Alas, an 8X10 tube that really works!

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by mikepry, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. mikepry

    mikepry Subscriber

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    While going down the tube road with many bumps I stumbled onto a nifty setup. While at the shop I looked over at the welding cart yesterday and saw a blue tube that holds the various welding rods. The light bulb went on. This little gizmo is absolutely perfect for 8X10. I went to a welding supply store(even Home Depot has them) and bought two of them. They are called "Rod Gaurd" They cost me 11.00 each. Get the 14" size. All I had to do was wash them good with a little laquer thinner(on the outside) and two coats of Krylon semi-matte black spray paint and voila! I like them for they are threaded and the cap will hold about 300ml. really good rubber gasket and no leaks at all. No need to pre wet, just put film in dry and have presoak water in cap and away you go. They have these indents so to speak running length wise that allows plenty of water to get in behind the film. I do like the tubes in water SPINNING and BOBBING for I think you can't get a more evenly developed neg. I have posted two pictures before and after painting in my personal gallery so check it out if at all interested. The other feature I like about them floating in water is maintaining the right temp. I use ABS tubes with end caps for my 5/7 work and was going to go with that for 8/10 but it's so big and heavy. These little tubes are very light and float very fine. Plus the threaded cap is very convienient. Hope this helps someone.

    Regards,
    Mike Pry
     
  2. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    Wonderful discovery! I was about to build some of these tubes with ABS as well, but this will make my job a lot easier! Thanks for sharing with everyone!
     
  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Great idea, Mike, Thanks for sharing...Now if I had just not built my tubes already...Oh well, "a day late and a dollar short".
     
  4. mikepry

    mikepry Subscriber

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    As a side note these tubes come in 36" lengths as well and I reckon they could be cut down at the bottom of the tube and epoxied back together for the length someone would need for larger sheet film. I am convinced beyond a doubt after much testing that this gives me the most even, consistent negs I have ever been able to produce(tubes spinning and bobbing in temperature controlled water). Maybe if someone is industrious they could contact the maker and have a run done with black plastic? Would there be enough of a demand?

    Mike
     
  5. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Mike,

    As a side note, since you mention color, is this material naturally light tight? Or do you paint them in order to obtain the light tight nature? How well will the paint adhere over an extended period if this is what you are doing?

    I agree that tube processing does have some nice attributes. The thing that I like is that I can process a number of sheets of film at the same time. I got even development with brush development but my efforts were for one sheet at a time.
     
  6. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    Mike:

    Are the tubes you purchased steel lined? I looked up the 'Rod Guards' on the internet and the ones I found were. If so, I would think that if the plastic wasn't totally light tight, then the steel lining should certainly be. Did you do a trial run with a tube that had not been painted yet and found that it wasn't light tight? Thanks for any helpful info you can offer.
     
  7. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    Their product information sheet says that they are made of high-impact polyethlyene. Does anyone know if this is light tight? Guess I could find out the hard way when I buy some. :smile:
     
  8. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    If it is stainless steel lined it would be ok with the chemistry we use, but if it is regular steel, the chemistry we use will corrode the metal and leech metals into your solution. This may or may not cause a problem. but it is a concern long term. The longer it has been used the worse the problem becomes. I would opt for non steel lined tubes.
     
  9. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    This is by way of information only. There are several types of stainless steel. Not all of them are suitable for photochemistry.
     
  10. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    I'm going to go by my local welding supply store at lunch today and I'll see if they have them. If so, I'll develop some negatives this evening to see how light tight they are.
     
  11. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    In the years I have worked with stainless steel and other metals, I have yet to see where any of the types of stainless steel have reacted with the pickle solutions (acid baths) that are used in ferrous metal work. Straight steel types of metals, will react. Some more than others. The chemistry used in photography is a more gentle version of what the pickle solutions that are used in metal working. Stainless steel is used primarily in non ferrous work to make the tongs (all types of stainless steel used can't remember the number designation or whether oil hardened or water hardened versions off the top of my head, for all of them) that are used to pull metals out of the pickle baths. This specifically since they do not react with the acids used for pickles (forms of sulphuric acid) as for the basic solutions used in photography, they have no effect either.
     
  12. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I am not wanting to be contentious here but I reiterate that not all forms of stainless steel are suitable for photoprocessing. Type 316 is the type that is usually specified. I have spent over 30 years involved with stainless steel, it's various types and compositions.

    Pickling solutions are not the only corrosive substances that are encountered.
     
  13. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Bob Coogan head of the metals department Tennesse Tech university based at their Appalacian art and craft center. over 40 years experience with ferrous and non ferrous work. 828-253-8499

    Jack and Marilyn daSilva (she is the head of the metals department CA. College of Arts and Crafts) He teaches blacksmithing and metalworking in of all things SS. Each over 40 years of metal working. She can be reached at 510-594 3600

    Fernando Hernandez only 20 years of welding ss and such Prof at both Cal state hayward and DVC

    Ole Laursen Over 50 years of direct working welding and fabricating with ss, in a non arts related field. Vancouver BC Canada. Wait he souldn't count I just talked to him.. well darn he is my great uncle.
     
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  15. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    I bought two of the welding rod canisters at lunch today. One by Rod Guard and the other by Lincoln Electronics. The Rod Guard one is a marine blue and just barely not light tight. The Lincoln E. one is red and is def not light tight. I checked by taking the cap off and putting the canister end up to my eye in noon sunlight. With the blue one, you could barely see light transmitted, while the red one let a lot of light through. They could be used as is in a light tight darkroom, or you would have to coat them with something that doesn't transmit light, to use them with the lights on. I will be trying the former method this evening and will post my results.

    Oh and the ones I got are not lined with SS. :smile:
     
  16. mikepry

    mikepry Subscriber

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    As far as the lining is concerned it is not stainless steel it is aluminum. And it is inserted into the base of the tube and not the screw off lid. I would remove it as I did on mine as chemicals would seep in behind and it also shortens the diameter of the tube making it borderline for an 8/10 sheet of film. As far as light tight, no they are not at all. As far as coatings go there are different ways to approach this(this is my field of expertise). A good washing AND scrubbing with a stiff bristled brush using a detergent or TSP and a good rinse to follow. This will get the hand oils and grunge off from sitting in a welding supply house. A good wiping down with a WET rag of laquer thinner will take off any other oils/residues and etch the plastic. Then a good quality spray paint(I like Krylon) two coats will make the tube light tight. Sounds like allot of work on paper but an hour start to finish will due. As far as durability goes we are putting them in a tray of water so there is not allot of wear. Now when there is more than one tube in the water tray they will touch so the paint will need to cure down a bit to get hard hard. This will take a little time and till it does I would be gentle when using more than one at a time. I also groung off the little tab on the screw off lid on top so it sits flush on my counter. As far as the light tight thing goes they transmitted light from outside but they may be fine under a safelight if you didn't want to paint them. I also taped off the threads from getting paint on them.
     
  17. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Mike,

    Thanks for your update. Insofar as film under a safelight is concerned, the only true safelight is "no light". I used a dark green safelight when DBI but that was only for a few seconds when the film is nearing complete development. It may keep from fogging film if these are used in a dark room only. Good luck.
     
  18. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    I think mike may have been refering to using the light after the film is in the tubes. While they will transmit bright light (sunlight and probably bright tugsten), I seroiusly doubt that the light from the safelight would be able to transmit through the tube wall. But again the only way to be sure is to try it out....lol. :smile:
     
  19. mikepry

    mikepry Subscriber

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    I did in fact mean safelight after the film has been loaded into the tubes.

    Mike
     
  20. mikepry

    mikepry Subscriber

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    Yet one more additional sidenote........
    When getting the spray paint the Krylon paint to look for is called "Fusion" as it is made to bond to plastic.
     
  21. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    Mike:

    Thanks for the addtional info, and all your help thus far. I believe you saved me a nice amount of money and time.
     
  22. mark

    mark Member

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    Check these out. Same thing as you are describing but a hell of a lot more expensive. Click on Film Tubes

    http://www.filmholders.com/

    Once again the hardware store (welding store) proves a good and cheap place to get photo equipment
     
  23. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    Mark:

    Those seem to be the EXACT same tubes as the ones mike and I have, except that they are black and don't have the brand name of the tubes on them. Its really funny how the same product varies in price depending on the market.
     
  24. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    Well I just developed my first negs with these tubes, with a few bumps in the road. I decided to try semi-stand developement for one hour with agitation at the begining and at 30 mins. The first mistake I made was forgetting to have some PCat HD mixed up, which is my preferred developer for this technique. I didnt' feel like waiting for the chemicals to dissolve so I went with Rodinal, which I keep on hand for both film and paper. My dilution was 1:100, which I hoped would provide a compensating effect in my highlights, while still being strong enough for my 1 hour development. At first glance upon washing, the negative has very even development, but there seems to be a bit more fog than i'm used to with Rodinal. This could be due to the long development, or the fact that my Rodinal is a bit old...not really sure at this point. The negative has also been sitting in the holder for about a month, so that could possibly be the source of the fog as well. The main problem I had was with scratches. I had a number of scratches on the base side, which comes into contact with the tube wall. This probably happened when I was inverting the tube during the presoak, as that was the only time where there was enough force to move the negative around in the tube. I couldnt' see anyting in the tube that would cause the scatches, but I imagine that a wet base could be scratched by the smallest particle on the wall. Next time I will not invert the tube at all, but rather spin it upright in the container, so that there isn't sufficent momentum to move the neg. If that doesnt' solve the problem, then I'll also try it with a fiberglass screen lining, such as Don uses. This way the screeen moves against the wall with any motion and not the neg. Time and further testing will tell, but I do like these tubes a lot. All I have to do is refine my technique to make these work.
     
  25. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    While this doesn't address the tubes that you all are working with, it does speak to minimal agitation.

    I developed 3 4X5 Efke PL 100 negs tonight using minimal agitation. These negs are obviously for enlarging. I used Pyrocat at 1-1-150 dilution and used the fiberglass screens on the base side of the film. I noted no scratches on this film. I did have scratches on an 8X10 Classic 200 the other day with minimal agitation. The difference between these two aside from the film size was that I did not invert the tube during agitation this time. I gently laid the tube on it's side and rolled it in the water bath for 15 seconds and then set it upright again.

    My water presoak is done with the tube open on one end and laid on it's side in the tempered water bath. I use the tempered water as the presoak water.

    I haven't had time to read the density on these negatives but my times were 19 minutes (SBR 7) and 23 min (SBR 6). The negatives are certainly printable but may need to adjust development time from the times I used.

    I will post the density of these negatives as soon as they are dry for those who may want to use this technique with Efke film for enlarging.
     
  26. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    Don:

    When you say minimal agitation, at what interveals are you agitating at? The film I used this evening was PL100 rated at 50. I imagine it was better I used rodinal, as I know pcat would have resulted in an overexposed neg with semi-stand dev. I will see if the scratches are still present once the film dries. Sometimes I have found that they disappear upon drying, and so don't show up during printing. I will also post the image once I finally do some long awaited printing...something I havn't had a chance to do in about 2 mos.