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Thread: Building 8x10 Monorail based off of Jon Grepstad's plans. Tips?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    12

    Building 8x10 Monorail based off of Jon Grepstad's plans. Tips?

    This summer I'm going to be building an 8x10 monorail LF camera based off of Jon Grepstad's plans. Looking over the manual can get a little overwhelming at times. It's all good info, just a lot of info. Just curious if anyone on here has took a swing at building their own camera based of Jon's plans, and if so, if you have any tips or advice you'd liked to share.

    ex.. Material used, lens, bellows, ground glass, film holders, mistakes made, etc...

    I'm mainly looking to use this camera to make tintypes and know I'm going to have to convert a film holder to do so. So, if you have advice on that as well, please share.

    Thanks!
    -Micah

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    19

    Re: Building 8x10 Monorail based off of Jon Grepstad's plans. Tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by mkvidt View Post
    This summer I'm going to be building an 8x10 monorail LF camera based off of Jon Grepstad's plans. Looking over the manual can get a little overwhelming at times. It's all good info, just a lot of info. Just curious if anyone on here has took a swing at building their own camera based of Jon's plans, and if so, if you have any tips or advice you'd liked to share.
    I haven't tried that, so all I can say is "just do it step by step and don't forget to document it"

    Quote Originally Posted by mkvidt View Post
    I'm mainly looking to use this camera to make tintypes and know I'm going to have to convert a film holder to do so. So, if you have advice on that as well, please share.
    There is a very good Video on youtube that shows how to do that.

    -Matthias

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Grande Prairie, Alberta
    Posts
    8

    Re: Building 8x10 Monorail based off of Jon Grepstad's plans. Tips?

    Micah, I built a 4x5 version of his plans but the main things I changed where the mono rail system and supports. I found the wood sliders for the front and rear sliders just did not move smoothly enough. It wasn't such an issue for the rear standard but moving the front standard for precise focusing was difficult, at least for me. It always seemed to be binding and you had to move it back precisely along the monorail in order for it not to. So I adapted an old Velbon tripod to be my monorail and I've attached a photo. The result is I now have precise movement on the front standard for focusing. I left the back one the same as the plans as with my style of camera use, I don't move it as much. I did make sure that the tripod block was just a bit shorter than the back slider. I attached a metal plate with holes to the back slider so that when I'm using a wide angle lens I can move the standard forward on the metal plate so that it will move over the tripod block and allow for the standards to be close together for the use of wide angle lenses. Finally, I did not end up using the tripod block in the size that was suggested, I found it to not have enough surface area on the bottom for holding the camera stable. I screwed and epoxied a metal plate the size of the tripod head to the bottom of tripod block. I also made it just a little bit larger so that I could have a lip along one side over the edge of the head to help hold it in place and prevent any turning, etc. Otherwise I pretty much followed his instructions and I have a camera that seems to function well. Ken Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    38

    Re: Building 8x10 Monorail based off of Jon Grepstad's plans. Tips?

    I just started the construction of a 8x10 flatbed camera until i can afford a real one, I will combine Grepstad's plans with Phillips camera movements, my initial problem now is to maintain the depth to film surface with my ground glass, i built it with fine-grained abrasive powder and now I'm looking for spacers that allow me to have 6.6 mm of depth...

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    38

    Re: Building 8x10 Monorail based off of Jon Grepstad's plans. Tips?

    to solve the problem of depth I've put together three 2 coins, they have a thickness of 2.2 mm

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    37

    Re: Building 8x10 Monorail based off of Jon Grepstad's plans. Tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by mkvidt View Post
    This summer I'm going to be building an 8x10 monorail LF camera based off of Jon Grepstad's plans. Looking over the manual can get a little overwhelming at times. It's all good info, just a lot of info. Just curious if anyone on here has took a swing at building their own camera based of Jon's plans, and if so, if you have any tips or advice you'd liked to share.

    ex.. Material used, lens, bellows, ground glass, film holders, mistakes made, etc...

    I'm mainly looking to use this camera to make tintypes and know I'm going to have to convert a film holder to do so. So, if you have advice on that as well, please share.

    Thanks!
    -Micah
    New URL: jongrepstad.com

    Jon Grepstad

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