Does that actually keep the neg in contact with the paper surface? I would think that the glass would only put pressure on the easel blades?
Anyway, I was hoping for a solution using my contact printing frame.
PS: I'm sure you have figured out that the opening in the mat-board should be slightly smaller than the negative being printed. ;-)
Well since I use a roll of 5 inch paper I have to cut them in my darkroom to whatever size I'm looking to mess around with. I have a mini rotary trimmer there as well as a large rotatrim to use afterwards. I found the fastest way to make them was to use a smaller piece of glass and not use a contact frame. My method gives me edge markings and a black border though.
But I remembered a solution to your problem and looked it up just to double check. In Lootens on photographic enlarging, chap 11 photographic boarder printing, he discusses a simple method of creating a custom sized easel out of cardboard and two strips of card stock in the corner to act as stops for a piece of glass laid on top. Then he makes a mask with that piece of glass ontop using rubber cement and black paper over the whole piece of glass. Your desired photo size say 5x7, would be traced onto that black paper leaving room for the boarder you want. The centeral part is then cut out and the cement cleaned off leaving a simple glass mask. He goes on further about how to make another mask for black boarders with the same rubber cement and black paper on glass method by leaving the center section and cutting a thin strip around the edge.
Here are two examples of the stickers that I made.
The one on the top is probably the result your trying to get, I made it as a test with the negative held down without glass using the easel blades. It gives it a white border, and is only sharp as the film was very flat naturally. The bottom version is made with glass and a wide black edge that was trimmed off. It's sharper because of the glass. I wouldn't recommend doing what I did with the first version unless you know your easel blades are in very good condition, and your film is flat. I didn't continue with it as sharpness was lacking. You can drop a loupe onto the bottom one and see the tiniest details, the top one looks a bit soft under the loupe.
I believe Tillman Crane has masks created by a print shop for a clean edge when coating or exposing pt/pd.
For Silver Chloride paper, eg Fomalux & Lodima, I use Rubylith for masking. Just cut out the size you want, then tape the sandwich of neg & mask to underside of contact printing glass.
My idea is to cut two pieces of Ruby Lith, like an L-shape, and then overlay them to create any size mask I need, rectangular or square, within the limitations of the contact printing frame, which is 12x16".
I'm really picky about print presentation, and absolutely want neat, crisp, straight, and clean edges on the paper, since the edge of the white border and print area is displayed in the overmat window. This is going to be interesting. The enlargements will be easy by comparison... :)
I do a lot of contact prints with medium format 6x4.5 and 6x7 frame size negatives. They are charming and attract people closer to it.
I like to frame it for sales because frame makes it more impressive:
It is also more fordable. :)
Recently I have photographed more macro because I think it suits very well medium format contact prints.
I love small prints, and since my enlarger only does 135 I only contact print my 120 and 4x5 negatives at the moment. I found that they look great in my photo album, I am especially fond of the four 6x4.5:s. I also use a Brownie Six-20 E and the 6x9 prints are wonderful.