Hello, I'm off to purchase a 4x5 omega this weekend so that I can print 4x5 negatives, but it doesn't have a baseboard with it. Do you suggest mounting it onto a sturdy table or wall mounting it? If you have any photos of what you've done with your enlargers in your darkrooms that would be a great help. So far the only inspiration I have is Barry Thornton's wall mounting in his Edge of Darkness book. It looks like it would work normally, but this is a chromega color head so it's a little top heavy.
ps: i'll get those postcards out as soon as this enlarger is up!
I would wall mount only if I knew the wall didn't transmit any vibrations from elsewhere in the house to the enlarger. In my case my darkroom has a concrete floor so the regular basemounted setup worked the best. If your floor has lots of flex and vibrations (average wood floor) the wall mount may be more secure. In that case look for a good spot where the interior beams are close and solid. Near a corner is often like that. Giving the wall a good thump with the palm of your hand will usually let you know how much shake the section of wall has in it, just don't break any sheetrock! ;-)
I would build your own table with an adjustable baseboard, so you can print just about any size prints you want. I got the idea out of a "Build Your Own Darkroom" book then made it larger for my application. I built it out of 3/4 inch plywood and it probably cost a couple of hundred dollars and took half a day to build. You can easily bolt it to the top of the table and then use picture wire to anchor the top to the wall for added stability. Mine is rock solid and only moves in an earthquake. I have a Zone VI 5x7 and a Beseler 6x6 mounted this way.
If you need plans I could email you the page from the book.
you might turn bolt and guy wire the enlarger column to the wall for rigidity sake. I would use two and send them off at 66 degrees from the column.\
I went to a local shop that specializes in storage tables and racks and had a table made to my specks. It is steel and has a very ridged particle board surface. I had it made with enough side space to place timer, tools. etc. next to the enlarger and when projecting down to the very bottom, I can easily print a cropped 20x24 from any format. All for about $125.00. Ken
I have a D2-V and have used it with its baseboard and without it. The baseboard is relatively small, and if you use a large easel (16x20 or bigger) it has a tendency to fall off the edge of the baseboard.
The enlarger should have the mounting flange on the bottom of the enlarger column. You could do several things.
1. Make your own baseboard that is larger than standard. I would use ApplePly which is a solid core material. It's pricey but really works better than plywood.
2. Build your own enlarger table. That's what I did with cabinets on either side of the table. The table has a movable surface so that I can lower the easel to keep the enlarger head at a reasonable height when working.
The problem you will have with an Omega, is the center column has a tendency to move a bit when the lamphouse is elevated (droops forward from the weight). I solved the movement problem by putting two cables that extend from the top of the enlarger center column out on 45-degree angles to the wall. (go to a model airplane hobby place, they have all kinds of small aircraft cable and fittings.)
By tightening and loosening small turnbuckles on the cables you can not only provide additional support for the column at the top, but help bring the enlarger into alignment.
My enlarger is finally up and ready to use tomorrow night (wish I hadn't said okay to that movie now). I rigged an Omega D5XL w/ a Super Chromega D Dichroic II head onto a heavy old desk and used turnbuckles i the wall to align the lens. Just a note, ignore the location of the stool as it is place to be stored. When in use I will sit the nook created by the desk and shelf unit with timer on it. I will be picking up a folding banquet table for my trays this weekend. My darkroom is located in my bedroom.
Looking at your picture of your enlarger set up, I have to wonder about how close the white wall is to your enlarger's light path. I'd think seriously about doing a flat black paint on the wall next to your enlarger to avoid reflections that may have adverese effects on your highlights. Anybody else concerned about this?
Since the enlarger is set up in his bedroom, I would suggest using some flat black seamless paper or some sort of black cloth on the two walls nearist the enlarger. Have fun tomorrow night!
Yes, I had thought about that, but as I needed to get some black fabric to cover the window tomorrow I just figured on buying a bunch all at once.