Mounting a Packard shutter externally

Now, this may be obvious to some/most/all of you, but it had been eluding me for some time: How to mount a Packard so it’s use is both simple and facilitates easy movement from lens to lens. I’ve tried the Galli shutter, I’ve tried lenscaps, but all manual means have me inducing camera shake. No good. So, had to figure this out.

And, as is becoming typical of these things, I borrowed an idea from Sandeha Lynch: a box with a slot for lensboard inserts to mount the shutter.

I’m truly blessed with a monstrous woodpile in the garage. And, I’m a packrat – I tend to keep just about all scraps of wood, just in case. So, my Packard box is made of some nicely-aged scrap cherry that’s been sitting in the garage for about 12 years.

Sandeha’s version uses box joints at the corners, an elegant way to join the pieces. I was in quick-and-dirty mode, and opted for half-lap joints:

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Before joining the pieces, I ran a single groove along the inside edges on the tablesaw. This groove allows for the box to slide down over the “lensboard”. I didn’t do any stopped cuts, so when glued, the box had some joints where the groove penetrated the outside edge. Again, quick-and-dirty. I plugged these holes for aesthetics, though, with the lens mounted, they’d be light-tight, anyway.

Once glued, I made a rebate cut to allow access to the grooves:

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The tablesaw makes a 1/8″ kerf; I happened to have some 1/8″ cherry I’d cut long ago, some I sized and cut a couple boards, one for each barrel lens I currently own. I carefully measured and cut openings for the lenses. These holes have to be perfectly sized – too small and the board won’t mount or may split; too large, and the Packard won’t sit securely. I always test these setups in 1/8″ plywood first.

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The final assembly, Packard mounted to my B&J Ajax Portrait:

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Like I said, kind of obvious once you see it, but in case someone (like me) doesn’t, well – there you go.

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