View Full Version : enlarging baseboard

10-Aug-2005, 08:40
I have an 8x10 Elwood enlarger that is a bear to align. So my thought was to make a baseboard that tilts. I,m thinking a ball head attached to a piece of wood that would support the easel (big 20x24 4 bladed) This would allow me to match any misalignment. I know I could go the sponge under the lens route but this has proven to be problematic. Has anyone out there done anything like this. Greatly appreciate your help.


Oren Grad
10-Aug-2005, 08:46
Have you looked at this?

www.zig-align.com/briefs/ease-align.pdf (http://www.zig-align.com/briefs/ease-align.pdf)

Brian Ellis
10-Aug-2005, 09:30
Wouldn't it be easier to align the easel rather than the base board? I put some Velcro strips under my 16x20 easel to make it level on an uneven base board.

ronald moravec
10-Aug-2005, 09:43
It would help if we knew what part of the alignment is causing the problem.

It the lens is not adjusted properly and you try to compensate with a tilting base, circles will become elipses and rectangles will become trapezoids.

I f you wish to go ahead with this plan, make a board to put the easel on. Install some t-nuts, one per corner on the board, and get some rubber screw feet that thread into tee nuts. Adjust the rubber feet to get a sharp image and then place the easel on top. An extra nut will lock the feet so they stay adjusted.

Depending on far you tilt the board and the subject matter, the distortion you introduce may or may not be visable.

If your enlarger has a lens board, you are better off shimming the board so it is parallel with the neg and base. Cardboard and rubber cement or layers of masking tape make good shims. You can also shim the bottom of the neg carrier to make small adjustments.

A level is all that is necessary. level the neg stage to the base first doing final adjustment to the neg stage with shims if necessary. Then do the lens.

If you describe the exact problem, I perhaps can be of more help. I am totally unfamiliar with Elwoods, but there are otheres here who can help.

ronald lamarsh
10-Aug-2005, 09:58
R. Moravec has an excellent permanent type of system: I did the following as I created an adjustable height enlarging table to work with my wall mounted B&J Solar. I used 2 cross beams(2x4) to support the work surface then drilled the mounting holes, one in each corner. I then double nutted 5" threaded rods (3/8") to the support bd and then secured those to the cross beams with 1' compression springs and the appropriate washers nuts etc. So in effect I have four spring loaded adjustment points.

Oren Grad
10-Aug-2005, 09:59
The ease-align gadget, or any comparable widget that you can assemble yourself, can help align the easel relative to the negative plane, but you will still need to contrive a way to align the lens plane relative to the negative plane. I briefly had a 5x7 Elwood and there was no built-in provision for alignment within the head - I would have had to play with shims at the lensboard, or have something like the Beseler alignment stage mounted to an Elwood lensboard. I ended up selling it before I got that far.

10-Aug-2005, 11:53
If you do decide tilting the baseboard is the answer, I'd think that leveling feet would be simpler and more stable than a ball head. Cheaper too ... get them at the hardware store.

Michael Jones
10-Aug-2005, 12:10
Interestingly, Durst uses a ball head on several of the table on it's 5x7 floor model enlargers. I have to admit that it was a bear just to try balancing that 2x3 foot chunk of plywood for gross movements let alone using the system for critical alignment as Durst beleived. I used a system similar to "Adox" describes with adjustable feet; it was (and is again) the base to my Ariston turntable. But it allowed precise adjustments. Oren is correct that you also need a lens stage alignment. While not sophisticated, the Beselar "sponge" method works well.

Good luck.


Henry Ambrose
10-Aug-2005, 16:02
Mr. Moravec has the answer!

A baseboard with leveling feet will do the trick for you. The idea is to get the paper paralell to the film plane and negative stage. His method does that and is easy to align as needed. I had an Elwood that sagged and there was no shimming that would fix it. I shimmed under the easel (the quick and dirty version of what Ron suggests) and it worked.