DIY Slot Processor

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Peter De Smidt, Oct 30, 2004.

  1. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    I'd like a slot processor for 16x20 and smaller BW FB prints. The Nova Quad looked like a great choice...until I saw the price. Now that I've gotten back in my chair, I'd like to know if anyone has made their own slot processor. Has anyone?

    I've made an 8x10 model. I used 4 8x10 stainless steel film tanks, a plastic holding tank, a Won titanium aquarium heater, a small submersible pump (to help equalize temperture. It made a big difference), and a Nova clip. The tanks could have been a little narrower (to minimize oxidation) but otherwize slightly bigger. It worked well for 8x10 color processing but not so well for BW fb paper.

    When we get to 16x20, we'd need a tank about 18x22x2 inches. I haven't been able to find any pre-made tanks. 316L tanks could be made, but we're talking a lot of money. I've though about making tanks out of 1/4 inch thick ABS. I thought that I'd use two Nova clips to hold the 16x20 print. If that doesn't work, I have picked up a Nova 11x14 plastic sheet for holding paper in their FB processor. (It was really cheap.) It wouldn't be too hard to fabricate something similar.

    I'd be interested in hearing any advice or ideas that people would care to share.
     
  2. Andy Tymon

    Andy Tymon Member

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    peter , try www.usplastic.com they build all types of tanks, maybe something they use for printed circuit boards would be suitable.
    hope this helps
    Andy
     
  3. eric

    eric Member

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    Can you take a 16x20 tray, sawzall the short end, and then epoxy a flat piece of plastic on top? Repeat 4x and then epoxy the whole thing together? I was lucky enough to get a very cheap 16x20 quad...all I had to do was clean it for about 3 days.
     
  4. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I had some made from plexiglass by a local plastics shop. They were only for 11x14 paper though. The 1/4" plexy was too thin for this (slight bulge on the sides) so for 16x20 you really would need to go with something thicker. The edges and base could be the thinner stuff though. Two Nova clips worked fine for 11x14 fiber, I assume it would be OK for 16x20 as well.
     
  5. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    Hi, Thanks for the suggestion. I have checked them out in the past. The best I can find is item #11090 [ http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/pr...USPlastic&category_name=20721&product_id=3621 ], which is 18x2x18, just too small for 16x20s. The next would be 24 x 4 x 30, which is too big. I'll keep looking, though.
     
  6. bogeyes

    bogeyes Member

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    there is another way

    Yes Nova products are expensive for what amounts to a few sheets of plastic glued together and a fish tank heater. See what you think to single tray processing at www.heylloyd.com I use a large plastic bowl full of water with a fish tank heater in it. In this I stand my chemicals in large mouth bottles. The chemicals are kept at the right temperature and there is only 1 tray. It works, wear an apron though and put some old news papers on the floor for inevitable splashes and spills, with practice these will diminish. It,s great fun, good excercise and just think of all the money you will save. all the best from tightwad Bogey
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Well I have a 3 slot Nova for 16x12 inch prints. I have to say it's extremely well made and it's two heating elements maintain the temperature extremely accurately.

    Now I used to manufacture slightly larger scale plastic (polypropylene) equipment for chemically refining gold so I appreciate the accuracy of their manufacture.

    You get what you pay for with Nova, I agree they are expensive. Personally I couldn't justify buying new - so I bought via the internet second-hand.
     
  8. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Look hard and some come up for reasonable money. I agree that they are well made too. The washers seem a whole lot simpler and rather expensive for what they are. My quad 20x16 was about £250 used and is the last thing I would do without in my darkroom.

    Whilst I have made a great big drying rack (quite easy), I think (having looked into it) making a big washer is beyond me. I suppose they end up under bit of pressure too when the water flows.

    For those in the UK, I found a company (sorry deatils I cannot remember) called something like UK or British plastics based in the Birkenhead area. They had everything you could imagine in plastic and I got some diffusion material from them for a few quid. They would certainly have what it takes for a British DIY project.

    Tom
    Tom