Introduction: Make a Wooden Photographic Plate Rack
I am making my glass plate negatives from scratch and one of the required pieces of equipment is a plate rack. There are a bunch of ways to make one and lots of historical versions. I chose my design based off materials on hand.
This rack will hold 9 quarter plates (3.25x4.25), 9- 4x5" plates, 6- 5x7 plates, 3- 8x10 plates
What your going to need:
.5x70" quarter circle molding
12 small finishing nails
Step 1: Planning!
I took two pieces of the molding and tried various distances between them. I decided a quarter of an inch was a good distance. The closer the two pieces of molding are, the more vertical the plate will be. In this case, my plates lean at about 60* from horizontal.
Step 2: Cutting the Pieces
Please be careful when ever using anything sharp, especially if it plugs in and spins at high speed!
I cut the 1/2" molding into six 11 inch length and lines them up. I lined them up with the quarter inch gap and measured how wide of a board they would need to be mounted on. I measured four inches.
Cut the 1x4 down to 11" to match the molding's length and double check the fit of the molding.
Step 3: Assemble the Rack
I secured each piece of molding with 2 one inch finishing nails. These are very small nails that will not cause the molding to spit. To help me with the first piece I used a small C clamp to hold the molding while I nailed each end. This is only necessary for the first piece of molding.
For each subsequent piece of molding I either uses a 1/4" spacer or the previous piece of molding as a support. My spacer was a piece of aluminum bar, but a pencil would work just as well. With the spacer in place, aligning and nailing the next bit of molding is as easy as squeezing.
Repeat using the spacer or the previous bit of molding until you have nailed down all the molding.
Step 4: Finished!
I am happy with a unpainted plate rack, but you may want to paint and seal it for easier cleaning. Look at how happy those glass plates are. The rack is ready for the darkroom.
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