Does anyone have any experience making an adjustable (4 blade type) enlarging easel? I've looked on ebay and at the four blade offerings from B&H and Adorama and been blown away by the prices of 16x20 and larger ones. (I have 2 14x17 4blade easels...the second is a really excellent freebie thrown in by B&H with the LPL 4x5 enlarger in their current catalog). I need one for prints on 16x20 paper or larger. Help!!!
Do you really need the blades?
You can make a very effective one (without blades) with a piece of wood, maybe a couple of nails and a 3M spray adhesive (sorry, forgot the type, but it is one that does not glues, it just sticks if you can see what I mean)
Hello, If you need it to be adjustable then it is worth every cent to buy a good one. Ken
Don't know your budget, but be patient and you should be able to find one on e**y. Got both an 11x14 and 16x20 there - each was less than $250 US and in pretty good shape. These were both Saunders and built for a lifetime.
I went down this road a few months ago. In the end I gulped, took a deep breath, and laid out a month's mortgage on a Beard 20x16 4 blade.
It's absolutely wonderful in use, especially on big prints, and I don't regret it... ...but it *is* close after an unproductive session beating my head against the enlarger!
Recently I saw an ex-demo Beard 16x12 4 blade going for about £100 from Calumet... They're pretty much indestructable so, if you see one going secondhand and can view it prior to purchase, go for it.
I hope whatever you go with gives you many years (decades!) of pleasure!
All the best,
The blades are a big problem, as they must be thin with straight edges.
I found a custom window blind maker who would sell me some black aluminium window blind material. It was very cheap, if a little narrow. Before being made into a window blind, this material is unperforated and flat, so it works well when pinned to a steel sheet by fridge magnets (or simply weighted down).
If you can find it, the material is sold by the meter off a roll, so you are not limited to any particular length.
I used this material as a temporary mask, but I guess it could be built into an easel with a little ingenuity.
This is just for a laugh.....
Duct tape, some old black mat board strips and a flat surface. You could customise your shape each time. Cheap and reusable byjust switching out the positions of the duct tape.
maybe I should have stayed in bed.
Thank you all. I'm surprised no one actually has made an adjustable easel, but I'm gratified to know that if I sell one of my childeren to buy one, I'll not have missed a good home-brew solution. Since I love my kids though, I guess I'll just save my schekels and wait. Thanks again!