Aye, that’s another fine shelf.
Similar in construction to the Star Trek Enterprise Composite Shelf, this too is constructed of a corrugated box carboard core veneered with wood popsicle sticks.
As a nod to old school photography and a reason to take out the old cameras stuffed in the cupboard for storage, I decided to make a camera display shelf in the shape of a camera, that whole function follows form thing...
Yeah, I know there is a Canon crowd out there, Macs vs PC...
This was sized based on the pieces of cardboard that I had on hand. You can scale the “case” as big as you need it in order to fit your collection for aesthetic or functional needs. Always be Knolling.
A low budget after dinner project that you can accomplish in a fortnight...or two.
Step 1: Setup and Composition...
Box cardboard is actually pretty strong as noted by the testing label found on some boxes. We can make it even stronger by laminating a few layers of cardboard, alternating the direction of the internal corrugations, and skinning with another material.
And thus we can substitute for wood stock and upcycle our recyclable material into something functional and artsy. Come to think of it, as kids we also saved our popsicle sticks and repurposed them by building “switchblades” by attaching rubber bands…good times.
Since the base formwork of the camera shape will all be veneered with wood popsicle sticks, we can sketch out everything right on the cardboard since it will be covered over. You will find cardboard is quite malleable and need not worry about being unable to tweak the shape to more exacting lines once everything is glued together.
Don't worry too much about getting exact scale of the actual object, unless you worry too much about getting exact scale of the actual object. It all works out in the end and will look marvelous.
You will only need:
* a couple of clean cardboard boxes to salvage for building material, remove any packing tape or labels that glue will not stick to. Usually boxes that have shipped foods are waxed or coated and don't take to glue very well. Best to use plain brown shipping boxes.
* a sharp utility knife or heavy duty shears to cut the cardboard and trim the popsicle sticks
* glue, lotsa glue
* popsicle sticks(tongue depressors), a whole lots... I got the big box of jumbo and regular sized craft sticks, used about 300 jumbo and 200 smaller ones.
* sandpaper and wood finish, I had some leftover water-based stain/polyurethane and used the cherry wood color one to showcase it as wood. I also had an ebony finish that would have been more in keeping with the high-tech machine look as the original camera.
Step 2: Frame by Frame...
I was going to take a wooden salad bowl, cut out the bottom to form the lens barrel and hood. It seems most are made out of an “exotic” acacia wood and are fairly expensive. Plan B was to make the lens from the standard technique of rolling your own cardboard rocket tube and veneering as done to the rest of the project. I only made a "standard" size lens, you can go telephoto, macro, whatever you like.
Note that the upper portion of the camera works out to be a covered storage area. The top will be an hinged fold up cover. The compartment can be divided up to accommodate whatever small objects you need to store. Anyone with a Minox camera or lots of SD cards to corral? Even the viewfinder could have been made into some kind compartment,
Step 3: Things Get Sticky...
Once you have the cardboard carcass all built. Just start gluing your popsicle sticks all over.
You can lay them down in a pattern or just butt them up against each other.
When the wet glue soaks into one side, these wooden sticks will tend to warp a bit. They will mostly go back to the flat shape after the glue dries but you may want to weight down or clamp some of the more wild ones that will not stick to the cardboard. You can sand everything flat later on.
It actually is a lot of work to lay down all of those popsicle sticks, especially when you have to trim off the rounded ends and cut pieces to fit the angled spots. Cover as much as you can and let the excess hang over the edge. Go back to trim them after the glue dries. You can then take a utility knife to score a cut line and snap them off with a pair of pliers.
Instead of trying to line all the edges with popsicle sticks, I decided that it would be easier to use wood filler to bridge the gap. It makes a nice contrasting texture to the veneered surfaces.
Step 4: Ready for a Close Up...
I used a rasp to knock off the rougher edges and bumps. A surform tool would have been handy.
To get everything down to a smooth surface that is relatively flat,
sand, sand, sand...and sand some more.
Fill in any holes or fix wood pieces you knock off.
Sand, sand, some more.
I did the best I could by hand since my old random orbital power sander is out of commission because you can't find 4 1/2" eight hole hook and loop sanding disks any more. It would be a waste to cut down the newer standard larger sanding disks - the dust holes wouldn't line up and the hook pad is well worn out. I should have converted to the sticky back pad when I first got the power sander.
Wipe off any of the sanding dust and put a finish on it.
The combination stain and polyurethane I have is water-based so it will take a couple of coats with light sanding in between to produce a nice finish.
Step 5: Wall Mount or Tripod...
So how big of a lens is on that thing? I still don't know an F-stop from a bus stop.
For finishing details, I installed a set of hinges for the top cover. There is real wood for the screws to bite into.
Line the top compartment with felt to protect more fragile items like lens filters, etc. You can even line with foam with custom cutouts specific for your storage items.
I hot glued the lens and the control knobs on to the camera body.
I was going to make the control knobs and film advance moveable but I did not have long enough bolts to make it work.
I used a whiteout correction fluid pen to draw on the company name and model number.
You can hang this on a wall, leave on a desk or table, or even fix it to a large tripod.
You can also insert a plastic lens or build a working iris for the lens. Make it into a giant pinhole camera. Use it to hide your nanny-cam. It would be so obvious that it isn't obvious.
Maybe next I should build a giant Hasselblad SLR shaped storage box. I was always intrigued with them since they used it on missions to the Moon.
Make your favorite camera into a giant shelf and display your collection of cameras.