Alternative to expensive photo trays

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by rjas, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. rjas

    rjas Member

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    I need just one 16x20 tray, and I don't really want to spend $30 for a piece of plastic. Does anyone have any suggestions on something that works well as a developing tray?
     
  2. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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  3. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Mixing pans, durable plastic rubber type form Home Depot, Lowes, or most hard ware stores. As little as $10.00. Now you can get a set.
     
  4. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I forgot to mention that they are for Concrete mixing.
     
  5. Shmoo

    Shmoo Member

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    If you're in the US, try Smart & Final. They have food trays that are relatively inexpensive. The smaller ones are a deep gray plastic used by bus boys to clear dishes and they have lids (these fit 11x14). Then there are the clear plastic ones that fit 16x20. Not sure if they have lids, but they are definitely cheaper.
     
  6. rjas

    rjas Member

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    Thats what I had planned to do, but still spending $30 for one tray seemed nuts! Thanks for the suggestions, someone told me that using kitty litter boxes is cheap and works well. I'll check out the concrete mixing tubs too. Only thing that I have to think about is how easy are these to pour out of... I'll post up how they work once I try them out with the single tray processing method.
     
  7. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Cat litter trays.
     
  8. leeturner

    leeturner Subscriber

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    Cat litter trays work a treat and come in a lot of different sizes. All you have to do is sandpaper off a little piece in the centre of the tray otherwise it could scratch the prints.
     
  9. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    For my 11x14 and larger, I use the plastic bins sold at Target (US) for underbed storage.
    juan
     
  10. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    The gray trays are excellent and are quite deep, good for fixing and print washing. They are quite rigid and will last for years. The kitty litter trays are rather flimsy and present a problem when you try to pour liquid out of them.
     
  11. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    For pouring liquid out of an awkward tray, try pouring into a wide bucket, and from the bucket into storage bottles or whatever.
     
  12. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    When using my 16x20 cat litter trays I keep an 8x10 tray handy for emptying into, and then I can decant from that to bottles.
     
  13. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I use the single tray method. With minimal
    solution volumes and more than the usual dilutions
    all chemistry goes down the drain after one use.

    A second tray is needed for holding. The two
    trays are used for the alternate trays washing
    method. Dan
     
  14. dmax

    dmax Member

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    rjas,

    Freestyle sells 16x20 photo trays for about $13 apiece. Add the cost of shipping, and you still end up with a photo tray that is still way under the $30 limit.
     
  15. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I second the use of restaurant bus tubs. Mine have served for 20 years. Heavy polyethylene, chemically neutral, deep, easy to clean. Find them at any restaurant supply store.

    (In a pinch they can be filled with ice and your favorite beverages for impromptu party situations . . .)

    Peter Gomena
     
  16. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I picked up some of my 16x20's from b&h for about $13 each. The only thing is the ridges pop up towards the print, not down the the patterson's. I don't use them for developing and they aren't as rigid as patterson's but they are slightly larger.