The skeleton

As I mentioned, I have most of the wood parts cut, and when I stack them up just right, they start to look like a camera. Some of it is awaiting joinery, which takes the most time and setup, and I will have to sand everything down before I can assemble it, but I think the bulk of the wood skeleton is done.

One thing I found, while stacking the pieces in order, is that one piece that is supposed to support the rear standard came out short. I think I cut it to the front standard length instead of the rear, Do’oh! I’ll have to back track and figure out what went wrong on that one.

The base has six cross supports, all mortised and tenoned to the base rails for extra strength yet still being light weight. The front standard rail has one 3″ support and one 1″ support. The rear standard rail only has one 3″ support that won’t be mortised in; I will use some screws and glue to bolster this joint, but I think there is enough surface area to make it strong.

The rear standard needs to be joined with a box joint, tongue routed into it, and a longer base cut. After that I will need to build the film holder back. The back will likely be an exercise in precision design, like the holders themselves. I haven’t found any great inspiration for it yet, but I think I have some good ideas, and will flush them out on paper.

I’m confident about my progress and design, though. The complex design is doable in the medium term, even if I couldn’t finish it in a semester. Plus, I think I will be very happy I spent the extra time to include all the camera movements once I start using it. The camera will be so heavy, that I won’t have the option of making slight adjustments without swing, tilt , and rise. Without these, I imagine I would be well in to the glue up phase and working on the bellows.

My access to the shop is over for now, until the fall, so I will probably start in on some of the non fabricated parts, like the belows, and start to sand (and possibly glue up) the pieces I have ready. When I started this, I knew it would take me a while, but this is turning into a major engineering project. I couldn’t settle for a fast, box camera, I guess.

One Response to “The skeleton”

  1. rdb Says:

    Enjoying your build. I have some questions reguarding (16×20) ULF cameras.
    I want to start on a 20 year old dream but want to discuss it with someone more knowlegeeable than I so I know it is possible or not.
    Looking forward to your reply.

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