# Any 5-blade Salthill easel users out there?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Nacio Jan Brown, Mar 5, 2011.

1. ### Nacio Jan BrownMember

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I recently got a large 5-blade Salthill easel and can't figure out one thing regarding its use. You tuck the top of the paper into a little slot as you do with most easels. That controls the front-to-back position of the paper. What I can't figure out is how to control the side-to-side position. Most easels have two or three slots, each for a different paper size. With those you just use the correct slot and move the paper to the left against end of the slot. The Salthill has a single slot 20" wide with no mechanism to inhibit the side-to-side motion of the paper. When the blade assembly is lifted you can see guide numbers that start from 0 at the center and increase in both left and right directions. Clearly the assumption is that you will center the paper side-to-side. The problem with this is that in the dark the numbers are very difficult to see. Salthill had a reputation for excellence in design and I can only think that I am missing something. Or maybe the easel is missing some part? Any users out there who can enlighten me? TIA njb

2. ### EdwardvMember

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I will try my best to explain the usage of the salthill easel.

1. You will notice at the far left there numbers running vertical from 16 down to 8 and a dial. These numbers represents the width of the paper. Lets use llx14 paper. You adjust the blade to 11. What this will do is center the paper on the easel. Let me say this easel design for the paper to be horizontal but you can use 11x14 in the vertical as well.

2. The blade that adjusts has numbers with ZERO in the middle going to 20 left and right. The 20s represent 20 on a 16x20 paper.

3. On the right and bottom that have ZERO in the middle goes to 20 in each direction. These blades are for making you borders.

4. So if you are using 11x14 paper this is how it works:

a. Adjust the far left blade until you read 11 in the half moon notch. Insert you paper.

b. Center the paper between the two 14s, left and right.

c. Take the blades to the right and bottom to make your borders.

I failed to mentioned I believe the measurements are based on the metric system.

I hope I did help and didn't get you confused. Maybe there are others that can explain it better than me. I will look for the instructions.

Good Luck.

Edward

3. ### EdwardvMember

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A small correction. The half moon notch allows you to see where you are to set the edge of line for 8, etc. Also you can use 16x16 paper as well, can't get the 16x20 going vertical, only horizontal.

4. ### greenrhinoMember

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You are missing a small flat magnet that is used on the left side of the"fifth" blade to stop the paper.

5. ### EdwardvMember

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Greenrhino, thanks for mention this. I was about to mention this as well. If you do not have a small magnet, go to Home Depot and get one on a roll. My magnet strip is 8 inches long and 2 inches wide. As mentioned by Greenrhiro, it is placed to the left of the paper.

You will notice near all four corners of the easel you find a small hole with a screw. This is to align the easel to the film plane for better sharpness to corner to corner. If you have a Beseler V45 you can align the film plane, lens and easel to obtain the best align possible for sharpness. I use Zig-Align for alignment.

http://www.zig-align.com/zig-align/zig-align_Home_page.html

I did not find my instructions.

6. ### Nacio Jan BrownMember

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Thanks for the replies. The missing small flat magnet explains the lack of a lateral stop. Edwardv, your instructions are very clear. I have discovered that there is a small error when setting the borders: very carefully setting the paper position and the blades for even borders top and bottom, the top border will be 1/16" smaller than the bottom border. If there were a way to shift the position of the fifth blade scale slightly this error could be eliminated. Granted it's pretty insignificant but it's surprising to find this error in a piece of precision equipment by Salthill. njb

7. ### EdwardvMember

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To be honest you should check the paper. I have never encounter paper to be the exact true cut as well as exact measurements for easels, some can be off as 1/8. If you follow the 5th blade and place the paper equally between the numbers of say, 8 or less than 8 at both ends you will be a lot more accurate on you borders.

Another way to solve your border problems is get a metric rule. Measure from the edge of the paper to where you want the border to be, 3 times on each side of the paper. Draw a line and connect the dots. This will give you your desire borders. Place the paper on the easel, center the paper on the 5 blade; take all you blades and place them on the edge of your line. This will give you the best accuracy for borders every time. Make several of these guides vertical and horizontal for every paper and and border size you may want.