Making a 20x24 4-blade easel...

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by ic-racer, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I have always held the contention that when making something, you should get raw materials that are as close to the intended size and shape as you can. This makes fabrication and construction easier. In this case I found a collection of parts that were already in the rough shape of a 4-blade easel:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2011
  2. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    More pictures of the 'raw materials':
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  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    A few more pictures showing gummed up rollers and a very bent stay-arm:
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    [​IMG]
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    You may be thinking that looks like a complete easel, but the point is that I read so many threads about people wanting to build this-that-or-the-other-thing from scratch, when some repairs and minor fabrication to junk equipment of the type wanted can be much easier than scratch-building. Especially with respect to view cameras, tripods and enlargers.
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    So, I disassembled the easel for a complete overhaul and rebuild.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The metal tabs on the edges of the board that keep the frame up off the baseboard were missing, causing the blades to rest directly on the baseboard. I fabricated a new one from a bracket. The pictures show the one original in silver and the one I made in black:
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  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The bottom of the easel is particle board covered with a vinyl/aluminum cover. This was coming loose at the corners. I tried gluing it but that did not hold. I used some flat-head screws to hold it down:
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  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The rollers were soaked in Naptha, then painted and re-greased with white grease. The blades were cleaned, sanded and re-painted. My local hardware store still carries SAE hardware and all the rusty screws, bolts and washers were replaced:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Here it is after all the work.
    [​IMG]
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  10. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Great job! Not just easier than starting from scratch, but cheaper. You can usuallly get the raw materials for free or super cheap. You are on the same bent as me, I love to refurbish the salvable..
     
  11. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    My wife surprisingly wondered why I was spending all weekend working on that 'junky thing' saying I should just have bought a new one at B&H. My concern is that B&H only sells the Beseler easel. I already have a Beseler 16x20 easel and it is one-eight of an inch off and is non-adjustable. This Saunders I just rebuilt has individual adjustable paper-stops for all the sizes.
     
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    You may notice the 'old-fashioned' black surface. This actually forces you to use a viewing paper on the easel. So, in the end this has a much brighter viewing image than the image on the more popular yellow surfaced easels. I put rubber feet on the base of the easel so I can slide my viewing paper under the easel when not in use.
     
  13. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I wish you were closer to me and did this kind of thing as a part time job, I have about 15 easels that I would love to back into mint condition..


    Very good work and very useful indeed.