Baseboard for an enlarger

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by pschauss, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    What is the best material to use for a baseboard for an enlarger? Should I just get a piece of 3/4" plywood, cut it to the size that I want, and glue some Formica to it or is there something ready-made that I can use?
     
  2. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    I have made them from 3/4 in. birch faced plywood. A couple of coats for varnish will seal the wood. It wouldn't have to be birch faced, but I had som left over from a cabinet job, and it finishes more nicely than fir.
     
  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Availability will depend on where you are. In the UK, I would use a small piece of kitchen worktop (counter top in the US). These are a high density chipboard with a formica like covering over the top and the front (which has a radiused edge). They are generally about 38mm or 1.5" thick.


    Steve.
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    It all depends on what you prefer. HPL(formica) is mostly smooth and slippery, there are some textures that are less slick.You can use melamine panel, which is medium density fiberboard(MDF)with a resin finish, then you need only seal the edge. This is what most manufacturers use, and is quite heavy, and dampens vibrations nicely. You can bolt directly to the counter top, and not be concerned with the base not being large enough, and falling off of it. Any home builder supply can provide you with pre-made counter top of whatever length you want, as well as the MDF, which can be purchased as a full sheet or partial(some will even cut it for you).

    Rick
     
  5. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Plywood is not as flat as it use to be plus some of the stuff warps and de-laminates. Baltic Birch is probably the best however, for a baseboard, I would glue two layers of 3/4" MDF. You could spray paint it if you want or just leave it plain. Or laminate Formica on it, not sure its needed, but nicer job.
     
  6. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Try looking for kitchen cutting board at discount stores. Some of the wood kinds are suitably sized and comes already finished nicely.
     
  7. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council

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    All the above but perhaps more critical is fastening the enlarger to the base. It must be ridged and no chance of wiggle or loosening of wood screws. I would suggest through bolting the double 3/4 ply and counter sinking the nuts on the bottom using washers.
     
  8. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I just made one from 3/4" ply glued to 3/4" MDF & sealed it with polyurethane. Mounted the enlarger to it with t-nuts & bolts.
     
  9. Lukas_87

    Lukas_87 Member

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    three layers (well - it's important to glue odd number of layers together - else it will warp) of oak piedroit will be the best option
    a baseboard from plywood will be also good
     
  10. Denis R

    Denis R Member

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    staron or granite

    Staron® Solid Surfaces by Samsung are acrylic surfacing materials...

    had a piece in the shop, cleaned it with gas, braklean, carb clean, never any problems

    granite would also work, but since bottom is unfinished and unsealed, may turn gunky
     
  11. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Peter

    Consider not using a baseboard at all. You get the most rigidity and least vibration with a wall mounted solution. Enlarger and counter top are best to be separated.
     
  12. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    It depends on how big the enlarger is, but 3/4 probably isn't thick enough. The factory baseboard of my LPL is at least an inch, and it has a metal stiffener on the bottom.
    An alternative, though it's contrary to Ralph's suggestion, would be to mount the enlarger directly to the counter top, with some reinforcement underneath. The completely open surface is nice to work on. Wall mounting accomplishes the same thing, but the manufacturer's wall mounts are usually pretty expensive.
     
  13. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I made my own wall mount fro my Durst L1200, but I'm not sure it was cheaper than buying one. However, it's much more rigid.
     

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