Printing Out Frames... I might make some..

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by vickersdc, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Hi all,

    Having embarked on a journey with my FKD camera, and using paper negatives, I'm thinking about printing a positive using a printing out frame. I'd like to make a 'proper' one, with a hinged sprung back, felt padding, likely to be of Oak, proper threaded inserts and brass knobs to adjust the spring tension.

    But in order to make it worthwhile ordering the stainless steel to make the springs, I'll likely need to make several - not a problem, but I won't need twenty of the things!

    First off, is anyone interested in a 10x8" printing out frame? If I can get a rough idea of numbers first, then I can work out the cost of making one.

    So, I'm only interested in finding out if this is something that others might be interested in - I certainly won't be taking anyone to task if they change their mind!

    Cheers,
    David.
     
  2. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    I'd be interested to know more. What sort of price are you thinking of? I am also thinking it might be a good idea to make the frame area slightly bigger than 8x10" to accomodate some space around an 8x10" negative for those who might need that.
     
  3. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    David, I would be interested, but would of course largely depend on cost.

    Will you be incorporating channels for the spring clips to seat in when the back is closed? I find without these small slithers of the wood frame start to break off and of course sods law states, that these specks of debris find there way onto the print surface :sad:
     
  4. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Jerevan: I think you might be right, I was thinking 8x10 as my FKD is 18cmx24cm and an 8x10 frame is a little bit bigger for me! Point taken :smile: In fact, it might even be worth making a 4x5 frame and an 8x10 frame if there's demand enough to do so.

    Trevor Crone: Cost is the biggest issue of course, and at the moment I don't know how much it'll be. I could use Pine rather than Oak to keep costs down, but I'd rather make something that isn't going to fall apart a year down the line! Although it doesn't have to be Oak, it's just what I have in my workshop at the moment!

    Spring clips... I'd need to draw it really, but I envisage having a long spring clip running across the back which engages with a brass knob on either side. Screwing down the knob would apply the pressure to the back. To prevent the thread from being pulled out of the wood, I'd be using proper thread inserts designed for use in wood. The brass knobs would be machined specially to fit these units and the spring clip. Perhaps I really should make that drawing... :wink:
     
  5. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Remember that for many purposes you want a frame a size larger than your camera. For platinum I started with a 4x5 camera and got an 8x10 frame from Bostick and Sullivan. When I went to an 8x10 camera I wanted an 11x14 frame from B&S. Bill Schwab made a frame for 7x17 that is 11.75" x 21" over all. The paper and brush strokes are larger than the negative. Good luck in your venture. Nothing like beautiful hand made wood work.

    John Powers
     
  6. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Thanks for the info John, (it's been a long time since we chatted (back in the 'early days' of Creative Image Maker) - hope you are well?).

    Those B&S frames... do the leaf springs just twist round and lock into the sides of the frame? I'm sure that works and it's cheaper to make, but I want brass knobs! I've sourced a small supply already and I've got access to a lathe to make them just how I want them; but it also means that if someone needed an easier way to tension the spring, or was not as dextrous with their fingers anymore, then I could create a tensioning knob to suit.

    I've also been thinking about a way of creating a stand so that you could either lay the unit flat under an enlarger, or pull some legs out to position it if you're using the sun as your light source...
     
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  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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  8. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    I am well thank you and having fun shooting ULF. Hope you are doing at least as well.

    The B&S frames have stainless steel leaf springs and piano hinge. The springs are adjusted with a 3/8” nut. I have forgotten what this nut is called. It has a nylon insert that helps keep it from working loose. Bill Schwab used brass and the adjustment is made by a slotted head brass machine screw. In all three the springs twist around and lock in a slot in the wood frame.

    Though I have arthritis in my hands I can adjust either the nut with a box wrench (spanner) or the screw with a screw driver quite easily. The elegant tensioning knob would certainly personalize your work, but IMHO be a waste of effort and expense.

    What does get the arthritis calling is if the leaf spring does not slide right into the slot and you have to push it in several times to make the connection. When I complained of this problem years ago, I was told there were two solutions. Get a vacuum frame or take two aspirin and call him in the morning. The person did not say what I should call him in the morning.

    I use my frames under an enlarger for silver or a uv source for platinum and have not felt the need for a stand. My first concern would be that it might be less stable than the frame itself on the table.

    Good luck with your project. It is always a pleasure in this artistic pursuit to find beautiful hand made tools to accompany our hopefully beautiful hand made prints. This is one of the reasons that after selling software for twenty years it was a delight to shoot film rather than go digital and continue to work with software when I retired.

    John
     
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  9. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    " I have forgotten what this nut is called." Nyloc maybe? Its basically a lock nut.
     
  10. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Hmmm, wouldn't it be nicer to not have to use additional tools to get something to work? :wink:

    By the way, thank you all for your comments so far - I'll have to get some drawings made up, or if possible get a frame made up (even if at a slightly smaller size), that way we could refine the approach and go from there.

    Thank you,
    David.
     
  11. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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  12. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Hi Jerevan,

    Yes, I saw that article and it certainly shows that there's no need to fork out huge sums of money to get a workable solution. But, and it's a big "but", I really want to make something that will outlast most of us! Something that you can look at and think "that's a lovely piece of work, functional and beautifully built".

    I hope that I can achieve that - it's what I will be aiming for!
     
  13. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Well, I figured that you weren't in for the easy way out, eh? :smile:

    Keep us updated on any progress.
     
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  15. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Well, I'm sitting here as I type with an engineering buddy of mine discussing the relative merits of using stainless steel as a leaf spring mechanism, and the design of knurled brass knobs :smile:
     
  16. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    OK, I think I now have enough expressions of interest to set about working out costings for 11x14" models. I've pretty much settled on a design, so once I have those costings I'll let you all know, it'll be entirely up to you if you want one or not... I certainly wont attempt to pressurise anyone into purchasing one (not that one could with you lot :wink:).
     
  17. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    Hi David,

    A real contribution to the market would be frames that precisely fit glass plate negatives of various formats, especially 4x5. The plate is the glass in the frame. The modern size fashion has frames larger than negative formats. I like paper surround, too, when printing film negatives, but that doesn't work printing glass plates. I've managed to scourge a pretty good collection of old plate contact printing frames, and the technique that Jerevan linked to is a good one, but being able to buy well-made, new frames to fit the common sizes, plus Whole Plate and Half Plate would be great.

    Also, I wholeheartedly second the motion for a frame style that doesn't punish arthritis.
    d
     
  18. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Hello Denise,

    Someone else who I haven't spoken to since the early days of Creative Image Maker! Trust you keeping well too.

    The arthritis thing, although not currently relevant to me, is important to me. Why struggle with something, when proper design can help! So, I've got a couple of designs in my head to help alleviate the issue of tensioning the rear panels.

    Funnily enough, I will be starting with glass plates in the new year so it's interesting to see you write about the sizes needed. If I understand you correctly, you do not need a glass front fitted to the frame, as that will be accomplished by the actual plate itself.

    Not having a 4x5, is the glass size actually 4" x 5", or is slightly different?
     
  19. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    Hi David,

    Absolutely well. How can life be anything else when you are a photographer? (At least, never bored! There's always a new process or project to be tackled.)

    Yes, the frames come without glass because the negative plate is the glass. You set it in the frame with printing paper cut to the same size and clamp on the frame back.

    A couple of years ago I bought my first 4x5 contact printing frame off ebay and I've done run all my own plates and a few antique ones through it since. I just measured it. The backside opening is 103mm x 128mm. There is ~4mm lip around the front side to hold the glass in, and also mask the unexposed edges of the plate. This leaves the printed image 95mm x 120mm.

    Good luck and fun with your latest projects :smile:.
    d
     
  20. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    That's a great idea for the frames, Denise! Eventually, I'll get around to glass plates, too... Just have to master lith printing and normal silver printing first. :smile:
     
  21. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    So much to do! So little time!! Is it pain or joy? :D

    David, one other idea I've had that's made me think about taking up woodworking (Nnnooooooooo!!) : If you could make a frame with a clever, extra-wide surround (keeping the 95mm x 120mm front opening, you could use a plate for the glass, yet still get an unprinted paper border wider than 4mm.

    d
     
  22. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Denise, it could indeed be accomplished easily; I actually took that a stage further and figured that it would be perfectly possible to have a larger printing frame and some inserts to allow you to choose what to print :smile:
     
  23. catem

    catem Member

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    I'd certainly be interested in hearing about what you come up with, I think it's a very good idea - I recently bought an antique frame which is lovely but would have/ would definitely looked at a modern one also
     
  24. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    What sort / size would interest you most catem? Are you printing from plate glass, or film / paper negatives?

    Another quick question for anybody to answer... how thick is the felt used on the backing plates? I've found a source of good quality felt, ranging from 3mm to 6mm+ in thickness. Also, do you think there is any advantage in using black felt over green, or beige, or any other colour?
     
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  25. catem

    catem Member

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    David,

    The frame I have is a full plate frame for glass plates but I have window glass in it for film/ paper negatives - so I would be looking for something larger than this for paper or film (if I get around to glass I'd be using the one I have I reckon) - so probably 10 x 8 would be the smallest size that would interest me - the idea of a frame that's quite large (but not too unwieldy) with inserts sounds good. Sorry if that's not specific enough. I need to do a bit more to know exactly what would be best - but I do think you'd find interest as I didn't find a lot of choice when I started looking.
    Cate
     
  26. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    Well, I've made a start on manufacturing a traditional contact printing frame for print-out-papers.

    Here you can see one of the stainless steel leaf springs, and the four brass knobs that I turned on the lathe today. The threaded inserts for the wood have arrived, and I'm hoping that I might get an hour or so in the workshop over the weekend to start on the Oak frame.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    David.