DIY Vertical Print Washer

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Todd Barlow, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. Todd Barlow

    Todd Barlow Subscriber

    Messages:
    160
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For what it is worth I thought I would post my version of a DIY Vertical Print Washer. I have built two units, a 16x20 and a 11x14.

    The washers do not provided segregated compartments but provide maximum diffusion potential combined with a water inflow and outflow (in bottom out top or vice versa).

    The tanks are aquariums made of non-tempered glass so that I could drill the holes for the in and outflow piping. The dividers are made from a sheet of plastic lattice. The dividers are held in place by "wire management duct" that I cut in half and then siliconed to the end walls. Since the dividers actually float when the washer is full I had to add the small pipe that runs along the top at either end to keep them in place.

    The 16 x 20 uses a 24"L x 12D x 16H 20 gallon tank and the total cost of the washer was about $110 Cdn.

    The 11 x 14 uses a 20"L x 10D x 12H 10 gallon tank and the total cost of the washer was about $80 Cdn.

    Both washers use washing machine hoses for the in and out flow hoses.

    Todd
    Depending on the in flow rate the washer can anywhere from 1/2 to 4 1/2 changes per hour.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. donbga

    donbga Member

    Messages:
    2,084
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    Todd,

    Very impressive!

    Don Bryant
     
  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

    Messages:
    6,242
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    very nice work.
     
  4. sunnyroller

    sunnyroller Member

    Messages:
    170
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Location:
    Little Rock
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Totally Nifty!
     
  5. Max Power

    Max Power Member

    Messages:
    598
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    Aylmer, QC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Todd,
    Sincere thanks for posting this...I have been mulling over some ideas for a home-made print washer for a few weeks now, and you have given me some fresh ideas.

    Cheers mate!

    Kent
     
  6. argus

    argus Member

    Messages:
    2,146
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi Todd,

    those are interesting dividers. I wish I found material alike for my washer.

    I ended up using plexi screens, kept in position by fiberglass dividers:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. komet

    komet Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Location:
    Z├╝rich, Swit
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What is the plastic lattice originally designed for? I like it a lot, but I don't think I've seen it for sale. Is it a gardening item?

    How do you drill holes in glass?
     
  8. Todd Barlow

    Todd Barlow Subscriber

    Messages:
    160
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The plastic lattice is a substitute for the pressure treated or cedar varieties as it is low / no maintenance. It gets used for all the regular uses such as privacy fencing, the top foot or so of a regular fence and I have seen it used as a trellis as well.

    To cut the holes I bought a ceramic tile / glass 1/2" OD drill bit. It was a kit that came with a drilling template. Once the template was mounted with some clamps I set the tank over the sink and directed a water hose over the area being cut and started to drill with my cordless drill and it took about 2-3 minutes to cut through (make sure you ease up as you get close to breaking through).
     
  9. JHannon

    JHannon Member

    Messages:
    969
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Nice work and some great ideas Todd. Thanks for posting.

    --John
     
  10. Nacio Jan Brown

    Nacio Jan Brown Member

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Good job! I imagine that the lattice would act to eliminate or at least minimize the tendency of one side of washing prints to stick to one of the sides. As far as cross-contamination, Versalab used to have a technical piece on how it's just not an issue if prints are pre-rinsed before they go into the washer. I have looked but don't see it on their website anymore. I have an old, but I think second generation design, East Street washer that uses for print separators wire bent into inverted u-shapes with the legs stuck into little holes in the bottom of the washer. (I once had a first generation design East Street washer. It was the only washer I've ever had with solid plexi dividers where the prints didn't cling to one or the other side, this because the bottom was drilled with dozens of tiny holes drilled diagonally in alternate directions.Each print hovered nicely in the middle of its slot. I wish I still had it.)
     
  11. waileong

    waileong Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I guess if it really costs $80 or $100 to build, then paying $200 or so for a print washer and having someone else do all the labour is not excessive...
     
  12. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

    Messages:
    1,602
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Location:
    Henrico, Vir
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    But then you lose the whole DIY satisfaction. Its inspired me to build my own.
     
  13. blackmelas

    blackmelas Subscriber

    Messages:
    350
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Location:
    Corinth, Gre
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I'm another inspired reader. Thanks for posting.
    James
     
  14. Jose LS Gil

    Jose LS Gil Member

    Messages:
    147
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    By using an aquarium, you can also use an aquarium pump and filtration system to circulate and filter the water. One other item that can be used for the dividers is the plastic florescent light panels sold in hardware stores. There are many patterns, some are just grids, while others have different textured surfaces. The panels can be cut with a hacksaw or tin snips to fit the size of the aquarium.