Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,971   Posts: 1,558,570   Online: 1117
      
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Greg Davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Crestview Hills, KY
    Shooter
    8x10 Format
    Posts
    1,939

    DIY Laser aligner

    I cannot justify paying $200 for a laser aligner for my enlarger, yet I cannot justify not having one at all. To that end, I decided to build my own. I admit I was inspired by the chapter in Way Beyond Monochrome showing a homemade one, but I made mine a little differently. First I needed a laser pointer. Radio Shack has one for $30, but my father-in-law said he had an ultrasound measuring tape he has never even taken out of the box that had a laser pointer in it. We cracked it open and took out the diode. We tested the battery power needed to turn it on and found it needed 3v, so I looked around and found a Christmas tea light that used a 3v watch battery and had an on/off switch. Next I needed a body to put it in, so I looked around my shop and found a 2 1/2 inch diameter chunk of acetal plastic, so I used that.

    I machined the plastic to the right length and faced the surfaces on my mini lathe, then drilled a small hole for the laser to shine through. I used an end mill to make the hole bigger for the actual diode to fit in, then bored the hole bigger for the battery holder and switch. Finally, I drilled and tapped three holes around the sides to accept set screws to make it possible to adjust the laser to perfect perpendicularity to the base rather than screws on the bottom as Ralph's book describes. I used some rubber cement to adhere the front of the diode to the hole and provide a flexible pivot point that the set screws could work against. The entire project took me 3 hours and cost $1.49.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails photo1.jpg   photo2.jpg   photo3.jpg  
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

    "No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36

  2. #2
    Robert Hall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Lehi, Utah
    Shooter
    ULarge Format
    Posts
    2,040
    Images
    28
    Well done! that cost $298.49 less than mine did.
    Robert Hall
    www.RobertHall.com
    www.RobertHall.com/mobile
    Apug Portfolio
    Facebook Profile


    Technology is not a panacea. It alone will not move your art forward. Only through developing your own aesthetic - free from the tools that create it - can you find new dimension to your work.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    112
    Interesting! Silly question - how do you plan on using it?

  4. #4
    pjbc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    8
    Hi,

    How do you know that the laser is perpendicular?

    Thank you,
    Paulo Cabrita

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    1,187
    Nice job. I built one using a laser from a cheap pointer. Mounted it all in a nice metal chassis box with adjustable feet I carefully calibrated.

    To do my enlarger I put a first surface mirror in the neg holder n shoot through the lens opening. After that, I put a mirror in the lens board n adjust that. I do all this off the base board. Then after everything is perfectly aligned, I check to see that my easel is adjusted to my lens mirror.

    Oh BTW... check to see that when you raise n lower the head the unit stays aligned, that can cause havoc if the rack is out as you raise n lower. I wound up rebuilding all my bushings, fine tuning glide springs, squaring up the frame, bolting the enlarger to the table n wall, n making adjustments to the entire enlarger before I ever made a single picture. It's worth the trouble though.



    .

    .
    Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    965
    Images
    101
    Hmmm . . . I wonder if my cats will miss their laser pointer toy . . . .

  7. #7
    Greg Davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Crestview Hills, KY
    Shooter
    8x10 Format
    Posts
    1,939
    Quote Originally Posted by Arkasha View Post
    Interesting! Silly question - how do you plan on using it?
    Similar to the Versalab laser tool, it reflects back onto itself. When the dot reflects back into the hole it shines out of, then the enlarger is aligned. I am in charge of aligning all 30 enlargers at my university each semester, so I do a lot of this and love these tools. I wanted my own for home.
    Last edited by Greg Davis; 04-12-2012 at 10:53 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

    "No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36

  8. #8
    Greg Davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Crestview Hills, KY
    Shooter
    8x10 Format
    Posts
    1,939
    Quote Originally Posted by pjbc View Post
    Hi,

    How do you know that the laser is perpendicular?

    Thank you,
    Paulo Cabrita
    If you reflect the dot off center (enlarger intentionally off axis), the the dot will be to the side of the original aperture. By turning the laser device you can watch if the dot wobbles or is stationary. If it wobbles as the unit is turned, it is not perpendicular. I adjusted the set screws until the dot remains stationary when the unit is turned in place (I used a block of wood with a v notch cut into it to turn the unit against without it sliding around the table), so now it is vertical and will give accurate alignment.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

    "No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36

  9. #9
    outwest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    317
    Images
    3
    I took the bottom of a plastic 35mm film can and put a short cheap Radio Shack laser in it. The dimple on the bottom of the can held the bottom of the laser and 3 nylon machine screws poked through the sides of the top of the can and bearing on the laser provided adjustment. Putting the can against a square on the floor and rotating it while making adjustments until the dot on the ceiling stayed put aligned it.

  10. #10
    pjbc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    8
    Greg Davis and outwest, tanks for the explanation..... it's 100% perpendicular in my mind! ;-)



 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin