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Thread: Considering Fabricating Lens Board for Century Graphic

  1. #1
    pendennis's Avatar
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    Considering Fabricating Lens Board for Century Graphic

    I recently found a nice Century Graphic that uses 2.5"x2.5" lens boards. I want to add a couple of lenses to add some flexibility. The used ones available are not much, quantitatively or qualitatively. I have the necessary tools, and it would seem more a matter of getting the correct material thickness (.2" +/-). I'm considering wood, carbon fiber, and aluminum. Any comments or advice?
    Best,
    Dennis

  2. #2

    Re: Considering Fabricating Lens Board for Century Graphic

    Hobby shop multi layer plywood works great.

  3. #3

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    Re: Considering Fabricating Lens Board for Century Graphic

    Hobby shop layered basswood works great, and cuts with a utility knife... You layer to create your "steps" near edges, but rotate the grain lines on layers, as you will see material is very stiff in one direction, but bends in other, but combined cross grained, very stiff and stable...

    Steve K

  4. #4
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Considering Fabricating Lens Board for Century Graphic

    Fabricating lens boards for the older 2x3 Graphic cameras from 1/4 inch plywood was a matter of a few minutes with a table saw and a table mounted router. It appears more difficult to improvise the later Graphic boards made from aluminum with turned down edges. Although those turned down edges provide excellent light traps, stepped light traps that worked so well for a hundred years still work on the newer Graphics. The 2.5 inch lens board can be cut from 1/32 inch or 1 mm aluminum sheet. The corners must be slightly rounded. The light trap is slightly less than 2.25 inches square and up to 3/16 thick or 2 mm with slightly rounded corners. It is centered on the back of the larger board. Since its only purpose is to block light, almost any material works for it. A hole somewhat larger than the retaining ring of the lens should be cut in it before mounting it on the larger board. I have made lens boards for later Graphic cameras from 1/32 inch aluminum with turned down edges by making a die of hard material about 2.4 inches square with slightly rounded corners, clamping the sheet aluminum to this, and turning its edges down. 0,40 inch or 1 mm aluminum would be closer to the original boards.

  5. #5

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    Re: Considering Fabricating Lens Board for Century Graphic

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    Hobby shop layered basswood works great, and cuts with a utility knife... You layer to create your "steps" near edges, but rotate the grain lines on layers, as you will see material is very stiff in one direction, but bends in other, but combined cross grained, very stiff and stable...

    Steve K
    For Graphic C boards I use 1/8” hobby shop plywood (but I thought it was Baltic birch… maybe not) and cut 2 pieces, then glue up cross grain.

    Tools I use are hobby knife and razor saw. It really does take a matter of minutes. Longest part of the process is waiting for glue and paint to dry.

    Shutter hole gets cut with a coping saw.

  6. #6

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    Re: Considering Fabricating Lens Board for Century Graphic

    If you need boards to fit #0 shutters, these https://www.etsy.com/listing/4568545...home_active_28 are inexpensive and work well. The hole can be enlarged ...

  7. #7
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Considering Fabricating Lens Board for Century Graphic

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    If you need boards to fit #0 shutters, these https://www.etsy.com/listing/4568545...home_active_28 are inexpensive and work well. The hole can be enlarged ...
    That beats fabricating one! However, in the days before the internet, we did many things the hard way.

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