4 blade easel help

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by brianmichel, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. brianmichel

    brianmichel Member

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    I have a nice saunders 4 blade easel which works great, except for the fact I have issues getting the borders all the same size. I was wondering if anyone had some instructions on exactly how to line these things up the same each time, if there is a science behind it, or whether it's just a trial and error type of thing. Either way, I'd appreciate any information, thanks!
     
  2. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    I found the simplest thing is to take a ruler and make a mark on the focusing sheet the size you want the border. Then set the blades to the mark. To double check I rule out the border on the focusing sheet with a ball point pen.
    And yes I wear a belt with my suspenders!
     
  3. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    One factor is to place the paper all the way to the left in the slot. Then the scales can be used properly for centering. After that, there is a small amount of trial and error.

    Jon
     
  4. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    i guess i'm lucky as i've been printing one size only for quite a while. once set, i have left the shorter blades alone and i just play with the longer ones. if the longer borders don't come out equal, i'll trim--which, incidentally, should work very well making all four equal, no? :cool:

    to make things easier in the dark, i have stuck a tiny wood splinter into the groove on the base board so now i just slide the paper along the groove until it stops on the wood and i know i'll have the short borders where i want them
     
  5. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Look for a ruled tape with adhesive back. You could attach them to the easel and have precise measurement. I have two Saunders easels that have ruled scales. I'm not sure what model you have.
     
  6. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    I don't try for perfection (at least, not of that variety).

    The dimensions of paper can differ slightly. My the slots in Saunders easel are slightly oversized to allow for variation in the sizes of paper. While I try to remember to always slide the paper all the way to the left, sometimes I forget, and the result is that the borders are a bit uneven.

    If you are going to present your prints with the borders showing, then the only way to make them even is to make them oversize, and then trim them when the prints are dry.
     
  7. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    Jon Shiu is spot on with his advice.
    The instructions that come with Saunders 4 blade easels say to slide the paper all the way to the left once in the slot.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Most of my easels have pretty accurate scales. However, for exact borders, or a series of similar prints, I measure and mark the border on a scrap paper of the size I am using and adjust the blades to fit the marks. My Saunders easels scales require the paper to be to the LEFT in the slot. My Beseler easel is correct with the paper in the RIGHT of the slot.

    Also, many 4 blade easels have an adjustment on the blades to make them square.
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I've bought two of these easels used.

    On one of them, a previous owner had used a red felt pen to mark the base of the easel itself.

    Of course, you need to use the same borders each time :smile:.

    Matt
     
  10. PVia

    PVia Member

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    I made an 8x10 and 11x14 gridded sheet in Photoshop, marked with bold borders of all the sizes I print and more. Invaluable!
     
  11. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    If you are using FB paper, there is another difficulty

    It can change shape slightly during processing and drying - so while you had nice even borders with unexposed paper the print may not be quite right.

    It doesn't need to be out by much if you have an eye for such details

    With RC you are fine - it a very stable base.

    Martin
     
  12. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Cool. Thanks for this - I've never seen the instruction book for a Saunders easel, so this is good to know.
     
  13. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I am not sure which model you are referring to. The one where you just slide the blades is not very rugged in my experience, so I got the one where you have to turn the big black knobs. Mine goes out of adjustment all the time for some reason. So much so that once when I knew I had the blades adjusted perfectly square I drew permanent black lines on the easel bed to check the blades by and reset the blades by when they go out again.
    Dennis
     
  14. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Along with getting even borders you need to have all the blades at right angles.

    You can self-align and equal-border an easel rather easily:

    1. Align the top blade so it is exactly parallel to the top slot
    2. Take a sheet of unprocessed photographic paper and use the back of the sheet for markings - make a faint tick-mark on the long side at the width of the border you want. Using the photographic paper you will be printing on compensates for any deviations in the size of the paper - it is always a bit off. Paper will change size in processing, if you set the borders with an unprocessed sheet the borders will shrink along with the paper and remain the right relative size.
    3. Insert the paper in the slot, tick mark on the slot side, sliding it to the left
    4. Move the top blade to the tick mark
    5. Make a line on the paper using the top blade as a ruler
    6. Rotate the paper 90 degrees CCW and slide it into the slot
    7. Bring the left blade to the ruled line on the back of the paper, align the blade to the line if it is at an angle to it
    8. Make another ruled line using the top blade of the easel
    9. Rotate the paper again 90 degrees CCW, set the position of the bottom blade, aligning it if needed
    10. Rotate the paper 180 degrees and align the right blade of the easel
    11. If you like you can apply four strips of masking tape at the periphery of base, inside the outer frame, and make marks so you can set the blades back to this position

    If you need asymetric borders you can use the line ruled against the top edge for alignment of the left blade and then move the blade and mark a second line at the short-edge margin position to be used for aligning the right blade.

    I find the single-size "Speed Ez-els" to be the most convenient if all I need are "good-enough" equal 1/8" borders on standard paper sizes.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2009
  15. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    I've noticed with the Saunders that the top border tends to be too big due to the slot depth. Also, when adjusting the blades, lift the frame a bit so that the blades don't drag.

    Jon