Darkroom Sink: what do I need?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by rubyfalls, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. rubyfalls

    rubyfalls Member

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    Any thoughts on what is the best cheap sink to go in a darkroom? Would I be okay with one of those big plastic utility sinks?


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  2. btaylor

    btaylor Subscriber

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    I am just finishing up the first darkroom I have had for 30 years (damn kids!). I have plenty of space. I did not have the time I would need to build it out the way I thought it should be, I had to rely on the handy guy I use for minor construction projects. I just sort of let him at it, told him where things needed to be and he came up with the solutions. He came up with an interesting sink idea. There is a plastic mat material used in the construction of shower stalls. It is pretty thick, and is 48" wide (sold by the foot at Home Depot, etc). With a few pieces of plywood (OSB in my case, even cheaper), a few 2x2s and 2x4s I had a 30" wide, 17' darkroom sink a day later. He cut a hole on the low end and put in a shower grate to a drain pipe. The base is screwed into a wall, so it is very stable and the mat material runs up the wall about a foot to provide the backsplash. The mat is simply folded at the corners and screwed to the sides. Water tight and up in a matter of hours.

    When I built my own sink years ago I used plywood covered in marine epoxy with one end open dumping into a plastic laundry sink. Worked perfect.

    Have fun. You don't have to spend a lot of time or money to get something very functional.
     
  3. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    What kind of processing will you be doing? What size prints? Will you use it regularly or occasionally?
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    plywood sinks .. marine wood coated with fiberglass resin
    are easy to make. i miss the one i used to use ..
    i currently use a long plastic sink that i wish i never bought and installed. lol
     
  5. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    That's what I have

    I've been using it for over 30 years. Took a while for that resin smell to go away though.
     
  6. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Ah but I love my stainless steel garage sale find.

    Had a bit of fun making the support out of 4x4's, so it's solid as a rock. Learned my lesson too late that you really need to have a bit of slope towards the drain, so I had to shim the left side up a half inch.
     
  7. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear rubyfalls,

    The cheapest sink is whatever is presently at the nearest plumbing location. My print washer drains into a laundry sink as does the Kodak tray siphon for the odd occasion where I print larger than 11x14 (the tray sits on the washing machine next to the sink).

    Of course I would love a nice sink. I have the cash but not the room. If you have the room but not the cash, keep an eye out on Craigs List for a bargain. I've often wished I could pick up ones that have been presented for sale.

    Neal Wydra
     
  8. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Pick one of the twopoly carbonate sinks from Delta Ihave for sale.They are 4 and 6 feet long.and get the Intellifaucet while you are at it.I'm open to all reosanable offers.
    :confused:
     
  9. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Depends where you live and what your budget is. Homemade is just as good as already made if you have basic woodworking skills. What size are you looking for?
     
  10. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    If you go the route of building one as mentioned above (plywood/polyester resin) as I did almost forty years ago and it is still in service I suggest you design it so that it will accommodate some removable panels to cover it when not in use as a sink. You will then have additional counter-top for other use such as cutting mats etc. Be sure it slopes toward the drain and is of reasonable depth (10 inches) to prevent splash issues. An inline cartridge water filter is also a good idea.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  11. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    I found a nice stainless utility sink at Habitat for Humanity store. Has a commercial Chicago Faucet which needed new o-rings, and is fine. I don't have a long sink to put the trays in. I just put them on the counter top. I also bought a couple of sets of kitchen cabinets at the HforH store, and made counter tops from 3/4 plywood coated with several coats of marine varnish. It's been working fine for me for more than ten years.
    I would say check out Habitat for Humanity. They have a lot of that sort of stuff and the price is reasonable. Plus, you're helping those in need.
     
  12. trythis

    trythis Subscriber

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  13. aoresteen

    aoresteen Subscriber

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    You don't need marine grade plywood or epoxy. I'm building my 3rd large darkroom that uses regular plywood and oil based paint for the sinks. I make my sinks out of 2x6" (1.5" x 5.5") lumber and 4x9 sheets of 1/2 nice plywood - about $40 a sheet.

    I cut a notch in the 2x6 to hold the plywood bottom:

    sink bottom lap.jpg

    The ends are mitered - you need at least a 10" chop saw to do it but a 12" saw is better. Clamp and use 2.5" drywall screws to hold them together.

    Sink frame corner clamp.jpg

    Screw the plywood into the frame using #6 screws 1.5" long. I run a bead of silicon caulk sealer in the notch to help seal it. Here's what they look like sitting on the 2x2 frame supports:

    Sinks done 1.jpg

    You MUST seal every seam with silicone caulk and let dry for at least 24 hours. Now use OIL based primer and paint:

    paint products.jpg

    I bought mine at Lowe's.

    Use two coats of primer letting it cure for 24 hours in between coats. Then put on 3 coats of oil based paint, let dry 24 hours in between coats. After the last coat let it cure for 72 hours before using it.

    Here are my sinks with the primer on:

    1st primer coat.jpg

    I've never had any issues with my sinks as water drains over them. I do not fill them up like a wash tub. I use archival washers and the water just drains out and runs over the sink. If you want a deep sink I would use a wash tub and fiberglass the sink end to the tub and seal it.

    Here's the full story on my current darkroom build.



    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum43/124797-last-building-out-my-darkroom.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2013
  14. Bob Marvin

    Bob Marvin Member

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    "Would I be okay with one of those big plastic utility sinks? "

    Yes, IF you have no room for something larger. My tiny darkroom os also our laundry room and I've managed with a small utility sink. Nevertheless, a REAL darkroom sink, with room to lay out my trays, would be wonderful, if I had the room. I've had to pass on a couple of offers of free stainless steel darkroom sinks for lack of room, which is heart breaking.
     
  15. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Nice. That's pretty much what I did, it's still going strong after 15 years. Best thing is how easy it is to make the most use of available space, unlike a commercial sink.
     
  16. smithdoor

    smithdoor Member

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    I use a bench with heater under the bench to keep the chemical warm
    Simple and fast for low volume of work
    Today I work in the garage and have to wait for night time.

    Hope it helps
    Dave

     
  17. rubyfalls

    rubyfalls Member

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    Wow! Thanks for all the great replies. To answer I few questions, I don't print anything larger than 8x10. Right now, anyway. I develop probably 2-7 rolls per week, on average. Enlarging is done in spurts.

    My darkroom space is a small old utility type room; one side is currently unusable to a roof leak (that will hopefully be fixed soon).

    I have about maybe a max of 40" wide/30" deep to work with. Long story short, the upstairs bathroom is next door. I was taking a bath last week in the giant claw foot tub and -- I bet you can guess what happened next. Clawfoot wobbled out of place, tub crashed down on return pipes, gallons of water cascaded merrily through the house, and yadda yadda yadda, I've got to tear up the floor anyway so might as well plumb over to the darkroom while we are in there.




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