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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks!

My real hobby is old cameras, which turns out to be wood cameras in the end. I often find I need to make this or that and a router and a router table are most likely the cheapest, smallest and most efficient method of making wood camera parts.

I even want to make a large wood camera and there are several parts that must be machine accurate.

I was given an old Sears Craftsman Model 315 with a couple bits. I have never used a router, but I am handy with tools and even built a wood stringer and skin boat with a table saw and glue.

My camera insanity has me searching for ways to make two simple box bellows frames, 18" square with half lab joints. I actually can't decide whether to simplly do it with hobby shop wood and a chisel,:) as I need it now! If I already had a router table setup, I would use that.

So I will be here reading this great knowledge base.

Thanks for all this!
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Do you still use glass plates?
 

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Hey, Randy; welcome!
Perhaps you could fill in something about yourself and your tool selection in the profile section? I was going to suggest using your tablesaw to do the 1/2 lap joints but there's no indication whether you have access to one(?).
You can certainly use the router free hand, with a template to give you accuracy; the table would be nice, but not a deal breaker.
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum.
 

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Welcome to the forum.
 

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Not exactly a high end set up, but this router/table combo could possibly be your answer. I had one a couple of years ago and it worked OK. The router is a plunge base type but it is dedicated to the table...as in hard wired to the on-off switch.

It is on sale and you might be able to get it for less. The current issue of Wood Magazine has a 25% discount coupon in the HF ad.

I mounted mine on a piece of plywood so I could clamp it to a table or saw horses or whenever I needed to work. The fence isn't the greatest but a simple straight edge would be helpful. The miter gauge might be helpful to make the half lap joints. The miter slot is standard 3/4 inch wide. I used the miter gauge from my old craftsman table saw.

Hope this helps.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Welcome to the forum.

Do you still use glass plates?
I have shot some very old Kodak 1/4 plate glass negatives. I found an unopened pack of 10, perhaps 100 years old or more. The emulsion still worked. Like looking into the past, even though I shot them this summer.
 

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You've got some interesting stuff in there, Randy! (Thanks for doing the profile)
With your Engineering background you're not exactly a newbie. :)
I'm looking forward to seeing pics of the large format camera build.
You can post pics directly from your hard-drive...just not links from the 'net until you hit 10 posts...anti spammer protection.
 

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"So I will be here reading this great knowledge base."
**********************************
At times, the routing community, in my view, shoots way beyond the apps that routers were made for.
Dovetailing with skinny bits, planing burls & work bench tops, drilling holes, making dowels, bowls, timber framing etc.
But for the view camera, in my view, the router is as good as it gets.
Shallow cuts, precision chops, flat bottom cuts, trim and joinery.
A good choice. Router Woodworking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
"So I will be here reading this great knowledge base."
**********************************
At times, the routing community, in my view, shoots way beyond the apps that routers were made for.
Dovetailing with skinny bits, planing burls & work bench tops, drilling holes, making dowels, bowls, timber framing etc.
But for the view camera, in my view, the router is as good as it gets.
Shallow cuts, precision chops, flat bottom cuts, trim and joinery.

Yes, I think a router can do most of my View camera work. My neighbor just gave me his father's Craftsman bench top router table, darn thing looks great, with a die cast aluminum top that fits my other free Craftsman router! Next he has a ton of bits for me. And a hefty cast iron pipe vise. A good day of scavenging and I fixed an nice old wood chair for another neighbor last night. Looks like I am soon going to be doing custom art framing, I'm getting very busy in retirement!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
First router job

Got the first router job done today. Glue up is drying. Two large bellows frames with 8 1/2 lap joints.

A friend gave me a old enough to be still made in USA diecast Craftsman router table and now I have 2 routers that fit it.

Used a new Freud 1/4" upspiral and loved how it made tiny shavings and not much dust.

Gives me great hope for future view camera construction.
 

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A picture of a finished camera would be good, Randy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The simple frames I made will be invisible once mounted with the new bellows. I am still waiting for the bellows, maybe another month. The camera itself was made in the 30's, all you will see is my touch up and new bellows. I will have pics of that, but it will not show any actual woodworking I did. I made it fairly shiny without disturbing that valuable patina of age.

The real woodworking 'ART' will be the custom wood film holders I commissioned, they are very difficult to make. I think they take 150 setups, very good wood and a lot of experience. They cost more than the camera!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Camera ready for action!

I want to show off the renewed camera. The bellows frames I made were installed on new Turner Bellows. This picture shows the camera fully extended to 72 inches and 9 feet in the air. If interested look up Deardorff SC11 studio 11x14 camera and B-Post stands first made in 1929 Chicago for Sears catalog imaging. The ultimate in resolution of the era. I want to thank this forum for helping me get my feet wet, I am now working wood in some more ways than I have before. When I have more routing success, I will post again.





Got the first router job done today. Glue up is drying. Two large bellows frames with 8 1/2 lap joints.

A friend gave me a old enough to be still made in USA diecast Craftsman router table and now I have 2 routers that fit it.

Used a new Freud 1/4" upspiral and loved how it made tiny shavings and not much dust.

Gives me great hope for future view camera construction.
 

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