Building a giant horizontal enlarger.

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by JBrunner, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Ok, I've been given an 11x14 copy camera. Wouldn't make a great camera, but it would make a good horizontal enlarger. There are no real constraints, except budget, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't spend some money.

    I've got plenty of room, and we are at ground level. I'm looking for ideas on chasis, neg holders, easel, and VC light sources or filtration.

    Lets figure out somethin cool. I'll video blog the project.
     
  2. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    What model camera is it?
     
  3. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Richard,
    I won't have it on hand for a couple of days, and the model escapes me for the moment. A friend is giving it to me. It is basically a bellows, back and lens board mounted on brass rails (tubes) with rack and pinion gears. The back is 11x14 with a vacuum glass (lots of little holes) the glass has a red grid on it. There is a door on the back that opens on hinges.


    It's fairly old, not a nuarc or something like that. I'll have it in hand very soon.
     
  4. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I remember seeing AA's hortizontal enlarger in his darkroom. Its been too many beers ago, but I remember it focusing onto a wall that was coverd with metal, and long magnetic strips were used to hold the paper on the wall. There was a roll-holder that mural rolls could be put on, then the paper pulled down, magnetic strips placed, then the piece was cut from the roll. The roll was then tucked away somewhere.

    He first went with tunsten bulbs...the outer ones being slight closer to the neg to even out the light. Lots of heat was generated and he eventually went to tubes. So what you may end up with is some sort of large cold-light set-up.

    Have fun! Vaughn
     
  5. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    You might check out Clyde Butcher's darkroom for some ideas. Besides the enlarger, his tray set-up for processing large prints is also quite impressive.
     
  6. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    I believe Aristo (http://www.aristogrid.com/) will make specialized cold light lamps, but I would imagine the price is up there, IDK. Perhaps they may have one prebuilt to meet your needs. Good luck.

    Chuck
     
  7. Reinhold

    Reinhold Subscriber

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    I have an Aristo 11x22 inch cold light with their V-54 lamp (for variable contrast printing). I fit it onto my 8x20 Canham and project onto a metal easel for prints up to 48 inches wide. If I had more room, I could go MUCH larger, but that'll do for now...

    Reinhold
     
  8. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Cool. Curious, how have you rigged the neg holder?
     
  9. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Reinhold, that's what I think I'll do for 8x10 and 11x14, I have a cold light that covers 11x14 and a very clean old wooded camera for the job. I just came in after switching the gears on it. I would be making a glassless carrier since it's going to be horizontal and the film is vertical. Clips at the four corners, springs or rubber bands for contraction. With cold light the negative needs to be close to the light. I would be interested also in your negative carrier and how you case it in between the light and camera back.


    Curt
     
  10. Reinhold

    Reinhold Subscriber

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    Howdy Guys,

    I need to take a few digi-snaps of the setup, but other priorities prevail at the moment. In the meantime, here are my original drawings (.pdf format) for the conversion. I used cherry wood for the frame and tempered masonite for the negative carrier. The whole shebang snaps onto the camera in place of the springback ground glass assembly.

    To corral the negative, I use Post-it tape at selected points around the negative to keep in place. The tape comes off cleanly when I'm done.

    For the easel surface, I use a sheet of "painted metal", available from any sheet metal shop. I'ts nice stuff, smooth white on one side, dark brown on the other.

    Have fun.

    Reinhold
     

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  11. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I am still trying to get my brain around the fact that less than a week after blasting CFL's here - JBrunner is going to build a giant cold-light enlarger! :tongue::wink::D
     
  12. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    George slowly gets it...:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
     
  13. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    This is one way a person attached the film at the corners of a negative carrier.
     

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  15. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks so far everybody,

    This is all really really great info for digestion.
     
  16. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    I was just looking through my Lee Valley & Veritas catalog and found product number 53Z20.10, Magnetic Paint. The product blurb states "This paint, which has tiny iron particles mixed into it, is simply brushed onto non-magnetic materials, such as wood, to create a surface that magnets will stick to." Sounds interesting. $16.50 for a pint, shich covers 10.8 square feet, double coated. Might be a good way to make a wall magnetic for hanging paper to be exposed.
     
  17. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I was giving some thought to using some strong magnets that are available from the wood worker store in a negative carrier frame. I recently use them on a medicine cabinet for the door catch, which they are sold as.
     
  18. GeoffHill

    GeoffHill Member

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    I recently ordered a few magnets from here to stick postcards to my fridge for the postcard exchange. They are as strong as the blurb says they are. The tiny cube ones are the best, and will stick to my fridge through about 5 sheets of FB paper, even though they are about 1/6th on an inch accross
     
  19. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    'still collecting info on a horizontal enlarger?'
     
  20. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yup. I will be going to get the camera at Jan 2. I think I will build the lamp house using green and blue LED's. I have samples coming to to perform real world tests. Still pondering the neg carrier. Instead of a big track for the enlarger, I'm pondering a fixed pedestal, and movable easel. The trick will be devising a way to position the easel in registration at various distances. All the input so far has been wonderful.
     
  21. Jim Bradley

    Jim Bradley Member

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    It took me a while but I finally found this again:
    http://www.textklick.demon.co.uk/ledhead.html
    I've been considering something like this but time ...
    JGB
     
  22. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    J,

    For a platform, have you considered a movable cart? Northern Tool Company has a number of "material handling" carts with hydrolic lifts (foot pumps) for raising and lowering. I am in the process of experimenting with them to see if they would work for mounting a 20x24 studio wet plate camera on them. I visited the Des Moines store yesterday and played around with them in the back of the store. They didn't have the exact model I wanted in stock, so I will have to order it in. The main problem I see with it for your application would be making sure it is square to the wall you mount paper on. I don't know, something to think about.
     
  23. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Jason,
    As you get the enlarger built , before moving forward , start considering the wall, how to move the enlager back and forth and some processing considerations.

    I just built a room to do giant murals and the 40ft sink is ready to go in 3-4 days, I may have some practical tips that will help you into the wall mount and processing side.
     
  24. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks Bob,

    I was considering mounting the enlarger in a fixed position, and having a movable easel. Easy repeatable registration will be the biggest problem, if I do that. It may work better with my space. I'm mainly trying to avoid having to fabricate a floor mounted track. The largest prints I plan to make would have a max of 40" inches on the short side (40x60 for instance), so I was thinking wallpaper trays if I can find them over 40" or if not, something along those lines, either constructed, or purchased, and a two man operation for development.

    Your facility sounds incredible.
     
  25. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Allen,
    what I've found works best is a piece of galvanized steel, painted with a satin or flat medium gray automotive paint, cheap and works well.


    erie
     
  26. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Jason,

    just had an inspiration, as I'm rebuilding a vertical camera as an enlarger. Plume used to (and still might) build light boxes that had a "patented" diffusor that equalized the light distribution. (basically an inverse of the illumination, thereby equalizing the light output)

    Were one to build a light source, getting it as equal as possible, then expose a piece of lith film, through a contact screen, focused on the diffusor panel at 1:1, you would get an inverse of the light distribution, after processing, sandwiching the screened film between a piece of clear acrylic and the diffusor will theortically equalize the light distribution.

    erie