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Thread: Omega 14x17 easel issue

  1. #1

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    Omega 14x17 easel issue

    I have long owned one of the adjustable, 4-blade easels, the one with the yellow bed and black blades with spring-metal half-circle adjustment handles and blade that have little "hooks" at the far end that fit in the channel on the opposite end. Mine is generally in good shape, with a new pad and recent cleaning. However, for years, one blade in particular has not sit square unless I measure for squaring after setting/cropping and then taping it to hold the far end in place.

    I have tried to figure out how to fix this. Below the ruler there is a tongue that sits in an up-indented channel. On this blade, I cannot get the tongue to stay pressed into the channel, so it slips enough to go out of square when the blade is adjusted. The blade is attached to the handle properly; they're spot welded, it appears. I've tried a few gentle things but I'm no mechanic and don't wish to make it worse inadvertently.

    I know we have folks here who know this kind of equipment very well. Can any of you suggest a remedy?

    Thanks.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  2. #2

    Re: Omega 14x17 easel issue

    I don't know if this is the same as your problem but I have a 16x20 4-blade Saunders easel that is perfectly plumb but the top horizontal blade will slip from being square and even go out of the channel if I adjust the blade without raising the blades off the easel. Having the blades down when you turn the adjustment handle results in them dragging on the easel which can result in them becoming out of alignment. So always lift the blades slightly when adjusting. I focus using a discarded print and have drawn a rectangle of where I want the blades to sit on the print and the most I have ever done was slightly nudge the top blade into perfect alignment with the print. Also I make sure that the blades lay perfectly flat when in position.

    Thomas

  3. #3

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    Re: Omega 14x17 easel issue

    I have Saunders four-blade easels (16x20 and 20x24). They both have adjustment screws for squaring the blades on the underside of the knob assembly. One loosens the screws, squares the blade and then retightens. Maybe your Omega has something similar. Taping the blades is not that bad of an option, but having the easel reliably square would be so much better. If your Omega has no provision for adjustment, you might need to upgrade. I'm happy with my Saunders easels.

    I trim all my prints to final dimensions when mounting, so slight misalignment is no problem for me; it gets squared off in the Rotatrim. If the image-edge positions are really critical, I'll leave some breathing room and trim to the desired position.

    If you don't trim your prints, you really need to get your easel square. I'd likely add a scale on the slider end of the blades (somehow), so I could compare it to the scale on the knob end.

    Best,

    Doremus

  4. #4

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    Re: Omega 14x17 easel issue

    Thank you to both. I should have said Saunders-Omega. This model that has been around four decades and is well known. The four-blade assembly can be removed entirely as a unit to allow a non adjustable 1/4-inch border on a 14x17 print. (Gosh, when did they make paper that size?) it does not have the adjustment screws of the 16x20, but it was made in a time when engineering considerations on such professional equipment were typically for long-term use, which is why I imagine that someone here knows how to get that channel tongue to stay in its groove again.
    I am attaching an image.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails s-l225.jpg  
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  5. #5

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    Re: Omega 14x17 easel issue

    Philip,

    I can't see exactly what you're referring to from the image (too small).

    My guess is that you've inadvertently bent a blade. Since you can remove the blade assembly, maybe you can take it apart and examine the individual blades to see if they have been warped or kinked. Some judicious bending in the opposite direction may fix the problem.

    If the blade is misaligned laterally on its mount, maybe the mount itself has been deformed and some work on it may help.

    FWIW, the better version of the Sauders easels had knobs the positioned the blades, not sliders like yours (a good-quality, but not best-quality easel). I think there was a knob-version of 11x14 easel also. If you can't manage to repair your easel, you may need to look for one of the better ones. Or, continue to square and tape...

    Best,

    Doremus

  6. #6
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Omega 14x17 easel issue

    I have one 14X17 almost new and a new one.

    Not really a fan of any adjustable blades.

    I sold my 20X24 version which was very nice. A member here got it.

    I like the 'Speed EZ-EL' which fits only one size. I got a 16X20 from our FS section. Perfect and already had a 8X10 version.

    But this morning I got a set of 6 NOS in boxes 11X14, 5X7 on down so I will have all the sizes i need.

    What i like about them? There is no need to eyeball it. Just push the paper in and center by feel.

    When doing a bunch of copies I gaff tape it down with the handy feet.

    They are best flat, duh! They can be damaged, but they also can hang on a nail, out of the way.
    sin eater

  7. #7

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    Re: Omega 14x17 easel issue

    Thanks, Doremus. I had posted the photo simply to identify the model. I remain certain that someone on the forum knows this item well and may have an idea about how to fix the issue. To restate, the blade is not bent, nor out-of-square. Each adjustable blade is spring-steel loaded/held in place. On the underside of the blade assembly, each blade has a tongue-in-groove track. This tongue of this blade in particular does not press sufficiently into the track to keep the blade square. This is the only problem. Yes, I can keep taping, but I bet someone intimately familiar with the model has a fix.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  8. #8

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    Re: Omega 14x17 easel issue

    Looking at the one I have it appears the blade carrier, the semicircular grip, is attached to the blade sliding runner by two small bent metal tabs, visible from above, one at each end of the grip, the tabs are bent upwards and overlap the shiny curved metal piece enclosed between the faces of the grip. I believe that this curved metal piece may be a simple curved metal spring that provides some pressure to hold the blade carrier in its guide channel. The two small tabs seem to secure the curved "spring" in the grip one at each end. I haven't taken it apart to find out for sure but this seems a probable explanation of how it works. If I am correct then perhaps if the curved metal spring were to become displaced in some way, or the small securing tabs become disturbed in some way, then the pressure that holds the carrier in the guide channel might fail and cause the symptom you describe. I would look carefully at the grip and curved spring of the offending piece and compare it with one of the good ones, a remedy may suggest itself.

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