I make easels from melamine covered board. Screw 1/2 inch square battens to 2 sides ensuring exact right angle at corner. With permanent marker, outline paper sizes you will be using. Spray with 3M Spraymount (not Photomount which is permanent). After composing image insert paper into the right angle corner and smooth flat with edge of hand. After exposure lift free corner with fingernail; it lifts easily. When stickiness fades, re-spray with Spraymount. When surface begins to look grubby, clean with white spirit (turps substitute). I have been using this method for 30 years.
Incidentally melamine board does not come in convenient thicknesses for auto-focus enlarging; if you have a Focomat you may need to build up base with thicknesses of 1 mm stiff board to get desired height.
It might be convenient (up to your calculations) to print on larger paper -say 9 1/2 x 12- and cut down to 8 x 10.
This is an OLD thread, but still useful ideas.
I'm in the process of trying to figure out how to hold big paper, say 16x20 or 20x24.
I kind of like Richard's easel. I can store it away when I'm not printing bigger than 11x14 (my current easel).
But I'm concerned about the adhesive. For those that use the adhesive, stick or spray. Does any of that adhesive get into the chemicals? If so any effect? I will use a drum or rocking print tray for these big prints.
use a metal easel ang magnetic strips to hold the paper down.
You donít mention what paper you use, but if gloss, take all the paper out the box and repack it face to face and back to back. This will make it flat when aligned on your baseboard.
Originally Posted by AlexG
This seems like a very clever idea. I usually end up bending my paper a little to try to get it to lay flat -- although honestly if it's close to flat I have not noticed any out of focus areas. So, my stupid question is why only glossy? Will pearl stick together or mat cause scratches or something like that?
Originally Posted by cliveh
When I first started out, it was suggested by an older darkroom printer, to give the back of my RC paper a quick lick in the centre (up to 8x10) to provide enough "stick" for the exposure.
Surprisingly, it actually does work - I do this with postcard sized images that I want to print up fully, and have used it for 8x10 too. :D
Reading thru this motheaten thread indeed makes it sound like a reprint of a voodoo manual, or at least
a way to get all kinds of nasty things on your paper or into your lungs. Look up vacuum easels - where
to get them or how to make them correctly (pegboard being about the worst option I can think of). It
always amazes me how folks will spend a small fortune on camera gear and then act like the Beverly
Hillbillys when they get into the darkroom.
My vacuum easel is made as Henry suggests but instead of pegboard I used a board made of the same material and drilled smaller holes myself, like 1.5-2mm. The holes in pegboard are too big and cause noticeable dimpling marks in the paper. The vacuum cleaner is connected to a footswitch so that I can turn it on before exposure and off afterwards. Also was lucky enough to find some nails that fit through the holes and work well as pins for aligning the paper if I want to. My box is 12 x 18 inches. I have made thin cardboard frames to lay over the outer holes to concentrate the suction in the middle of the easel when using smaller sized paper. Been using this for about 5 years and it works quite well.