I've just bought a used Dunco 85/4 30x40 from someone in France (I'm in Australia) on Ebay for an OK price.
At least I think 85/4 is the model I bought - mine looks to be perhaps a slightly earlier model than the ones you see being sold new in stores on the web - the knobs on mine are operated from the top/above and the blades are all black unlike the partly white blades of the newer ones... otherwise they seem to have the same features. I just hope the thing gets here first! Can't help but worry with such a relatively heavy large thing coming such a long way at the mercy of various country's postal systems. That, coupled with the fact that the seller is a crap communicator. Oh well, fingers crossed.
Anyway, I currently use a Saunders 4-blade of the same size. It's OK, a good solid easel, but they're really too basic, or old-fashioned if you know what I mean. I know there are better easels out there. I want something that is STRAIGHT and will allow me to place paper QUICKLY and ACCURATELY. What I want is to OPEN IT/PUT PAPER IN/SHUT IT/EXPOSE, all very quickly with minimum stuffing around. I believe that a Dunco easel will fulfill these requirements very well, so I sought one out on Ebay (Dunco is not sold anywhere in Australia). The idea is that it'll do everything just the way I want, will make darkroom life a little easier, allowing me to work quicker and be more productive. Above all the blades have to be straight, I print 35mm full-frame with thin black line and I really don't want to be spending time fiddling to get errant blades straight, using sticky tape to do it. I want all four blades to be straight like the edges of the neg!!!
I would like to know more about paper placement with this model please, if you know something about it. That said, I have managed to download an information sheet on it, but it's in French - I speak it better that I read it, and this info sheet is kinda technical (see the other image attached - anyone got this or similar doc in English, or even German??). Am I right in thinking that there are definite paper guides? All those 'dots' on the baseboard, what are they & how do they work? There's also what looks like a straight black guide coming down from the top of the easel. How does this all work together for paper positioning? The document mentions something about using the supplied screwdriver to do something with those 'dots', and it shows 6 different symbols (a star, square, triangle, etc etc) relating to different paper size settings I think. I mostly use 30.5 x 40.6 paper, which is the largest this easel will take anyway I guess - are there any considerations with using this paper size on this easel? What are your thoughts on the blades, are they good & straight?
Sorry to bombard you with questions, but I'd be grateful to know some more about it, and hope it arrives in one piece to put your info into practice with it