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Fw: [woodandbrass] Re: Quiz: Mind reading. Now restoration. And lensboards.

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  • Eric Evans
    ... From: Eric Evans To: woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2012 7:17 PM Subject: Re: [woodandbrass] Re: Quiz: Mind reading. Now
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 26, 2012
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2012 7:17 PM
      Subject: Re: [woodandbrass] Re: Quiz: Mind reading. Now restoration. And lensboards.

      Hi Ole,
                 I have toured Norway from Oslo to Nordkapp and have seen some wonderful wood working, Norway is the place for wood, but I never had the opportunity that you had to visit the workshop of a cabinet maker. That was really something you will remember when you look at your cameras. I myself have heard the story about making their own tools, in a British context, and I guess it is true; if a cabinet maker couldn't make them, who could?
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: ole@...
      Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2012 2:29 PM
      Subject: Re: [woodandbrass] Re: Quiz: Mind reading. Now restoration. And lensboards.


      Hi Eric,

      By pure coincidence I happen to KNOW how it was done.

      About 30 years ago I went to visit an elderly great-aunt who lived in
      an out-of-the-way place in mid-Norway. Her husband had been a cabinet
      maker until he was killed during WWII (death from suicide while escaping
      Gestapo). Every piece of furniture in the house had been made by him,
      and it was all VERY nice work.

      Since she had never lowered herself to something as demeaning as
      physical work, of ANY kind, his workshop was intact and just as he left

      I counted over 50 different planes, from large to miniscule, with a
      wide variation in the shape of the blade and thus the cut they would
      make, including several pairs of mortise-and-tenon planes.

      I seem to remember being told that part of his training had been that
      he must make all his own tools?

      Great-aunt Jenny was an amazing woman, and it was an education to meet
      her - and another to see a complete fine cabinet maker's workshop anno

      Ole Tjugen

      On Thu, 26 Jul 2012 14:16:07 +0100, Eric Evans wrote:
      > Hi Ole,
      > I suppose the secret is to have the correct machinery for making
      > nothing but lens boards, permanently set up as part of a workshop.
      > But
      > firms like Watsons did not believe in the use of machinery until
      > about
      > 1888, I believe, apart from circular saws. How the heck did they do
      > it
      > with hand tools only?
      > It is a real shame about Gandolfi, but I expect the public
      > ultimately gets what it demands.....
      > Regards,
      > Eric.
      >> ----- Original Message -----
      >> Thursday, July 26, 2012 1:54 PM
      >> Re: [woodandbrass] Re: Quiz: Mind reading. Now restoration. And
      >> lensboards.
      >> The lensboards I had made for my small collection of Gandolfi
      >> cameras
      >> were made in the true traditional style.
      >> Sadly Eddie Hill has also stopped making Gandolfi, so what was the
      >> oldest existing camera brand is now no longer existing.
      >> Ole Tjugen
      >> On Thu, 26 Jul 2012 13:34:37 +0100, Eric Evans wrote:
      >>> Marcel,
      >>> Yes, lensboards are a perennial problem, and to make the genuine
      >>> three piece mortice jointed lensboard is far beyond the reach of
      >> most
      >>> mortals these days, me included. How on earth did they do those?
      >> I
      >>> normally do the best I can, using recycled or new mahogany, teak
      >> or
      >>> cherry as required, but at least I take the trouble to source and
      >> buy
      >>> apprpriate materials instead of cardboard and formica.
      >>> I recently bought a half-plate W&B (teak or cherry) camera
      >> labelled
      >>> "R.Keene, Derby", with no lens, but the obnoxious cardboard
      >> front,
      >>> which I will correct when possible. (Keene was a noted Victorian
      >>> photographer, member of the elite circle that Frank Sutcliffe
      >>> belonged
      >>> to, the Linked Ring. People on here will find him on Google, if
      >> so
      >>> inclined.).
      >>> Before I got the camera, I had bought a lens engraved 'Richard
      >>> Keene, Derby', from a source two hundred miles from where I
      >> bought
      >>> the
      >>> camera. Serendipity, or what? So of course I bought the camera
      >> when
      >>> it
      >>> appeared on that site, and I now have to put the two together,
      >>> although I have no illusions that Keene actually made the camera;
      >> he
      >>> was a professional photographer, businessman and retailer first
      >> and
      >>> foremost.
      >>> Lenses aren't too bad though; the first RR lens appeared in 1866,
      >> so
      >>> after about 1870, any generic rapid rectilinear 8 inch f/8 could
      >> be
      >>> deemed appropriate, but it is really nice when you get one with
      >> the
      >>> maker's name on it. Of course, you then have to find a
      >>> flange.............
      >>> Regards,
      >>> Eric.
      >>>> ----- Original Message -----
      >>>> Thursday, July 26, 2012 11:59 AM
      >>>> Re: [woodandbrass] Re: Quiz: Mind reading.
      >>>> Eric
      >>>> I have some nasty repairs/conversions in my possession. Most
      >> common
      >>>> is a poor attempt to make a lensboard from ply, masonite or even
      >>>> cardboard or when an inappropriate lens has been added. I have
      >> seen
      >>>> horrible attempts to made belows from black paper or cardboard.
      >> I
      >>> do
      >>>> not have a solution of what to do with rotten and missing
      >> belows. I
      >>>> hear that there are good replacements available from India but I
      >>>> don't know where to get them. My inclination is to transplant an
      >>>> appropriate period one but there is a paucity of donors. There
      >> was
      >>> a
      >>>> series of articles on W&B camera restoration/repair in the PCCGB
      >>>> journal last year and I couldn't agree with some of what was
      >>>> suggested. I have amassed a modest collection of spare parts but
      >>>> usually don't have enough examples of a given maker to utilise
      >> them
      >>>> appropriately except perhaps Thornton Pickard at this stage.
      >>>> Cheers!
      >>>> Marcel
      >>>> On 26/07/2012 8:45 PM, Eric Evans wrote:
      >>>>> Marcel,
      >>>>> Thanks for that. I have done a fair bit of restoration in my
      >>>>> time, but my attitude towards it has always been a bit
      >>>> ambivalent.
      >>>>> There is a fine line of judgement to walk between whether to
      >>>>> restore or leave alone. If a camera is so far gone that there
      >> are
      >>>>> more parts missing than present, then all one can do is
      >> conserve
      >>>>> what's left, clean it up and leave it alone, as I have done
      >> with
      >>>>> several cameras on my web site.
      >>>>> The temptation comes in when you get an artefact that some
      >> idiot
      >>>>> has used as a dartboard or mutilated by subtraction or addition
      >>>> of
      >>>>> parts that can be reversed with a little skill and sympathetic
      >>>>> understanding of the object and its place in its period. I try
      >> to
      >>>>> think of how the maker would like to see it if he could come
      >>>> back.
      >>>>> But at the end of the day, the argument between restorers and
      >>>>> non-restorers will continue unresolved, because it is largely a
      >>>>> matter of individual philosophy, although most people, I think,
      >>>>> have one foot each side of the line, and like me, respect both
      >>>>> points of view.
      >>>>> Regards,
      >>>>> Eric.
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