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  1. #21

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    Dan, your not insane! I am currently building my 2nd 12x20!!! The first one works fine, Its' just too heavy. I bought the film holders though instead of making them. That saved me a lot of time. Good luck and keep at it. Craig

  2. #22

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    Jim,

    Your finish work sounds beautiful. I've been considering a hand rubbed tung oil finish on mine. I've never used it before. So far, I've put three coats on a scrap piece just to get the feel of the look, and I think I'm sold. One question - isn't the oil supposed to seal and protect the wood surface by itself? Is the protective wax really needed? Sorry if these questions sound elementary, but I've lived for a long time on Varathane.

    I hope when you are finished, you'll be able to post a few pictures of your completed work.

    Dan

  3. #23
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Dozer
    Jim,

    Your finish work sounds beautiful. I've been considering a hand rubbed tung oil finish on mine. I've never used it before. So far, I've put three coats on a scrap piece just to get the feel of the look, and I think I'm sold. One question - isn't the oil supposed to seal and protect the wood surface by itself? Is the protective wax really needed? Sorry if these questions sound elementary, but I've lived for a long time on Varathane.

    I hope when you are finished, you'll be able to post a few pictures of your completed work.

    Dan
    Dan, I'm working on the front standard assembly and I hope to have it finished this weekend. Check out this guys post on finishing with tung oil. http://www.wwch.org/Technique/Finishes/OilFin.htm.
    His article is Wood Finishing with Oil. by Ray Lancon. I found this article one night by using google. There is a lot of time involved in the finishing process but after all of that work you can't take a shortcut on the final finish. I sometimes refinish marble and granite for extra $$$ for camera building, film, etc. I sand my woodwork dry to 320 grit. I switch to his wet process from 400, 600, 800 grits but I use my hand diamond sanding pads and the final finish is beautiful. The Watco satin wax helps to protect the finish. When it gets dinged from use it is easy to take the wax off and do touch up. It just works for me. i'm sure others have different methods of finishing but I love to see the wood and not a coating. Jim

  4. #24

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    Jim,

    Thanks for this - it is really great. I've not much experience with oil before. So far, I have tried two different types of oil - Watco Danish Oil and Minwax Tung Oil on a piece of scrap wood. With a very rudimentary sampling, I liked the Minwax a little better. However, I would think that if I followed the technique outlined in Ray Lancon's write-up, they would probably look just about the same. The thing I like best about this is that the color of the Makori with the oil is so rich, there is no reason why I would ever want to consider staining the wood (and covering up it's natural beauty). You have obviously had much more experience with this than I have, but I can imagine what it will look like as the finished product. The one problem is that I would probably have to finish the film holder pieces before I assemble the whole thing - not sure if I can wait that long. I may use this first film holder as my "prototype" and not spend quite as much time on the finish for this one. I think I'll go the whole route regarding the finish on the camera and the rest of the holders when I get to them.

    Thanks for all your info - it is a new inspiration for me to make this project as beautiful as possible. It will take more time, but to me it will be worth it.

  5. #25
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Dan, I just posted pictures of the Walnut tripod in the camera and building area. Check it out. The legs are finished with this process and the yoke needs a little more work. The color is rich and there is a glow to the wood with a hand polished finish. I like it and that's what counts. yes, it is a lot of work but why not. Large format and ULF photographers are not known for speed I believe, just quality! I should post some pictures of the front standard this weekend. Any more questions you have don't hesitate to put it out there!

    Stay Focused

    Jim

  6. #26

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    Hi Jim,

    Your Tripod looks terrific - I never considered trying to build a tripod, but after seeing yours, I may start thinking about it. Obviously, the film holders and camera come first.

    My last reponse to you indicated that I was just trying out the oil finishes and that I like the Minwax tung oil better than the Watco. Last night I did some reading up on oil finishes and learned that just because the label on the can says Tung Oil, that doesn't really mean thats what it is. Seems the generic team "Tung Oil" is used pretty loosely by the finish manufacturers for systems that can range from Boiled Linseed Oil to Thinned Varnish, to Oil/Varnish mix. Tried both systems and learned a lot. I tried Ray Lancon's technique with both the Minwax and Watco oils, and boy was I surprised. I used both on wood samples of Makori (African Cherry) sanded to 220 grit. I believe that the Minwax product is actually thinned varnish or polyurethane because as I let it soak into the wood, it started to get tacky in a way the looked like it was curing. The Watco didn't react the same at all. I had to quit on the Minwax product after about 10 - 15 minutes because adding more oil was only making things worse. Watco in fact is an Oil/varnish mix. I am now 1000% convinced that the Watco system is far superior to the Minwax. The material went on easily (however, it is a little messy) just as Ray Lancon's article indicated. I let it soak in for about a hour and 15 minutes then wipped of the excess oil. The finish looks absolutely beatiful and this is only after the first coat. I'm supposed to wait for two days before I put the second coat on, and am anxious to see how it looks then. I would like to pursue this finish system on my new camera and holders, but I have to figure out how to make it work with the holders. The problem I have is that I need to do some final/finish sanding after they are assembled, but it will be very difficult to apply the oil finish after final assembly. I'll have to give this some more thought because I really like this finish.

    The first film holder is just about ready to start assembly and all looks well. I've dry fit it together and will try to take a couple of pictures (have to wait for my batteries to charge up). I'll try posting the photos later tonight.

    Thanks again for the recommendation for the Oil Finish,

    Dan

  7. #27
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Dan, what you might want to do on the holders is finish sand them to 400-600 with dry sandpaper. Then when you do the finish instead of sanding get a white polishing 3m pad and wet polish with that. Then after you do your touch up sanding just apply a little more oil and wipe down with the pad, let it dry and you are done. I would love to see the film holders when you get them done. I hope to have the front standard done tomorrow am. Remember if you get a good base built up with the oil by letting it soak in you can touch up after sanding and it should look great! Makori sounds like a great wood. I'd love to see it.

    Stay Focused!

    Jim

  8. #28

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    For those of you following this thread, my first 8 x 20 film holder is nearing completion.

    Things I have learned so far -

    1 - This type of film holder is pretty complicated and requires very tight tolerances in dimensions. It is patterned after the old style wooden holders. I don't recommend trying to build this type of holder unless you have the patience, skills, and tools to accomplish this.

    2 - Plan everything out very carefully and do a lot of research. There is a lot of information on the internet about how to make holders (this forum has a is probably the best resource).

    3 - When you start cutting your wood, also make extra pieces out of an inexpensive wood like clear pine to use for test cutting. You will need it or you will be wasting a lot of your nice hardwood with mistakes.

    Here are a few photos of my progress to date.

    One last thing - per recommendations of several people who have responded, I'm starting to write a "journal" of my experiences in making my 8 x 20 camera and film holders and will include photos and drawings. At some point, I plan on making it available to all APUG subscribers who are interested (please don't make requests now - this process will take quite some time).

    Thanks,

    Dan

  9. #29
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Dan, the holder looks great! I to need to update my journal on the tripod and the 8x20 I'm doing. It's great to have this forum to bounce ideas off of each other, cry over our mistakes and take pride in what we've done when it comes out right. If we can save someone some time in their building process I'm all for that. It does take a lot of time!

    Jim

  10. #30

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    Update on the film holder construction - holder is now complete. I've discovered a few things that make me want to change the design a little. I'm coming up with some simpler joint conditions and changing the side rail design.

    Now that I know that there is a "camera building" forum (never panned down the forum page that far), I'll continue with a new thread on that forum as updates become available.

    Thanks to all for the input so far.

    Dan

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