Chemical mixing

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Iluvmycam, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. Iluvmycam

    Iluvmycam Member

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    What type of vessel do you use to mix the chemistry in?

    Do you find just putting dry chems in a jug and shake mixing works OK?
     
  2. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Typically in photo-lab work dry chemistries are dissolved consecutively in certain ranking into a solvent (typically water).

    Mixing dry chemistries with each other would only be done when prepairing a dry chemistry kit. But then, due to mixing issues, it would be best, but labourious, to divide those chemistries on several dry kits, instead of making a total heap from which to take the necessary amounts when preoaring a solution.

    One could use stainless steel, enamelled, plastic or glass containers.

    Especially when preparing solutions graded, transparent plastic or glass containers would be be most usefull.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I mix in a one gallon pitcher and stir. Never shake chems, especially developer to mix. Shaking entraines air into the chems which shortens the life span of them. Air(oxygen) is what kills developer, and the reason we store it in full, tightly capped bottles.
     
  4. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    mix in a gallon jar with an electic mixer. We use so much at school I don't worry about oxyen with the stirring process.
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    A magnetic stirrer is the best darkroom buy I ever made. I use a one liter pyrex lab beaker when mixing for its flat bottom which is necessary with a mag stirring bar.

    An open container and a stirring paddle is a cheaper but more athletic option.
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Exactly how it happens at my house.
     
  7. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I use a red, plastic bucket bought from WalMart. The kind you use to do household chores with.
    To stir, I use plastic mixing spoons. Again, from WalMart.

    Before I used them, I rinsed them with hot water, washed with soap and water then rinsed really well.
    Be sure to use them for nothing else but mixing. Wash and dry well after each use.
     
  8. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Ilubmycam,

    For liquid, I simply pour it in the jug and swirl around a mixing rod. Empty juice bottles have larger openings with enough room for the paddle end. The bigger openings make it easier to pour the chemicals back in without a funnel even when using 11x14 trays. For powders, I use a cheap plastic pail purchased at the local Home Depot for less than $2. I place it on a magnetic stirrer (not heated) bought on ebay for around $50.

    Neal Wydra
     
  9. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    In my early days, I discreetly took the kitchen stock pot or saucepan, and made a point to wash it thorougly before returning it to the kitchen.

    I found a one-gallon stainless steel pot that is now dedicated to the task.

    And I was lucky to find a water-powered magnetic stirrer which is a boon, but not a necessity.
     
  10. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    When making wine I use a food-grade measuring cup or bucket, and stir gently and thoroughly.
    When mixing pre-packaged film chemicals I use a plastic gallon milk-jug, and shake like a maniac.
    Oxidation is a concern with both, but it's odd how habits can be task-specific. I'm beginning to stir film chemistry as well.

    I am looking into a magnetic stirrer for film chemistry. In the future I will try mixing from scratch (for the fun and learning experience), but once I get the magnetic stirrer, I'll probably use it for anything film related. For film chemistry I'm not concerned with the mixing vessel (so long as it's not reactive with the chemicals), but am slowly migrating to glass for storage.
     
  11. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    You can use ANY container that's large enough to hold the required amount of water and easy to pour in and out the ingredients. I use an Orange Juice jug with a plastic stirrer made out of a broken coat hanger.

    For a fixer, which I use liquid concentrate, I just pour it into a storage jug directly and add required amount of water, cap and shake.

    You *can* actually shake mix the developer in the jug as well because if you CAP it and the bottle is nearly full, there's no more oxygen getting in. BUT, developers are not that easy to dissolve. Your arm will be awfully tired before you are done. Plus, you have no way of knowing when to stop if your bottle isn't clear.
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Some plastics absorb chemistry, so it is wise to avoid re-using them with different chemicals. I would think that the 4 litre plastic milk jugs we get here would be particularly bad for that.
     
  13. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    I usually toss them when done - they're "free" with milk. I'm lactose intolerant, though, so usually have to get them from other people.
     
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  15. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I store some chemistry in milk jugs but I only use them as one-shot.

    If you buy distilled water from the store, it often comes in plastic jugs. Since they contain the amount of water you need to mix a 1 gal./4L batch, they are the right size to store the chems in.
    Mix up a batch in your chosen vessel, pour it into the jug, label it and store it for use. When it's empty, toss it in the recycle bin. (Wash well first.) You'll get a new jug for your next batch of chems when you buy another jug of water.

    Easy and cheap! :cool:
     
  16. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    If I were a better artist... I was thinking of making a series of cocktail napkins, 50's style.

    One image I had in mind was a guy sitting at the bar of a brewpub, eyeing the copper vats with Dektol in mind.
     
  17. DannL

    DannL Member

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    I mix (speaking of one gallon) in the same container that I use for storage of the chems. I specifically use the plastic containers received when I purchase and use windshield washing fluid for the horseless carriage. The plastic in these containers is many times thicker than a common milk jug. For mixing dry chems I fill the jug 3/4 with hot water, pour in the chems, cap it, and shake like the Dickens. Then I top it off. Note, I would not recommend plastic milk jugs for storage. I've had one of those develop a pin hole and drain completely onto the darkroom bench and floor. A lovely mess indeed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2013
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    "homer bucket" from homer despot
     
  19. fotch

    fotch Member

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    What I have found also.
     
  20. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Typical 10-12L bucket and some kind of stirrer.
     
  21. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    There are no secrets to mixing, simply follow the instructions with the product or, if there are no clear instructions included, look on the IlfordPhoto web site for their mixing suggestions for a similar product.

    The container can best be an appropriately sized bucket (I think that is a "pail" in american). For stirring I have a couple of paint stirrers - one for developers, one for fixers and the rest. Of course, keep the bucket(s) clean and use it only for photo-chemical mixing, not collecting horse-manure for the garden or something . . .

    Anyone reading from outside the USA, note too that what a lot of people have called a "jug" in this thread seems to be the american meaning of the word, not the british/european version.
     
  22. gleaf

    gleaf Subscriber

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    For my large format update 5 liter graduated plastic pitcher and a left behind top of a cake keeper. Magnetic stirrer added recently from auction site. Plastic bucket with pour spot has been my friend for years. 35 mm days, plastic 2 qt pitcher and a long plastic spoon, precision measurement by cup and quart pyrex kitchen measuring cup. Graduates came later.
     
  23. clayne

    clayne Member

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    We call it a "bucket" in America but also understand pail.
     
  24. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    In the U.S. we use both bucket and pail, though the latter is usually smaller (and sometimes more used by children or the older generation in my experience).

    Which British/European "jug" are you referencing? We have a few very common uses for that word as well.
     
  25. Iluvmycam

    Iluvmycam Member

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    I'm thinking of using a dedicated developer tub. Then for the rest just use the gallon plastic bottles and shake to mix it. The developer is the only one that is not supposed to be shaked from what I gather.

    Once the developer is mixed can the life be extended by storing in the fridge?
     
  26. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Developer will suffer from oxidation if the plastic is at all porous. Milk jugs wouldn't be my recommendation for developer storage, although good quality plastic beverage bottles are probably fine.

    And as for refrigeration - I would advise against it for black and white developer. You don't want any of the chemicals to precipitate out.

    Just keep developer in a cool, dry environment. Dark is good, subdued light is probably fine.