Enlarging my baseboard

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David Ruby

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I finally jumped into printing larger than 8x10 the other night, and I noticed that when I get the enlarger head up high enough to do an 11x14 from my 4x5 neg, my easel is hanging of my baseboard.

I'm assuming that others have tackled this problem, and I'm curious as to some of your solutions. I was thinking that simply finding something rigid that could affectively increase the size of the baseboard would be the solution. Something like glass, or even something thicker like plywood or part of an old door. Any ideas? Thanks.
 

Loose Gravel

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I have a Beseler 45M and the baseboard that came with it was junk. I made a new one from hardwood plywood that was longer (deeper), with rounded corners. Then I let it into the counter, so that it is flush on the surface with the countertop. It is just one large smooth surface.
 

PaulH

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My enlarger table is an old solid core door. I took the enlarger off the baseboard and bolted it to the table. Works great!
 

doughowk

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Suggest using melamine/duramine in 1" thickness, available at home depot, etc.. Available in white & easily cuttable with skill saw. It matches my Durst enlarger base & is available 24X48".
 

titrisol

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I bolted my enlarger to the desk it sits on.
But some white melamine covered plywood 1" or 1.5" thick can be used to make a new baseboard (homedepot-lowes) They'll cut it to the size you want, then ask them if the can put the liner on the sides.

Drill holes in it and replace your old baseboard. You can even buy some "feet" for it.
 

dr bob

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Around Annapolis, there is an easily accessed supply of marine plywood. This produce is about the most rigid and stable material available. It comes is many finishes - some with different hardwoods on each side. Although more expensive than others, this material will make the only enlarger base you'll ever need or want. A little polyurethane varnish and it'll last through almost anything you can do to damage it. It is easily worked and requires little finishing, even on the saw exposed edges. I would recommend 1" thick mat'l or at least 3/4".
 
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I have a Besseler VXL Chasis and I took mine off the baseboard and built my own wall mount for it. I overbuilt it for strength. I then built a lower base on wheels that I can level the top to match the enlarger (or move it out of the way when I need some room in that space).

Any chance you can bolt it to the wall in your darkroom... Anything from a simple surface or a complex set of cabinets etc could be made to match afterwards...

joe :smile:
 

FrankB

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The column on my LPL 7700 fouls my 16x20 Beard easel at some sizes. I'm thinking of taking the column off the baseboard and mounting it on a shelf fixed to the table so the easel'll slide under a little.

My DIY skills are... grim.

Any thoughts?
 
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David Ruby

David Ruby

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Enlarger Photo

Here's a photo of my set up. I'm planning on bolting my enlarger directly to the counter one of these days, but it will actaully decease the baseboard size due to the tight quarters I'm working in, so I haven't done it yet.

I do a lot of 8x10 stuff which works great how I have it. It's when I get the head way up high into the joists above that the image hangs off the front of my cabinet there. My guess is that something like rigid plywood could be quickly bolted into place when I was doing this sort of work and then removed to save space. The idea for glass was simply to keep the thickness down so I'm not giving up too much enlargement capability.

Eventually I want to do some even larger work and I'll really have to get creative. I'm thinking about simply flipping the baseboard around and using the swivelling base to rotate the column 180 degrees. Then the image could be onto the floor or possibly onto a stage set on one of the drawers.

By the way, the way I've got it set up right now...the base cabinet is bolted through the left side into the concrete wall very rigidely. The countertop is then bolted onto the top of the cabinet and cantilevered over behind the sink (in the photo) without touching the wall on the right, which is the stairs coming down (vibration).
 

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John McCallum

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FrankB said:
The column on my LPL 7700 fouls my 16x20 Beard easel at some sizes. I'm thinking of taking the column off the baseboard and mounting it on a shelf fixed to the table so the easel'll slide under a little.

My DIY skills are... grim.

Any thoughts?
Hey Frank & David
David's is a good method if you can rotate the column, and have the space to the side.
Another idea I've seen is where your bench is divided into two with a board that can float up and down between them. (the enlarger is fixed on bench behind the moveable board or on the wall). Useful for when you want to do really big prints just occasionally. Also it's good if there is limited space, and saves moving the enlarger for the extra biggies.
Quite easy to set up (even for the dunce DIY'er like us).
I've applied my best drawing skills to the diagram attached (btw it's a cross-section ... if you weren't sure). :smile:
 
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Nige

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my easels have extra rubber feet in the middle (not quite in the middle, just off center a bit) of them that allows you to hang them off the edge of the baseboard and still stay flat. You do have to be careful not to bump when inserting paper it as it will move easily. Otherwise, a suitably sized piece of MDF or Chipboard could be placed on the existing baseboard for the times when you need it. I'd grab a couple of suitable clamps (clamp to existing baseboard at the back) to ensure that doesn't go tumbling down when you put the easel on it.
 
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David Ruby

David Ruby

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Yeah, my 11x14 easel has those feet too, but wouldn't you know it, in the case that prompted this thread they didn't help. I unded up shimming the easel at the edge of my baseboard with old throw away 5x7's and taping the other end down to keep it still.

To continue the easel discussion, now that I'm doing more fiber, and hoping to do some larger prints, my 11x14 two blade easel seems to have some limitiations. I.e. the other day I wanted to print a 10x13 (to use an existing frame) on my 11x14 paper. In my mind I was going to print it in the middle of the paper (which would be very beneficial had this been fiber paper, for longevity etc.) but as you know with a two blade easel you get two fixed borders, roughly 1/4". I guess that most serious printes must use the four blade easels eh? This way they can leave ample space around the edge of their prints.
 

Dave Miller

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FrankB said:
The column on my LPL 7700 fouls my 16x20 Beard easel at some sizes. I'm thinking of taking the column off the baseboard and mounting it on a shelf fixed to the table so the easel'll slide under a little.

My DIY skills are... grim.

Any thoughts?

If your wall is solid, rather than a partition type of material, then bolting the enlarger column to it will work very well. Some enlarger manufacturers sell them. They generally consist of a substantial angle wall bracket to which the column bolts and a second lighter stabilising bracket that fixes the column top to the wall. Some sort of mechanism to adjust the setup is incorporated also. Provided your wall is not subjected to vibration then this is the way to go. That's not to say that the base board can be left to rattle about. It's obviously got to stay aligned during exposure.
 

georgeg

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I am having the same problem. I am drilling holes as we speak. I'm just going to bolt the damn thing to the counter.
George
 
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