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Thread: LF camera tracks

  1. #1

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    LF camera tracks

    Can anyone suggest a place to obtain the "tracks" (I guess the technical term is a rack) that my 11x14 camera's front standard moves on? I have attached a photo. I am thinking of building an extension to the rails and need more of these.

  2. #2

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    Re: LF camera tracks

    McMaster Carr.
    Go buy some film, and release the magic.

  3. #3

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    Re: LF camera tracks

    Thanks. Found this: http://www.mcmaster.com/#racks-and-pinions/=ebmy3u

    Now I just have to figure out which rack matches the gears on my camera. I am hoping I don't have to also change the gears.

  4. #4
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: LF camera tracks

    It's called a rack, as in rack and pinion. The pinion is the small gear that engages the rack.

    Be careful... They come in two different pressure angles, 14 1/2 and 20. The two PAs are NOT compatible. Both parts must have the same PA.

    You'll find a good selection at McMaster-Carr http://www.mcmaster.com on catalog pages 1054-1057. Enter 1054 in the search box at upper left to access that page, then use the arrow keys to view the others.

    Excellent company to deal with. I have an account with them and order stuff at least once a week.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  5. #5

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    Re: LF camera tracks

    Thanks Leigh - what pressure angle do you suppose the makers of the Rochester Empire State 11x14 camera used back in 1896?

  6. #6
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: LF camera tracks

    Of that vintage it could be anything. I think 14 1/2 was standardized around WWI. The 20 PA is more recent.

    I strongly suggest replacing both the rack and the gear. That way you're sure it will work properly.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  7. #7

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    Re: LF camera tracks

    Ack replacing the gear requires me to find a matching gear set and hopefully an axle which will fit the lock knobs and the holes for the axle in the standard support.

    Maybe I'll just go with friction focus :{

    Just amazing the number of other stuff a guy has to do just to take some photos - since setting up my darkroom I've been a plumber, electrician, painter .etc now add this to it. I just wanted to take some photos!

  8. #8

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    Re: LF camera tracks

    If i recall correctly the extension rail gears are a defunct/ odd pitch angle, for the Kodak wood cameras
    14.5 and 20 are easy to get, but if you want to match without changing the pinion
    then look for a junker that you can cannibalize parts from. Maybe even post a WTB
    in the for sale / trade section here.

    You can also try Stock Drive Products, I bought a some pinion gears from them
    when I was working on my 2D's

    http://www.sdp-si.com/estore/CoverPg/Gears.htm

  9. #9

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    Re: LF camera tracks

    Thanks - proceeding on the assumption that I'll have to replace the pinions as well as the racks, I am hoping that at least the axle can be reused so I don't have to also find the knob that turns the gear and the other knob that locks it in place. Because then the knobs on the camera won't match/

  10. #10

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    Re: LF camera tracks

    The axle, if it's not bent, should be reusable or easily replaced.
    You would have to replace the the pinion if you're going to source a new rack
    the old pinion will bind since it's not the right pitch.
    You wouldn't have to replace the knobs if you replace the axle, thread
    the new rod with a die. The thread for the knob is 10 - 32 on my 8x10 and 5x7 2D cameras,
    I'm going to guess that it would be the same for your 11x14.

    The hard part in removing the brass pinion gear, is that it's pinned in place
    with a steel tapered pin. You'll need to clean all the surface corrosion off to see
    where the narrow end would be, that would be the end you want to start
    attempting to punch it out.

    I say attempt because with age tight parts are extremely hard to get out.

    PS - I still think looking for a OEM part would be easier if you're not equipped tooling wise
    to make the change, you could cobble a long enough length of OEM from junker 2D's

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