Seneca View 8×10 – sourcing a gear rack

The Seneca needs an extension bed to give it full usability. This one was missing its original bed. I figured that gear racks are readily available through suppliers like McMaster-Carr and Boston Gear. Should be a simple thing to source a suitable rack, fabricate the wooden bed, and make a rail.

Turns out, not so much. A machinist friend schooled me on how these things work. Essentially, the existing rack and pinion is based on an obsolete size (a demetrial pitch of 46). Today’s closest match is a DP of 48, but that’s not good enough. Using the old pinions on the new rack would cause binding in use. That leaves few options: Have a shop fabricate a new rack with the obsolete specs; replace all the existing rack and pinion parts; find a donor camera in irreparable condition and scavenge the parts from it. The first two options are cost-prohibitive and logistically difficult; finding a donor to cannibalize seems the only workable solution now.

So, I’m trolling for a parts camera. I can’t foresee continuing the restoration of this camera without the proper extension. Drat.


One thought on “Seneca View 8×10 – sourcing a gear rack

  1. Our Club has many old wooden camera parts. Would you be interested
    in them. I can send you a photo and we can agree on some price.

    All funds go to the Photohistoric society of New England. We have active meetings and pay to rent two rooms each month plus put out a newsletter
    and hold auctions twice a year.

    Let me know if you have any interest. Also I would like to do a story about
    one of your restorations in our Newsletter (Snapshots) see our website for
    copies of the newsletter.


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