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Thread: Mounting Enlargers to the Wall

  1. #1

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    Jul 2006
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    Long Beach, CA
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    Mounting Enlargers to the Wall

    Does anyone have any reference materials, or advice about mounting a Beseler 45MX off the baseboard in order to make bigger enlargements than 16x20?" I think the 2 options are 1) wall mounting or 2) building a table with removable cut outs that let the enlarged image shine lower and larger. My wall is a 2x4" stud wood frame covered with drywall. I would appreciate any suggestions on both the enlarger mounting and table design. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Virginia Beach, Va.
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    Re: Mounting Enlargers to the Wall

    What I have seen done is to remove the legs from the baseboard. Then use a table with a ledge/platform on the back that the enlarger can be mounted on. The platform should be just high enough to produce your largest print. Understand that you are limiting your smallest print with this concept. Care should be taken to ensure that the new base is flat and level or aligning the enlarger could be a pta.

  3. #3
    Louie Powell's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
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    Saratoga Springs, NY
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    Re: Mounting Enlargers to the Wall

    My former darkroom had a low ceiling, and to compensate I wall mounted a Durst F60 and later an Omega DII. In each case, I eliminated the factory baseboard. I constructed a shelf that was just wide enough to support the flange at the base of the enlarger. This flange was attached to the wall with cleats cut from 2x6 lumber - the cleats were attached perpendicular to the wall studs using carriage screws. Making this shelf rigid and absolutely level was the first challenge. To add more rigidity to this arrangement, I also put some cross blocking between the studs behind the sheetrock wall.

    Then, I constructed a permanent cabinet installation in front of the enlarger mounting shelf. The sides of the cabinet were made of plywood and rested on the floor, and were attached to the wall. I mounted three cleats on each side - one pair exactly 3/4" below the top of the counter, one pair down about 8 inches, and a third pair down about 14 inches. Finally, I cut a sheet of plywood as wide as the inside dimension of the cabinet, and with a depth equal to the distance from the front of the cabinet back to the front of the enlarger mounting shelf. With that sheet of plywood resting on the top cleat, it was functionally equivalent to the original enlarger baseboard. Moving it down created the effect of extending the enlarger head upward 8 or 14 inches, respectively.

    The second challenge was getting those side cleats absolutely level. The objective was to avoid having to realign the enlarger head as the plywood shelf was moved between the three positions.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
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    Baraboo, Wisconsin
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    7,695

    Re: Mounting Enlargers to the Wall

    Beseler used to sell both a wall mounting kit and an adjustable table. I've never seen the wall mount but a friend had the adjustable table and it seemed to work quite well. I don't know if Beseler still makes them or not but you could check with Beseler. As I recall neither item was terribly expensive.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  5. #5

    Re: Mounting Enlargers to the Wall

    Mounting the enlarger to the wall provides the ability to pick up vibrations from the entire structure and not just the floor, so unless the wall is concrete beware.

  6. #6
    Greg Lockrey's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
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    Re: Mounting Enlargers to the Wall

    I have the Beseler table with slots to put the shelf into and it works fine for small prints up to about 20x24". That's one way, another is to tilt the head horizontal onto an easel that is suspended from the ceiling on a rail. I used a product called Unistrut as a track. You can get it where electricians' buy their hardware for conduit installations and suspend the easel using wheels in the track. Or you can move your enlarger on a table near a wall and shoot horizontal to it.
    Greg Lockrey

    Wealth is a state of mind.
    Money is just a tool.
    Happiness is pedaling +25mph on a smooth road.



  7. #7
    Geos
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    256

    Re: Mounting Enlargers to the Wall

    I've mounted a Zone VI on a wall. It was a two person job.

    First, I'd recommend that you mount some 2x4s to the wall itself and secure them with bolts to the studs - use a stud finder. Then you can secure the enlarge to the 2x4s without concern for the studs in the wall. The 2x4s also put the enlarger a little further out from the wall, helping with larger prints on the floor. Remember to make the whole setup as level as possible.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
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    GA
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    Re: Mounting Enlargers to the Wall

    Have you called or asked Beseler?

  9. #9

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    Aug 2006
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    St. Louis, Missouri
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    Re: Mounting Enlargers to the Wall

    Before I bought a Zone VI enlarger I used a 45M for about 17 years. I never owned the baseboard for it so I mounted it to the wall with a piece of 6”x6”x1/4” angle iron. First, I screwed a piece of 2x8 to the wall long enough to span three studs (two 16” spaces in my case). Then I drilled three holes in the vertical leg of the angle iron and used a lag bolt in the center hole to attach it to the 2x8. The center hole was near the bottom and sized to fit the bolt. The other holes were near the top at each end and larger than the center hole to allow room to level the angle. I could have used a slot but it doesn’t take much adjustment and a larger hole is easier to drill. Then I leveled it and inserted the other bolts with washers to cover the larger holes. Then I attached the small angles that connect the legs of the enlarger to the base by drilling and tapping holes in the angle iron. I used the strut rods to attach the top of the enlarger frame to the wall. This resulted in a very stable solution. I mounted it as high as I could because I make prints up to 30x40 and needed the height. When I wanted to make small prints I had a box that I placed under the easel to raise it up.

    Jerome

  10. #10

    Re: Mounting Enlargers to the Wall

    Turner Reich is right. Even concrete, if you are close to a road, will transmit vibrations.
    very minimal and probably wouldn't hurt, unless a big truck was going by.

    Joe A

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