DIY Nova Processor

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Justin Low, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. Justin Low

    Justin Low Member

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    Hi, I'm thinking of building my own slot-processor for B&W prints and am looking for some feedback.

    Here's my situation: I have an ad-hoc darkroom that's used maybe two to three times a month. 30% of the time is spent on setting up for or cleaning down after printing.

    I believe a slot-processor like the Nova ones would be one of the best solutions for me. However, it isn't available locally, and I don't think it's economical to have one shipped in.

    Looking at pictures of it, I think I might be able to build my own. Acrylic is easily available, and I have the tools necessary to have it cut to size. I would have straight walls to simplify the joining.

    I'd process up to 8x10" prints in it, but 70% of the time, it'll be 5x7". I use both FB and RC. I'll need 3 chambers, and heating is not necessary.

    I have a few concerns about the construction: would 1/8" acrylic walls suffice? Would using solvent cement form a good enough seal or should I back it up with some silicon sealant? Would a smooth surfaced wall be a liability (if the paper sticks to it on the base side, emulsion facing away)?

    About the clips too; should I adapt my own using clothes pegs? Any suggestions on how this can be done? I typically leave a 1/2" border on my prints, and am not too worried about small marks.

    I look forward to any help you can give. If you've done something similar, hopefully you can provide some insight (photos would help too!). Thanks!

    Justin
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2006
  2. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Justin, I picked up a two bath 8x10" nova last week at our photographic flea market.

    I paid $20 AUD, it was brand new and being sold by a camera retailer.

    I bought it to see if this nova slot processor was as good as it's cracked up to be. I was quite amazed at just how compact it was and the Nova clip is brilliant.

    However now that I've played with it, calibrated the thermostat to give me 20C water, and tried the paper clip I'm going to move it onto anyone who would like it more, I have a fully fledged darkroom and if I was going the slot processor route, I would go the 4 bath one.

    My current photography student, will have first claiming rights, but if she doesn't wish to have it you can .

    If that happens you can have it for $20 AUD plus P&P which would not be too much, I think?

    Know anyone travelling through to Singapore from Melbourne?

    You will have a fair bit of trouble with smooth walled tanks. I made a slot washer many years ago with smooth walls, the paper sometimes stuck to the walls and was a real problem when it stuck.

    Mick.

    Ps:- PM me if you like.
     
  3. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    I'd take Mike's offer if I were you, heha...I've been trying to order a nova processor through the Australian distributor but they come to a bit over $300AUS, which has stopped me in my tracks, so it's a heck of a good deal there. And I'll be lurking in the shadows to pounce on any others he comes up with.
    The walls of the processor are meant to be one of the selling points too, to avoid it sticking as has been mentioned. The clips are also one of the more important parts, as they leave little to no trace when they're removed, a clothes peg would impede the ability of the developer to get to the print I'd think.
     
  4. Justin Low

    Justin Low Member

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    Thanks for the kind offer Mick. I've PMed you.