Where to place enlarger?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by nickj_101, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. nickj_101

    nickj_101 Member

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    Hey this is my first post. I've spent countless time going over and the information and knowledge I've received has been invaluable!
    I'm building a darkroom and it's on its way to being complete very soon.
    My question is where should I place the enlarger? It's a Super Chromega C Dichroic on a C-67. The ceiling height is about 8-9 feet from my estimate. I was thinking of just putting it on the floor to reduce possible vibration.
    Another possibility is hooking it up to the wall. My only reservation about that is that there doesn't seem to be a concrete wall immeadietly behind the drywall, so I've been thinking it may not be well secured.
    My last possibility is putting it on a little fridge to act as a desk. I could store film and paper in here so that is a plus.
    Thanks for all your help and if you need any other information just ask!
    Nick
     
  2. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    Not sure if I am using the best method but mine is on a desk and I use the drawers and suck to store lens boards, lenses, and such. I always give the enlarger a few seconds to calm down before I expose the paper.
     
  3. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

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    You can spend about $50 on lumber and materials at Home Depot and build a very sturdy base. Look for the Simpson Strong Tie brackets, which will make it much easier to assemble.

    Be sure to make it the correct height; even a couple of hours spent stooping over a too low work table will work evil magic on your lower back.
     
  4. Noble

    Noble Member

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    I would just put the enlarger on a solid table. If you follow cjbecker's advice and just wait for any vibrations to calm down it should be fine for most circumstances. I personally would opt for a solid desk before using a fridge. When a fridge is on there is a little motor in it that will run and cause vibrations.

    nickj, I am not sure where you live but in the US most domestic walls have a solid wood skeleton behind the sheet rock. When hanging things on the wall you should use a stud finder and nail or screw through the drywall and into a wood stud. I will sometimes hang light picture frames just into the drywall but anything else will require more substantial anchoring. It doesn't have to be bolted into concrete though.
     
  5. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    Giving that I said I use a desk, I woul just go ahead and build a very sterdy table. Also shelves in it to hold everything.
     
  6. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I have my Beseler 45MX sitting on a home made enlarger bench and the top of it is bolted to a stud behind the wall. Its pretty stable. If you're in a building with walls that vibrate, you might not want to do that. Don't set your enlarger on a fridge. When the compressor kicks on, you're enlager might shake.
     
  7. Pierre Luzière

    Pierre Luzière Member

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    My "darkspace" is only about 5'x6'. The enlarger sits on top of a wooden-rolling-three-drawer-filing-cabinet. It once was part of an office desk. It's handy because I can keep all the enlarger gadgets in the drawers near the enlarger.
     
  8. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Any stable place will do. Be aware though, you'll be working in dimly lit room, so safety is a concern.

    I place mine on a sturdy conference table.

    Properly constructed stud wall is sufficiently ridgid but you do have to drill into a stud, not just go into a drywall with anchor bolts....
     
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I think you will find vibrations evident if you place it on a fridge. On the floor will be difficult for your back. The wall might be too permanent for a 'first darkroom.' How about a counter like this from Home Depot:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Take a look at the "Sticky" threads near the top of this sub-forum where people show pics of their enlargers.

    I use a very sturdy cart with the baseboard low, a moveable stand for the easel and an XL column.

    Don't use a fridge - but you could use a stand with shelves (better than drawers).
     
  11. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    Show of :smile:

    I don't have the luxury to place my 4 enlargers where i want them to be. My old Leitz Focotar I for 35mm will be sitting on the baseboard of my Durst 138S (5x7) when i print 35mm. It looks funny but letting the enlarger rest for a few seconds before exposure makes this set-up work just fine.
     
  12. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    Either a STURDY table or a counter like ic-racer.
    NOT the fridge...vibrations.

    Do NOT go low to the floor, your back will KILL you.
    Think about your body position when working the enlarger. The lowest I would go is about 9 inches higher than the height of a step stool that I could sit on while working the enlarger. Even that would be uncomfortable.

    I got an Omega D5 with the shorter standard girder than the XL girder for that reason. My darkroom is height limited and an XL chassis would put the baseboard down near the floor, which is NOT acceptable for me.
     
  13. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    A little refrigerator would be perfect. Just unplug it before you start printing, and remember to plug it back in later. I'd rather have an enlarger on top of the commode than a digital camera and a computer at Buckingham Palace. or a 200 million dollar Hollywood mansion.
     
  14. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Hi Nick and welcome to APUG. Build yourself a sturdy enlarger stand, perhaps with a removable section where the enlarger image could shine to a lower shelf for larger enlargements. Refer to the Beseler stand for ideas.

    4x5_stand_8540_2.JPG 4x5M_stand_1.JPG
     
  15. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    My old 5x7 Elwood had to sit on the floor because of a low ceiling. It worked well enough for occasional printing. My present enlargers sit on a table my great-grandfather probably build a hundred years ago. A wall-mounted timer lets me switch it on with no vibration. Being able to sit at the enlarger is a luxury. In college when a session might be for a hundred or more prints, my enlarger sat on a chest-high set of drawers. That was good for production, but not for comfort. Fotch's suggestion of a stand with a removable section is great when one needs to occasionally make big enlargements in a small darkroom.
     
  16. gleaf

    gleaf Subscriber

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    6 foot commercial weight office desk with 2 lateral file drawers. Bought it cheap at a used market.
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    nickj_101 welcome to APUG

    I bought steel work tables for my darkroom equipment.