Durst Gravacop vacuum easel

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by darkroom_rookie, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    breaking the ice...

    Did anyone have a chance to use one of these? It is around 26"x33" in size and looks pretty heavy. How well can it hold paper cut from a roll, mostly FB Emaks?
    Is the original pump reliable? Feel free to shoot if you got something on this beast.

    Cheers & thanks
    d_rookie
     
  2. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I have not used a commercial one. Mine is home made for up to 16x20, and is powered from a little cannister vaccuum cleaner with the filter bag removed that I picked up at the thrift store.

    The key is to mask off the area that the paper is not covering. I have a collection of mask for the usually smaller than 16x20 made out of expired ep/2 RC paper. the
     
  3. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    Mike, would that technique work on a vertical vacuum easel?
    I've been juggling the idea of building one from Forex (which,
    I believe, is the same as Sintra) board and attaching it to
    the wall. There are some commercial-grade pumps available
    locally (in Croatia) for around U$200 which are supposed to
    have a pretty good pull on a 50"x90" surface.
     
  4. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    MIne is made of 'fibreboard' on top - basically sawdust held together with glue.
    It has a regular rectangualr matrix of small holes drilled into it spaced so as to land over the voids below. The pitch on mine is about every 1/2" there is a 1/16 hole.
    These holes line up with a series of channels that are created by creating the middle of the easel out of a series of 1/4" wide x 1" tall by about 18" long strips spaced on edge about 1/2" apart.
    They are glued to a piece of fibreboard on the bottom about 18" wide x 22" long (which is in turn glued to some plywood to lend some stiffness and mass).
    The empty void at the ends, where the strips deliberately do not reach, creates a manifold area. The manifold area is sealed around the perimeter with more strips cut to length as required. I made the end where I attach the vac holse of a bit thicker strip, so it is a bit more robust.

    I have not tried to use it vertical, but it would work. I place a strip of masking tape as an alignment guide along the bottom and one edge of where I want my print, and loosely tape the mask over areas where the holes will not otherwise be covered by the paper being exposed. Sometiems I forget to turn the easel vac off after the enlarger timer is finished, and the paper cannot be picked off.