Beseler 45M Adapter for Ilford Multigrade 500 Head
Periodically I see the Ilford Multigrade 500 head and associated accessories on eBay, but the auctions never seem to include the adapter necessary to use the head on a Beseler 45M series enlarger. Can anyone think of a way to obtain the adapter separately, or do I have to keep waiting for an auction which includes both the head and the adapter?
Adapter for Beseler
I bought an Ilford 500 head for my Beseler MX II some years ago. Although, in theory, you can swap the head between enlargers, this is not a trivial task if moving to (or from) a Beseler.
In principle, making the adapter should be fairly easy because it is just an aluminium plate with holes that match up with screw holes in the enlarger below and the head above.
From memory, you have to remove the slider locks that hold the existing head, and use these screw holes to attach the adapter. (You could start off by creating a template with a piece of cardboard to get the the correct position for the holes.)
However, there are two other tasks/challenges:
1. The Beseler mixing boxes are unique to the Beseler 45M. Basically, this is because the bellows above the neg carrier makes the Ilford head-to-neg carrier distance larger than for other enlargers. Hence the mixing boxes are higher than standard so that they can protrude about half an inch (~1.5 cm) below the Ilford head.
2. The two lamps, which are mounted on a sliding rail, need spacers to move them towards the front of the head. The spacers are about a third of an inch thick (~1 cm). I think this alignment is needed because of the way the head sits on the enlarger - presumably on other enlargers, the head can sit further back.
Hope this helps.