Asanuma project camera – plate back repairs

First step in making the camera 4×5-ready is to repair the parted-out plate back. One of the rails had been removed to allow mounting (poorly) of a Graflex spring back. Time to remake that rail.

First, I lay out the cuts to be made on the end of some mahogany:
IMG_1145

The first rip cut is done blind, and defines the height of the working stock:
IMG_1146

The next cut defined the thickness of the working stock, and separates it from the board:
IMG_1147

The working piece, removed from the board with a series of safe ripping cuts:
IMG_1148

Next, a rabbet is cut with two blind ripping cuts to hold the edges of the eventual 4×5 insert:
IMG_1152

After cutting the stock to length with a miter gauge, the curves on the ends of the rail are laid out from the plate back. These curves are decorative, but also allow clearance for the mounting brackets on the rear standard:
IMG_1155

The work piece, milling complete:
IMG_1156

Next I lay out the mounting holes for drilling and countersinking. The piece is mounted with #4×1/2″ wood screws:
IMG_1157

Testing the fit:
IMG_1158

In order to match color more closely, I apply mahogany gel stain, let sit for 10 minutes, and wipe:
IMG_1159

Finally, the completed rail, mounted and ready for lacquer:
IMG_1160

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