To anyone interested:
I've been working on this project off and on for some months now, and finally got everything assembled. Here it is: a 7 and 1/2 pound 11x14 camera that you can build yourself for $250 or less.
The basic design is similar to the Kodak 2D, i.e., a base rail consisting of two rails. I decided to use a 36" long base rail with no joints or hinges for extra stability. Focusing is by friction-focusing; both front and rear standards lock down underneath the rails by tightening knobs that tighten (clamp) the wooden rail-guides. I decided to use single knobs for both front rise/fall and front tilt to achieve a little more stability.
Bellows found on ebay for around $50.
Materials: mostly 2"x1/2"x36" balsa wood ($4.99 ea) from the local hardware store. Measured with metal ruler and cut with a craft saw. (And, yes, that's a 3lb lens on the front--no problem!) Yes, balsa wood is very fragile if it's thin or stressed in the wrong direction, but is surprisingly strong when 2" thick.
Bass wood used on key stress points (pin placements, weight-bearing light-trap, lens board bracket support, etc.). Also, wooden washers made from craft plywood (cutouts from the hole saw from mounting smaller lenses) are used to spread the force when tightening the control knobs.
Aluminum brackets for back and lens board holder.
Lots of screws, mostly drywall screws I had on hand. Also, some 2 and 1/2" brass screws in the front and rear standard joints.
Mahogany stain and five coats of poly for a hard, protective outer surface.
Knobs from McMaster-Carr.
The base rail is 3/4 square aluminum bar, 36", from Home Depot. Cross pieces are 1"x2" pine; cutting these was the only time I used the mitre saw (just to get the ends square). Extra tripod sockets in front and rear for optional extra stablization with monopod or spare lightweight tripod.
Base rail weighs 2lbs; camera, 5 and 1/2lbs.
Max bellows extension, 30".
Front rise and fall, and front and rear tilt limited only by lens coverage (next version will have swing also).
The GG is plexi with self-adhesive window film.
I also used a 1/4" drill for pilot holes for all the screws to prevent splitting.
If you are interested in building a ULF and have questions, let me know; I'll be glad to share what I learned on this project.
Next up: a 12x20 extension back and 8x20 reducing back.