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Thread: Repairing enlarger counter balance reel?

  1. #11
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    Re: Repairing enlarger counter balance reel?

    I move the head of my enlarger with a button.

    Counterweighrt spring...Randy Moe would be the expert on these things...

    Randy Moe wrote:
    I worked up a sweat. Pulled seven dried up greasy 20 lb lead weights. Which is 140 lbs, effective 280 lbs, which should be about the weight of condenser head complete setup with camera assembly.

  2. #12
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Re: Repairing enlarger counter balance reel?

    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    I move the head of my enlarger with a button.

    Counterweighrt spring...Randy Moe would be the expert on these things...

    Randy Moe wrote:
    That's a comment on a Saltsman 10X10 inch very heavy duty enlarger that was designed to balance 2 huge 14" glass condensers that must weigh 70lbs alone, then we need to add the very sturdy camera body, best in class neg carrier and a lamp.

    5X7 Elwood's weigh almost nothing. I have 2. They are very beautiful to my eye and are great consumer devices.

    Snark

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    436

    Re: Repairing enlarger counter balance reel?

    One of my counter balance springs broke off on my 8x10 C-2. I used a pop rivet to put the D-ring back on. Problem is it was so long ago that I can't recall if I had to open the case to extract the spring end. I see that they used to sell replacement springs so maybe you can take them apart safely. Worth a try at least.

  4. #14

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    Sep 2015
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    43

    Re: Repairing enlarger counter balance reel?

    I think I'm going to put on my leather welding gloves and pop it open and see what I find. If I can't repair it, I have a couple little stainless mini pulleys that will go into the ceiling and wall over and behind with a weight.
    I agree about the Elwood. Like sculpture, and so easy to use.
    I'll report back what I find.

  5. #15

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    Re: Repairing enlarger counter balance reel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Pere View Post
    One of my counter balance springs broke off on my 8x10 C-2. I used a pop rivet to put the D-ring back on. Problem is it was so long ago that I can't recall if I had to open the case to extract the spring end. I see that they used to sell replacement springs so maybe you can take them apart safely. Worth a try at least.
    Thumbs down on taking it apart!!! Even with welding or chain mail gloves on, if that reeled in quickly while in your hands, it would be like a bandsaw blade in a butcher's shop passing through your hands, and if it whipped around, the tip would be worse than the mark of Zorro... VERY dangerous!!!

    Ordering a new one from the abovementioned link is a sane idea...

    Steve K

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    258

    Re: Repairing enlarger counter balance reel?

    Hey Greg...

    However you fix the Elwood, post a few pictures and a list of parts and suppliers for the next guy with the same problem.

  7. #17

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    Nov 2007
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    Re: Repairing enlarger counter balance reel?

    Kinda late to this thread, the tape balance is a separate unit inside the housing, if yours broke at the D ring it's a good chance any spring energy
    has been unwound, but it never hurts to be cautious in case the tape was stopped during it's unwinding and there is still energy stored.
    The ones I have pictured are from a 8x10 Elwood and the tape balance is made by Caldwell #154.
    Probably best to replace with a similar sized unit from McMaster or another source.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #18

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    Sep 2015
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    Re: Repairing enlarger counter balance reel?

    Thanks Jim. Yep this is what mine looks like too. I found an exact replacement on ebay. Also found the company appears to still make them. They are expensive however. They are originally made for balancing windows, Elwood repurposed them. I should be back in business in a matter of days. Thanks everyone for all your help.
    ps, those with a working elwood should perhaps oil there spring counter balance. Right before mine went ZIP! and broke itself it momentarily seized then rapidly took up the slack popping off the d ring.There is a little lubrication hole on the faceplate of the unit inside the case.

  9. #19

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    Re: Repairing enlarger counter balance reel?

    Quote Originally Posted by greginpa View Post
    Thanks Jim. Yep this is what mine looks like too. I found an exact replacement on ebay. Also found the company appears to still make them. They are expensive however. They are originally made for balancing windows, Elwood repurposed them. I should be back in business in a matter of days. Thanks everyone for all your help.
    ps, those with a working elwood should perhaps oil there spring counter balance. Right before mine went ZIP! and broke itself it momentarily seized then rapidly took up the slack popping off the d ring.There is a little lubrication hole on the faceplate of the unit inside the case.
    You sure that it should be oiled? If it was designed as a window counter balance spring then it would be in the wood work with no way to add oil to it.

  10. #20

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    Sep 2015
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    43

    Re: Repairing enlarger counter balance reel?

    So out of curiosity, now that I know I have a replacement. I opened mine up. Inside is a container, like a dish with a large coiled spring inside. The tape which is attached to the enlarger is wrapped around this inner container. When the tape is allowed to go inside the cover the container which is under spring pressure releases it's pressure. So to fix this one would have to wind the spring loaded container/case back up. They probably have a tool in the factory which mates to the case and allows one to crank it to the right level of tension. Doing it without the proper crank would be risky if it got away from you. When just turning it a half turn I can feel that the grease is gritty from use and it should move much more freely. I'll post a photo of the guts a little later.

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