A simple tool to aid developing dry-plates in trays . . .

Discussion in 'Plate Cameras and Accessories' started by DannL., Nov 10, 2013.

  1. DannL.

    DannL. Member

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    Some may find this useful. A simple home-made tool to aid developing dry-plates in print trays. Five minutes with pliers an some wire. The first version pictured has uncoated tips. It works fine but has a tendency to grind into the edges of the plate. The second version pictured has several coats of dried Liquid Tape on it's tips, and is much easier on the edges of the plate. I have used this now in tray developing with the plate emulsion side pointed down. No problems. And, surprisingly the tool does hold the plate securely. Enjoy!
    View attachment 76702 View attachment 76703 View attachment 76704
     
  2. pen s

    pen s Member

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    I don't shoot with glass plates but couldn't resist clicking on your post because of the title "...simple tool...."

    Quite elegant.
     
  3. DannL.

    DannL. Member

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    I really wanted to use Duct Tape somewhere in it's construction. But having thought about it, that will be in the "Professional" version. ;-)
     
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  4. rwhb12

    rwhb12 Member

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    There is nothing like getting your fingers in the soap, that "in touch" feeling with the roots of photography, feeling the developer moving back and forth in the dark. Followed by fingerprints all over the negative! Good idea may try it!

    Russ
     
  5. spoolman

    spoolman Subscriber

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    Hello DannL: What size and type of wire did you use and how large is the loop at the top?.

    Doug:smile:
     
  6. DannL.

    DannL. Member

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    The wire used here was either ~2mm or maybe a 1/16" wire, which if I recall correctly was purchased as a 25 ft or 50 ft. spool at a local hardware store. The loop was created by bending the wire around the handle of a screwdriver and is ~25mm or ~1" in diameter. The loop is the first step in making this thing. The plate pictured above is a half-plate size piece of glass. I can't see it not working for other sized plates ie; 4x5, 5x7, etc. Of course I would then make the tool specifically for the plate size in use. Be willing to experiment and improve upon this thing.

    Please note that the hooks at the ends of the wire are somewhat square, or flat bottomed in shape. I'm not sure how obvious that is from the pictures. And also note that the hooks are pointed in opposite directions.
     
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  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi dannL

    how do you agitate the plates with your hanger?
    up and down, or do you slosh the tray ?

    when i do plates i put a glove on and hold an edge and just lift and set it down holding the edge
    your hanger looks like a better way for sure !

    john
     
  8. spoolman

    spoolman Subscriber

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    Hi Dann : Thanks for the info. The squared off ends show up fine. I might make mine out of stainless steel wire just to avoid any eventual contamination from corrosion.

    Doug:smile:
     
  9. DannL.

    DannL. Member

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    Hanger it is . . . that's a good name for it. Thanks.

    I am using those old black flat-bottom hard-rubber trays (8x10 size). I've been putting the plate in the hanger with the plate emulsion on the bottom side. Hopefully to prevent any particles that may be in the chemistry from settling onto the emulsion; and to prevent effects of waves on the surface of the chemistry from possibly causing uneven development. I'm only using 32oz of chemistry in the tray, so the chemistry is not very deep. The hanger loop is being used as a handle to move the plate through the chemistry. I move the plate up-and-down and side-to-side keeping the motion as random as possible. Nothing quick or abrupt, just slow smooth motions. Of course anyone that tries this hanger will need to experiment. Also, since the hanger's hooks should prevent the emulsion from touching the bottom of tray, that is, if the bottom of the tray "is" flat, I see no reason that stand development can't performed also. That's something I want to try.

    I'm leaving it up to the community to determine if this thing is truly functional for their own purposes.


    Stainless is definitely a good idea. But, before you make an investment I would suggest that you try plain old wire to make sure it works for you. You know how some of those homemade tools can go. They look great on paper, but once implemented the devil then appears. ;-)
     
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  10. DannL.

    DannL. Member

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    ****** Important Update ******

    I just realized that I forgot to mention something very important . . . The photographic plate doesn't just set in the hanger. When fabricating your hanger, design it so that it is necessary to spread the hanger legs apart in order to install a glass plate. It's the spring tension in the loop at the top (the handle) that allows the hooks to forcefully "grip" the plate. The plate should be gripped by the hanger with enough force to prevent it from moving or slipping. We definitely don't want any glass plates flying around the darkroom, or crashing into that lovely tile floor.
     
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  11. DannL.

    DannL. Member

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    Here's an image to demonstrate of how well the "hanger" holds the plate. In fact, I've tested it by shaking . . . and it seems to stay put. And to add: I'll bet that a common wire coat-hanger would be a good source for wire to use in this project.

    View attachment 76983
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2013