Colwood plate holder

Nick Rowland

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Happy new year folks,

Is anyone using a Colwood 5x4 plate holder for Tintype work? I have an issue where the spring is causing the thin plate to bend (see images) and wondered what solutions folk had figured out. I am thinking about either using a thicker backing plate or adding new spring strips at each end by super-gluing some bendy plastic. It was intended for glass plates which are thicker and less flexible.

Cheers
Nickcolwood.jpg colwood bend.jpg
 

Ian Grant

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What about a thin metal plate. I get very thin stainless steel cut for various uses mostly for cloth shutter repairs and this would do the trick. I have one or two Colwood DDS can't remember if they are for film or plates.

Ian
 

Nick Rowland

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That is something to consider Ian, as you say it needs to be stainless to stand half a chance of lasting. I could flatten the spring and glue thin foam behind the stainless plate, which I think might have enough give to produce a bit of pressure. Will need a bit of experimenting though as there isn't huge depth to play with.

Nick
 

martin henson

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Necessity is the mother of invention Nick, I am sure because of that you will find a way to get it working, happy new year to you.
 

Nick Rowland

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Oh absolutely Martin, I just didn't want to re-invent an already invented wheel :) A happy and healthy New Year to ypu too Martin.
 

Ian Grant

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If you have any broken DDS film holders the dark-slide material could be cut and used as a support. I don't know if I have any spare, I'm using my broken ones to make Waterhouse stops.

Ian
 

Nick Rowland

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That's very kind of you Ian, I think I'm ok for backing material. I have a fair bit of thin Ally sheet kicking around.
 

David M

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If you can flatten the spring, would it be worthwhile flattening it progressively to see if you could hit on the right tension? In the examples I've handled, these springs are not always enduringly springy. A second sheet seems the best thing to try first. It could be reinforced with strips of (eg) thin ply, with a gap in the centre where the spring sits.
 

Nick Rowland

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Must admit I'm loath to mess with the spring unless other options fail. I think I'll explore the backing sheet option first, if Ally doesn't do it I'll try thin stainless. I'll just try a second tin plate sheet first, that seems an obvious starting point that I had missed.
 

Ian Grant

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I do have a lot of modern 5x4 plate holders, one or two I think without or broken springs. I actually need a 7x5 plate holder (as I have a fairy newish box of APX100 7x5 plates) but they are like Rocking Horse sh*t here in the UK as they were never imported.

I could have suggest Aluminium sheet, I have quite a lot in different thickness's (as you probably do as well)but it's not really ideal as at the thickness of a dark slide sheath it's not very stable dimensionally, it bends too easily.

Ian
 

David M

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Taking a millimetre or two off the end of the spring would reduce its power. You could do this progressively, but I understand and share your reluctance to do anything irreversible. Titanium sheet might be ideal, but it is much more expensive. It's available somewhere on eBay, but I have no more information.
 

Nick Rowland

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Oh, Titanium sounds good actually as it is pretty resistant to chemicals. I'll take at look at prices
 

Nick Rowland

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It's going to be a case of experimenting a lot Ian. There is quite a bit of depth on this type of darkslide, so ally might work. I'll try at the weekend.
 

Ian Grant

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I'd been wondering who Colwood were as I'd not come across the name, today I found this in my 1954 BJPA

upload_2019-1-15_9-27-53.png

Ian
 

David M

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Encouraged by Ian's diligence and out of curiosity, I found these. You will see they have moved and increased their range of stock to "Everything for the Professional Photographer." This ad may be from 1955.
Trixale plastic darkslides seems to be another new brand name. (Bottom left panel.)
The logo seems to be imitating London Transport.

126 Merton High Street is now housing.

https://bid.tennants.co.uk/m/lot-details/index/catalog/638/lot/282317?url=/m/view-auctions/catalog/id/638?page=5

Im1955PA-Col.jpg


To address the original problem, there were adaptors made for using film in sprung glass plate holders.
These were flat sheets of black-painted steel with three turned-over edges to hold the film. A little careful prising might adapt them for other purposes.
As they were originally made to withstand the pressure of the spring, they should work well if there's enough play in the holder, as seems likely from the photograph of the bowed plate. Pot luck on eBay, I'm afraid.
 
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Ian Grant

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Trixale was a trade name used for some products made by E N Mason and Sons, they made Criterion films and Barcro equipment.

Colwood appear to be one of the key missing links between Graflex and MPP, which I've been patiently searching for.

Ian
 

Monsta

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Film Septum is the name for the inserts to convert them to film holders. I use them in my old graflex 5x7.
 

David M

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Monsta,
Thank you. I've been using the word to describe the metal divider in book-form dark slides. I might have used it for the dividing sheet in current ones, too. I've heard it applied to the film carriers in a Grafmatic back, too, which have the same function. I should have known.
Tried a Grafmatic and although it worked, I never trusted it.
 

Ian Grant

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Film Septum is the name for the inserts to convert them to film holders. I use them in my old graflex 5x7.
Kodak call them Film sheaths, I have three boxes of Eastman Kodak 9x12 and Quarter plate film sheaths.

Only time I've heard them called "Septums" is Grafmatic backs, I have a Wray Grafmatic back NIB with instructions appears to be unused :D there was a second as well in very good condition. My Graflex one is unreliable.

Ian
 

David M

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Out of curiosity, I looked on eBay and found this. Although this is the .co.uk URL, the item itself is in Michigan. Although they were not designed to withstand the pressure of a spring, the folded edges might provide enough stiffness, but I don't know this from actual experience. It might be an expensive experiment when postage is included. It might also prove impractical to widen the slots to accommodate the plates.
This was the only item I found, although as always, other search terms may produce different results.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lot-of-30-4x5-Septums-for-Grafmatic-Film-Backs/123551218097?hash=item1cc439f9b1:g:XeAAAOSwsptb2gJv:rk:6:pf:0
 
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