I was talking about ground glass with some friends online and realised I haven’t actually mentioned upgrading the ULF camera’s ground glass from that shambolic affair with sandpaper and cream cleanser.
Well, I didin’t photograph myself upgrading that sheet of glass but I did photograph others.
Road to Silicon Carbide
I contacted Silver Print to see if they stocked any grits to make a ground glass after reading about different grits on forums here and there.
I got an amazing reply to say, sorry we don’t supply anything like that but you may want to try here and linked to a website that sold Silicon Carbide grits for grinding or shaping materials.
That’s customer service, do you hear that AG-Photographic?
I’d briefly read about different strengths or rather sizes of grit but the consensus was around F400 or ‘Fine’ 400. You could use a larger grit but you may start to see more traces of the marks it makes.
This is what I bought …
I wasn’t sure how much I would actually need so I went for the 3.5kg tub which came to around £40 plus delivery.
In order to grind an 8×10 sheet of glass I used less than 1/4 of the volume from that little red cap left of the tub in the above photo.
I reasoned with myself that the absurd amount I actually bought would be fine because I might be making a lot of ground glass especially if I’m going to be building big cameras.
I was quite right too because I leaned on my 8×10 sheet a day or two later and cracked the bastard in half!
Here’s one half in use with one of my Kodak folders …
This was another interesting use for having a ground glass kit around, testing the focus of cameras.
I was having a hard time getting my focusing right on my folders so I ground a piece of sheet plastic-glass from a cheap already-scratched Ikea frame.
I should say that by now the 2 halves of the 8×10 had been smashed to tiny bits.
Preparing To Grind
On the left is the plastic sheet and the right is a small sheet of real glass.
I dumped a little amount of grit on the plastic sheet; you can see how scratched it was.
Just add a little water.
I placed the small glass sheet on top and ground down using a circular motion.
You can see that after a short while the plastic sheet is pretty much done, a glass sheet would take about 10 minutes or so of constant grinding depending on size of course.
Here I’ve taped the sheet to the back of my Kodamatic …
… and here’s a view through the back. It turned out I am now shit at guessing distances and the rangefinder I was using was unreliable.
I’ll finish with this: photography is a fantastic medium to play with, there’s always something fascinating just around the corner.
I wonder what I would say to me if I showed these recent blog posts to myself 3 or more years ago?