PROJECTS: PINHOLE CAMERA
2. MAKE THE FILM GATE
2a. Cut aluminum flashing to the height of the camera body,
and 8" wide. Draw a 2¼"× 4¾" rectangle in the center. At each
corner, draw lines that parallel the top and bottom edges, ½" in
(to match the plywood thickness), and extending to the same
longitudes as the sides of the rectangle. Measure the camera’s
curved plywood edge, and symmetrically mark the corners of the
aluminum where the edge overlaps this distance. For example,
my camera back measured 7¾" around, so I marked in 1" from
2b. Use tinsnips to cut along the 4 lines that extend in from the sides, and then cut the excess-overlap
corners off of each piece, as marked. Then score the center rectangle lines with a sharp utility knife, and
flex along the score lines to snap through the aluminum.
2c. Fold the 2 center flaps inward from each side, using a screwdriver shaft as a brake to form smooth,
90-degree bends. Sand any rough edges, especially around the opening in the center.
2d. Fit the gate around the back of
the camera. Cut notches in the flaps
so that they clear the spring strip, and
carefully curl them around so they fit
around the film spools.
2e. Spread a thin bead of black silicone
sealant along the plywood edges,
position the film gate onto the back,
and tape it into position until it cures.
2f. Wrap your test film in position around the back of the gate (if it isn’t centered, add or remove washers
on the film-winder bolts). Mark the edges of the film on the gate.
2g. Cut 2 straight strips of cardboard
from a cereal box, to use as guide rails
for the film. Glue them in place along
your marks on the gate with a thin
layer of silicone. The film should easily slide between these guides with a
little wiggle room.
3. MAKE THE PINHOLE
3a. Cut several 14" squares of sheet metal; we’ll put a pinhole in each of these, and load them into a
35mm slide projector or slide scanner later to choose the best ones.
98 Make: Volume 09