View Full Version : LF camera tracks

2-Oct-2011, 18:10
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.

Tim k
2-Oct-2011, 18:17
McMaster Carr.

2-Oct-2011, 19:02
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.

2-Oct-2011, 19:02
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

2-Oct-2011, 19:12
Thanks Leigh - what pressure angle do you suppose the makers of the Rochester Empire State 11x14 camera used back in 1896? :)

2-Oct-2011, 19:18
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

2-Oct-2011, 19:22
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!

Jim C.
2-Oct-2011, 20:39
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


2-Oct-2011, 22:03
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/

Jim C.
3-Oct-2011, 07:47
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

3-Oct-2011, 07:56
you need no racks--just make an extension board for the middle where you don't NEED the gear racks...take off the hinge and put a piece of wood in the middle--or, do like I did''take them apart and put a plank in the middle--hold the camera part and the lens part down with clamps...this works and it's totally reversable---no work no muss no fuss

3-Oct-2011, 11:03
Thanks - as luck would have it I came into a couple of very inexpensive lenses in the 300 -400mm category that cover 11x14. I think instead of extending the camera I'm just going to swap lenses a lot.

Louis Pacilla
3-Oct-2011, 16:25
Thanks - as luck would have it I came into a couple of very inexpensive lenses in the 300 -400mm category that cover 11x14. I think instead of extending the camera I'm just going to swap lenses a lot.

Now your talking.

3-Oct-2011, 16:55
It is not an ideal solution Louis - I still can't do 1:1 with a 300 or 400mm lens.

7-Apr-2012, 08:09
The lensboard on a 2D is probably too small to make an extension box worthwhile, but if you don't need too much extension, it wouldn't be hard to make a box for the back. If you gave it a "bed extension" that went under the actual camera bed, so that you weren't carrying its weight from the rear standard, it could be as long as you wanted. (Giving up rear swings and shifts would be the price of a really long woodworking-only extension :( )