homebuilding a lensboard

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Hi everybody,

there's anybody who succesfully built a plane lensboard such as mine calumet metal one? I was thinking to use a soft mould to 'print' the back of the original lensboard and try laminating with epoxy resin in thin layers using the vacuum bagging system. When the resin packs you just have to cut the board at his proper size and drill the hole at required 'copal' size.

Any (disgusting as well) comment??

Thanks and ciao Fabio Pollero Savona/Italy

-- fabio pollero (fpollero@hotmail.com), November 30, 2001


I've made several lensboards for my Calumet CC-400 camera from 1/8" aluminum tooling plate.

This isn't a difficult material to work - a hacksaw and files or carbide woodworking tools are suitable. I sand both sides of the board with 80 grit sandpaper and paint the inside with flat black spray paint. If you use a power sander with this relatively coarse sandpaper, an attractive matte finish is obtained on the unpainted aluminum.

-- Ed Balko (veggie@monmouth.com), November 30, 2001.

I need to make one right now, and will probably use scrap aluminum plate from an electronic "rack panel". I've made them in the past by gluing together two pieces of fiberboard, one slightly smaller to fit the internal cutout and prevent light leaks. The epoxy method would probably work, but seems like a lot of work. You could certainly make a mold from 2-part RTV and cast a new lensboard with epoxy. Be careful about the filler, as many dye type fillers transmit UV and/or IR! Painting it will work, but chips in the paint might leak light. Actually, that method might be quite good, but I don't have an original lensboard to copy.

-- Conrad Hoffman (choffman@rpa.net), November 30, 2001.

The lens boards for the Bender 4x5 kit ( my first view camera) are made of black plexiglass. When I needed additional boards, I got a sheet of black plex and cut my own. You can cut the stuff with woodworking tools, the lens hole can be drilled with a cheap "butterfly" wood bit. When the fabrication was complete, I sanded the board with fine grit paper to make it a flat finish. I don't see any reason this material could not be used for other types of lens boards.

-- David Rose (DERose1@msn.com), November 30, 2001.

I've had good luck with 1/8th inch hobby board, a plywood that you can pick up at most hobby stores. At least, this works well for Deardorff boards and such like.

-- neil poulsen (neil.fg@att.net), November 30, 2001.

The lensboards i use on my linhof tech V were made by myself using a material called MDF. It is sintetic wood, and should be available at any home improvement store. Once I had the model, I cut it and used a dremel for slots and finish.

-- Enrique Vila (evilap@hotmail.com), December 06, 2001.

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