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Thread: Easel question for 16x20 and 20x24 printers: To VACUUM EASEL or not?

  1. #1
    Beverly Hills, California
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    Easel question for 16x20 and 20x24 printers: To VACUUM EASEL or not?

    Would Like to move up in size to print some 16x20 and 20x24 size B&W prints from 4x5 portrait negatives (that I am finally nailing tack sharp thanks to advice r eceived on this site :>)

    Looking into Saunders, Cobra (vacuum), and Beseler 20x24 easels. My limited ex perience printing these sizes recalls me wanting for some way to insure paper w as not curled or off the plane of focus on the baseboard.

    Any printers out there with experienec with Cobra's vacuum easels? I am particul arly interested in the following:

    First, using a vacuum easel, is there any way to make prints WITH borders? I un destand that the natural print from one of these would be borderless, but as you know, many printers require the ability to make 1", 2", etc borders around thei r prints.

    Second, is the vacuum power on say a 20x24 easel sufficiently strong to flatten even 20x24 size double weighted fibre based paper? (For the price of one~$500 i ncl. shipping- it should!!)

    Third, what effect does running the vacuum have on possible vibrations within th e apparatus? (thus unwittingly reducing print sharpness).

    Finally, regarding the two non-vacuum traditional easels, Beseler and Saunders, which of those is considered the best? Sincerely Andre Noble

  2. #2

    Easel question for 16x20 and 20x24 printers: To VACUUM EASEL or not?

    Andre:

    I've made many COLOR enlargements up to 24X36 with an easel that was nothing more than a piece of plywood with a few small nails as guides.

    The paper tends to be quite flat by itself, but as a further measure I spray the board lightly with artist's adhesive, which retains it's adhesive qualities for quite some time.

    Try it, it works! And, it's cheap!

    Barrie Smith, Missoula, Montana

  3. #3
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Easel question for 16x20 and 20x24 printers: To VACUUM EASEL or not?

    But color paper is all RC, so it's going to be flatter and easier to control than fiber-based paper.

    I don't have a vacuum easel, but one way to avoid the concerns about vibration and noise from the compressor is to put it in another room and run a hose to the darkroom.

  4. #4

    Easel question for 16x20 and 20x24 printers: To VACUUM EASEL or not?

    Can't remember exactly where, but I know I've seen plans over the years for homemade vacuum easels. Maybe a used Electrolux cannister vacuum and a little time in the workshop could give you a chance to try for yourself.

  5. #5
    Beverly Hills, California
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    Easel question for 16x20 and 20x24 printers: To VACUUM EASEL or not?

    Barrie: Your answer regarding spray adhesives to hold larger size printing paper flat on the baseboard (as opposed to using suction) seems clever. I think I'll try it in the future, and go with a traditional easel. Thanks. Andre

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Easel question for 16x20 and 20x24 printers: To VACUUM EASEL or not?

    What of the effects of the over spray, reactivity with chemicals not to mention the product on your hands, negatives etc.? I was wondering if maybe a static charge on a mylar sheet would work?? I read in some thread here where this was used to mount prints instead of using tape, sprays or dry mount.

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