Saunders 4-blade easel

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Mike Marty, Sep 7, 2003.

  1. Mike Marty

    Mike Marty Guest

    I recently acquired an old Saunders-Omega 4-blade easel that hasn't seen
    use in quite awhile.

    I tried positioning one of the blades, but one end of the blade moved
    and the other didn't due to friction thus it was momentarily bent!
    Oops...good thing is that the blade looks fine when undoing what I did.

    The blades move ok if the easel is opened. I'm assuming that this is
    the correct way to adjust the blades? If not, any ideas on how to make
    the movement smoother? Also, I've heard that borders can be adjusted
    but I have no idea how...on the yellow base of the easel, there are 3
    horizontal groves of different sizes. I'm not sure what these are.

    I sent Saunders an e-mail asking for a manual but I haven't gotten a

    Mike Marty, Sep 7, 2003
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  2. Mike Marty

    J Stafford Guest

    Come on, Mike. The thing's been sitting for ages so oxidation built up on
    the sliding parts (and yes, even paint oxidizes.) So clean it already!
    That's what they are and what they do. How else can you adjust borders
    with a 4-blade easel?
    J Stafford, Sep 7, 2003
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  3. Mike Marty

    Louie Powell Guest

    I've had one of these for several years, and I've used one off and on in
    workshops for the last 14 years. A great easel.
    With this easel, it is recommended that you always lift the top just a bit
    before trying to adjust the blades. That minimizes the tendency to bind the
    blades that results in bending.
    any ideas on how to make the movement smoother?

    A little dry lubricant might be called for, especially if your unit has been
    unused for a while and is gummed up. There are teflon or silicone spray
    lubricants that may help keep the blades moving smoothly. Just make sure
    that it dries completely before trying to use the easel so you don't get wet
    lubricant on your paper. Ultimately, however, the best bet may be to just
    clean it up and see if that makes it work smoothly.
    You adjust the borders when you move the blades. There should be a scale on
    the edges that enable you to determine the size opening - if you adjust the
    top and bottom blade to have the same setting (on the vertical scales), you
    will center the image top to bottom. Likewise, adjusting the side blades to
    the same setting centers left to right.
    different sizes. I'm not sure what these are.

    These are used to hold the paper. On the 14x17 easel, there should be
    three - for 5x7, 8x14 and 11x14. Open the easel all the way (it should be
    possible to lock it in the open position using the brace on the left side of
    the easel), and then slip the far edge of the paper into the appropriate
    slot. Then, drop the top down onto the paper. With the blades adjusted as
    noted above, the image will be centered on the paper.

    Of course, you can also adjust the blades so that the image is not centered
    if that's what floats your boat.

    By the way, there was also a short piece of aluminum that fit into the 5x7
    slot that reduced the opening so that it could be used with 4x5 paper. You
    could probably cobble up something for this purpose if you ever need to
    print on that size paper.

    I did't get a manual when I bought mine - so I assume that there isn't one.

    One other thought - I have a collection of single-size "speed easels" that
    I've picked up at swap meets. After cleaning them up with "Goof off"
    solvent, I've sanded them lightly with very fine sandpaper, and then sprayed
    them with a semi-gloss yellow paint. Did the same thing with a two-blade
    easel that I got when I built my first darkroom 25 years ago. A coat of
    paint does a great job of restoring old easels and making them look almost
    like new.

    Louie Powell, Sep 7, 2003
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