I am presently printing 8X10 and 10X12 prints using the existing easel that comes along with the used darkroom set I bought recently.
I am going to try 12X16 prints. This is larger than the easel I have got. I having been reading some darkroom technique book by kodak. They have sugggested the use of a drawing board with tapes or metal edgings and a piece of glass large enough to hold it down.
I wonder, if any members here have tried out this alternative. Sorry for this basic question....still trying to learn the ropes the old fashion way.
BTW, I have found this site the most informative and the members the most helpful for old fashion die hards like me.
Are you using FB or RC paper? I have had acceptable results with large RC prints by just taping down the 4 corners to my baseboard.
On the rare occasion that I want to make a borderless print, this is the method that I use. I have an 11x14 piece of heavy gauge iron that I spray with some 3M repositionable adhesive (like the glue used on sticky notes). I press the paper onto that & expose. The paper peels off nicely with no residue left on the back. I work in a sheetmetal shop, so the iron is accessible to me. I suppose you could use heavy plexiglass, or maybe wood. Must be something that will stay flat though. The largest easel I have is an 11x14. I want to try the 12x16 Foma that J&C sells and plan to use this method with that.
Last night made an easel for 16X20 paper; but when tried to use it the paper was too small. Paper's dimensions were 40X50cm which is about 3/8'' smaller than 16x20''. Do papers vary depending on manufacturer/ country of origin? I used the heavy counter top type of white board ( forgot what its called) and aluminum strips (3/4'' & 1'' wide) in picture frame fashion similiar to a Ganz easel. If paper dimensions do vary, plan to make one side adjustable.
van Huyck Photo
"Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"
If you can get some of the coated particle board shelving material (called Melamine here in Australia) used to make kitchen cupboards, cut a piece slightly larger than the largest paper you'll be printing on. It is generally about 20mm (3/4 inch approx) thick.
Cut some pieces of thin ply or masonite - make these about 50mm (2 inches) x 25mm (1 inch) x 6mm (1/4 inch). Glue two of these at right angles across the top left corner of the melamine base (cut as above), so that the 1 inch face joins the 3/4 inch edge (at the corner of melamine)...bear with me now - this is a lot easier to picture with the pieces in front of you! You should have an "L" shape across the corner sitting 1/4 inch higher than the base. This is where the top left corner of your photo paper will go to keep it in place
Put another single piece of the 2 inch x 1 inch ply about halfway along the top edge, another piece halfway along the left edge of the base. These will help keep the paper lined up with the top and left edges.
As the melamine base is generally shiny white, you can draw in the outlines in pencil, of common sizes of photo paper you use. This will help when setting the image size under the enlarger. I have made such an easel at 16 x 20 inches marked off (in inches) 8x10, 8x12, 11x14, 12x16, 12x18, 16x20 (8x12 and 12x18 are for printing some 35mm full frame wedding work that I do).
Finally get some thick black paper to fit the easel to place under the photo paper when exposing it to stop light being reflected back through the photo paper....Phew!!
Sorry that this was a bit long winded, but I haven't tried posting a picture on this forum yet (no digicam!).
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