My quest for a pro easel and bigger print sizes has hit a bit of a snag; my enlarger is an LPL C7700 with a baseboard that measures about 17" x 23.5". Beard recommend about 3" around their easels which makes the required space for the full-size model 23" x 19"... ...which wouldn't fit even if the orientation were correct. I imagine other manufacturers are more or less similar.
Which gives me three choices:
1) Get a 16" x 12" and live with a top print size of 12" x whatever.
2) Get a different enlarger (not really a starter as I'm otherwise happy with the unit I've got and haven't got the cash)
3) Take the enlarger off the baseboard and mount it directly onto the cheap but sturdy plain pine table on which the baseboard is currently sitting
Number three is currently the favourite, although having seen the discussion on alignment earlier I'm a bit worried about doing this. Is there anything else I need to consider?
Any / all advice appreciated!
Build an adjustable enlarger table and solve all your problems.
There is more information on this subject under the darkroom threads - one is entitled, "wall mount or buy table" and the other is "enlarger stand".
These might help you.
4) Make yourself a side piece for the base. Nothing fancy just needs to be the same height that the baseboard is. You can move it to either side. Could even be something like a book if you want to keep it real simple.
You can also just add a new piece of paticle board / plywood / laminate, etc to the exhisting board. Just attach it to the top of the old one. You'll lose 3/4" of enlargement room on your enlarger, but you will have the size baseboard you need.
I have an LPL 7450 and had the same problem and solved it by removing the base board and building a platform on the bench and fixed the column to that. The easel slides beneath the platform when I need to make bigger prints. I've posted a photograph of the arrangement in the non-gallery pictures section. The arrangement is a bit Heath Robinson but it works luckily the LPL is just about redundant now as I used it only for colour and I have a Zone VI enlarger that has a sloping column.
Mounting the column directly to the table is what I would do in your case, or make a larger baseboard, if you think you might need to move the enlarger or you might want to project onto the floor with the column reversed, or something of that nature.
Meanwhile, you can just put another board as suggested on your current baseboard for your easel.
I went with mounting my enlarger (D5XL) directly onto a desk, but I also didn't have the baseboard to begin with.
do you need to get it up higher to make the size enlargements you want to make?