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  1. #1

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    Durst Laborator 1000 adjustment

    I just bought a Laborator 1000 and it has a few little problems, one of them being notchy adjustment of the height. Opening the box containing the counterweight spring and rollers that guide the enlarger up and down the column, I noticed that one of the rollers is not in contact with the column when the movement becomes notchy. This occurs whenever the lifting knob is turned 180 degrees, indicating problem will be either in adjustment of the knob or rollers. There are two screws per each roller pressumably designed to adjust the postion of each of the rollers. I got the operation manual, but there is no mention of this adjustment in it. Before I start blindly digging into it, I wonder would anyone know how to make adjustments to the rollers and lifting knob? Thanks, Joseph

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by jhorvat
    I just bought a Laborator 1000 and it has a few little problems, one of them being notchy adjustment of the height. Opening the box containing the counterweight spring and rollers that guide the enlarger up and down the column, I noticed that one of the rollers is not in contact with the column when the movement becomes notchy. This occurs whenever the lifting knob is turned 180 degrees, indicating problem will be either in adjustment of the knob or rollers. There are two screws per each roller pressumably designed to adjust the postion of each of the rollers. I got the operation manual, but there is no mention of this adjustment in it. Before I start blindly digging into it, I wonder would anyone know how to make adjustments to the rollers and lifting knob? Thanks, Joseph
    Hi Joseh !
    First of all, DO NOT OPEN THE SPRING CASE !!! The spring is made of razor steel and will pop out cutting your head, face, and fingers ! For opening it you need special tools to remove the strain and a special procedure not to be injured !

    The head on the L1000 is guided on a set of roller bearings 4 on each side of the column. Each roller bearing has a nylon part onto which the colum is running. I do not think the play is adjustable. But you may try to do so.
    The height adjustment knob actuate a rod onto which is a rubber pad acting at the center of the column (the path is often discolored on the column).
    Add to this the locking knob which pressure a rubber pad onto the column at the center of it. My guess is that the head was forced to move with the lock on and that partly destroyed the rubber pad of the height adjusting knob.
    My advice :
    First look if by partly locking the lock you can remove the play.
    Next, try to adjust the roller bearings to reduce the play.
    Dismantling the cariage to get to the nylon wheels or rubber height rod require dismantling the counter wheight spring, something I refuse to do ....
    If you destroy the sping or it's casing, your enlarger is dead. I think you will never find such a spring or casing since Durst stopped production in the 70's.
    I hope this will help you !

  3. #3

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    Thanks Georges,

    I wasn't intending to open that drum with the spring in it, but was thinking of removing the drum as a whole, with wire held locked to the colums....

    In the meantime, I was repairing the lights in the colour head. When checking that everything is working well, the halogen bulb blew up. I have a replacement, however.... the conecting electrical lead is braided with some white fabric. When I switched the enlarger on, the fan started blowing some white fibre all over the place. Apparently, that fabric releases the fibre very easily. On closer inspection, the fibres are all straight when pulled out-would it be possible this is some sort of asbestos, even though it doesn't crumble when bending it? I am thinking of replacing the whole wiring with something else, perhaps teflon sheathed wire. Would anyone know if Durst was using asbestos in their enlargers?
    Joseph

  4. #4

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    Hi Joseph !
    Take a look at the weird plug used to connect the head to the power supply. If the wires in it are not wel soldered, they will cause electrical spikes, forcing a short bulb life. It is advisable to go to a lighting supply wharehouse and buy a very high quality bulb socket for you lamp.
    I do not think the tissue contain asbestos, but disposing it properly will help the whole world.... Just in case !
    Just forgot to advise you about un fastening the box and wire from the enlarger body. It could prove dangerous and difficult to re tighten ....
    I may have somewhere the dismantling instruction, but I do not have the special tools required to do the job.
    But this beast is a really nice toy, use it as it is and you will find it a joy to use !
    Regards

  5. #5

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    Hi Georges,

    I just spent one week of my holidays on restoring the enlarger: all the lights on the filter dials had to be replaced, new holder for them made, switch for them sourced and installed, focusing rack re-made, and wall mount adapter made. It finally all works as it should, except for the notchiness in the lifting mechanism. I decided not to try to dismantle it, because it can still be used without problems. I suspect one of the rollers is broken because I found a broken plastic bit in that big box containing the rollers that I think is the holder on which the roller was placed....

    As about the asbestos fibre, it really looks suspicious, but it burns when heating up with a match.... indicating it is not asbestos. Also, the fibres that get puled out of the fabric do not break easily-asbestos would. Anyway, I replaced that suspicious sleeve around the connecting wires with a new one that is definitely not asbestos .

    Yesterday I made my first print with L1000. I was concerned about the level of vibrations due to the cooling fan. If I touch the lens stage, they can be clearly felt. fortunatelly, there is no effect on sharpness with maximum magnification and the grain is seen as steady using the grain focuser. I was already considering taking the fan out and mounting it on wall ..

    all the best,

    Joseph

  6. #6

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    Hi Joseph !
    I am happy you can print with it !
    I own a color head (CLS450) but do not use it a lot (I do 99 % B&W) and use the condenser head. But the fan caused no trouble when in use. Look at the screws fixing t. Maybe they're over tightened ? (IIRC the fan sat on rubber pads so maybe the screws are compressing the rubber too much ? )
    BTW, I'm on my way to wall mount my L1000, so I'll be pleased to get your plans for the mounting !
    Have a nice day !
    P.S. I did not find the maintenance instruction for the L1000, just the TRA450 power supply wiring.

  7. #7

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    Hi Georges,
    Hmmm, there is no rubber pads under the screws holding the fan..... this enlarger must have been quite abused by previous owner(s)! I will try to find some soft rubber there, even though this may in fact worsen the vibrations if not done properly. I guess, the rubber has to withstand higgh temperature (fire hazard)-some springs may be a better option...Will see, for the time being the only problem is a bit loud noise.

    For wall mounting, I was using a Durst Femowall system, which came with AC901 enlarger (I will be selling this one-no room for it in my darkroom for both). It consists of a metal rail that is mounted on a wall, to which two thick iron plates are attached (they can be locked in any position on the rail). I had to make an adapter, because L1000 has that big box housing the spring and it all had to be shifted further away from the wall. I don't have any drawings for this, but if you are interested, I may try to take some DIGITAL shots and e-mail them to you. Then again, this will be only useful if you are using Femowal, unless you decide to make something similar yourself.

  8. #8

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    Hummm !
    I've just cheked. My fan has no rubber feet... My memory does not serve me right ! I've mixed with another head.
    But, I've turned the head on, and let it warm for the fan to run. The vibrations are really low ! I do not think this will affect printing !
    I will make my proper wall mounting making two woden shelves and a custom wood part to acomodate the enlarger's column. I've seen a FEMOWALL and it is too big to fit into my basement darkroom with its low ceiling...
    Have a nice day !

  9. #9
    Denis P.'s Avatar
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    Joseph, Georges,

    I am about to get a rather worn, rusty and tattered Laborator 1000, practically for free - with 401 MK II color head. I've tried it, and the only thing I could turn on was the fan. I managed to open the lamp housing, and the lamps look like they're blown... Also, there's a lot of rust inside the head... not a good sign. One of the C/M/Y knobs is stuck...
    It comes with the analyzer, and (I guess) fan control unit. I'm not sure, but there might also be a timer in the kit...

    All the connecting cables/cords are very frayed, so those will probably have to be replaced...

    I'm relatively handy with tools (not too good with electricity, though), and I'm thinking if it's worth the trouble... The bulbs are not easy to get, and probably not cheap, either.
    Still it's the only 4x5 enlarger I managed to find in about two months. Getting one from abroad (ebay) is way too expensive, due to shipping, and the risk of breaking something in transport is very high, so it's not really an option...

    But, if I do decide to try my luck with this one, I'll probably need help in restoring it...
    Apart from the very good instructions on Nick Zentena's site, do you have any other manuals/info that might help?

    Or any helpful hints?

    Regards,

    Denis

  10. #10

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    Denis, I have a Durst L1000 Manual at my website that might be helpful. Its been awhile since I hooked it up, but believe a timer such as Gralab has to be connected for the light to work. Good Luck.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

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