Baseboard....which type of wood to go with?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by fvs!, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. fvs!

    fvs! Member

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    I've got my hands on a Beseler 23CII-XL enlarger. It currently doesn't have a baseboard. What type of wood should i buy for the baseboard. I will most likely be going to the local Home Depot or Lowes since i don't own any tools. Any advice/help would be greatly appreciated. thanks!
     
  2. George Nova Scotia

    George Nova Scotia Subscriber

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    MDF or any hardwood plywood will do fine. 3/4 or 1 inch. You'll also want to give it a coat of varnish or polyurethane. If you need dimensions I can try in the morning or maybe someone else will jump in.
     
  3. HTF III

    HTF III Member

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    2 pieces of 5/8 or 3/4 plywood with Elmer's glue between them would be perfect. Spread on your glue, and park a car tire on it all night. You'll have a baseboard that'll never bow and let your enlarger get out of parallel.
     
  4. largeformat pat

    largeformat pat Member

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    Form ply @ 5/8 thick cut and two pieces glued together. You can even add an edge strip if you wish. This will handle the humidity of the darkroom better than MDF
     
  5. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear fvs!

    I used 3 layers of 1" melamine coated particle board. I love it.

    Neal Wydra

    New Enlarger Baseboard.jpg
     
  6. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    You have all great answers here, and I'm not being snarky. But if you just happen to have a slab of marble or granite... That would make an excellent enlarger base.
     
  7. Jonathan R

    Jonathan R Member

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    Why do you want a separate base? Drill a hole in your worktop and fix the enlarger column there.
     
  8. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    Marble or granite would be great. Maybe a counter shop has some left over pieces for a good price. I used 3/4 birch surfaced cabinet plywood left over from one of my projects. The core is particle board, so warping is very unlikely (it
    s been six years since I made it, and all is well). I gave it a couple of coats of good varnish to seal it.
     
  9. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Probably anything made for enlargers in the last 30 years has been MDF with a melamine white surface, both sides, likely 1 inch or more thick.
     
  10. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    Sometimes with a strip each side of angled metal to minimise bending caused by the constant pressure of the leaning enlarger head.
     
  11. fotch

    fotch Member

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    The OP mention he had a Beseler 23CII-XL and I looked at my Beseler 23CII-XL, which had no such metal and is 3/4inch thick. Nor does my very large Durst 4x5 although it is 1.25 in thick. However, on my Beseler 4x5, the whole frame is attached to angle iron which then attaches to either (3/4 inch thick) wood or MSD, depending on the vintage of the enlarger.
     
  12. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Any granite counter top finishing company will have a bin of scraps. Plus there's all those sink cutouts.

    But drilling it to attach an enlarger column would be difficult (doable, but a pain).
     
  13. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    I've seen some particle board baseboards warp over time. Plywood may be more rigid. Rather than using really thick plywood, consider two layers of relatively thin plywood separated by a properly designed and glued pattern of wood strips to function much like an I-beam. It can be stiffer than a solid baseboard of equal weight, but thicker.

    If the base of the column has a small area of contact with the baseboard, it can compress the wood fibers and cause the column to tilt slightly. A metal plate to distribute the pressure can reduce this.