Winter project turns into summer project....

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CraigK

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Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
262
Location
Canada
This winter I began restoring an 8x20 inch FS banquet camera....and ended up building another to make a matching pair!

You see, I have a friend who is a fine woodworker. When he saw the disassembled mahogany parts of an old 8x20 camera I purchased a year or so ago, he figured he could duplicate them easily (easy for him to say!). Well, lo and behold, he did just that. I now have two identical sets of mahogany pieces for two 8x20 cameras. The brass parts. corners, knobs, rack and pinions etc. have proven to be a bit harder to duplicate but I am slowly getting there. A couple of websites have come in handy (smallparts.com and brasparts.com) and I have made some friends in the local machine shop/metal smith community who are duplicating the brass pieces that I cannot get off the shelf one by one.

Yesterday I bought a mint condition Nikkor M 450mm lens in a Copal # 3 shutter. It will cover the 8x20's with ease. I bought it along with 5 8x10 inch film holders that will make my Deardorff very happy. I struck a pretty good deal with a local vendor selling off some equipment that recently came to market following the untimely passing of a fellow photographer here in town (there are other LF goodies available, if anyone is interested, I could post the list of items.).

I have yet to purchase holders for the 8x20's but Sam Wang and I have been playing e-mail tag regarding some of his holders and as soon as I can get a money order out to him, I should have something to put the film in.

I still have a lot of work to do though. I have to finish the wood with many loving coats of shellac that I will brew myself straight from the flakes. The bellows need to be purchased and fitted. I will probably send both cameras to England for this (camerabellows company).

I will keep you all updated on my progress. I may even set up a small gallery of the step by step proceedures....

Stay tuned!
 

Ole

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I'm jealous!

I'm planning to build a 4x8" back for my 18x24cm camera, or perhaps a 2x 4x4" stereo camera... I "happened" to come across three beautiful double plate holders in that size :smile:
 

AlanC

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Joined
Feb 23, 2004
Messages
348
Location
North Yorksh
craig,

Your project sounds very interesting. One small point. I don't know if you intend using the camera outside, or perhaps it desn't rain in Winnepeg, but shellac is not waterproof. It's an exellent finish for many things. As a professional musical instrument maker I have used it a lot.But when I built my two wooden 5 x 4 cameras I used thinned out yacht varnish on one -several coats, and several coats of Danish oil on the other. This is easier to apply . You put it on with a cloth. Both finishes are waterproof. The yacht varnish is a tough finish, but the Danish oil is very easy to touch up in small areas if you make subsequent alterations to the camera.

Alan Clark
 
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CraigK

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
262
Location
Canada
Alan,

Thanks for the advice regarding shellac.

I have used other finishes on gun stocks and I did consider using a Tung oil finish on the cameras but everytime I use the 5x7 Kodak 2D that I lovingly finished with shellac, I just can't help feeling warm all over. I realize that there are some shortcomings to a shellac finish but to me, there is just something special to the look and feel of it on mahogany. I guess I am a bit old fashioned that way. Besides, I am more of a fair weather/studio shooter anyway so waterproofing of the wood is not much of a concern for me. On the other hand, I make sure not to get a drop of my favorite single malt on the camera. Not just because alcohol disolves shellac but because the scotch I like is so damn expensive!

Cheers!
 

AlanC

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2004
Messages
348
Location
North Yorksh
Craig,

Now I know that you are partial to a glass of good whisky, I realise why you want to use shellac on your huge cameras - a finish very appropriate for fine furniture. My guess is that when you are not taking pictures with your cameras you are going to stand them in the corner and use them as drinks cabinets.
Seriously,good luck with your project. I look foreward to future updates.

Alan Clark
 
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