prototype already and I'm stuck on how to cut the groove to match the raised feature on the film holder -- the one that runs the length of the short side about two millimeters in from the film window...any suggestions? How have others done it.

    My back is made of wood.

  2. #2

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    My Verito page

    Anyone can appreciate a fine print. But it takes a real photographer to appreciate a fine negative.

  3. #3
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    If you don't have the other features on the back yet, then it can be made as a saw cut. If you want or need to, you can cut it too big and then fill it back to size by molding the film holder into the groove. You don't want an exact fit, but snug.

    I think, too, that I have cut this groove with an exacto knife or utility knife.

    Another way to get a back is to buy an old camera and steal the back off. My first homebuilt had a graflex back on it. It had that nice little door and the springs, too. Made life much easier.

  4. #4
    127
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    I just cut the film window larger than it needs to be, so the top window lined up with the groove. Then I just used a jigsaw and widened the top 1mm of the window - the "groove" goes all the way through.

    There's plenty of other light proofing, so it didn't really matter that the hole was a little larger than it needs to be.

    Ian

  5. #5
    BradS's Avatar
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    Thanks all...

    Thanks to everyone who graciously contributed. I had not thought of simply using a saw...should have been obvious.

    On my prototype I ended up "building up" instead of "cutting out" -- but this is certainly not optimal as it adds another (albeit small) distance between the lens and film plane.

    William, I looked at your previous answer (supplied in the link) to this question...photos are certainly helpful. I like the leaf springs too...

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    I had to just recently remove the velvet light trap material on my empire state 8x10 I in turn had to cut the groove you are talking about into the back so it would better seal out light leaks. I used a dremel and a rounded point attachment and had a straight edge set up to keep it completely parrelel.
    worked like a charm. I then got some velvet and replaced the material and was in business with no more light leaks.

  7. #7
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    I use a 1/8 inch Marples Blue Chip chisel. Makes beautiful flat bottomed grooves. But they must be sharp enough to shave with. Careful now, shaving with a 1/8 inch wide chisel is very tedious business.

  8. #8
    Calamity Jane's Avatar
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    On both the cameras I have made this year I simply put a cut all the way across the back - a plywood blade in the table saw is a perfect match for the lip on a 4x5 holder. I then cut a sliver of wood and glue it in each end of the slot. If done carefully, it's almost invisible.

  9. #9
    Murray@uptowngallery's Avatar
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    Is the groove for light trapping only, or is it part of filmholder retention too?
    Murray

  10. #10
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    Easiest way is to use an 1/8" saw blade (table saw) and make the pass. This will make a larger than necessary groove. To get a good tight fit, usa a film holder and cover the raised light trap ridge with masking tape, a layer or two, and then use paste wax as a mold release on the tape. Do the same thing on top of the saw kerf, but don't trim for the groove until the wax has dried completely. Trim the tape with an exacto or razor knife to expose the groove from the saw cut. Mix a little bondo, apply it to the groove (just enough to fill it nearly full), press the holder in place and when the bondo goes off, remove the holder and peel the tape. You will have to sand gently, but a shot of balck spray paint and things will be snug, light tight and nice.

    Second best is to use a saw blade which is the exact width, depth and profile, but I have yet to find one. tim

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