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Thread: Here we go, Century 8x10 Restoration

  1. #1
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Here we go, Century 8x10 Restoration

    Thanks (or no thanks ) to some other posts on this forum, I have finally decided to restore my Century 8x10 View Camera.

    Here is a BEFORE picture:

  2. #2
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Here we go, Century 8x10 Restoration

    Here is some history on the camera. I was about 14 years old when I found it at a Flea Market in the mid 70's for five US Dollars I was excited about the find, because at the time just about any wood camera was worth almost $100 USD. It has been a 'display only' camera for many reasons. There is no ground glass. I was never shure when I was younger if this was a plate camera or not. I have kept an eye out for a lens for this camera all these years, however, I never found one that I liked for less than ten times what I paid for the camera (that would be $50 ). And the bellows was shot.

    All of these mentioned problems can potentially be solved to turn this into a usable camera. However, the main limiting factor in restoring this camera is the destruction of the focusing rail, causing the front and back standards to wobble .

    Here is a picture of the rail.

  3. #3
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    Re: Here we go, Century 8x10 Restoration

    I have restored many wood, metal and electronic items in my lifetime, however, I don't have any fancy wood working equipment. Primarily because my workshop shares space with the darkroom and I am very dust conscious.

    Anyway, I thought I could use my Dremel with the router table atachment to route out a new slot (assuming I filled in the existing missing wood with new wood).

    The smallest bit made by Dremel with a 1/8inch sank is a 1/8 inch plunge bit. This would make a channel that is too wide.

    After an extensive internet search, I was able to locate a 1/16 inch bit with a 1/8 inch shank at Stewart MacDonald guitar repair supply shop.

    Other research indicated that the Dremel router table may not be sturdy enough to get a good straight route in anything harder than balsa or soft plastic.

    My other concern was in obtaining wood for the project.

  4. #4
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    Wood

    Internet sourcers seem to indicate the base is made of Cherry wood. It turns out that the model supply company Midwest Supply, carries small strips of Cherry wood.

    In fact, based on the extensive selection, I thought I could just 'build up' the rails with the pre-cut mini-lumber.

    Here is a cross sectional view I drew with old-fashioned pencil and graph paper. This shows my idea of using the pre-cut lumber.

    I am still deciding on how to make the cuts into the existing wood to lay in the new lumber. If I do the cuts by hand I would then use epoxy to hold the new wood in place, because the wood does not have to fit super tight and there is some 'fudge factor' that I can get away with. I can use the quick set epoxy and just hold it by hand in alignment until it sets. One potential problem with this is a possible build up of epoxy in the slot.

    If I use 'wood' glue then I think I need to have a more exact cut in the existing wood so that I can get a real tight fit. In this case the cuts in the existing wood would probably have to be made with a router.

    In both cases the glue joint should be stronger than the wood (I hope!)

  5. #5
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    Re: Here we go, Century 8x10 Restoration

    I wonder if you would need to pin (dowel?) the new lumber on for strength?

    I woodworking skills are about limited to hammering like lightning (I rarely hit the same place twice).

    Vaughn

  6. #6

    Re: Here we go, Century 8x10 Restoration

    IMO epoxy gives much more strenght, so use this.
    Regards
    Martin

    Edit: beside the strenght the big advantage of epoxy is that you can mix it up with kinda dust named microsheres and it fills all uneven surfaces.

  7. #7

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    Re: Here we go, Century 8x10 Restoration

    Since you've got the hardware and this is supposed to be a 'restoration' I'd be inclined to visit my local high school and talk with the woodworking teacher. Tell 'em theres a bottle of Jack Daniels in it if they'll make you new rails. Oherwise find a wookworking club---check with a local fine wood supplier or local woodworking tool store (the big box outfits won't know what the h*ll your asking for) or even a community adult school) and speak with someone there. Maybe they won't make the part for you but they can supply the expertise and tools.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  8. #8

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    Re: Here we go, Century 8x10 Restoration

    I'd have to agree with John; try to find a shop teacher or woodworker who has a shaper. Once they put the correct cutters on the shaper, they can turn out feet and feet of wood with the proper contour in less time that it's taking me to write about it.

    Epoxy is the adhesive of choice for jobs like this. Microspheres were developed to thicken epoxy when applied to styrofoam at the start of a layup; they weaken the epoxy too much in other uses. A better thickening agent is flocked (or milled) cotton (available through epoxy suppliers like TAP Plastics), which gives a very hard and durable surface. Styrene-based dyes (like for surfboard layup) can be added to the epoxy to better match the wood. I epoxied up battleship-gray 5x7 Ansco, and used gray dye to closely match the paint.
    They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Here we go, Century 8x10 Restoration

    The camera is over 100 years old. Most of it has faired very well. With the repairs done properly. it should last another 100. Key word here is "properly". I attempted the "repair" on teh rear section of railing on mine, and found out the first ime I used it, that a "patch" looked good, but didn't work well. I was able to take a spare extension rail and make a new rear rail section.
    As others have advised, find someone that has the equipment and expertise, and have a new set of rails made. You wouldn't need to refabricate the metal parts, only the wood.

  10. #10
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Here we go, Century 8x10 Restoration

    I wound up getting the router attachment for the Dremel and also got a 1/4 inch plunge bit.

    Wow, this thing makes it easy compared to doing it by hand . Don't know how I got by so long without this.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails dremel2.jpg   first cut2.jpg  

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