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Old 02-01-2013, 04:48 PM
Dave Johnson Dave Johnson is offline
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Motorized easel

I shut down my darkroom several years ago, but still have several enlargers collecting dust. I never tried selling them, thinking I would get pennies on the dollar because so many photographers have gone digital. So, in the last two days, I've "repurposed" one into a motorized easel. I use to paint a lot of 9x12 and 11x14s. They were easily managed on a table, but in the last few months I'm painting much larger- a couple recently started are 24"x30". That's too big for a tabletop, so I needed a floor easel. I like moving the bigger paintings up and down, but I injured my elbow last year, and it still hasn't healed fully. Even supporting a small weight for a short period of time is problematic, so that was the main reason behind this project.

The original light source,bellows,and film stage were removed from the enlarger and a 5.5" x 44" piece of pine was bolted in their place. The two photos show it in the raised and lowered positions. I wanted a little backward tilt on my easel, so I had to shim the front end a bit. The red square on the right photo highlights the motor box. In the lower right corner is a toggle switch that makes it go up or down. It's self-braking, so I don't have to loosen or tighten anything. Just a flick of my finger will move a painting up or down. Still missing is a small clamp or crosspiece for the top, but that should be easy to do.

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Old 02-01-2013, 05:26 PM
lovin art lovin art is offline
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Re: Motorized easel

This is very cool Dave ... To cool for school ..I've seen something very similar from a great realist painter i adore. Clever Men eh!! And he uses his - built it to i think , another thing ive seen is one of my teach - his is attached to On the wall though not motorised but great for saving space too ... I of course prefer my free standing one and tilt is good and just called for sometimes , Hope that elbow of yours is on the mend ....and NOT your painting one ...
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Last edited by lovin art : 02-01-2013 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:53 PM
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stapeliad stapeliad is offline
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Re: Motorized easel

This is really clever. Sorry about your elbow...
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:20 AM
Dave Johnson Dave Johnson is offline
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Re: Motorized easel

Thanks Sandra and stapeliad. No, the elbow is not my painting one, thankfully.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:36 AM
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Re: Motorized easel

That is more than clever! Genius!
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:39 AM
moebean moebean is offline
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Re: Motorized easel

Wow ...so jealous!I have a handmade large easel but it's difficult to move up and down ..i love this and will try to figure out how to create one of my own... Thanks for the motivation! ~moe
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:29 AM
keith carrick keith carrick is offline
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Re: Motorized easel

Ingenious
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:23 PM
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Freesail Freesail is offline
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Re: Motorized easel

Wouldn't a bottom tray with some sort of lip prevent the canvas or panel from slipping off towards you ?

Is the motor strong enough when you're painting to stop the canvas from slipping down, if you happen to put any weight against the canvas or panel ?

As bottom trays which are held in place with a tightening screw often do ..
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:02 PM
Dave Johnson Dave Johnson is offline
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Re: Motorized easel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freesail
Wouldn't a bottom tray with some sort of lip prevent the canvas or panel from slipping off towards you ?

Is the motor strong enough when you're painting to stop the canvas from slipping down, if you happen to put any weight against the canvas or panel ?

As bottom trays which are held in place with a tightening screw often do ..

Hey, Freesail- good questions. I do plan on adding a top bracket soon, and that will probably prevent any tipovers or slips. The center support has a lean of about ten degrees toward the back, so even without further brackets, it's probably safe as is.

On hand-cranked enlargers, slippage is an issue, and they have thumb screws in order to prevent that. Motorized enlargers are geared way down, so they're very secure, and don't drift. The negative stage, bellows, and light source on the original unit probably weighed more than twenty pounds, so it was designed to hold a fair amount of weight.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:22 PM
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NancyMP NancyMP is offline
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Re: Motorized easel

Great re-purposing, Dave! You have a very creative mind.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:59 PM
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dirtysteev dirtysteev is offline
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Re: Motorized easel

Cool, now all you need is a motorized brush and you can sit back and watch the paintings make themselves.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:27 AM
Dave Johnson Dave Johnson is offline
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Re: Motorized easel

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtysteev
Cool, now all you need is a motorized brush and you can sit back and watch the paintings make themselves.


here ya go



And thanks to snoball, moebean, keith, and Nancy for your kind words.

(this is what happens when it's 2:30 in the morning and I can't sleep)
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