Does anyone still make papersafes?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by mrtoml, May 25, 2008.

  1. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    I am in the UK and looking around for papersafes. They come up on ebay occasionally, but does anyone actually make them any longer?

    I need bigger than 8x10. I use 11x14 and 9.5x12 and eventually will go 12x16.

    Secondhand darkroom occasionally have them, but I don't see them for sale anywhere else.
     
  2. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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  3. bill spears

    bill spears Member

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    Good question, been wondering the same the same thing myself.
    Seems that here in the UK all we've got are the cheap plastic efforts from Restem or Jessops.
    Quadro Photographic (what happened to them?) used to make a beauty, I think it was made from stainless steel and you could stand your enlarger on it ! I missed a nice looking Durst one on the bay the other day. There was also a guy named Tomkins , I think who used to make them.
    I had an idea the other day about trying to convert one of those mechanics tool drawers into one. The more expensive models have really solid drawers that glide nicely on bearing rollers. Light proofing them looks to be the problem though.

    Bill
     
  4. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    Thanks.

    I saw the B&H site and it might actually be worth paying the shipping to the UK.
     
  5. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    two papersafe drawer designs

    ...or two descriptions of the same design.

    John Sexton's design posted on darkroomagic.com and the design from darkroomsource.net.

    -KwM-
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2008
  6. Mike Té

    Mike Té Subscriber

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  7. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    Thanks.

    Another source I have found on ebay is chambrenoircan. Ships from Canada for £10 to UK and has many sizes (eg a 16x12 is £14). These are 'Premier' papersafes which I have no experience with.
     
  8. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    Sorry that should have been chambrenoirecan.
     
  9. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    I slightly misinterpreted the question in your heading and, taking it as I read it, would reply "Yes, I recently made one". I bought a secondhand flimsy plastic Jessops thing, but was so appalled by its lack of quality that I never actually used it. Instead I made exactly the box I wanted with a hefty plywood base, strip pine sides and overlapping lid, all painted matt black and with rubber feet. To avoid the possibility of accidentally leaving it open I fitted a restraint from a local cabinet supplies shop that stops the lid from opening fully, ie the lid shuts by gravity as soon as you let go of it. With the black finish and brass restraint, hinges and handle, it has a rather old-fashioned look to it.

    Steve
     
  10. haris

    haris Guest

  11. mikeb380

    mikeb380 Member

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    Paper safes are available on the market, check www.adorama.com for one source. Premier is one manufacturer and seems to do a good job. We used to make our own safes from the box in which the paper came. cut the top of the box about 2 or 3 inches from the end and cut down the sides at an angle then tape the top to the bottom and hinge the cut part. I used to leave a cardboard sheet on top of the paper and glue or tape a piece of cardboard under the overlapping ends of the top as a baffle. Thumb tacks and a rubber band, heavy duty type, serve as a lock. The nice part is that the box has all the info on the paper inside. With a little ingenuity and some foamcore you can build a multiple drawer safe for next to nothing. Just use some foamcore strips as the runners for the boxes/drawers.
    I hope this is understandable and helps
    Michael
     
  12. asrafferty

    asrafferty Member

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    I actually came here looking for info about them -- I just took this thing out of a box in my husband's studio to see what it was, and, after a little research, I discovered that that's what it was!

    This one says "Brumberger (Brooklyn, NY)", is metal, with four shelves; the inside base dimensions appear to be 12 inches deep x 15 inches wide. The roll top pull-up door is very very mildly resistant -- but I wouldn't expect a metal roll top to just glide up easily, yes? (I don't know what or how they're intended to be; I'm the know-nothing widow... )

    In any case, from what I can tell, this looks like something of a "vintage" edition... '50's, maybe?

    I appreciated finding this discussion, which helped me understand a little more about what this is and what it's for!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2008
  13. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The main thing is that the door should close easily by itself, so that you can't accidentally leave it open and turn the lights on. A little resistance on the way up is okay.

    I've got a few Brumberger paper safes--two 8x10's and one 11x14" like the one you've found, and they're very solid.
     
  14. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    FWIW, I've also got an old Brumberger. It's got three 8x10 shelves and four 5x7 shelves. Unfortunately, the door sticks a bit (it takes some effort to open and often stays up by itself), but otherwise it's nice. Does anybody have suggestions for making the door roll more smoothly? Could it be lubricated somehow? I've been afraid to mess with it lest I end up getting oil on my paper.

    I've also gone through two other used paper safes. One, I think a Beseler, had three 8x10 shelves with individual doors. When the door opened, rollers in the drawer pushed out the top sheet. This was handy when using full sheets, but worse than useless when dealing with test strips or odd sizes. Unfortunately, the springs jammed on one drawer and it went from bad to worse -- so bad that I tossed it in the trash. I replaced it with a Premier safe that looks like it was made in the 1970s. The single door pulled down, similar to the door on an oven, but was spring loaded so that it would immediately pop back up when released. It had three 8x10 shelves. Unfortunately, the plastic spring connector in the door broke, making the spring useless. I tried using velcro to get a good solid seal, and that seemed to mostly work, but if the velcro ever gave way, the door would flop down and expose all the paper to whatever the room light is. This made me very nervous, although I never lost paper to such an accident, so I replaced it with the Brumberger.

    The new paper safes I've seen on Web retailers' pages seem to be much simpler things than the three I've just described. (I've got one of these and it seems reasonably light-tight, at least for storage over a few days.) If anybody makes anything more complex, I don't know about it or where one might buy it. I've considered custom building something, but for the moment I'm happy with my Brumberger.
     
  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    My favorites are the Soligor (also sold in Europe under another brand--Uni...something, I think) paper safes that feed a single sheet at a time when you open the door, and the door springs shut afterward, but they're more complicated than the Brumbergers. They have little weighted arms with rubber tips that push the top sheet forward, and the lead weights just slip into the plastic arms and tend to fall out in shipping and bang around inside the paper safe with some potential for falling out and getting lost in the box. They're easy to put back in, but if you buy one of these, check that all the weights are where they should be, or it won't feed properly.