Saturday, April 18, 2015

1/12 Scale Sliding Box Camera

O18 April, 2015

     I enjoyed making the tripod for the telescope so much that I cut a set of leg pieces out of scale 1" sqare oak, and two more out of holly.   I used my drill press as the mill and milled the flat for the upper ends after drilling the sockets.  The mounting holes still need to be drilled, and the ends rounded.  I tried a brass foot, but am not happy with the size.  Maybe a smaller diameter would work better. 

The holly tripod legs unassembled and without the upper brass socket pieces.

Having an almost complete oak tripod then led me to wonder what to put on it.  I could do another telescope, and having a number of tripods in the making may venture that route in the future.  

Another thing that goes on a tripod is a camera.  I did not want to attempt a modern camera, but instead researched old wet plate cameras.  These were usually fairly large, occasionally ungainly monsters that you see with people beneath a black hood igniting flash powder in a tray on a pole.

They were not all so large though, some being as small as a foot wide and tall.  I looked at many photographs of them and decided to give it a go.  I did the following in 1/16 plywood for the boxes and some scale 1" sq oak for the subframe.  As it is just a working model, as in prototype - non functional - I did not photo document building it.

The next will be of solid oak with dovetailed box corners, and a brass lens assembly that might actually work.  Not being versed in lensology at this scale (or any other) I will be happy if it looks like it might work.  If I can actually focus an image on a frosted glass plate I might look into wet plate collodian chemistry and take some deguarotypes in miniature.

There is one functioning miniature sliding box camera on the web that I am using as a model. to build by, and who knows?

The open space at the rear of the sliding box will get some vertical mounting strips for the plate cassette and metal cover to slide into.  The cassette is yet to be started.  The lens will be of brass tubing with a cored slip fit lens from one of the sacrificial cameras.

A shot of the existing miniature camera I am building off of follows. NOTE - this is NOT my work, but one I found on the web.  I want to see if I can upgrade the woodwork with mine.

I located my Willis dovetail jig after tearing my shop apart looking for it.  It turns out it was right where I had put it, in a baggie on the pegboard behind a couple of other things...  

I want to use it for this as it will do 8 per inch dovetails, where the Blackham jig does 7.

20 April update

My Willis dovetailer set up for work.

Sliding box parts ready for assembly.  It was harder than I thought to do the narrower piece.  The first attempt had the tails inverted from where they should be.  It took several tries, but I finally got it.

Gluing in progress.

Front box sides complete and front panel rabbeted for slip fit.

Front panel fitted, and glued with several pounds of steel as weight.

Outer shell complete, resting on the sub base. 

Inner box gluing.

Main camera box complete.

I looked at using mortise and tenons to assemble the bottom frame, but decided to try doweling all the joins.   The front frame will protrude from under the camera face by a scale inch to be rounded after gluing.  I have both the side pieces and end pieces bored for dowels, and the two center pieces are cut.  Tomorrow I'll bore the inner aspects of front and rear end pieces for the center dowels and complete the frame assembly. 

After that the cassette and mounting strips hit the planning stage.

22 April update  -

Turning dowel stock.

Subframe dowels in place ready for assembly.

Subframe and base plate ready for assembly.

Subframe assembly top

Subframe assembly bottom.

Rear cassette frame and guide bar/stop block glued on.

Dry assembly of camera assembly with view of cassette frame.

Rear view..  next for interior is flat black paint.

Box closed.  Final sanding and fitting to come, front of base to be quarter rounded.

23 April update-

Both halves sanded to same dimensions.  I think the way to do it if I actually do another will be to do the whole box as one and slice the parts when glued...   Nose is rounded over too, insides are flat lamp black acrylic paint.

I have the side wood for the cassettes cut, and need to figure out how to go about making the rest.  I need at least one wet plate holder and cover steel, and a frosted focus cassette.

More tomorrow...

Cassette beginnings...  more cogitation to come...

25 April update - 

Today was spent in several attempts at creating a "usable" cassette, the last of which is shown below.  Using the tray created earlier I needed to extend it out of the rear of the camera far enough to give room to put a prepared plate in, and have standoffs so that the plate would clear the metal shutter plate.  I glued a framework to the back with it in the camera so that it would be a tight fit.  After the glue set I cut out the opening with a No. 11 blade.

Support standoff pieces attached, and visible through the almost completed cassette.

I attached a wooden handle to the shutter plate with brass tubing rivets (and a bit 'o super glue).

I have the back cut to fit, and once I figure out my hinging method will hinge it from the bottom and use some swivel clamps on the top rear bar to hold it closed.

26 April update -

Spent part of the day trying to silver solder brass, but did not have much luck.  I did however have some 1mm sterling silver tubing, some bezel wire, and appropriate ez solder and self pickling flux...

Et voila, a hinge.

After trimming and fitting...

Drilled holes for brass pin mounts, all held with a bit o' superglue.

Need to make a handle for the door, then paint the interior.  Turn latches and lens comes next I think....

Rosewood knob and silver latches complete the cassette.

23 May update -

No updates for a while, life hapened.   Nothing serious, just kept me away from the bench.  
I have almost completed the front end of the camera as shown below.  I used the cored sacrificial acrylic lens technique for the lens, turned a lens hood, and still need to fabricate a lens cap.

I also am contemplating the lens bldy slot and a set of aperature plates which are the plates with different sized openings for depth of field and light adjustment.

The brass plate will be drilled and attached with small brads I have to turn down.

Stay tuned....