I give up.
Although I admit to being a novice ebayer at best, I just cannot seem to find lensboards for a B&J 5x7 camera anywhere. Short of having someone like Steve Grimes or Jim Galvin make me a couple, do you have any thoughts about where I could search or whom I could call?
And I also admit to being a terrible woodworker. I would not trust myself with trying to make them myself.
Thanks for whatever you can offer...
One of them is bound to have them
You don't need to be much of a woodworker to make a good enough lensboard. We aren't talking french polished cuban mahongany here. Well not on my cameras we aren't. If you can't find one then I say give it a try.
Go to the local mega lumber yard with your tape measure in hand. Assuming the measurements in the ad are right then look for a board 4 1/2" wide. Stick to something soft like pine. Only thing to watch for is that it's knot free. Once you find the board ask them to cut it to lenght for you. You'll likly now have enough boards to last two life times. Get a reasonably sharp chisel about the the width of the rabbet and take your time shaving the rabbets. Nice thing about a soft wood is you won't need a super sharp chisel. Every so often stop and see if it fits the camera. Don't rush. Or ask somebody who has a router to make the two rabbets for you. Then all that is left is drilling the hole.
Once you've made your first the second will be childs play. The only thing to watch is you find a thin enough board. A real lumber place will have resaw services for you but the big box hardware stores won't so don't get anything too thick to mount your lens on. Unless you're mounting long barrel lens then you might want a thick board.
Use two thin pieces, each 1/8 inch (?) thick. You can probably eyeball the thickness. Cut one to fit the inner side, cut the other to fit the outer side. They will differ by about 1/8 to 1/4 inch per side depending on your camera. It is this "lip" or "staristep" that keeps the light from leaking around the board. Then put them together with wood glue and some clips until the glue dries. Or, you can use black pieces of plastic if you want. To find the center for the lens, draw two lined corner to corner. Where they cross is the center. Use old, seasoned wood. New wood will warp. One reminder.... it is better to cut off too little each time. You can always take more off. You can't put it back on.
If these are the typical thickness boards that most cameras such as Deardorf take, (not sure on a B&J) the best material to use is 1/4 inch plywood. The reason being that you have several courses of wood laminated together. This lamination keeps the board from warping in the same way that a single thickness piece of lumber is prone to do. That is why on a lot of factory boards they put two opposing strips at each end. Usually with plywood it is just a matter of cutting the overall dimensions from the plywood and then with the table saw blade lowered to only the lip thickness cutting the lip on the board on each of the sides. If you can not find a lumber yard do this for you, try any cabinet shop, carpenter etc. Anyone with a table saw can cut those out in very short order. Good luck.
Thanks! I just got two off of ebay. And no splinters under the finger nails.
Thanks to all who posted on this one.