Darkroom do overs or oh yeahs

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Rlibersky, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. Rlibersky

    Rlibersky Subscriber

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    Now that Nicole is getting to build her darkroom, I thought it would be good to add what we might do differently. Or what was a good thing to include.

    I'll start, I have found that that there can never be to many ways to turn on the main light. My 4th darkroom had 4 switches. The room was 20 feet long. Nice not to have to walk to the door to turn it on.

    My 5th darkroom is smaller 9x10 feet. I have separated the developing and mounting areas, which is also great on cutting down on dust. Anyway I figured It wasn't to far to get to the dor (2 Steps) I can not believe how annoying it is to have to go to the door to turn on the light.
     
  2. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Your sink can NEVER BE TOO BIG!!!!!!!!!!:D
     
  3. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Mine's along those lines: you need one DEEP sink. I have a long shallow one which is great for rocking dishes etc but water splashes about so much when you wash up that I take the stuff in to the bathroom next door to wash trays and graduates etc in the bath...

    Bob.

    P.S. for the light, you can get IR remote controlled light switches and lamp holders...
     
  4. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    I've been adding under bench shelves, so I should have got a lot more in the 1st place. I do have a white (room) light switch at each end, but when I added a 4x5 enlarger and moved the 35mm/MF unit up the other end of the bench, the white light switch is not within arms length, so it would be nice to have another closer (it isn't going to happen so I'll just have to learn to live without it). I had my sink made from acrylic sheet and was expecting it to be plastic welded (I'm sure I specified that!) but it turned up glued and siliconed. This means the joins are not that strong and if you lean on the front edge, it can bend and break the glue bond, although the silicon holds on. I'm used to it but I always have to advise people not to lean on it if they venture into the dark. One day I might get that fixed. I have a Dorian exhaust fan that makes an awful racket... I think I should have got the bigger version, maybe it runs slower and quieter, but have plans to move that away by putting it on the end of some ducting. My print inspection light is switched by a cord hanging from the roof, that works well. I recently added a whyteboard for writing up current info, things like film/devl combos, that has come in handy. I should have got a 2nd tap outlet... I had that on my mind but never got around to changing the house drawings and next thing the plumber had been and gone. Otherwise, I'm happy with my bench height and the distance between them. I put industrial carpet on the floor and that's been great (I never spill anything... that's what the sinks for!). My only real disappointment is the time I get in there... not enough!
     
  5. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    MORE ROOM!!!!!!!!!!!! :sad:
     
  6. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    inverse square law

    I'm thinking that the inverse square law should apply to building a darkroom, as in "the size, amount of storage, electrical and plumbing features are inversely proportional to the square of your original estimate."

    My darkroom fit into a 5x10' alcove in my basement. I wish it was twice the size. In actuality I'd like 4 times as many electrical outlets as I have. And storage space? I could easily fill up 16 times as much as I have.

    My motto for my next darkroom: too much is never enough!
     
  7. ChrisC

    ChrisC Member

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    I'm looking at getting a 4x5 enlarger, and last night I went to measure up my darkroom to see where I would put it. It's easy enough to find a spot, when your darkroom's only 1m x 2m :D Space is the big thing I need ALOT more of. It would be nice to have it all inside there, too, without having to go into the laundry to clean things up or do most of the wet stuff.
     
  8. Rlibersky

    Rlibersky Subscriber

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    I to keep adding shelfs. I did put in a print drying rack this time, don't know how I lived without it before. I also wished I planned more storage for paper. When I had the wet table built I thought 4 16x20 trays would be enough. Well 5 would be better. I wish I could put in a sink that would take 5 20x24 trays now. Ah the stuff we learn.
     
  9. argus

    argus Member

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    needs in my darkroom:
    - a real 35mm film dryer cabinet
    - more drying racks for prints: you can never have enough of that

    G
     
  10. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I'll second the above portion of your post this thread
    although I'm not sure what you've in mind by DEEP.
    Of course a sink is also a place to draw water.

    A sink large enough to handle the largest tray used is
    probably best although a rare 20x24 could be handled
    otherwise. I've not been able to find any good reason
    for lengthy counter consuming sinks. I'd rather a
    sink, and for processing, a counter. Dan
     
  11. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    I have been using Panasonic inline whisper fans for about two years. They are very quiet and come in a range of capacities and types. I read about them on the Large Format page and decided to give them a try. The only sound you hear is the sound of wind in the four inch duct.. I hope they have an Australian importer/distributor. The air coming into my darkroom goes through a high grade furnace filter which I can clean as needed.

    Here is a link to the US source I used and product description http://www.rewci.com/panwhisvenfa.html
    Panasonic inline whisper fans are more expensive than the hardware store type bathroom fans, but the hours of peaceful quiet work in the darkroom, or the ability to hear your music without mechanical noises, have been well worth the price.

    Enjoy,

    John Powers
     
  12. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Good point: "deep" can mean two different things - I meant in the vertical dimension. I think you are right though - a sink large enough to do the washing, with perhaps a shallower part for mixing up chems and placing the washer is more important than the long shallow kind of sink I have (7' long, 26" front-to-back, 6" high - useful if you are as messy as me though!). In an ideal world (and in a larger darkroom) I'd have both...

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  13. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    The best thing I did on my last darkroom was to put all of the electrical on the walls in conduit instead of in the walls with romex. I cost a bit more and took a lot more time but I have been able to make changes with little problem. Also I ran a seperate circut just for a space heater, nothing worse than triping a breaker in the middle of somthing and loosing all power because the heater kicked on.

    The sink and counter tops are higher than normal kitchen counters. This keeps me from bending all the time, easy on the back.
     
  14. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    The part of my (new) darkroom that wasn't correctly designed is the exhaust fans, too. The hood that "sucks" air should have been installed BEHIND the sink where the trays with the chemicals lie, not above. I have already said that, but it is important, so I'll say it again and again... Don't make the same mistake I did...

    I would be happier with a silent air exhaust system, too.
     
  15. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    George, Why do you get to start? I am much older and have made many more mistakes than have you.
     
  16. Brian Bullen

    Brian Bullen Member

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    I'd add that it's important to be comfortable for long periods of time, so either a rolling chair with an adjustable height feature or rubber mats on the floor like they use in restaurant kitchens. When working at the enlarger it's nice to sit and roll back and forth to the sink. If this isn't possible the rubber mats make it so much easier to stand for long periods of time
     
  17. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    I built my own sink with a "deep well" at one end of the sink - allows 6 additional inches of depth and takes up about 18 inches of horizontal sink space. This allows the trays to be at a comfortable depth for print processing and gives me a deep portion where the wash-up operations take place. I then screwed in a plexiglass ridge along the end of the sink. This ridge has a upward facing flange that fits nicely into the space formed by the rolled-over lip on my Patterson trays. This allows a tray to bridge the "deep well" so you don't have to sacrifice comfortable processing real-estate for the deep well.
     
  18. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    So what ??