First batch from the new gear…

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First batch from the new gear...

Today was a blowout (mostly). Our 7/8 lacrosse team lost badly to Warwick. Stopped keeping score in the second quarter. I won’t go into details and suppositions about *why* the game slid downhill (I have opinions, don’t worry), but I will show evidence of my most recent gear purchases: An older Sigma 70-200/2.8 HSM APO EX IF and a Sigma APO 2X teleconverter. This is all being used on the 5D (duh). The lens is a little slower than I’d hoped as far as the HSM focusing, but seemed to hit the target pretty well. It’s nice to have a 400/5.6 for shooting these games, and I plan on using the 70-200, sans TC, for softball this season.

Maybe our next game will go a little better…

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Monocacy Creek Falls…

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Monocacy Creek Falls...

I took my son for a walk in the woods today. Nothing out-of-the-ordinary, you might think, but he was especially amenable to it. We talked about school, about lacrosse, and just enjoyed some quiet together. The photography (an excuse to drag the Asanuma out in the wild) was really secondary. I took two shots, and this is the better. My son acted as sherpa, and we got in 1-3/4 miles of hilly hiking. A very nice afternoon.

Shot with the Asanuma 4×5, Sironar-N MC 210/5.6, Arista.EDU Ultra 100 in HC-110 dil H, N-1 developing.

Asanuma project camera – new plate, completed

Here ’tis:

Asanuma

I think the chrome trim ring ties the whole thing together.

Some views, up on the tripod:

Asanuma

Asanuma

Asanuma

I think the cherry back has aged wonderfully.

Last thing to do – a new strap to replace the broken old one. Need to find a leathersmith; the usual sources won’t get it on this one.

Asanuma project camera – finishing and installing the new base plate…

Continued from last night…

I stopped by Ace on the way home today and picked up three 1/4-20 screw-in threaded inserts. Why three? Well, they’re $0.50 each, and I always plan on messing up. Drove home and dug in.

I went with the plan to trim the outside edge of the roundel to fit the rebate on the camera. Tested it out on 1/8″ plywood first. After a few iterations, the fit was perfect.

Asanuma base plate redux...

Set up to cut the roundel. Put some carpet tape on the inside face, threaded it over the bit, and lowered it onto the backing board.

Asanuma base plate redux...

Then I lowered the spinning cutter onto the roundel.

Asanuma base plate redux...

LOOK CLOSELY AT THAT! Whatcha think is gonna happen when that cutter bears down through the unsupported edge? Yep – tear out the bejeebers of it. Rookie mistake, but salvageable, I think. But always cut things like this with the backside supported. Anyway, the walnut roundel now fits the camera.

Asanuma base plate redux...

Next, I drilled out the center pilot hole with a 3/8″ bit and threaded in the insert.

Asanuma base plate redux...

The insert projects into the path of the camera carriage, so I cut it flush with a Dremel.

Asanuma base plate redux...

Now to address those stupid screw holes. Truth be told, I’d planned on this being a practice shot, and didn’t give the screw holes much consideration. But it’s a keeper, so they need to be plugged. I drilled the holes out with an 1/8″ bit:

Asanuma base plate redux...

Then made some 1/8″ walnut dowels with a shop-made dowel plate.

Asanuma base plate redux...

(Essentially, you drill a hole the desired size in a piece of flattened 1/8″ steel. Trim some of the desired wood to a little large than the hole, and gently tap the wood through the hole with a small hammer. That’s it.)

The dowels get glued and tapped into the roundel

Asanuma base plate redux...

then cut flush when dried.

Asanuma base plate redux...

Asanuma base plate redux...

The plugs will always show, as they have exposed end grain and are a bit darker finished than face grain. But they look better than holes in the finished piece.

Three coats of sprayed lacquer and a spit coat of shellac on the inside face and it’s ready for installation. I put a drop of poly glue on the insert and installed it for good in the roundel. Titebond II for the camera install.

Asanuma base plate redux...

Asanuma base plate redux...

It’ll stay in clamps until tomorrow, when I’ll reinstall the chrome trim piece to finish it.

Asanuma project camera – roundel progress…

Made progress on the roundel last night. I’d like to say that I anticipated all contingencies and things went to plan, but much cursing and on-the-fly re-engineering ensued.

I had a piece of ~5/8″ walnut already milled. The interior diameter of the base hole was 5-13/16″; I split the difference and set the cutter. Started the cut, and realized the cutter was set for an exterior diameter (the cutter is tapered on one side and flat on the other – set the flat to the outside and it cuts a hole with the exterior edge of the cutter; set the flat on the inside, and it cuts a flat sided disk). Swapped the cutter, and started over on a new piece of the same board. Cut for a while, with much burning. Flipped the board and continued cutting. Progress was slow, my nose was filling with acrid walnut smoke, so I took it to the bandsaw and trimmed the excess outside the groove being cut. This necessitated screwing the blank to a backer board to keep my fingers away from the arm on the fly cutter as it spun around at 500 rpm. But the cutter no longer burned, and quickly sliced through the remaining material, leaving me with a perfect disk.

P1000468

Set the router up for a 3/16″ x 1/4″ rabbet and cut the rebate.

P1000469

The rest of the night was a matter of adjusting fit and planing the roundel thinner. I decided to router a little more after the roundel was too thin to leave on the bench (the screw holding the bearing in place on the bit would contact the benchtop), so I mounted the piece on a block of wood with double sided carpet tape. The final fit is a little loose in the camera base, but won’t affect the gluing – it’s the top portion of the plate where the glue surface lies.

P1000472

I realized somewhere in this process that I can remount the roundel and set the fly cutter to exactly the diameter of the existing rabbet in the camera bottom and fit the piece in perfectly, without altering the camera physically.

P1000465

So, that’s where I left off. A new wrinkle became apparent, though – the threaded insert is longer than the roundel is thick. I checked the penetration of the tripod screw by setting the roundel on the tripod, and the screw just peeks above the roundel. So, I’ll need to modify the threaded insert, or the camera bed will contact it and be limited in travel.

More tonight…

Asanuma project camera – planning the roundel…

Last night, I disassembled the former base plate from the Asanuma. Gingerly, I removed the chrome trim piece and guts of the metal spider in the base. The camera now has a 6″ hole in the bottom.

After grinding and honing the cutter on the fly cutter, I started planning the roundel. The opening in the base is 5-7/8″ diameter, with a 1/16″ x 1/16″ rabbet to hold the covering trim piece. Cutting a disk that diameter is no problem with the fly cutter; cutting a rabbet that size to mate the roundel with the camera, though, is. My rabbeting bit doesn’t cut that small a rabbet. After some consideration, I decided I will use the rabbeting bit and expand the existing rabbet in the camera bottom to 1/4″. Cutting a matching rabbet in the roundel won’t require any change to the router setup. A problem still exists, though: The roundel is thin enough that there won’t be enough depth for the bearing to ride on when cutting the roundel rabbet. To address this, I will use a thicker (say 5/8″) blank for the roundel, cut the rabbet, and then run the roundel through the planer to achieve the required thickness and profile. Should work. I’ve located a piece of walnut for the roundel, but am thinking cherry would be more appropriate, match the camera better, and compliment the cherry back. I need to check the relative movement characteristics of cherry and walnut, though I don’t expect either to be an issue in practice.

I’ll admit, though, that putting the router to the bottom of the camera is a daunting prospect. I’m planning on cutting a practice roundel first to confirm that this will work, and likely size it to fit the existing opening to check for perfect roundness, though measurements suggest it is in fact round. Once started, though, there’s no going back…

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