Originally Posted by Dave Wooten
Run what you brung, and a camera is only, in essence, a light tight box.
The OP may have more time than money, and if that is the case I totally support his endeavor. You'd really be surprised what a careful and patient man can do with fairly simple tools.
Being from other interests I can cheerfully say that I know of dedicated amateurs who grind their own lenses and mirrors for telescopes accurate to microns, for backyard astronomy, over periods of many weeks.
View cameras are comparatively simple compared to the things amateurs in other hobbies, like motorsports, electronics, sailing, etc.. regularly build and trust their lives to.
rant...rant....etc..etc..rant, rant rant...GRRR!