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Thread: Baltic or Finnish Baltic Birch for lens boards?

  1. #11

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    May 2013
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    Re: Baltic or Finnish Baltic Birch for lens boards?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    Also hobby shops that cater to radio controlled airplanes.
    Agreed. Although good luck finding hobby shops any more. Might have to go to Hobby Lobby, although last time I was there looking at hobby wood it was piddling poor pickings compared to what hobby shops use to have. I've made my share of lensboards and all kinds of things. Now I just 3D print them. Not as pretty, but mighty accurate.

  2. #12
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Baltic or Finnish Baltic Birch for lens boards?

    I bought a stack of 8X8" Baltic as some of my cameras use 8X8, or I hand saw to fit

    Gluing up thinner ply can make lens boards easy

    I NEVER use the very dangerous one arm, "hey no fingers", hole cutter

    I just buy the correct size hole saw and save it for next time

    Solid clamping with a cheap drill press works fine

    In 10 years I have only used that drill press for many lensboards, even metal ones

    always safety goggles
    Tin Can

  3. #13

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    St. Simons Island, Georgia
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    Re: Baltic or Finnish Baltic Birch for lens boards?

    The only wood at my local Hobby Lobby was almost balsa wood - entirely unsuitable. I had to order from Amazon.

  4. #14
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Baltic or Finnish Baltic Birch for lens boards?

    Try eBay they are now selling almost anything’
    Tin Can

  5. #15

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    Re: Baltic or Finnish Baltic Birch for lens boards?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    I NEVER use the very dangerous one arm, "hey no fingers", hole cutter
    For sawing holes in my OEM Sinar lens boards, I use a Craftsman 16" Scroll Saw that I picked up at a tag/garage sale for all of $15.00 as new in the original box. The blades I use are the narrowest that I can get. Honestly not even sure if they are made for cutting soft metals. Secret is to go really, really slow while again really, really slowly but continuously rotating the lensboard. Most of the time I don't even have to touch up the hole with a file. So far I have probably cut over 20 boards without having broken one blade. Agree with not using a "one arm, hey no fingers, hole cutter". My father was a carpenter by trade and never trusted them.

  6. #16

    Re: Baltic or Finnish Baltic Birch for lens boards?

    For the Baltic Birch in question, are you folks using the 4mm stuff? I guess since we are in field/view camera land, the double thickness at the lens retention area doesn't much matter? I wonder about just using a single piece and cutting a rabbet/rebate in via a router table?

  7. #17

    Re: Baltic or Finnish Baltic Birch for lens boards?

    Sorry for the above, I meant the 1/4" equivalent. I haven't sourced any thin Baltic Birch in quite a while. 6mm I guess?

  8. #18
    multi format
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    Re: Baltic or Finnish Baltic Birch for lens boards?

    Quote Originally Posted by j.e.simmons View Post
    The only wood at my local Hobby Lobby was almost balsa wood - entirely unsuitable. I had to order from Amazon.
    but were you converted by the time you finished clicking ?
    last time I went, I almost put the band back together to save the orphanage.

  9. #19
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Baltic or Finnish Baltic Birch for lens boards?

    Most of it is either Russian birch or Chinese substitute laminate anyway. "Baltic birch" is just a generic category; and in this case, "hobby plywood" is the more representative expression. At one time very high dense multi=ply marine and cabinetry plywoods did come mainly from Scandinavia. Right now, all kinds of sheet goods and plywoods are still difficult or impossible to acquire due to the pandemic backlog and other obvious global issues. I have seen a fair amount of hobby ply still around in several retail venues, but some of it is warped or otherwise substandard.

  10. #20

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    Nov 1999
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    San Clemente, California
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    Re: Baltic or Finnish Baltic Birch for lens boards?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    ...I have seen a fair amount of hobby ply still around in several retail venues, but some of it is warped or otherwise substandard.
    I bought four lensboards from Dick Phillips to go with my new Compact II in 1998. About ten years later when I wanted a couple more, Dick replied that he could no longer get quality plywood for that purpose and recommended instead that I order metal ones from S.K. Grimes. Substandard stuff has been around a long time.

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