This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
A camera stand or table, which can be put to many uses, is easily made and, when made, will be of particular service, says Work, London, for enlarging, reducing, copying, and, with a slight modification, for making lantern slides by reduction.
Ill: Fig.2 Fig.4 Camera Stand for Use in Copying and Enlarging, as Well as for Making Lantern Slides
Copying with a camera on a tripod is always a more or less complicated job, because of the ease with which a picture, being focused, may be thrown out of focus, and even out of the field of view, the camera not being attached to the same support as the picture. With the stand shown in the illustration, the picture is attached to the same support as the camera. This makes it possible to place the apparatus on a table, out in the open, or in any other suitable position, where the light may be best for the work. When used for enlarging with artificial light it will also be found convenient, as it may be placed in any position in a darkened room.
The size of the stand will depend on the sizes of pictures to be made, but it is better to have it too large than too small, as a small camera can be used on a large stand while a small stand would be of only limited use. The general appearance of the stand is shown in Fig. 1. The material list is as follows:
2 Sides, 1/2in. by 9 1/2 in. by 5 ft., S-2-S.
4 Crosspieces, 1/2in. by 3 in. by 1 ft. 7 in., S-2-S.
4 Guides, 3/4in. by 1 1/4in. by 2 ft. 6 in., S-2-S.
2 Bottom Pieces, 1 in. by 9 in. by 2 ft. 6 in., S-2-S 1 Easel, 3/4in. by 1 ft. 6 in. by 2 ft., S-2-S.
2 Cleats, 1/2, in. by 1 1/2in. by 1 ft. 4 in., S-2-S.
Straight-grained soft pine or poplar is the best material to use. The side pieces should be narrowed at one end or to a point about halfway of their length. The extent of this narrowing will depend somewhat on circumstances. The guide pieces are then attached with screws, the two upper pieces so that they have their upper edges flush with the edges of the side boards.
The bottom piece, on which the camera is to be set, is made of the two pieces, cut as shown in Fig. 2, and joined with cleats, as in Fig. 3. The space left after part of one side of each board has been cut away, should be sufficient to make a slot which, when the boards are joined together, will admit the screw to hold the camera in place. A rod is run through holes bored in the sides, just below the two pairs of guides, and fitted with a wing nut for clamping the sliding bottom when a focus and the size of the picture is found.
In copying, the camera is attached to the bottom board and the picture is tacked to the easel. The camera is then focused roughly by means of the rack and pinion, the final, fine focusing being done by moving the sliding bottom board. For enlarging, the lantern is placed on the sliding bottom and the bromide paper tacked to the easel.
For lantern-slide work, which is reducing, it is necessary to cut an aperture in the easel, after the manner shown in Fig. 4. The edges of the opening have a rabbet to receive first a ground glass and then the negative, both being held in place with turn buttons. It is not necessary to have two easels, as this opening can be fitted with a piece to make a level surface when the apparatus is used for copying or enlarging.