Re: Photog Forumulary - UV Box and Frames - comments?

From: [email protected]
Date: 08/22/04-08:04:11 AM Z
Message-id: <>

I just taught a workshop a few week ago at the Formulary (my fourth in a
year!) where I got to use the UV boxes and printing frames once again.

The light boxes are terrific. Well made and reliable. Hardware that holds
up under constant student use will last a lifetime in the private

And I'd give a most enthusiastic second to the earlier comments about how
good the Formulary people are to work with. They've quickly become my
favorite workshop location what with their terrific alt-photo facilities,
beautiful surroundings, great food and complete devotion to the students.

I don't think the Formulary offers a light source with a vacuum frame
built-in. Jon Edwards makes a full line of UV sources, some with a nifty
vacuum frame incorporated. And, for do-it-yourselfers, Jon even has a
full set of instructions (not for the vacuum frame version) on his
website at Jon is very generous with information and will
also let you trade-up to a larger size lightsource at a later date.

About printing frames. Though the Formulary frames are beautifully made,
I'm not completely sold on the perimeter clip system they use. I've
witnessed some bowing of the backing boards which reduces pressure
applied in the middle of the image area. Shimming up the actual coated
print area with some sheets of thick paper helps maintain contact. Plus,
releasing the clips is a noisy affair as the over-center clips make a
loud BANG when flipped. Not a big deal but it it certainly doesn't add to
the therapeutic atmosphere of the darkroom. The traditional leaf spring
frames seem like the best for 11x14 prints and smaller. Bostick and
Sullivan sell that type and they work really well.

I'd agree with those who recommend vacuum frames for larger prints.
Though some have had luck with things like piling milk jugs on the glass
and such, you really can't argue with 14.7 lbs. of force per square inch
from vacuum. I've purchased several used over the years. They are so
cheap that building one yourself is of dubious value...unless you really
dig that sort of endeavor. ;^)

Check in the Yellow Pages for Printing Supplies or Offset Printers and
ask about used equipment. With many print shops moving to
direct-to-plate, both plate burners and vacuum frames are being cleared
out left and right.

Hope this helps!

Received on Sun Aug 22 12:19:55 2004

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