Beseler 45 MCRX alignment findings
Well, I was getting really frustrated with my enlarger having some focusing issues on some negs. So I took the plunge and managed to find a decently priced used Versa enlarger tool (very lightly used, looks new!) and was very shocked to find my enlarger was WAAAAAAAAAY off. The film stage was outside the target circle!! The carriage that holds the film stage and lens stages looked a little crooked. To my dismay, the carriage had shifted down a cog on the left hand side. I replaced the two little screws that hold the chromed steel bracing arms with stainless hex bolts and will likely do the same for ALL remaining screws as the screws are seriously inadequate. I then rearranged the drive cogs so the whole carraige was straight. Then I disassmbeled my lens stage, cleaned it, and adjust the free play on the focusing rack top and bottom to make it move more consistently.
When I put the versa tool in, I was very happy to find the film stage was only 1/8 inch off of center. The lens stage was within 1/4" of that as well. So now I am hopefully able to do more consistent printing. I always did get some shifts in focus from top to bottom, and now I am not seeing that since the adjustments, alignment, and tightening up of all the parts.