Converting a wallmounted Durst 1200

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Grainy, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Grainy

    Grainy Member

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    I have just bought myself a wallmounted Durst 1200 without a baseboard. Since I don't have a wall to mount it on and only a "makeshift" darkroom I need to make a DIY solution with the Durst on a trolly.

    In addition this is my first enlarger, so I'm a newbie when it comes to mounting (and using) enlargers.

    I haven't recieved the enlarger yet, probably tomorrow. But I want to have most of the things sorted out so I can start mounting when it arrives.

    I know this beast is huge and heavy, so the trolly needs to be really solid. I found a 3x60x300cm sized solid wooden plate wich I will cut in pieces and make the trolly out of. And some lockable wheels wich supports 70kg preasure each.

    I have some questions:
    - Should I "wall mount" it on the trolly by mounting an "oversized" wooden beam at the back of the trolly wich the wall mount fits on?
    - Or should I bolt it directly to the wooden top plate of the trolly?
    - if I mount it directly at the wooden top plate, is it important that the plate is 100% leveled before mounting the enlarger?
    - is it important that the enlargers steel column is 100% leveled?
    - how much of the leveling can be done by adjusting the head itself (or other parts)?
    - can I use the top of the trolly as a baseboard or should I put another plate on top of that wich I can mount so it's possible to adjust it in all directions?
    - is it possible to turn the enlarger head the other way so I can use the floor on the backside of the trolly if I want to make larger prints?
    - my plan is to make the top of the trolly 60x80cm and total height of the trolly 60cm since I have read that the height of the steel column is 136 cm and I need to be able to move it in and out of my bathroom door.

    The attached pictures is the only one I have of the whole enlarger, so I don't know how the bottom of the steel column looks like yet. I will know more when it arrives, but as I said I want to start preparing.
     

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  2. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Big Dursts are just that, BIG. I have a Laborator 138.

    If you are pondering a trolley, then figure out how low it will have to be to get the top of the column through any doors. Do you really want a trolley that low to work off of?
    Will the trolley have enough mass to not be top heavy?
    Are sandbags placed on a lower shelf to lower the centre of gravity going to be needed?
    Most certainly you will need to lower the head all of the way to even think of moving it.

    I would plan to make a cart have 'drop wing's' to make the top surface wider once set up than would otherwise be possible while tucking it away to store it.
    A place is always needed to store focus finders, sit a timer, dust brush, negatives filing binder, test print rig, contact printers, paper trimmer, etc.
    A shelf just under the exposing surface is a great place to tuck everything away when moving it.
    An even better option here would be a light tight drawer so that enlarging paper, perhaps to 16x20" size could be put while out of its outer packaging.
    The drawer could double as storagelocation for top surface items when the cart is wheeled away.

    If the makeshift nature of your location allows you to devise a way to 'clip' the trolley to the wall,and then have a means to also anchor the top of the column to the wall, that would go a long way to help to align the thing and make it more stable.

    I see your 3cm thick solution wood being mounted to 100mm square post 'legs' that the outer skin panesl could be lagg bolted onto.
    Some quantity of angle steel plate may be used to attach the wall bracket to the trolley. I don;t think wood alone will be strong enough unless it is a piece of hardwood.

    I see that the 60cm wide wood you are considering might be the limit of the width of the trolley.
    That is not wide enouigh to do justice to the capabilities of this machine.
    I would recommend a baseboard at least 90cm wide to accomodate a 11x14" four bladed easel easily, and accomodate the occassional 16x20" or 20x24" sized prints held in impromtu easels.

    I know the advice that floats around here is to buy the biggest enlarger you think you will ever use, and you certainly took that advice to heart with your first enlarger buy.
     
  3. Grainy

    Grainy Member

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    Thanks for the reply.

    Maximum height for the trolly is 60cm because of the bathroomdoor wich is 2m high. That is why I'm considering to not use the top of the trolly as a baseboard, but only for mounting the enlarger. And then make an height adjustable baseboard on top of that so I can stand when I'm working with smaller prints.

    80 cm wide and 60cm deep baseboard/trolly was my plan. I can increase the width to 90 or 100 without problem, but the depth is 60cm because of the size of the wooden plate. The width of the bathroom door is 73cm, so it's possible to make the trolly deeper, but then the top plate will be in two pieces.

    "Drop wings" is a great idea, it will definitely be possible to make if I need more space.

    My plan was to make a storage room in the trolly with shelf or drawer just below the top plate and then a room for adding weight at the bottom plate if it's needed.

    I don't know how much mass the trolly itself will have yet, but I guess around 20kg or more, hope it won't be too top heavy.

    I guess I should try to find some kind of steel to support the "wall mount" and make it stiffer so it won't flex.
     
  4. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    I have a Durst Ce1000 4x5 enlarger, the factory baseboard is 50cm wide, 60cm deep and 4cm thick and appears to be hardwood covered with laminate. It is mounted on a cart that puts the baseboard at 55cm off the floor. I have spacer blocks to raise the easel base to 75cm. That way the working height is ok for smaller prints and I can remove the spacer assembly to put the easel on the baseboard. I have low ceilings and a narrow door as well.

    The cart is framed from 2x4" studs and then covered on three sides with 12mm thick particle board screwed and glued to the frame. There is another piece with the corners notched and it fits inside the frame to form a shelf at the bottom. The enlarger is screwed to the top of the cart frame thru what looked like factory predrilled holes that were in the baseboard.

    The factory baseboard is hardwood and there is a steel plate under the column so the baseboard is clamped between the bottom of the column and the steel plate.

    You will see a similar plate at the base of your wall bracket. You will need a piece of 3mm thick steel plate and drill holes in it to match the column base and use bolts and nuts to mount the column to your baseboard.


    It is not really too top heavy, there is a large counterweight hiding in the column along with the spring assist. I added over 6kg of lead as the factory setup wasn't enough to handle the 450CLS head, I just position the head about a third way up when I have to move it.

    Here is what it looked like with the temp spacer system. :smile:
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2011
  5. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I take it the temporary spacer system is a side effect of what gets you out of bed and going to print every day?
     
  6. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    How did you guess? :smile:
     
  7. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Put a wall frame on the back side of of the trolly. Then it is wall mounted. Use heavy lumber or hardwood. Just be sure to build with precision.

    I have two Omega 4x5 I use by sitting down due to low ceiling.

    You might want a drop table inside the trolly. Precision is a must.
     
  8. Grainy

    Grainy Member

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    Here is a quick sketch of how I think I'm gonna build the trolly. Does it look okay?
     

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  9. Grainy

    Grainy Member

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    how do I mount the counterweighting spring to the top of the column? Should I use force and pull out the mounting plate at the end of the spring so I can attach it to the colum? I can barely move it with "normal" force. It's the CLS 500 head.
     
  10. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    The first image of the spring you post doesn't look right - On my bench L1200, the spring is clamped to the top of the column..

    What ever you do, do not go unbolting yours - The spring is under tension and will take a finger off if you're not careful.
     
  11. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    You should be able to move the head a little bit further up the column and "rotate the spring plate" onto the top of the column. I'd fasten something to one or both of the extra holes in the plate to give yourself a little leverage. Careful, that spring will try to remove a fingertip.
     
  12. Grainy

    Grainy Member

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    The column and the head came in to different pieces, so I need to mount them together again. Yes, the plate at the end of the spring should mount to the top of the column, but it's incredible hard to push it in the right place AND screw it to the column.

    Good idea to use those two extra holes to something, I just have to figure out something to attach to it wich is easy to deattach after the plate is bolted in place.
     
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  14. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    A steel bar or pipe with a bolt thru one hole would be my first choice, a box end wrench with a bolt thru the box end and a large washer and a nut, a piece of wood with a bolt, or last, an adjustable wrench. Having a helper would be a good idea with any method.
     
  15. Grainy

    Grainy Member

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  16. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Looks like it could work, I guess we'll know when we see 4 screws thru the plate into the top of the column. :smile:

    Although I would put another nut on each bolt to clamp the plate between them so the handle won't move around as much.
     
  17. Grainy

    Grainy Member

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    Three strong guys and the DIY handle bar was the recipe to mount this monster. Holy sh** how much tension it was in the spring. I'm exausted:smile:
     
  18. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    I told you it could remove a finger tip. Congrats on not losing one. :smile:
     
  19. Grainy

    Grainy Member

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    Thought I would give you guys an update. Finally I'm finished constructing the trolly and mounting the Durst. My plan worked out really, really great. The trolly is very stable and strong and the enlarger balances everything great. The hardest part (except from mounting the head on the column) was to build the trolly and keep everything leveled. In the front I put a door and inside there is storage space for easel, dodge/burn tools, paper, cutter and etc.

    I had to construct the trolly this size because of the height and width of the door I need to move the enlarger thru before/after use.

    After using the enlarger for a while to figure out what I like and don't like and wich sizes I can print with this setup I will improve it. I will either construct a height adjustable baseboard or buy a table wich I can roll the trolly under so the table will work as a baseboard.

    So far I have printed up to 24x30cm with the enlarger and it works great. The enlarger is a beast, but it operates super smooth and easy.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Nice!
     
  21. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    A CLS500 head and a real thick & solid base plus the dangly fine focus rod - Nice setup, and one that should last a lifetime.
     
  22. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    If you decide to sell the wall mount kit let me know. I'm looking for one.
     
  23. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Shipping fron Norway might be a little expensive. :sad:
     
  24. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Hmm ... very true. Maybe I could come and pick it up though. :wink:
     
  25. rmckinne

    rmckinne Subscriber

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    column mount

    I am considering purchasing an L1200 for which there is no baseboard. There is a baseboard mount but it is missing the front plate that tightens against the bottom of the column. Is that plate just a flat plate that could be made easily in a machine shop? I haven't seen photos of one up close but there is a wall mount on ebay right now and the front plate on it has an offset which would be like an inset when the plate is tightened, causing it to squeeze tightly against the column. I can't copy the photo because you can't do that on ebay. I'm hoping someone can provide a photo or just a description of that front plate. I am trying to attach a photo of the mount showing the missing front plate and the bolt holes.
     

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