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Thread: 11x14 camera build attempt - Questions

  1. #1
    Pali K Pali K's Avatar
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    11x14 camera build attempt - Questions

    The large format bug has really got me now and I would like to venture into ULF. Without going too big, I am thinking about building a 11x14 camera (never built one before) based on the design below. I would really appreciate help on the overall design of the camera and the questions below before I start building the camera.

    Draft Design:




    Questions:
    1. Does this design seem appropriate? I know this is a loaded question but I have never built a camera before and I am looking for if I should attempt this or scratch it all together and start with a different design.
    2. Is 3/8" Baltic Birch Plywood strong enough for framing the front and the rear standards?
    3. Does anyone know a good play to get ball bearing rails? Actually, the question should be what rails should I use to support the base for the front standard?
    4. I would like to use ball screw based focusing (similar to chamonix) but I can't seem to find these anywhere. Does anyone know what these are called and where I can find one?
    5. Based on my CAD drawing, I should be able to get about 940mm bellows extension. Is this OK for 11x14 or will it be a problem for portraits with "normal" lens?
    6. Does anyone know a good place for bellows? I saw a few on ebay but they seem to be from China and I would prefer to get them from someone in US.


    Thanks, Pali

  2. #2

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    Re: 11x14 camera build attempt - Questions

    Looks fine. Are you a cabinet maker or journeyman machinist? To pull off this design, you need skills and tools. Drawing it on a screen and building it are two different things. There is another thread on here about designing a camera and doing a bulk buy on some of the parts. Might be a good thread to find and join.

  3. #3
    Pali K Pali K's Avatar
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    Re: 11x14 camera build attempt - Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jbenedict View Post
    Looks fine. Are you a cabinet maker or journeyman machinist? To pull off this design, you need skills and tools. Drawing it on a screen and building it are two different things. There is another thread on here about designing a camera and doing a bulk buy on some of the parts. Might be a good thread to find and join.
    Thank you. My dad has a small machine shop and I plan to get the parts machined there. He'll probably be able to machine everything as long as I can provide blueprints for him so that is why I am building this in CAD first.

    I'll look up the thread you mentioned.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    JMoore's Avatar
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    Re: 11x14 camera build attempt - Questions

    You can get most of the hardware you will need from McMaster-Carr

    Linear Motion Bearings http://www.mcmaster.com/#linear-moti...riages/=yiz449
    Acme Threaded Rods http://www.mcmaster.com/#acme-threaded-rods/=yiz57r

    Please keep us updated on the progress of you build, it looks very nice.

    Jim
    "itís so easy to get famous now. Have a big butt and an Instagram account."...Naomi Grossman

  5. #5

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    Re: 11x14 camera build attempt - Questions

    Buy the below from here. Much cheaper.

    And this is also needed.

    Use it for focus by adding a crank handle and make your load bearing ways from traditional woods.

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    Re: 11x14 camera build attempt - Questions

    See my website.
    Baltic birch is great stuff. Use 1/2" or better yet 5/8" for the rear frame. Use finger joints made on the table saw.
    This is the screw you're looking for:http://www.roton.com/page.aspx?id=16
    Chamonix uses left hand screws in stainless steel. Roton doesn't list them on their site so i bought mine from chamonix. Most expensive part of the camera.
    I made my front standard (lensboard portion) out of one piece of 3/4" baltic birch. No joints.
    Look up the Phillips compact camera as well.
    Linear guide bearings/rails from ebay.

  7. #7

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    Re: 11x14 camera build attempt - Questions

    Well, I'm looking at a receipt that says "Camera Bellows" that came with my camera bellows that was made in Nov 2003 for a Conley 8x10 camera. The address is from Birmingham UK, but it lists the web address as "www.leefilters.com." I have a bunch of Lee Filters items that I use, but I simply don't remember getting this bellows from them. It makes sense that they could make bellows because they make the filter lens hoods for their systems which are kind of bellow-ishy LOL. I looked at their website, but it isn't obvious as to whether or not they make bellows, and since this was nearly 12 years ago I simply don't remember going through them to get my replacement Conley bellows. But, you might send them an email and tell them some crazy old fart got a bellows from them 12 years ago and can they make you one LOL. It was 180 pounds (money not weight) shipped 12 years ago to the US (Seattle) and it's awesome (heavy, well made). Unless you go with something used or hand-made I suspect THIS will be the most expensive part of your camera.
    The only trouble with doin' nothing is you can't tell when you get caught up

  8. #8
    Pali K Pali K's Avatar
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    Re: 11x14 camera build attempt - Questions

    Thank you Jim, Randy, Vinny, and Paul. I just spent 30 minutes reviewing the links and the information you sent and placed a bulk order for parts from eBay. The project is officially ON and I am cautiously excited.

    Quote Originally Posted by vinny View Post
    See my website.
    Baltic birch is great stuff. Use 1/2" or better yet 5/8" for the rear frame. Use finger joints made on the table saw.
    This is the screw you're looking for:http://www.roton.com/page.aspx?id=16
    Chamonix uses left hand screws in stainless steel. Roton doesn't list them on their site so i bought mine from chamonix. Most expensive part of the camera.
    I made my front standard (lensboard portion) out of one piece of 3/4" baltic birch. No joints.
    Look up the Phillips compact camera as well.
    Linear guide bearings/rails from ebay.
    Vinny, so glad you chimed in because your beautiful camera is what inspired me to start this project. I am sure there will be many challenges ahead but knowing you are here gives me some comfort. I am going to follow your ideas with this design including milling the front standard from one piece. I went with 3/4" for the rear standard and 1/2" for the rotating back. BTW, I looked up the left hand screw but didn't find any so went with the acme screw that Randy posted. It seems that it will do the job and the price was really good.

    I also lucked out and saw that there was a 11x14 holder for $250 so picked that up as well. Total so far is $440 with the film holder being more than 50% of it.

    Here is the parts inventory to keep this DIY build logged for future.




    Back to CAD before the parts get delivered.

    Pali
    Last edited by Pali K; 16-Aug-2015 at 20:57. Reason: rotating not reversible back

  9. #9
    Pali K Pali K's Avatar
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    Re: 11x14 camera build attempt - Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Metcalf View Post
    Well, I'm looking at a receipt that says "Camera Bellows" that came with my camera bellows that was made in Nov 2003 for a Conley 8x10 camera. The address is from Birmingham UK, but it lists the web address as "www.leefilters.com." I have a bunch of Lee Filters items that I use, but I simply don't remember getting this bellows from them. It makes sense that they could make bellows because they make the filter lens hoods for their systems which are kind of bellow-ishy LOL. I looked at their website, but it isn't obvious as to whether or not they make bellows, and since this was nearly 12 years ago I simply don't remember going through them to get my replacement Conley bellows. But, you might send them an email and tell them some crazy old fart got a bellows from them 12 years ago and can they make you one LOL. It was 180 pounds (money not weight) shipped 12 years ago to the US (Seattle) and it's awesome (heavy, well made). Unless you go with something used or hand-made I suspect THIS will be the most expensive part of your camera.
    Paul, this is quite interesting because I too use lee filters and never would have thought they make bellows. I may go with the seller on eBay (ecbuyonline2008) which seems to have good reviews for past bellows sales. I am going to buy the bellows last once I have built the entire camera and know exactly what bellows will fit best.

    Pali

  10. #10
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: 11x14 camera build attempt - Questions

    Lee Filters used to own Camera Bellows. The company is now called Custom Bellows, http://www.custombellows.co.uk/ .
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

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