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Thread: Home-Brew Super Graphic Lens Board...

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Southern California

    Re: Home-Brew Super Graphic Lens Board...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Barker View Post
    I tried welding aluminum once, having had some experience with welding and brazing steel with an oxy-acetylene rig. It didn't take long for me to see I didn't have the knack for aluminum. If you use aluminum, I'd cut and shape the components and then take them to a pro.
    I have 5 oxygen and acetylene bottles (different sizes) and numerous torches, gauges and tips. Naturally the bottles are empty and need a hydro before they can be refilled. My late father used to be able to gas weld aluminum. As for me, it seems like too much of a hassle to get the bottles hydro'd and refillled just to melt holes in the aluminum. At the shipyard I spent most of my life at, the aluminum welding was done by TIG and quite easy to lay a nice bead.

    These new type of aluminum rods are supposed to be able to weld with a propane torch and supposedly repair things made out of pot metal.

  2. #22
    Scott --'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Penna., USA

    Re: Home-Brew Super Graphic Lens Board...

    Ok, just for the sake of archiving:

    I'm working today on a recessed board for the Raptar. When shooting vertically, it's not possible with this lens on my Super Speed Graphic to drop the bed and maintain infinity focus. I thought about making an offset lensboard, but the coverage is so small that the top of the image on the ground glass is cropped. So, it was time to try a recessed board.

    I'm only about 3/5 done, but I'll tell you that excavating a recess in a thick board is not an option. For this lens, the sides of the box need to be about 3/16" thick - any thicker, and either the shutter won't fit in the box, or the box won't fit in the camera. I tried a few times in some nice hard maple to bore into the long grain with a hollow chisel mortiser. While the end grain was plenty strong at that thickness for the application, the force generated by the mortiser was too great for the end grain, and it blew out consistently. I suspect that a plunge router would do the same.

    I'm currently making a butt-joint box around a floor board to house the shutter. Looks like it'll work. When it does, I'll post a little writeup.

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Re: Home-Brew Super Graphic Lens Board...

    I hate thin fibre-board crap. It's impossible to work with.

    Just made another lensboard for the kodak. 100mm x 100mm, and it's COVERED in parcel tape. That's the only way to avoid dust, and get a secure fit for the big Ross Xpres lens.

    I'm gonna have to source some fine hardwoods somewhere. I'd like to have lensboards that don't fall apart before use.

  4. #24

    Re: Home-Brew Super Graphic Lens Board...

    I'm back with an idea. If it works it will be a solution for a recessed board for the Super Graphic and also for boards for my Meridian 45B and Wista VX. The general strategy may have some value here.

    I have found a couple of PVC fixtures:
    • One is I think for a toilet-- that has a large flange and a pipe fitting that is the inside diameter of 3" pipe. The wall is about 4mm thick leaving an ID of about 69mm. It is possible to cut away most of the flange leaving a round flange of about 6-12mm to fasten to a lens board. This will fit into the ports of the Meridian and the Wista.

    • Another fitting I think is for gutter spouts that converts 4" round pipe to a square pipe with an OD of 72mm and an ID of 66mm. The structure of this fitting also will allow a flange to be shaped to fasten to a flat .90mil aluminum lens board with an appropriate hole. This is about perfect for the SG.

    The strategy would be to take a round PVC cap, trim it down to the outside dimensions of either of these fixtures; bond the flat disc to the fixture with the flange, then fasten the flange to the lens board using an adhesive and some very small sheetmetal screws through the front of the lens board into the PVC flange. The depth of these recessed sections could be as much as 42mm.

    Before I start getting complaints about my scatological solutions to photographic problems, let me point out that part of this design adventure will be trial and error in fitting the chosen shutter into the structure and insuring that there is enough room for an angled cable release and fingers to adjust aperture and shutter speeds. These fittings are about 3 bucks apiece. The white PVC can be spray painted black. I've also seen flocking paper mentioned as a good material for reducing flare. If it is sturdy, it might be more permanently lighttight than paint.

    Scott, you mentioned use a poly adhesive. Could you be more specific?

    The lens board hole for the Wista and Meridian fixture will be round and easy to cut with a hole saw. The fitting for the SG will require a square hole in .90 mil aluminum sheet. That will be trickier, since there will only be about 15mm of metal left on each side after cutting the hole. I suppose a band saw with a metal blade would be best, but not something I have.

    All suggestions are welcome.

  5. #25
    Scott --'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Penna., USA

    Re: Home-Brew Super Graphic Lens Board...

    Sounds like a decent plan, Brian. Interesting to say the least. Take pictures while you work on it.

    Meridian 45B? Ok, I officially hate you.

    Don't know if you saw it, but I finished the wooden recessed board. Don't know 'bout your cameras, but the interior cavity on my Super necessitates an outside dimension of less than 2-7/8" on the tub of the board. Check your ODs before you get too far.

    I used to use Gorilla glue, but it's way overpriced, and once opened, never seemed to last that long. I've been using Elmer's Blue Bull Poly glue - cheaper, works great. I like poly glue for a lot of joinery applications. Of course, if you're joining PVC, you'd use PVC glue, which bonds by melting the pieces together, which'd make a nice, light-tight seal...

    I think, when all is said and done, your muffin tin idea is going to end up being the best option. Even sliced thin, the wood is thick enough as to make it really tight in the recess.

    Good luck!

  6. #26

    Re: Home-Brew Super Graphic Lens Board...

    Scott, I thought the Meridian was so old, like me, that it had escaped the likelihood of hate mail. Incidently its a lovely camera. I am doing a shootout page on the SG, PocketView, Meridian, and my latest indulgence, a Wista VX. The Meridian is holding up very well in terms of objective measures and just the way it feels in my hands. Its salvation is that long ago someone did a very clever conversion of the back from Meridian (Graphic Spring style) to Graflok. I have a 45A also and this was not an easy design task.

    Yes, we should go on a campaign to documents steps in our projects. People reading the forums have different skill levels with the work we are describing. Detailed steps are probably boring to some and helpful to others.

    I had seen at least part of your description of the "whole wood" project. I had some concerns about grain strength, but it is good to see the results of empirical research. I had also imagined from the aesthetic standards set in the original flat board project that you might migrate toward some kind of lamination for the tub. A laminated structure from different hardwood species, with inside rounded corners could have some of the cachet of the old Chris Craft wood hulls from the 40s and 50s. Some of us would probably be inclined to nominate your for a Large Format Lensboard Design Award if you are willing to blow off a couple of weekends on the project.

    I am working on another technique for recessed boards using L-shaped and flat aluminum stock to build a squareish style recessed compartment that may work well with the SG. Basically all of these ideas were jump started by your discovery that flat boards were usable on the SG.

    I just got in the mail a 75mm Super Angulon and was stunned by its physical size when compared to my 65mm Angulon. My first impression is that it is going to be nearly impossible to make a SG recessed board for this shutter, since the Prontor shutter body is 62mm without controls. I am guessing that the recessed chamber is going to have to have a depth of about 25mm to be safe and that I should maybe give up the idea that it is ever going to work on the SG. It should focus, at least without movements, on the Wista and Meridian using flat boards.

    Graflex included many good design ideas in the SG. Changing the focusing rack just wasn't among them.

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