Building a camera

A couple of days ago, after talking to someone about Field Cameras and because the thought of owning one had been in and out of my mind for a while I decided to look into building one versus just buying one.

So after a bit of research and looking at all of the various designs around I though why not build one.  I have plenty of woodworking equipment including some very nice router equipment that is perfect for box joints so that will not be difficult.

The tricky part is getting the film holder position in the perfect spot.  Further research suggested a pretty simple method,  make the position slightly deeper than required and then shim it out for a perfect fit.

Ok lets go.

My construction is going to be in Jarrah,  found a lovely figured piece at the timber merchant, and aluminium.  The aluminium in places will be laminated with Jarrah and the rest, knobs etcetera will be anodised.  I will look at making the knobs etc on my lathe, unless I can find the perfect article in a shop.  The rest is pretty simple with aluminium struts etc to hold the front lens and provide for the adjustments typical of a field camera.

This project is expected to take a few months and if I can make it I will post photographs of the various stages.  I think the cost of the build will be about $300,  maybe less as I have found a bellows and lens plate for a good price.

Today I started the base plate lamination,  here is the first piece glued to the aluminium plate,


you can see the lovely figure in the wood.  Once sanded and polished it should look glorious.  By doing this I get a very strong base and not to much weight.  After all I will have to carry it around.  Hopefully I can keep it under two kilograms.


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