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  1. #31
    eddie's Avatar
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    A 10 foot gutter will give you 4 30 inch pieces for about $7.00. 8 caps will run about $24.00. The proper glue is a few dollars. You can do 4 for under $35.00. The plexiglass can be expensive. I bought mine at a plexi wholesaler. They had large pieces which were scratched on one side, so they were cheap. I think I ended up with 4 28x28 pieces for about $40.00. Some of the damaged ones were larger but they trimmed them for $1.00 a cut.

    What I like about this method is what you can do with it. In addition to the sloppy toner application I mentioned, I also did some bleach/toning using a paintbrush, just around the edges. I rotated the plexi so I just painted on the bottom, having the chems drip to the edge of the paper. The central part of the image remained untoned. The edges were toned in a funky way, with brushmarks, and variations.

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddie View Post
    A 10 foot gutter will give you 4 30 inch pieces for about $7.00. 8 caps will run about $24.00. The proper glue is a few dollars. You can do 4 for under $35.00. The plexiglass can be expensive. I bought mine at a plexi wholesaler. They had large pieces which were scratched on one side, so they were cheap. I think I ended up with 4 28x28 pieces for about $40.00. Some of the damaged ones were larger but they trimmed them for $1.00 a cut.

    What I like about this method is what you can do with it. In addition to the sloppy toner application I mentioned, I also did some bleach/toning using a paintbrush, just around the edges. I rotated the plexi so I just painted on the bottom, having the chems drip to the edge of the paper. The central part of the image remained untoned. The edges were toned in a funky way, with brushmarks, and variations.

    Interesting, do you have those images archived online? And was the pexi wholesaler local or did they ship it to you?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by healingvirtue View Post
    And thank you very much for the warning about the tray hole. I don't know what to do about it. Like someone else noted, emptying a tray so large would not be easy... But I have the room, so using three trays is fine, it's the price that is the issue.
    Garden Trays come in various sizes - Worth looking at if you think photographic trays are expensive.

    As for drilling large holes - Use a hole saw, and don't try it on an old tray. Most plastics become brittle as they age.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ac12 View Post
    As was mentioned, since you have not done darkroom work before, start out small. This way the cost of you learning how to enlarge is reduced. The bigger paper is EXPENSIVE, so you do not want to waste it learning how to print. When you can reliably print 8x10, then you can move up, one paper size at a time, because you also have to learn how to handle the bigger paper.

    As David said, if you have the space, I would get a 4x5 enlarger. If you are space constrained or have to pack up or move the enlarger due to not having a permanent setup, then a MF enlarger 6x6 or 6x7 size. According to my D5 manual, a standard D5 chassis with an 80mm lens will make 10.2x enlargement, an XL chassis will make a 14.2x enlargement. So if you have the vertical height available, an XL chassis is a better long term choice...as long as you have the vertical height so it fits. My D5 manual says max height of D5XL is 64 inches. That is 5 feet 4 inches tall !!! To focus, you will need a small step ladder to get up that high.

    You also need to plan how you will process the LARGE print.

    For larger than 11x14, or even starting at 11x14, I would go with single tray or drum, to avoid handling a BIG sheet of wet paper.
    Honeywell and Heath/Mitchell had rocking trays up to 16x20 that you can use for single tray processing. I used the Honeywell 11x14 rocking tray and it worked well. You have to search the used market for these rocking trays.
    For LARGE size, same as PKM-25, I would use a drum. The trick is finding one that big. My biggest drum is 16x20.

    Finally how will you wash the print? BIG washers are EXPENSIVE, a 20x24 will probably cost well over $500...used. The only low cost alternative that I know of is the Kodak washing tray syphon.
    11x14 is almost trivially easy to handle moving tray to tray, only slightly harder than 8x10. It only starts getting difficult in my experience at 16x20 which is a BIG jump in difficulty and the largest size I print.

    Also, washing should be easy if you don't make too many prints. A tray siphon is fine, but you can also just use successive still water soaks. I have to do this currently for any prints larger than 8x10. You just fill a tray with clean water and soak the print for 10 minutes, then move it to another tray of clean water and, while the print is in the second tray, change the water in the first so it can be rotated back to it after ten minutes. This is annoying and cumbersome if you have many prints, a lot more work than just turning on the water for even one print, but works fine. Soak 10 minutes first, then 10 minutes in a wash aid, then six successive ten minute soaks should give you a good wash. It's quite workable if you only make a few prints. This is for fiber based paper of course. I agree that RC would be easier to handle in those sizes and given your style might suit you fine. It is much easier to wash. I've never tried the successive soak method with RC but it should work even better, just not take as long. You'd be on your own figuring out HOW long though. Normally a five minute running water wash is sufficient for RC but if using still water soaks I'd start with at least two.
    Last edited by Roger Cole; 02-17-2013 at 06:28 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #35
    eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by healingvirtue View Post
    Interesting, do you have those images archived online? And was the pexi wholesaler local or did they ship it to you?
    I don't have any of them online. It was decades ago...
    The wholesaler was local. I would think most major metropolitan areas would have one.

  6. #36
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    Couple notes:

    As I mentioned earlier, a tray raised on a platform with a drain is very workable; You can even use an Ikea "Dilling" storage box (30 x 27 x 8" deep) as a tray.

    Take a look at a standard bathroom sink - the chrome ring of the drain passes through a hole in the sink; the outside of the drain pipe is threaded, and a large collar-type ring screws upwards, against a rubber washer and fastens the drain to the sink. A "stopper" style drain "without overflow" (which uses a rubber plug & chain) is about 9 bucks.

    You cut a hole in the tray with a hole saw; put a ring of plumber's putty or silicone around the top, pass the drain through, and use the rubber washer and the collar to snug it up against the bottom. This works very well, and the rubber squeezing it all together seems to keep it from cracking.

    For washing, you can set the whole thing across a bathtub; stick a suitable piece of PVC in the tray-drain, which raises the drain a couple inches; pipe in some water (use one of those rubber wash hoses that sticks into a faucet from a photo supplier) - the water will fill to the top of the PVC and drain over (and into the bathtub) and function as a wash sink.

    Heck, just using the bathtub as a wash sink is something I did back in the day.

  7. #37
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    Those Dillings are a great idea. I've used similar under-bed storage items for printing. Hard to beat the IKEA price, but check Home Depot and Lowe's, too.

  8. #38

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    I have never made prints that big, although I have an enlarger that can do it (a horizontal 8X10 DeVere mural enlarger). Finding a good, working 8X10 enlarger can be a problem. One possibility, if you have experience with such things, is to modify an old 8X10 view camera or a view camera kit. A rigid support for such a thing could be quite a problem. Suspending it from the ceiling is a possibility, although that only helps.

    Paper handling will be a problem. Trays are readily available for this size of paper, but sinks are more difficult. Some people build troughs of the appropriate size and seesaw the paper through the solutions during processing. In any case, diluting the developer beyond the usual recommendations will slow things down and make the paper easier to handle.

  9. #39

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    Nworth, he is not making enlargements from 8x10 negs but only 6x6, big difference.

    But seriously, the "Can't-do, it's too hard!" tone of this thread is kind of bizarre...

    It's pretty easy in my opinion but then again I have either purchased items or made items that make it easy. Anyone can do it, it is more of a question of if you want to spend the money on the correct tools to not waste a $350 50 sheet box of 20x24 paper.

    It's expensive paper, why half-ass it with hillbilly solutions when your time and money could be better spent in doing it right the first time?

  10. #40
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    While I don't recommend a new printer to start with large prints, it only makes sense for the OP to try large prints in an economical way. The truth is, unless he starts with smaller prints, I think he'll be frustrated with the issues he encounters at the size he wants to print. Offering work-arounds for costlier options is hardly "hillbilly". In his case it's common sense.

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