OK, I've been in love with the B&S Hobo ever since I saw it. I love the idea of the portable, focus free large format camera. I do have a problem with $650 for it though. I can't get the idea out of my head that it is a really, really simple device and could be made for a lot less.
So here's the question, could I, a person that is reasonably bright but not skilled with tools, make my own 5x7 box camera? It seems to me that if I picked up a 5x7 back from some place, all I would need is a lens and a box of the appropriate depth. The trickiest part would be getting the flange to film distance just right. Even that doesn't strike me as being overly difficult. I was thinking of using a 90mm lens (maybe even one of the early Angulons). If I wanted to get fancy I could even use some sort of gasket behind the lens or in front of the film back to change the focus distance.
Am I missing something? It seems that all I'd need is some plywood or MDF, some accurate measurments, and some screws and glue. I sure would have fun with one of those...