This time was a little different. My motivation was installing a new enlarger in the darkroom. I recently purchased a Saunders LPL 4500ii on Ebay and it is in excellent condition! Of course there is always the aligning and rearranging the darkroom to accommodate a much bigger enlarger. And of course, like any tool in the intimate environment of the darkroom, I will need time with it to master its strengths and weaknesses.
But here's the rub... I have been shooting mostly 4x5 and 8x10 for many years. My preferred printing technique is contact printing and good ol' reliable 23C did a fine job in that arena as well. However I also realize that an entire show of 4x5 contact prints could be a bit tedious and some enlarged 4x5 negatives are called for. Hence acquiring the LPL 4500.
Oh I still have my Besseler. If I had more room in the darkroom I would have set up both enlargers. Maybe someday.
I expect the LPL will do a fine job on my contact prints (and will likely make the 8x10 negatives a little easier to manage). But it is time to do a some enlarging and 4x5 negatives await.
(PS: As I side note, I think the current obsession with make the biggest print possible is silly, but that is another discussion.)