One Minute Camera

The One Minute Camera design process is moving from cardboard mockups to a wooden prototype. As a first attempt, it will no doubt fall short in some ways. But I’m anxious to get some experience with it to see how it might be improved. The wooden prototype is being made of quarter-sawn fir that was salvaged from my 1928 bungalow remodel. Fir would not be a first choice for building a camera but since this particular kind of camera is often cobbled together by an amateur for use in making their own livelihood, they often have a kind of folk art feel about them. So the reclaimed fir seemed appropriate for this first attempt.

The prototype in front of a cardboard mockup
I don’t know exactly how the various penetrations into the camera will play out so I chose to build it with box jointed sides and a frame and panel top. I’ll be cutting holes in the back and sides before the design is finished. Then I’ll have to decide how to proceed in the final version after this one has been tested. Among things to be included is the removable processing tank for the bottom of the camera. Various ideas are in play for a ground glass viewer/paper neg carrier.

Variable spacing box joints.
I dusted off my WoodRat joinery machine for this job. Since it doesn’t rely on hard spacing setups, I varied the spacing of the pins a bit as is sometime done with historical examples of dovetail spacing in camera design. I may end up sawing through some of these to hinge off a top section of the camera.

Billy and I found a couple of additional patents for this type of camera so there is now a bit more information on historical solutions to this camera design challenge. More updates will be posted as things progress.

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