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Art's Cameruh! | by Some Guy (Art)
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Art's Cameruh!

One day, while at my last job, I was sitting around watching my line, getting bored. Line was running fine, I wasn't yet an operator for that line, so I was really just there for changeovers which happened around 5 times a day with the operator I was paired with. I was bored. SO BORED! In my bordedom, I had a lot of time to think, so I tactfully wasted that time twiddling my thumbs. Eventually this tired me too, so I went to a different line that I had run earlier that week and got a core that was destined to go in the dumpster. When I say core, think cardboard toilet paper tube on steroids. It's 1/4" thick cardboard tube with an inner diameter of about 3"...It's practically structural tubing. I took out my multi-tool and started to bore a hole in it with the leather punch. Now mind you that this core is 1/4" wood pulp held together with thick glue. It took me 30 minutes to get a hole in the core. Woo hoo. Then the idea hit me like a ton of bricks. I WOULD MAKE THIS PIECE OF GARBAGE INTO A CAMERA. I told everybody that I would do so, and nobody believed me. That night I went home and got a 3/8" wooden dowel, 4 1/4x20x1.5 NF Hex head bolts, an old film can, an old roll of fuji superia that I wasn't going to use, some super glue, my drill bits, and a good roll of TMax 100. I also printed out a sheet of reciprocity failure characteristics for the TMax.


The next day, armed with my parts and ideas swirling around in my head, I went to work. It was going to be another day of the same boredom from the last, but I was prepared. When I got there, I performed my usual setup and cleaning duties, helped to start the line, and got things running smooth. Then it was waiting time.


I set about building my device. I took the straight edge I kept at work and lined out 4 lines down the length of the core, 90 degrees apart, making sure to keep one line through the approximate center of my recently created hole. I took my drill bits and, by hand, drilled out 4 holes for the bolts and 4 holes for the dowels undercut by one size bit. I cut the dowels to approximate size with my multi-tool. I tapped the four bolt holes with the bolts themselves in order to ensure the most light-tight seal that I could get. I CHANGED OVER THE MACHINE.


After the changeover, I had to cut some cores for the current run. I grabbed a few and my cut dowels and ran upstairs to the bandsaw. When I was done with the cores, I cut a slot down the approximate center of the dowels, about 1/3 the length of the dowel. When I got back to the line, I tried to fit the dowels into the rolls of film. They didn't fit. I took a small drill bit and carved the dowels down the sides of the band saw cut, and the knife in my multitool until the dowels fit into the film cartridge and engaged the flats (so I could advance/rewind the film without having to rely on friction fits or glue). Then...A CHANGEOVER!


Once we got that all sorted out, I went back about my business. I attacked the roll of superia like a dog. I tore off the top of the can and ripped all the film out. I made sure to completely remove all the film and tape from the spindle without damaging it, because I knew I'd need it later. I took the film can from the TMax and cut out a slot so the part of the superia can where the film came out would fit through it. I superglued them together as you see in the image. Then I drilled out a hole in the lid and bottom of the can to fit the dowel to the spindle (again by power tools or even bit-holders for me). I set that aside to dry and decided to cut a groove the size of some tape around the aperture. It worked out well and it was a quick sortie of hacking and tearing. I then decorated my creation with shapies until the next CHANGEOVER!


At last, I was set to assemble my camera...but wait! I had forgotten to create an aperture! There was merely a gaping hole in the camera where the controlled diameter aperture should be! CRAP! I quickly set about going to a break in order to search out a suitable (preferrably ductile) material that I could use as an aperture plate. I walked slowly toward the restroom through the warehouse looking for any garbage that may be of use...and there it was. Foil. Trash, left on a dead machine with no printing on it. Perfect. I got a good 6" square piece of my prize and went to the restroom, then to lunch.


A half hour later, I returned and sought out one of my mechanic friends. I asked for something like a pin, and he said he'd look around and find me on the line. I went back to the line just in time for a CHANGEOVER!


This was it, the last CHANGEOVER of the day. I had to get this thing together. About an hour before quitting time, Mr. Mechanic came by with an extremely fine-pointed pin-type thing. It was perfect. I quickly cut my foil to about the size of a dime, layed out two pieces of tape on the steel table and cut a triangular hole in the centers. I sandwiched the foil between the two pieces of tape, as centered as I dared eye, and applied it to my cameruh. I poked a hole in the foil as close to center as possible and refined it with a combination of calipers and pressure. The hole came out to about 0.2mm in diameter. It was done. I went home for the night.


The next day, I went in and did my normal routine until we were running. Boredom time. I got out my film from my pocket and the camera from under the table where I had left it last night. This was it. The moment of truth. I pulled out the leader of the TMax and cut it to an appropriate shape. I stuck it through the slot in my makeshift film receiver and taped it securely to the spindle. I wound the unwind spindle a couple revolutions. It worked well enough in the damning light lights? Happy with my contraption, I placed it into the body. The spindles would sit suspended upon the dowels, which would also act as advance/rewind knobs for the film. The bolts would act as holders to avoid the cans from spinning with the advance/rewinde action. I was set. A double layer of tape covering both ends of the tube, a 0.2mm or f/235 aperture installed, and film in the proper place, approximately 47mm from the opening of the aperture. There was no reason it wouldn't work. I had the reciprocity characteristics at hand and was itching to try out my creation...


tl;dr - I made a camera from garbage at work cause I was bored. Also left an attempted cliffhanger/segway into the next picture I'm going to post...just push F!


Sorry for the wall of text, but there might be another one coming.

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Taken on August 2, 2011