Archive for March, 2008

Some parts

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

WordPress just released an upgrade, so I think I can post cleanly again.

The parts in the center of this picture are the beginning of the base rail system of the camera. If you look through my notes you will see the drawing of it. ( It is very rewarding when I can draw something out and make the part to match.) The rails will be held in place with some Al plate attached to the center and one on the outside. The contact surface will have some stick’um frictionless tape designed to reduce wear on factory parts. 

The parts you see around the outside are the last stages of the film holders. AS you can see the cuts have become quite complicated in order to ensure that the joins don’t overlap. My thinking is that if there is going to be a light leak, it will likely be at the point of a joint, so I want the joint sot be hidden if possible and not overlaping to avoid pass through light. The need a few more set-ups to finish them off, but seem to be fitting together well.

Anyway, I am back in the shop this week, so hopefully I’ll have more progress to post by next week.


The Notes

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

It has been a month since my last post, but I spaced this post out, because I don’t think a cut-by-cut analysis is necessary. You’ll see in a follow-up post that the film holder parts are coming along slowly, but they require so many set-ups it may seem I am not moving anywhere. As a result, for the sake of morale on the project, I decided to start building the actual camera itself in conjunction with the film holders. I figure, the quick progress I can make on it will help me feel like I am actually accomplishing things day-to-day. Also, by the time the holders are ready, I am hoping to be at a point where I can start making the camera back where they will be held.

What I have been finding out, as I move along, is that the techniques for building each joint, is the part that is really causing me the most time. As I become used to making certain types of cuts, and joints, the process is speading up, and my confidence is going up, so I am able to move right into a part without spending a day planning it out like I was before. As a result of the increase in woodworking knowledge, and speed of production, I am able make changes as I go along.

The decision making period is speading up too, which means my notes are becoming less detailed in some ways, but more precise in others. Instead of sketching something out several times, and deliberating dimensions, and scales, I am finding that I have a good idea of what size of part, and type of joint will work best, right off the bat. My sketches, now, are basically a scaled pencil drawing with a few key dimensions, and a parts list. I have foregone the super-detailed CAD drawing with every dimension plotted out. I have intuitively included how the machines cut, and the better wood joints into the design as opposed to trying to think up how everything will fit together.

All this has been a direct result of the woodworking class I am taking with a great instructor, Shannon Wright, who has been showing simple and versatile methods of furniture building. Plus there is a really knowledgeable shop manager that has given me advice, and cues on how to use certain jigs and saws. The time working in the shop has really become something I look forward to.

There is almost a genetic connection to the work. The cultural traditions of cutting wood into shapes that are useful is something that has been a joy to explore. Just getting into the simple things, like sharpening a chisel, can take me into thousands of years of history, and wisdom. So not only is the camera itself an exploration of past photographic methods, but the build process has been an almost zen experience, and lesson on the works our forefathers mastered to colonize the planet.

Anyway, without further rambling, here is what my notes look like.

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