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:

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

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

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

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

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:

The work piece, milling complete:

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

Testing the fit:

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

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


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