Easel for Ilford postcard paper???

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Pasto, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. Pasto

    Pasto Member

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    I just bought a box of Ilford postcard paper. I though I'd try making some of my own postcards this holidays eason. Does anyonme have experience using this paper? In particular, how do you get an even white border? I have several different easels, none of which accomodate the paper. Is there a dedicated easel or do I have to jig something from scratch? Any experiences would be helpful...

    Thanks,
    Louie
     
  2. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    It is possible to find Speed Easels for post cards, but these are designed for use with the old Kodak Kodabromide paper that was slightly smaller than Ilford postcard stock.

    I've have reasonable success with an ordinary four-blade easel.
     
  3. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I just use a small two blade easel which takes a maximum paper size of 10"x8".
     
  4. Mark_S

    Mark_S Member

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    Same here, although I use a 5x7 two blade easel - don't think that I use that easel for anything other than postcards....

    I think that I paid $3.00 for it at a photo swap meet.
     
  5. ghart

    ghart Member

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    Louie, It's a great format. I have a print that I made on this paper on my desk right now, one of my Lake District collection. May I suggest that you forget the white border? Just lay the paper on the enlarger base after framing and focusing, and print across the full size, like many commercial post cards.

    George
     
  6. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I usually print borderless using a Saunders borderless easel. The paper lies flat enough that an 'L' cut from cardboard and taped to the enlarger baseboard would do a good enough job.

    Any good adjustable easel will give an even white border. 4-blade easels are easier to use: insert a sacrificial sheet and set the top blade, mark a line with a pencil, rotate the sheet and scribe new lines on the remaining sides, and finally set the remaining three blades to the lines. Keep the sheet for the next time you need to set the easel.
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Louie Great minds think alike. I raised exactly the same issue in a thread several months ago and sad to say didn't get the answers I was hoping for. With postcard paper, the border in my opinion needs to be very small to look right. The old commercial postcards had it right but their borders were no more than 3mm and possible as little as 2. Unfortunately most easels won't give smaller than about 1/4 inch which looks too large IMO. The Paterson 5x7 easel gives an ideal border of just under 4mm but it's 5x7 not postcard size.

    Here's an idea. Get a 5x7 Paterson easel ( good for 5x7 if nothing else), put a postcard in it, giving you the left and bottom borders. Process the print( black is best) then reverse the print so the two borders are now visible then try cutting a template with the correct size opening which just covers the borders. Doesn't matter if the template is bigger than the postcard as long as the opening matches the print size thus giving the same borders.

    Might be difficult to do as a DIY project but a machine shop with either a laser cutter or a Numerical Control cutter could cut a piece of plastic or metal which exactly matched the Paterson border available for 5x7 prints - I think.

    Anyone coming up with a means of devising accurate borders of about 3-4 mm for postcard paper is very welcome.

    Anyone who knows of an easel which will do borders as small as 3mm is equally or even more welcome.

    pentaxuser
     
  8. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I recently did an experiment with one cut from mat board. Basically I cut a postcard image size window in a piece of mat board then hinged it with tape to a backer. It worked though I had to blacken the bevel with a marker to get a clean border in the postcard.
    I consider it a work in progress, meanwhile I used my 4 blade easel again for this round. Though a two blade would work just as well.
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    This question came up a few weeks ago and it prompted me to start making a single size easel for this paper only (I have both the NC cutter and laser cutter at work). As usual with my projects I got half way then stopped. I may give it another go again this week.


    Steve.
     
  10. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    I'd be interested in a single size easel if you get around to it, Steve.
     
  11. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Well, you could print with a 1/4" border and then trim the print to get a 2-3mm border.

    A 4-blade easel can give a hairline border on 3 sides, meaning you only have to trim one.

    And a 4-blade easel can give a hairline border on 4 sides if you don't use the paper locating slot: tape an 'L' shaped paper locating guide to the easel bed.
     
  12. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Looks like you now have three possible interested parties now Steve. Me from the last thread and now two others. Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Well.... I have to use the CNC router tomorrow so I suppose I could sneak in a few extra pieces!



    Steve.
     
  14. Pasto

    Pasto Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    Thanks to all for the informative replies. I finally printed ONE postcard yesterday (thursday is my darkroom day, I did make other prints as well...). To start things off I decided to go with the simple no border setup. Worked like a charm. The postcard came out very nicely. I'm going to like printing postcards....I think I'll send the first postcard to myself:smile: For the first time, in a long time, I used trays to process the postcard paper. I've been using my Jobo for all my printing for several years now. It was very nice to see the image come up in the developer again....

    Louie
     
  15. youngrichard

    youngrichard Member

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    For a simple borderless easel see my post in Darkroom Equipment recently. I think postcards look much better borderless.
    Richard
     
  16. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I looked for a couple months and found a 4x6 Speed EZ-EL on Ebay. It's a hair bigger than the Ilford postcard paper, but it works great.
     
  17. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Lucky you. I've been looking for a 4x6 Speed-Ez-El. though not very dilligently, for a while. I've got 'em in a bunch of different sizes, some very odd for American users. I even have one that does full frame 35 mm on 8x10, but have not even seen one for 4 x 6. I like that size, but I don't like using a 4 bladed easel because the minimum border size is too large without cobbling something together to make it work.
     
  18. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    What's wrong with a good quality four bladed easel and a custom sheet made from one of the cards using a straightedge and a precise pen? That's what I always did when working in commercial labs, and it worked great. I had a collection of sheets for common purposes, and it just took a minute or two to set the blades. Then make a card to make sure, and go.

    I prefer the old Albert easel for this sort of thing, but lpl makes one that would be usable, and of course, if you want to spend some buck, why not get a kostiner (if they still make them and if they are small enough - mine's a 20x24, and that would be ridiculous).
     
  19. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    Wear one white cotton glove, hold the paper in place while you lower the blades.

    Oh, I guess that isn't what you are saying. You have the wrong easel. My Alberts will do that, I wasn't aware that others have that particular limitation.

    The Albert easel would be hard to find, but well worth looking for.
     
  20. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Yeah I was lucky. I had made a cardboard mask/stop for my 5x7 speed easel previously. It kind of worked.

    I want one of those full frame 8x10 speed easels but have never seen one on ebay.

    I saw a 4x6 speed easel for sale in the classifieds here a couple weeks ago.
     
  21. Stock Dektol

    Stock Dektol Member

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    I second the 4 blade or the speed easel.