Dust. What do you do to limit dust

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by John Earley, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. John Earley

    John Earley Member

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    Since restarting my darkroom in a spare bedroom, I have been fighting airborne dust. After doing a major cleaning, I have installed an air purifier with HEPA filter. However, there is still dust.

    What do you do?
     
  2. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Rip out the rug, get a steamer and seal the room off and steam it up in there, the moisture will capture the dust and then wipe down the moist walls and floors with towels/sponges and that should get a lot of it, then run the dehumidifier and continue to use an ionizer thing to capture particles.

    You can never eliminate dust though...


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  3. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Tile floor in the darkroom. Door left closed to keep cat out. Hepa Air purifier (fan style), I don't vacuum in there; just mop the floor once in a great while. No dust problems.
     
  4. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    My darkroom is in the basement, and has a painted concrete floor. Being a basement, there is most always some humidity, which helps. I have a little Shark vacuum I use before doing anything. I also keep Reilly, my Corgi (he's my avitar) out (most of the time). When printing I use an anti-static cloth on the negatives and enlarger carrier. I also have hand held ion generator that helps, especially in the winter.
    Cleanliness is important!
     
  5. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    Pec Pad sandwich.

    I've posted this many times. All you have to do is take two PecPads, make them the bread and your negative is the meat. Pull the neg through twice, load it into the carrier. No dust. I'm using a condenser enlarger now, and after several negs over several print sessions, not a single spot. Not even a small one. This is in my dusty, musty basement. Trust me, it works. :wink:
     
  6. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    Get a Humidier, not a Dehumidifier.
     
  7. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Do not move to New Mexico...
     
  8. momus

    momus Member

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    Yes, we moved from New Mexico and the dust was everywhere. We're in Florida now and dust is never a problem
     
  9. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I meant temporarily to get the moisture down, so you don't get mold growing after you steam, that's all.


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  10. PeterB

    PeterB Subscriber

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    PEC = Photographic Emulsion Cleaner. Waddya know. Gotta get me some.
     
  11. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Loose dust is usually beatable by the described methods, and it's generally visible on the negative before you put it in the carrier. If you've ensured that the enlarger is clean, and the neg is clean, remaining spots may be from crud in the water introduced during processing. Using a filter will help, or else bottled water may help.
     
  12. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    I have a dry darkroom in a laundry room. I use the room from fall to spring and therefore the house heater is used which can lower humidity. Adding some humidity does wonders. I add humidity by placing pastic food containers of water on top of the vents and running a constant furnace fan. Poor man's humidifier. Before a DR session wipe down all surfaces to remove dust. I use a LPL 670 or Leitz 1C enlarger for most work. Both are exellent at avoiding dust once you dust the negative and install in the enlarger head. Enlargers like a B-22 have gaps around the carrier allowing dust to migrate from outside to inside the head. With new negatives I never have issues. With negatives which have been used pulling them from plastic sleeves can add a charge. I like the folder type negative sleeves.
     
  13. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Living in south Florida the humidity helps but also my darkroom has tile floors, an exhaust fan, a filter over the ac vent and I cover the enlarger with a large garbage bag when not using it. If I notice dust on dry negatives I use Dust-Off. Negatives are kept in Print File sleeves and the sleeves in negative envelopes and those in negative storage boxes. There are also anti-static brushes and cloths available. Be sure to clean up any chemistry especially fixer drops because once they dry they will be a source of dust.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
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  15. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have an air cleaner that runs continuously in my DR. I damp mop and wipe things down with a damp rag from time to time.
     
  16. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I do nothing to the darkroom itself.

    The film, on the other hand, is a different story. With Sprint wetting agent, it is recommended to wipe off the excess before hanging the film to dry. So I use a soft sponge on the base side, and a very soft rubber edge on the emulsion side.
    It's very rare that I get A single dust spot in any of my negatives.

    The negs are hung to dry in the darkroom that I do nothing to, four feet from the house forced air furnace, with cats running around. There is no dust on my negatives.

    While printing, I use a camel hair brush to brush clean the negative. Then I use compressed air to blow off dust on the negative base and the side of the Anti Newton Ring glass before the two are sandwiched in the carrier. Then I use the compressed air to blow off dust on top of the ANR glass as well as the emulsion side of the enlarger.

    This works really well for me. There's usually no more than one or two spots to spot in my prints, unless there was something funny going on in the film's emulsion, in which case it takes a lot more spotting, but that comes with the territory.
     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Just a word of warning. While ionizers are terrific at trapping dust particles that are suspended in the air, the ozone produced by them make some of the most powerful oxidants known. This is not good for your lungs, or other materials that will fare ill from oxidation, such as metals.
     
  18. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    Just to clarify, I do not use the PEC cleaner, just the pads. I keep them in a ziplock bag and use them forever. They are like dust magnets. Compressed air is considerably more expensive, and in my experience, considerably less effective than PecPads.
     
  19. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    I'll second this: I have about 3 packs of Pec Pads (4x4, 100 packs from Amazon) and they are stupidly useful on just about everything. Problem I've had with canned air is it just moves everything around...doesn't actually remove anything.
     
  20. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Really? so those "ionic air" things that are supposed to be so good for households are actually bad for you?


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  21. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Yes.
     
  22. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Wow good to know! Thanks!


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  23. Bob Marvin

    Bob Marvin Member

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    My darkroom doubles as a laundry room, which is far from ideal. I also use a condenser enlarger, which doesn't mask dust. Nevertheless I don't have to do much spotting of my prints. I've grounded my enlarger (which may, or may not help, but can't hurt). I also use a Kinetronics anti-static brush (better than the Static Master brush I used for 50 years (for which the radioactive polonium cartridges have become prohibitively expensive) and a large Giottos air bulb blower (the best blower I've ever found). The Giottos blower is also great for getting dust off the plexi when I frame my prints.

    To keep dust off my negatives when they're drying I spray the air in the room with water using a cheap plastic sprayer before hanging them to dry (and close the door to keep my cat out).
     
  24. Bob Marvin

    Bob Marvin Member

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    Oh, and when it is necessary to spot my prints, a good brush makes it really easy--there's a world of difference between my old $4.00 brush, from a camera store, and my $15.00 brush, from an art supply store.
     
  25. cliveh

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    If you are worrying about dust, you have your priorities wrong. Concentrate on the image and the dust will disappear.
     
  26. John Earley

    John Earley Member

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    How hard do I have to concentrate to make the dust go away ;^)