Vacuum Frame Assembly and Operating Instructions


The wooden shipping crate weighs 150 pounds for the 18X20 unit, so you will need someone to help you lift it and move it around.  The 20X24 HOVac shipping crate weighs about 270 pounds.  For the  both the 16X20 and 20X24 units with a vacuum frame, remove the crate top, cut the straps holding the vacuum frame to the unit.  Lift out the vacuum frame and set it in safe place.  You can leave the stretch wrap on until you put in into the light source.

It will take two people to lift out the light source because the 16X20 light source weighs 110 pounds (One on the end with the round vent holes and other on the fan and switch end).  The 20X24 light source weighs about 150 pounds.  For the 20X24 unit, remove the sides of the crate and unscrew the unit at the L brackets from the crate bottom.

Be sure to bend your knees, and keep your arms as close as possible to your body when lifting to prevent straining your back.  The unit has four handles to lift by, two on each end.  Then, lift the unit straight out, while standing on the edge of the shipping crate if the unit is crated, to prevent lifting the crate.  Remove the packing from between the lamps if present and tape, make sure they are seated properly in the sockets.

Attach Your Light Source to a Sturdy Table

Included are four (4) "L" brackets and the holes in the light source are predrilled.  Get the light source working by making sure all the lamps are operating before inserting the Vacuum frame drawer.

After the light source is working, let the front edge of the light source overhang the table front edge by two (2") inches and attach it to the table with the four brackets in the location you want it.  These brackets will be used to secure the unit to your table top.  The light source mounts with the front of the unit hanging over the edge of your table so that the vacuum hose, that hangs down from the front at the right side, can attach to the pump.  Its imperative that the Light Source be attached to a sturdy table that is stable so that the unit will not tip, when the vacuum frame drawer is pulled forward for loading the printing paper and negative.  When the vacuum frame drawer is pull out there is considerable weight in front of the unit and main body of the light source will tip forward causing the unit to fall with the potential of causing personal injury and damage to the light source and vacuum frame.  Consequently, it may be necessary to secure your table to wall studs before attaching the UV light source to your table.

Vacuum Frame Drawer Assembly

Next, take the right drawer slide, marked "R" with the wheel pointing up and to the rear of the light source, the "R" will be pointing to the outside of the unit, open the door, and place the slide so the wheel fits in the groove in the rear of the slide attached to the unit.  You have to turn slide up slightly at an angle, then and it will lay flat in the fixed slide.  When it is flat, it will roll freely back and forth.  Slide should sit in fixed slide as illustrated in the two photos below.

Then,  pull it forward until it stops, then pull it a little more to lock it in place in a detented position as shown in the photo below.

Repeat the same thing for the left  side, with the "L" facing outward.  With both slides sticking out, place the vacuum frame drawer back rollers in the curved  part of the slides sticking out as shown below from the outside and inside.

Once the rollers are in the curved sections, you can push the drawer back, while lifting the drawer up slightly until the rollers pass the orange locks.

This should slide freely and not bind, and the middle slide should stay in the out position until the orange lock is passed.  Once the rollers on drawer have passed the orange lock, it should roller freely and de-latch from the detents.  About half way through pushing in the drawer, some resistance will be felt, this is normal, continue to push firmly to get past the orange locks.  Once the drawer moves freely, attach the handle to the under side of the drawer in thge predrilled holes

Vacuum Frame Operation

Attach the Vacuum hose to the drawer and the vacuum pump.  Plug the vacuum pump into the auxiliary switch provided and plug it into an outlet.  Make sure the GFIC is set on the switch outlet.

When you pull out the drawer, always pull it out to the locked position before you open the vacuum frame.  To open the vacuum frame to place your negative and paper on the mat, lift up on the glass frame until it "locks" in the up position or stays in the up position.  To unlock from the up position, lift up slightly to unlock the catches.  If your unit has two gas spring cylinders it will not be necessary to lift up to unlock as there are no catches.  Always gently lower the glass frame onto the mat seal.  Do not allow the glass frame to drop on to the mat seal or damage will occur to the seal.

There is no big locking clamp required for the vacuum frame, like you have may have encountered at teaching institutions.  Just turn on the pump with the switch and it should draw down, or you may want to put a little pressure on the front of the frame if it is slow to draw down.  Actually,  the mat with your paper and negative pulls up to the glass.

If your vacuum pump has a valve (16X20 units) , close the  valve to apply vacuum and open the valve to release the vacuum.  The vacuum pump operates during the entire exposure time while the vacuum frame is under the bank of UV lights.  If the vacuum frame pulls down too fast, or damages your papers, you can start the pump with the valve open then slowly close the valve.

If your vacuum pump DOES NOT have a valve (20X24 and larger units), simply start the pump with the auxiliary switch provided to draw down the vacuum frame.  The vacuum pump operates during the entire exposure time while the vacuum frame is under the bank of UV lights.  Once your exposure is complete, turn off the vacuum pump, and the vacuum will release the frame after about 15 seconds so that you can lift the frame to remove your exposed print and negative.
than a new unit.