enlarger cleaning

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by antionette3121, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. antionette3121

    antionette3121 TPF Noob!

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    hey everyone,
    i just received a beseler 23c enlarger from this lady i met off craig's list. its pretty old (baby blue color) but after playing with it a bit works pretty well. however, i do want get it cleaned and some of the knobs working smoothly again. i live in league city, texas and dont want to go just anywhere and have mess it up because all hell would break loose. does anyone familiar with league city/houston/galveston have any suggestions? i sure appreciate it
     
  2. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    What is wrong with the knobs? Are they gummed up? As far as cleaning goes, I'd do it myself. Buy a can of compressed air and start at the top. Take the light housing off, blow it out and move down the head. Not too hard.
     
  3. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    you can also remove the condensor glass, just remember the direction of the glass, wash with warm water and dry with a lint free cloth.
     
  4. antionette3121

    antionette3121 TPF Noob!

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    the knob that lifts up the entire head doesnt move as smooth as i think it should (i have to do a lot of forcing to get it to move up or down. maybe wd40 would do he trick? thanks for the glass cleaning method. im so worried about messgin it up i hardly wanna touch it :)
     
  5. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    these enlargers are very well built. as long as you don't use a hammer all will be fine.
     
  6. antionette3121

    antionette3121 TPF Noob!

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    thanks
     
  7. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    There should be a removable cover on the back of that knob housing. Take that off and check to see what's going on in there. Be careful not to force the knob too hard--the gears are plastic and strip. Those gears are usually coated in lithium grease, so take some solvent (brake cleaner, perhaps?) and remove the old, gummy grease. Re-grease with a spray can of lithium and run the knob. Should solve the problem.
     
  8. Paul Ron

    Paul Ron TPF Noob!

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    Did you unlock the head movement brake? It's the silver T thing by the right of the lens on the back board? Turn it and it will make the head go up n down much easier.

    A damp rag n go over every surface you can reach. The condensers should be cleaned but be careful not to chip em, tehy are very fragile n very expensive if you do break it.

    The tension adjsutments are in the box at the back of the enlarger where the knob shaft goes. Lube it up with new lithium grease as well. There are a couple of springs that tighten with screws.

    When adjusting the head for parrallelism, there is a lock on the back plate that allows you to tilt the head up for wall projection... make an adjustment there for the proper in out of the head. Lens side to side is adjusted by the lens tilt adjustment n teh neg carrier has screws in the sides to make the adjustments so it will sit flat on the bottom part of teh neg carrier. I installed some light seals on my neg carrier edges because I use a home made glass carrier. OH I also found there were some light leaks in the lens board mount. When looking up form the base board at the lens with a cap on it, I noticed some light leaking that was fogging my pics so I sealed em up with black silicone.

    A gizmo to make parrallel adjsutments easy, you'll need a DIY mirror setup I found on the interent as quoted below........

    From: fateman@peoplesparc.Berkeley.EDU (Richard J Fateman) Newsgroups: rec.photo Subject: Re: DARKROOM: tips on enlarger alignment Date: 7 Jun 1994 03:31:47 GMT

    I'm assuming you know how to adjust the baseboard, lensboard and the
    negative carrier, but would just like to know that they are in
    parallel planes. Here's a technique I used. get 1 or 2 mirror tiles
    (about $1.00 each?). They are 12" by 12". cut one into two strips
    about 12" by 6". Now think about what would happen if you put one on
    the baseboard and the other in the negative carrier, with shiny sides
    facing each other. (there is a piece sticking out of the neg.
    carrier...)
    If they were truly exactly parallel, then a point image
    introduced between them would reflect up down up down... losing a
    little
    bit each time.. Of course you'd never see this because if you put
    your head in the way, you'd block it.

    So here's the trick. scratch a 1" clear circle of the backing off one
    of the mirrors, and draw a bulls-eye/cross-hair with a marker. Look
    through the circle and if you see the 2nd reflection of the circle
    with your eye in it exactly nside the first reflection, the planes
    are
    parallel. If the enlarger head is cranked up higher, you get a
    bigger "lever", and a more accurate measure, though it will be harder
    to see (dimmer) and you will have to stand on a chair.
    (You leave the room lights on for this.)


    enlarger head (not used here)
    your eye
    ----- -----------negative carrier
    |
    |
    |
    | column
    ===================== baseboard with mirror on it.

    You should get the idea. Scratching the back of the mirror can
    be done with a single-edged razor. The shavings are (I think)
    harmless aluminum and copper (not mercury, for example).

    You can and should do the same kind of thing with the lens board.


    Consider, however, that your problem may not be alignment, but
    something else. Especially if poor focus is apparent in 4 corners.
    I suggest
    (a) Your lens may be not so sharp. Try using a smaller
    (larger number) f stop to compensate
    (b) negative is not flat. Use a glass negative carrier. Or
    try using a smaller f stop again.
    (c) maybe the taking lens was not so hot. Crop the picture, I guess.
    (d) Your easel is not holding the paper flat, or the paper sags
    during exposure. (It was curved in the box, but relaxes in the air.
    Maybe use a vaccuum easel.)

    Good luck.


    Richard J. Fateman
    fateman@cs.berkeley.edu http://http.cs.berkeley.edu/~fateman/


    Now get to work n have fun with your new enlarger
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  9. antionette3121

    antionette3121 TPF Noob!

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    wow thanks. i sat down, took my time and took it apart and did find a lot dust and dried up bugs in it plus i didnt unlock the head (t-shaped knob) so it wont move even if i tried. but i dusted it and cleaned the lens as suggested and will try the mirrors idea. now i just have to find a place to get a new bulb for it
     

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