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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk 
Thread started 01 Oct 2013 (Tuesday) 07:34
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My Macro Rail

 
dicklaxt
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Oct 01, 2013 07:34 |  #1

Due to my age and some under control health issues my outdoor bug,butterfly and flower searching is limited if not non existent.

I have resolved myself to doing some work at my desk when the urge presents itself. Yes I know there are rails available on the market but I wanted to design one and have it fabricated. I have a machinist friend who will fabricate it for me if I come up with enough material so he will have one too.

My original thoughts are a cross block body made from brass and dovetail bars made from stainless. My present dimensions are,,,,,,, body 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" x 3/4" and dovetail bars 3/8" x 1 1/2" x "L" with "L" being of such length that I get 4" movement fore and aft and 2" sideways.The tilt and pan will be part of whatever I mount this on.

I still need to work out some details such as quick disconnect mounts above and below,gib adjustments on the dovetail bars etc.

Any and all comments accepted and if you have any scrap material laying around,smile

Here's a preliminary look see and if you want to take it, modify/copy, be my guest.

My ergonomic thoughts dictated to me that the adjustment knobs be on the left side and left front controlled with the left hand and the right hand would control the beer/coffee/remote trigger.smile again

Thanks for looking,,,dick


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dicklaxt
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Oct 02, 2013 03:52 |  #2

The final design ended up with the left-right adjustment knob being on the right side and the left-right male dovetail being on the bottom of the cross block. The drilled lightening hole becam optional mounting holes as will be dictated by OAL of the Macro Lens.The round black disk's are Quick Disconnects. The 4 hex head (one is hidden) are the gib adjustment set screws.

dick


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Snapshot101
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Oct 20, 2013 11:24 |  #3

where the block holds the slide you have external nuts- I would have these recessed , or have the threads internal and use a bolt with a sunken hex head so that you simply use a hex head key to tight the bolts into the block-

Less hardware to catch on things-

Which cad program did you use for this? Very well done btw-

Snapshot101




  
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rick_reno
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Oct 20, 2013 11:39 |  #4

Any photos of the finished product?




  
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Pallet ­ Spoon
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Oct 23, 2013 00:30 |  #5

Very interested in seeing this completed Dick. I currently use a Velbon rail and use it so the control is on the right hand side.




  
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dicklaxt
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Oct 26, 2013 02:45 as a reply to  @ Pallet Spoon's post |  #6

Snapshot,,,,,,,I don't see how the hex heads of the gibs would ever snag on anything in the desktop application I would be using it,but a good thought.

The program is "Sketch Up"

My machinist friend is an independent contractor of many tasks and is currently covered up with work so my non paying "Rail Project" is on the back burner.O will post a pic when I receive it.

dick




  
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Snapshot101
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Nov 01, 2013 01:05 as a reply to  @ dicklaxt's post |  #7

Snapshot,,,,,,,I don't see how the hex heads of the gibs would ever snag on anything in the desktop application I would be using it,but a good thought.

Cleaner look, less is more idea is all- I think if you were to modify the design it would only add to it and make it more of a professional look- just my opinion-

Great job on it !

Snapshot101




  
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calypsob
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Nov 18, 2013 23:44 |  #8

why not just buy a focus rail? 4way is $50 and a 1 way can be had for $14 on ebay. It seems like a focus rail and tripod would take more mobility to setup than doing hand held macro work imho.


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Jappe
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Dec 02, 2013 01:31 as a reply to  @ calypsob's post |  #9

Novoflex does quite nice focusing rails/racks:

http://www.novoflex.co​m …cessories/focus​ing-racks/ (external link)

I have one and it is joy to use. :D




  
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dicklaxt
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Jul 02, 2014 08:33 as a reply to  @ Jappe's post |  #10

Well that post was a while ago . My machinist friend fell seriously ill then long cold winters in Vermont kept him out of his shop. Well winter passed and he was still recouping but as time progressed he eventually(about 3 weeks ago) got things started. He is finished with all machining and has only some cosmetic work to do. I'd like to reiterate yes I know I could have purchased a commercial unit and certainly cheaper than the cost of brass,aluminum and SS. There was much thought and labor but wanted to do something unique

I have a desktop base under fabrication now with quick disconnects and vertical angle adjustment robbed from an old Tripod.....

Here's an image of the rail partially assembled before any embellisment's are added.
The bottom view has the included coin for size reference.

dick


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Dalantech
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Jul 02, 2014 10:54 |  #11

Looks really nice! Please post picks of the final desktop setup!


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CheleA
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Jul 07, 2014 21:11 as a reply to  @ Dalantech's post |  #12

I hope you take this as constructive criticism, in no way do I want to sound negative! Have your friend carve out as much material as possible to reduce weight and also make it as long as possible--8-10" is a good compromise! The nuts you are using will have play in them and introduce quite a bit of slack, it will get worse as the nut wears--that is just the nature of the beast! They make nuts that compensate for their wear, such as this http://www.thomsonline​ar.com …rews/lead_screw​s/snab.php (external link)

Also, you seem to be using 1/4-20 threaded stock, the stage will move 1 inch for every 20 revolutions of the handle--that's a lot spinning! In the link above they should carry screw stock(and nuts) that will require as little as two revolutions per inch--that is a lot more practical. The one drawback of using screws is the amount of wasted space. I made some stages many years ago and was going through the same issues just mentioned, which is why I decided against the screw stock. Mind you, I had access to everything and anything I could want and still couldn't find a good compromise for an actuated stage. I'm including pictures of the units I made. I have been using them for about 15 years and to this day do not miss either the fine adjustment of the thread or the horizontal movement. Of course, this is for MY type of photography. I am a minimalist in the amount/weight of gear I carry.


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My Macro Rail
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