Help with Durst M605

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by McErland, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. McErland

    McErland Member

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    Hey!

    I bought a Durst enlarger, pretty much in mint condition, however, when I raised the head higher than usual, the head started ever so slightly to creep down. This was pretty much unnoticed by me at first, but at the third print the image on the paper became so blurry that I realized the head must have slid down. I tried to make it slide, and as I was focusing and looking through my focusfinder I could feel the head moving down towards me as I tried focusing.
    So yesterday I looked at the construcion in daylightm, trying to discover a way to make it more stable, hoping to find a screw or anything to make it more firm, but couldn't find any!

    Do any of you guys know how to solve this?

    Kind regards!
    M
     
  2. LikeAPolaroid

    LikeAPolaroid Member

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    The head is raised/lowered through a rack and pinion system which is held by a flat spring on the back of the column as a counterweight. If the spring tension is not strong enough the head with its weight tends to slip down.
    One of the causes of this is that maybe the enlarger was kept with its head down rather than all the way up, therefore damaging the spring which may have lost its tension power thrugh the time. Try to see if there are cracks or anything on the spring.

    Always keep the head all the way up when the enlarger is not in use. The column is rigid enough and it won't bend. This is a common mistake many do.

    Replacing the back spring is not a trivial task and it is somewhat dangerous as it is made of harmonic steel. You can find the column as a spare part every now and then on the auction site.

    A cheap way to fix the problem (but not the root cause) is to use some sort of spring clamps on the column to avoid the head slipping down

    http://www.wolfcraft.com/en/products/p/fz_spring_clamps/fz_spring_clamps/s/p/index.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2013
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Instead of that spring-clamp you may use a small U-clamp with a screw, fixed just under the slide.


    An alternative solution would be, if the slide could be moved a little bit over the collumn and fixed there temporarily, to cut a screw thread into the slide and insert a screw with a knob or wings to arrest the slide at the chosen height.
     
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  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There's some plastic/nylon pressure pads that stop the head creeping up/down the column, these wear over time but are very easily tightened up. You need to take the metal plate off the back of the wind emechanism and it's extremely easy to adjust. They must just pinch.

    No need to resort to additional clamps if you do the things properly. My head on an M601 began to creep upwards the balance is quite fine.

    Ian
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Not wishing to start a "war" here but I too have a Durst 605 so I am interested in what may be in the future a problem for me.

    So here goes: I cannot reconcile Ian Grant's post with LikeAPolaroid's. Each seems to be talking about a different mechanism and it would appear that there is no need to raise the enlarger to the top of its column after use based on Ian's post.

    Certainly if this is the cause of the OP's problem I cannot recall seeing anything about raising the enlarger to the top when not in use in my Durst manual which covers assembling the enlarger

    So can we reconcile this difference?

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Likeapolaroid describes the mechanism but the spring is just a counter balance it doesn't hold the enlarger head in place, there's some friction due to the rack & pinion mechanism and the rest is from the pressure pads, it's the friction that stops the head creepings.

    Any slight corrosion on the chrome part of the column can increase the wear on the pressure pads so keep them clean, when there is wear it's incredibly simple to just tighten these pads. My M601 column has only needed the pads adjusting once in 38 years and it had very heavy proffessional use :D The M601, M605, M670 etc use the same basic column mechanism although the paint work etc has changed.

    If the head is creeping slowly up/down it's purely because the pressure pads aren't working fully.

    Ian
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks Ian. The very fact that the problem of creep is easier to fix than it seemed to be going to be is good news as is the likely frequency of it happening.

    pentaxuser
     
  8. LikeAPolaroid

    LikeAPolaroid Member

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    It's a good practice to keep the head all up when not in use. It keeps the counterweight spring wound, with all its tension. Believe me, I have seen enlargers where the spring cannot recall the head up anymore - and if that occurs, there's no pressure pad that can keep the head from creeping.

    All Durst enlargers share the same spring mechanism. I have a L900 and an L1200 that do not even have the rack/pinion, the weight of the head is perfectly balanced by the tension of the counterweight spring. Those enlargers were a miracle of mechanical design.
     
  9. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks for the reply LikeAPolaroid I note you have made no mention of the pressure pads that Ian Grant mentions. It is as if the spring mechanism does the whole job of preventing creep in your opinion. What role do you believe the pressure pads to play?

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  10. McErland

    McErland Member

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    Wow! Thanks guys! I'll see if I can adjust the pads first! Since I don't have dedicated darkroom I'm bound to disassemble the enlarger after every session, but I will raise the head anyway, just to make sure.
     
  11. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    I am sorry for dragging up an old thread. I couldn't find a newer one here on apug. My head of the M605 is sliding down. I have read about the pressure pads but I could find them on my enlarger. Can anyone post some photo's where I can find them? Here is a photo of a spring on my enlarger:
    20141022_201715.jpg
     
  12. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    The carriage that slides up and down the column - Across the back (where the other end of the pictured spring attaches) is a steel plate. Behind this plate, there should be four white plastic buttons.
     
  13. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    Thanks Paul. Do you mean this white screw? As one of the 4?
    20141022_201845.jpg
     
  14. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    That looks about the right location (it has been a while since I looked at the smaller Durst enlargers, so am a little rusty on details).
     
  15. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    Ok thanks. I'll have a look tonight!
     
  16. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    Just a quick update:
    The 4 screws in the red circles need to be tightend just a bit to create more friction. Works like a charm.
    20141023_153649.jpg
     
  17. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Glad you managed to fix it, Peter. I too got concerned when I saw what appeared to be one post which suggested it was hard to fix and another from Ian Grant which gave me hope, should it happen to me.

    Faith in Ian's solution, backed by paul_c5x4 was well placed

    pentaxuser
     
  18. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    Once you know where to look it is too easy actually :D You have to take the cover of (2 screws) to expose the spring and the carriage with the 4 screws. SO I thought I'll post a photo to make it clear for others.