Where can I get a lensboard made?

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I need a lensboard for a Calumet Wood-Field 4X5 camera and a Copal 0 shutter. The lensboard is 3 5/8 square. Without going to Calumet, who can make a lensboard for me? Would it be less expensive to have someone make me a lensboard than to buy the lensboard from Calumet? Any and all responses would be greatly appreciated. I am sure I am not the only one looking for lensboards.

-- Louis Hirsch (jbessick@aol.com), September 12, 1998


Louis, Try KEH (404-892-5522). They always have a ton of used lensboards. Sergio.

-- Sergio Ortega (s.ortega@worldnet.att.net), September 12, 1998.

I have made my own lensboards, including recessed ones, for years now out of everything from masonite to cast aluminum. Tools required are minimal except for the drilling of the hole for the lens. A machinist can help you there if you don't have what you need. If you have anywood or metalworking skills at all, give it a try yourself!

-- Doremus Scudder (ScudderLandreth@compuserve.com), September 12, 1998.

Try Al Bowker at (303) 650-1984. Al machines high quality replacement boards for all cameras out of a high density plastic that exactly duplicates your original board in the $25 - $35 range. I have found his workmanship top notch. He will need your original for replication and the retaining ring if you want him to drill your board for you. He turns things around quite quickly.

-- Michael Kadillak (kadillak@rmi.net), September 12, 1998.

I would agree with Doremus Scudder. Try making your own lens boards. Wood is an easy and cheap material to work with. Fancy finishs are optional. Cutting the center hole will be the only hard part, but all that is required is a small drill (1/8"), a round file, and some patience. Draw a circle where you want the center hole. Drill a series of small holes around the INSIDE of the circle. Punch out the waste wood in the center of the hole. Smooth the hole with the round file until it fits the lens. This process can work with metal also, but a small jeweler's saw is needed to cut from hole to hole and remove the center waste.

-- Tom Gould (tjglrl@aol.com), September 22, 1998.

I would just like to let everyone know what I did about getting my lensboards. I contacted Al Bowker in Colorado. He was great. He makes lensboard out of black ABS. He says they are stronger than the aluminum ones. All I had to do was to send him a sample lensboard. He only charges $15 per lensboard. For all or the fussing around to make your own, you might as well let Al do it for you. He also makes lensboards for enlargers. I just want everyone to know that your suggestions are used and greatly appreciated. Without the help, I would have overpaid and not had this wonderful supplier in Colorado. Thanks again for all of the responses.

-- Louis Hirsch (jbressick@aol.com), September 25, 1998.

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