View Full Version : 3D renders of my future 8x10 camera

14-Mar-2013, 06:12

I want to build my first LF camera. So far I have made one of cardboard as "proof of concept" (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?100903-New-LF-from-Chorz%F3w-Poland) and now I think it's time to build some more serious one.
It wont' be really 8x10, because I plan to use x-ray film in 18x24cm size and I already have holder for 18x24 on one side 13x18 on the other.
Design is almost 100% based o Jon Grepstad's (http://home.online.no/~gjon/jgcam.htm) book.
My goal is to make it cheap and easy to made.
I plan to use plywood and oak. It should be stable material.
Also my experience with wood is really limited so it have to be a simple.
I do not hurry. It's good because I have to wait for warmer temperature because it's too cold in my garage now.
Just have to buy simple table saw to be able to cut wood straight ;)
So far I've made 3D design with exact dimensions to be sure everything fits.
This is how I hope it will look:

14-Mar-2013, 06:50
You want to build something, but you have to buy a tool to do it. That's how hobbies like woodworking work.

14-Mar-2013, 06:53
I have more plans related to woodworking this year so table saw will be quite important. But I plan to buy some really simple and cheap one.

Steven Tribe
14-Mar-2013, 07:05

Make the front standard as large as the rear standard. Because:

- Square bellows are much easier to make than tapered.
- Square bellows do not droop as much.
- front and rear standards will compress the bellows neatly togther when not in use.
- A larger front standard makes installation of a sinar/copal shutter possible.

Oak is not a usually used wood, except on massive reproduction cameras (greater than 50 kilos). It has an open surface with uneven texture/grain.

14-Mar-2013, 07:12
Thanks for the suggestions.
I'll try another design with front standard as large as rear.
What wood do you suggest instead of oak? Will ash be better? It's hard to buy decent, seasoned wood here in Poland.

14-Mar-2013, 07:31
I thought tapered bellows compressed more than straight. I could be mistaken.

Will the back be reversable (do both verticals and horizontals)?

You might want a lip on the end of the GG holder so that you can easily pull it back to slip in the film holder.

14-Mar-2013, 07:40
Back will be reversible. Good idea with the lip.

Steven Tribe
14-Mar-2013, 07:58
Yes, tapered bellows will compress to less than totally square bellows as the doubled-up areas are off-set.
But square bellows are easier to control, thus avoiding misfolds in hurried packing!

Slow grown ash is still a bit open. European walnut was used - even before Mahogany sources disappeared. There are plenty of earlier threads on suitable wood. Small "not sort-after antique" furniture is a good source. Just keep away from veneer. Current surface appearance is often misleading about the quality and colour just 0.5mm underneath.

Brian C. Miller
14-Mar-2013, 08:18
grzybu, once upon a time there was a camera company called Bender, and they made a camera kit very much like what you have for your design. People who used the larger kit, the 8x10, noted that the camera could be a little bit wobbly. I recommend that you use two base rails side-by-side, and increase the U-frames holding up the front and especially the rear standards. While that design is fine in metal, it will flex with wood.

Peter Gomena
14-Mar-2013, 08:20
Cherry is good if you can find it.

14-Mar-2013, 08:53
Wood monorails have been attempted frequently, but all I've ever seen were very wobbly - try to change the design to a base plate or dual rail construction. Or make the U frames solid metal.

C. D. Keth
14-Mar-2013, 22:51
I would make the standard frames out of wood and the u-shaped parts of the standards out of aluminum. I'd then make the squares that lock onto the rail out of brass because it will hold threads better than aluminum. While you're at it, I would make the back a bail back, too, with brass inlays where the bail itself rubs inside the back.

15-Mar-2013, 06:49
Thanks a lot for comments :)
I've resized front frame to be the same as rear frame so bellow will be square now.
U-frames are now made of aluminium. Maybe rail should be bigger? I'll have to check how stable 30x30mm rails are in reality.
So now only hardwood parts are ground grass frame and frame connectors.
I'll check what kind of wood I can get. Maybe maple will be available here?


Kevin J. Kolosky
17-Mar-2013, 07:49
you could make asymetric swings by offsettnig the focus rail.

Steve Smith
18-Mar-2013, 13:59
I have started to put something together using square section extruded aluminium for the rail. The type which a lot of industrial equipment is made with.


It takes captive nuts so it's easy to mount a block in the middle with a tripod thread and also to use them as focusing locks.


Leszek Vogt
18-Mar-2013, 18:36
Can you obtain the hardware ? The wood should be of stable quality such as mahogany from Honduras, cherry or Koa from Hawaii. They all have hardness of 820 on the scale, or above. If you can get some Euro pear....you're in for a treat. You can probably get beech too. Nonetheless, try to obtain the wood from a woodworker (if possible), since most likely it will be stable and with v. little moisture. The wood needs to be dried to 8-8.5%, and similar in moisture to one o a kind fine cabinet. Even if the wood is properly dried, it needs to be cut to rough measurements and allow the pieces to sit (inside) for couple of weeks.....before you cut them to the final measurements. Applying finish coats (to all surfaces equally) will keep things steady. Sorry about all this science, but if you want to have an object of beauty and to be practical as well, it requires lots of patience and some work.

High quality table saw can do many different cuts for you and the accuracy can be 0.001" or better (depending on a model). However, you don't need to spend XXXX amount of zlotych, so long you do a rough cut within 1-2 milimeters (even with a sharp hand saw :>) of what your final dimension is, and the rest can be done with precise cut of a router....using a lead rail made out of alum or some other type of metal + clamps.

Good luck.


Jim Graves
18-Mar-2013, 19:39
If you're going to make the front so large ... make the lens board as large as possible (some of the old lenses are HUGE) ... but make it a standard size ........ unless, of course, you're going to make all your lens boards yourself.

19-Mar-2013, 01:05
I already have hand router so I need simple table saw. It just need to have possibility to set angle.
I'm still looking for wood. I've already asked few people and waiting for info.
I've already made two lenses by myself and I'm going to make lens boards by myself too. But I'll look for standard lensboard sizes for 8x10 lenses and I'll try to keep standard lens board dimensions.

Tim Meisburger
19-Mar-2013, 02:17
A small cheap table saw will be fine for this (make sure you use a push stick cutting the small stuff, or you might lose a piece of your finger, like I did!). I liked the original design, and I think oak would be lovely. Plenty of fine furniture was made in quarter sawn oak 100 years ago (google quarter sawn to learn how to make it).

Optionally, any fruitwood would probably work, as would maple. The suggestion to salvage wood from old furniture was a good one, as you don't need much, and that wood would be well seasoned