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Thread: DIY Basebord?

  1. #1

    DIY Basebord?

    My 8x10 Zone VI enlarger is still giving me some alignment woes. The whole rig is just too heavy for me to easily wall mount it, and even if I did my table surface is not perfectly level. I think it would be easiest if I could mount it to some kind of leveling baseboard. I am not making prints bigger than 16x20 and I have a 240mm lens so I don't need very much height...especially since I'm going LED. I think one problem now is that the existing Kienzle VC diffusion head is way oversized for it. The weight of it alone requires an extra counterweight, which is what makes it hard to wall mount. An LED should make the whole thing easier to deal with.

    Any ideas here? Sometimes I think I should throw in the towel and look for a different enlarger that is more 'self contained', but then I think I have a perfectly good Zone here and my difficulties should be surmountable!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    Western Massachusetts, USA
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    287

    Re: DIY Basebord?

    A base board that can level should be fairly simple, but some photos of your setup would help to see what you're dealing with

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Suwanee, GA
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    864

    Re: DIY Basebord?

    Threaded adjustable furniture/machine foot levelers from the hardware store might be your answer if you only need small adjustments to your baseboard. If you want to level your entire workbench there are heavy duty leg levelers. Both will need a hole to thread into and a little Loctite helps.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  4. #4
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    18,038

    Re: DIY Basebord?

    FOTAR used a formica covered composite AKA particle board almost 2" thick

    With 5 heavy duty levelers, one in middle

    As the formica came loose, there was edge warpage

    Russian Birch Plywood can be very flat

    Saltzman was similar but thinner

    I check my baseboards with instrument grade 36" straight edge

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Newbury, Vermont
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    1,425

    Re: DIY Basebord?

    Mr. (or Ms?) Dynamite...you did not mention if your Z-6 is with or without its original baseboard. If with...then you know that its quite sturdy already - with that V-shaped under-girder integrated into the column. Why would this not be sturdy enough?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    36

    Re: DIY Basebord?

    As far as the material to use for a new baseboard if that is required, I used baltic birch plywood which is composed of more layers than ordinary plywood and bonded with waterproof glue. The top layer is much thicker than home store plywood. I coated it both sides and edges with oil based polyurethane, 2 or 3 coats, sanded between. It has been rock solid for years. You can buy it at specialty woodworking supply stores, and of course it is not cheap. I also use laminate covered particle board for various things, but it will warp and delaminate on exposure to moisture.

  7. #7
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
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    Chillicothe Missouri USA
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    2,909

    Re: DIY Basebord?

    Rather than rely on one thick slab of plywood to provide strength and stability for an enlarger baseboard, consider two much lighter pieces of plywood separated by and bonded to a web of smaller strips of wood. The higher these strips are, the more rigid the baseboard will be. This is how steel girders get much of their strength. Keep in mind that the weak point of many enlargers is the junction of column and baseboard.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    Canada
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    Re: DIY Basebord?

    Since you're sticking to 16x20 or smaller, it might make sense to just align your easel by putting some pads under the corners. This could work if you're not moving the easel around much, or changing it's orientation.

  9. #9
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    6,098

    Re: DIY Basebord?

    I made a false baseboard that is adjustable and it fits over the main baseboard. I actually don't use it anymore because I subsequently shimmed the column, like the service manual indicated. That brought it into alignment without needing the false baseboard.
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  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    307

    Re: DIY Basebord?

    How about a slab of granite from a counter store with threaded inserts at each corner?

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