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Donald Brewster
31-Mar-2006, 09:13
I have an older Omega DII enlarger. It works great, but I am unhappy with the base board which is delaminating and otherwise a bit rough. I have a Leitz Focomat IIa in similar condition. Not sure if replacement baseboards are available for either, but it seems like something that can be DIY. Other than going to the lumber yard and buying any old piece of wood, is there a preferred surface material or other variables I should consider?

resummerfield
31-Mar-2006, 09:52
I would go to a shop that builds kitchen cabinets and countertops, and have a piece of 1-inch MFD board (used for countertops) laminated on all sides (to minimize warping) with something like Formica.

Nacio Jan Brown
31-Mar-2006, 09:57
The main thing is that you want your enlarger baseboard to stay flat. I'd use 3/4" or, even better, 1" MDF (medium density fiberboard). It's dimensionally stable and won't warp. It comes in 4'x8' sheets but you may be able to find a source for smaller sheets. Also, it's cheap. (Also, it's very heavy.) For a really spiffy job laminate it with a Formica type product. You can get pretty much any color you want. This is an easy job for anyone reasonably handy. I'm sure you can find directions on the internet. To replace both your baseboards should be a piece of cake if you have access to basic shop power tools.

David Crossley
31-Mar-2006, 10:11
I replaced one of my Omega baseboards with MDF just recently also Donald.

I had the local hardware dept custom cut 3/4 boards & then i glued & bolted them together for a really beefy and extremely flat baseboard. Cost about $40 CDN.

David Crossley/Crossley Photography....

Bob_5853
31-Mar-2006, 10:16
Donald,

I agree with the early posters this is exactly the type of base that comes with LPL enlargers. It's stable, flat, clean and probably reduces vibrations due to the mass. The only thing I would add that it may be easier find a reasonable kitchen counter person and have them finish the edges with laminate or vinyl edging. It will look better, preserve the edges over time and eliminate another source of dust. Almost forgot choose a neutral grey color laminate.

paulr
31-Mar-2006, 11:15
"' ... and probably reduces vibrations due to the mass."

for this reason it's the prefered material for loudspeaker enclosures. even in high end speakers that cost as much as a car, and have veneers of exotic hardwood, there's usually a humble MDF box on the inside.

Richard Schlesinger
31-Mar-2006, 11:53
My local Home Depot has some really good looking pieces of many-layered plywood in sizes precut about the right size for a base board. While I haven't bothered to rplace mine (it is scarred and discolored) the price at Home Depot was very reasonable and they will cut to whatever size you want.

Dan Jolicoeur
31-Mar-2006, 14:52
Home depot sells some mdf that is laminated white on both sides. They have it cut into smaller sheets. This is what Harry "The Omega Repair man", uses on his rebuilds. I was able to use my old one as a template to drill three holes if my memory is correct? You may be able to to pop out the old "T" nuts and drive them back into the drilled holes. You can buy a roll of the edging, which you iron onto the perimeter of the board and then trim with a sheet rock knife. Be carefull not to cut thy self!

Regards,
Dan

Glenn Thoreson
31-Mar-2006, 16:01
Professional bottom feeder here. If there's any new home construction going on around you, try to catch the cabinet guys or the plumbers and see if you can mooch a kitchen sink cutout or two. It will have formica on one side. That's what I used for the last one on my D-2. It works fine. You can always glue two of 'em back to back for a really hefty 1 1/2 inch thick board.

Conrad Hoffman
31-Mar-2006, 17:10
Another solution is wall mounting!

David Beal
1-Apr-2006, 11:14
While I like MDF for many things, and have build stuff with it, I would not use it for an enlarger base board.

MDF is heavy, but it has very little shear strength. Also, unless you're inserting a fastener through MDF into hardwood or a threaded fitting, conventional wood screws will not hold over time. You need special screws to hold. If you've ever assembled a piece of knock-down furniture, you'll recognize them. Your local hardware may not have them. Try McFeely's -- they have a web site and a very helpful customer service department.

My 2 cents worth is to buy a piece of Baltic Birch plywood. It isn't cheap -- expect to pay double what you'd pay for a sheet of US made AB plywood (grade A on one side, and B on the other), and it comes in 5ft x 5ft, rather than 4ft x 8 ft sheets. Cut two pieces, and join them with wood screws and construction adhesive to give you one piece which is about 1.5 inch thick (not exactly, because the Baltic Birch is metric, and a nominally 3/4 inch piece is actually 19 mm). Laminate both sides (you can get a cover laminate which is a dull grey for the bottom, and whatever you wish for the top). Don't forget rubber feet for the bottom.

As with all plywoods, the plys in Baltic Birch alternate grain direction, giving the product better strength to weight properties and less expansion that you would find in a solid piece of wood of the same dimension. The advantage of Baltic Birch over conventional plywood is that it has more plies per inch of thickness than US plywood. Hence, for things that have to take a lot of stress, such as stools, bookcases, and avante-garde furniture, it's a better material.

Good shooting, and be careful in the shop. Wear saftey glasses, be careful with power tools, be VERY careful with laminate adhesive, and "Measure twice, cut once."

/s/ David

photoevangelist
25-Jun-2014, 17:40
I'm resurrecting this old thread.

I'm looking to have a custom baseboard cut out of MDF for an Omega D5 XL enlarger. Any warnings or advice before I have an 80x80 cm (31.5 inch x 31.5 inch) and 3 cm (1.18 inch) thick MDF custom baseboard cut? The last post by David makes me hesitate a bit.

Jim C.
25-Jun-2014, 18:11
I don't think you'll need to worry about shear strength with 1.18" thick MDF, unless you've got some cast iron lamp housing ;)
There is also 1" thick plywood that you can also consider, not sure if that's available in S Korea. In either choice
you should have the base board drilled out to accept tee nuts to mount the base of the column rather than screwing directly into the
MDF or plywood.
I think the column support base uses 1/4 - 20 screws.

photoevangelist
25-Jun-2014, 18:44
Tee nuts. Now, there's an idea. I've never heard of those before. The baseplate mounting flange is round. There are three base clamps that hold secure the column in place and one screw that goes in the center. I guess it would be ideal to have 8 tee nuts, four on either side of the baseboard?

The sample image is from the auction site for illustration purposes only. I need to get some screws that match the tee nut size. The screw and tee nuts might be in millimeters. I hope I can find some!

117433

Randy Moe
25-Jun-2014, 18:49
Also, I have a wall mount casting, and you use a bench under it...

ic-racer
25-Jun-2014, 19:01
I'm resurrecting this old thread.

I'm looking to have a custom baseboard cut out of MDF for an Omega D5 XL enlarger...(1.18 inch) thick
The original is 1.5" thick. You may have trouble with a thinner board. If that is the only thickness that is available where you live, consider attaching the top of the column to the wall if possible.

New ones are available in the USA, but I can see shipping might be an issues.

photoevangelist
25-Jun-2014, 19:08
How thick is the original baseboard? My Zone VI enlarger (60 inch chassis) has a 2.2 cm (3/4 inch?) baseboard. I'd say the Omega D5 XL is probably about the same weight or just a tad more with the condenser. Shouldn't a 3 cm (1.18 inch) be enough to support it? I can see if there are other thicker options.

photoevangelist
25-Jun-2014, 19:16
Also, I have a wall mount casting, and you use a bench under it...

I considered this option, but I think the custom made baseboard will end up being cheaper.

jerrybro
25-Jun-2014, 19:45
Ignore the mdf and go for plywood. MDF is sawdust and glue, fine for some stuff, but plywood is laminated thin sheets or strips and glue, much stronger. IMHO mdf is not good for anything structural.

Ginette
25-Jun-2014, 19:46
MDF is for Medium Density! Not really good for screw your enlarger base onto.
High density HDF exist and different thinkness but I think you should chose the cheaper top, already with an easy to clean finish like melamine or Arborite on plywood and screw this top on a hard wood frame.
The enlarger foot will be bolted to the solid wood frame with regular bolts or with 4-prog T-Nuts (fixed from under the wood frame).

Randy Moe
25-Jun-2014, 20:04
You pay shipping it's yours.

Let me get it out and make sure it's right for your enlarger, but I think this thing fits most Omegas.


I considered this option, but I think the custom made baseboard will end up being cheaper.

SMBooth
25-Jun-2014, 22:41
go all the way and get a nice piece of polished granite or marble...

photoevangelist
26-Jun-2014, 01:55
That's an incredible offer Randy. We've got concrete walls and are a pain to drill into. I don't know if the school will like that. I'll think about it.

Good one, Shane.

Freestyle says the Omega D5XL baseboard is made with High Density and is laminated on both sides. I'll have to see if I can get this made here for a reasonable cost.

Jim Jones
26-Jun-2014, 04:40
I've used enlargers with what appears to be MDF bases, and some of them have warped. Plywood should be more stable. If light weight is more important than the thickness of the base, consider building up a baseboard of two layers of plywood separated by an appropriate framework. This is the technique which makes an I-beam strong and light when compared to a solid beam. The bottom of some column bases doesn't make full contact with the baseboard. This creates high pressure contact points which compress the baseboard, slightly tilting the column. With such a problem, consider improvising a metal plate to distribute the pressure on the baseboard more evenly. Fiberglassing the baseboard might also work.

Jim C.
26-Jun-2014, 06:49
Tee nuts. Now, there's an idea. I've never heard of those before. The baseplate mounting flange is round. There are three base clamps that hold secure the column in place and one screw that goes in the center. I guess it would be ideal to have 8 tee nuts, four on either side of the baseboard?

The sample image is from the auction site for illustration purposes only. I need to get some screws that match the tee nut size. The screw and tee nuts might be in millimeters. I hope I can find some!

117433

I use Tee Nuts ( or T-Nuts) all the time, in fact my Elwood enlarger base that I made uses them to hold the cast iron column.
This is a T-Nut http://www.mcfeelys.com/images/STN-1007.jpg
I have an Omega D2 and all you'll need is 3 of them 8 is over kill and it'll make a it hassle if you ever want to swing the column over
to make huge enlargements. They're very commonly used, so whomever you're using to make the baseboard should know of them.

John Koehrer
29-Jun-2014, 15:33
MDF with Formica facing is fine for the baseboard. I've used two pieces of 3/4" glued together, Formica side out.
If you intend to make larger prints take this chance to go with an oversized board.

Jody_S
29-Jun-2014, 16:49
If you want it to last forever, use marine grade plywood and veneer the edges, then use spar varnish over the whole. MDF is fine if you pay attention to the fasteners (I suggest 1/4" carriage bolts right through the baseboard, with large washers underneath), and make sure it is varnished or otherwise sealed completely on all sides.

You can buy a sheet at Home Depot, the cheap 5/8" stuff , and have 2 identical pieces cut. Just glue them together (press with whatever weights you have at hand until it sets), and you'll have your solid 1-1/4" baseboard. A full sheet should be a little over $20, and they may do the cutting for free.

photoevangelist
1-Jul-2014, 00:40
Thanks for all the help!

Apparently, I'm not too dumb. I went to the big furniture street in Daegu and there was not a single person that had heard of a tee nut. I even showed them a picture of one since my Korean isn't the greatest.

Unfortunately there's nothing like a HomeDepot or Lowes here. I also don't have a workroom or tools to cut the board down myself. The prices were more than I expected for MDF or plywood. After going to a dozen different shops and getting the same outrageous quotes on the plywood, I finally met a guy that does nice wood work. After I explained what I needed, he suggested using some left over acacia wood that he would double up and glue together with two metal shims. It's not going to be much more expensive than the plywood quotes I received, but it'll look 100 times more classy.

Ginette
2-Jul-2014, 09:55
Thanks for all the help!

Apparently, I'm not too dumb. I went to the big furniture street in Daegu and there was not a single person that had heard of a tee nut. I even showed them a picture of one since my Korean isn't the greatest.

Unfortunately there's nothing like a HomeDepot or Lowes here. I also don't have a workroom or tools to cut the board down myself. The prices were more than I expected for MDF or plywood. After going to a dozen different shops and getting the same outrageous quotes on the plywood, I finally met a guy that does nice wood work. After I explained what I needed, he suggested using some left over acacia wood that he would double up and glue together with two metal shims. It's not going to be much more expensive than the plywood quotes I received, but it'll look 100 times more classy.

Yes, go with your local ressources. Wow! Acacia wood will be a lot more beautiful than plywood. Post a picture when it will be done.

photoevangelist
7-Jul-2014, 00:48
117882

Here she is. Acacia wood baseboard x2 + shims. It's a probably a little bit exotic, but it was this or MDF for about the same price.

Randy Moe
7-Jul-2014, 08:50
Looks great and you just increased the value of that enlarger many times.

0 X 1000 = 0

Just kidding Lee, it is beautiful!

And as you well know it is rare as anything in Korea.


117882

Here she is. Acacia wood baseboard x2 + shims. It's a probably a little bit exotic, but it was this or MDF for about the same price.

Michael Cienfuegos
7-Jul-2014, 09:41
117882

Here she is. Acacia wood baseboard x2 + shims. It's a probably a little bit exotic, but it was this or MDF for about the same price.

Now THAT is a baseboard to be proud of. Great job!


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