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Build an Anamorphic Pinhole Camera

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Step 2: The Design - Materials and Tools

Picture of The Design - Materials and Tools
The design is quite simple.  The camera is a light-tight box with some fixtures to hold the film spool and take-up spool, and an acrylic tube which the film wraps around. Two aluminum rollers help the film around the tight corners off the spools so that the cylinder can have near-360 degree coverage. At the end of the box where the tube is glued is where the pinhole sits.  The camera is made of 1/4" poplar but any wood will do as long as it is 1/4" thick.

Now, I used a laser cutter to cut my wood, but there is nothing here that couldn't be done with a table saw, finger joint jig, drill bits and a scroll saw.  If you do have a laser cutter handy or you want to have it cut by an online laser cutting service I have included an Autocad DWG of the design.  For people doing it by hand I have included a PDF template of the parts at 1:1 scale to be printed on 11x17 paper or across two 8.5x11 sheets. 

In the supplied AutoCAD file, white(black) is the cut line and blue is the engrave layer.  The engrave is just to mark some drill holes which are small and need to be a pretty accurate diameter.

Materials required:
  • 5" wide x 4' long x 1/4" thick poplar board.  Must be very flat.  This wood tends to warp while sitting at the store so check your piece to make sure its good. 
  • 1 foot of 3/8" wood dowel
  • 0.3mm pinhole ( DIY or purchased)
  • Aluminum sheet metal
  • 65mm of 2" outer diameter acrylic tube
  • 1 foot 1/4" aluminum rod
  • 2x 1/4" retaining ring
  • 2x aluminum washer
  • 2x 10-24 3/4" screw
  • 2x 10-24 wing nut
  • 2x 10-24 nutsert
  • 6x #4 3/8" flat head screw
  • 4x #4 3/8" round head screw
  • 3x #4 washer
  • 1/4-20 nut
  • 6-32 1/4" flat head screw
  • 6-32 acorn nut
  • Sheet of felt
  • Sheet of craft foam
  • 2x 1/4" shaft knob
  • Wood glue
  • Epoxy
  • Super glue
  • Black spray paint
  • Stain
  • Spar urethane
  • Sandpaper
  • 2x 120 film spool
  • 120 film paper backing for testing
Tools:
  • Laser cutter (or bandsaw, finger joint jig, table saw)
  • Drill press with forstner bits and twist drill assortment
  • Sheet metal cutting tools
  • 4-40 tap
  • Lathe (optional)
  • Misc. other common tools
 
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