For those of you with a temp darkroom

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by ggriffi, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. ggriffi

    ggriffi Member

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    To all:

    Just curios, of those of you that have a temporary darkroom (bathroom,closet,laundry room) what do you use to seal the light off from the door opening. I am about to set mine up in the bathroom but the only item I haven't gotten yet is this. I am debating between buying some material from the local fabric store, or just using a dark blanket that I already have. I am going to use velcro (as I am currently in an apartment so I don't think that they will appreciate the nail holes in the wall) on the door jam and whatever fabric I end up using, but I thought that some of you my have a better idea.



    Thanks,
    G
     
  2. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Gray foam weather stripping around the sides and the top and an old towel laid across the bottom works for me.
     
  3. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    In my first darkroom I used the grey foam weather stripping. It worked well but was a maintenance hassle. I was constantly replacing pieces, finding little pinhole leaks, etc. But it did work, and wasn't very intrusive.

    I'd worry less about nail holes, which can easily be filled/painted when you move, than anything glued (velcro strips, etc.) to the wall. It is easier to fill nail holes than to patch sections of wall that have been damaged when the glued-on stuff is stripped off later. (This is assuming you would be nailing into drywall, which is no big deal to repair when you move.)

    -chuck
     
  4. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    Oh, one more thing: check the blanket with a flashlight to see how opaque it is. Most fabric stores carry blackout material which is definitely light tight. Probably won't cost you much, and will probably introduce less lint than your old blanket.

    -chuck
     
  5. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    My door is up the stairs and to the right so I don't do anything at all. I think people get a little too caught up in creating deep black caves. I've got light leaks but they don't fall anyplace that paper would be. Light won't chase you down. It's not a gas. If you get cloth that isn't perfectly light proof just use extra layers. One layer of my dark cloth isn't leak tight. Two layers is very dark. Unless your door is facing a window and you're using the darkroom at the right time of day I bet the amount of light that will get past the door isn't that great. Of course if it's a glass door then it's different -)
     
  6. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I'll echo Nick's sentiments. Process after sunset, dim adjacent
    room lights, and go at it. Proper paper handleing leaves it
    exposed only a short time.

    I've a door matt which when film is to be developed is turned
    on itself and abuted at the door bottom. Small leaks here and
    there remain. It's not the light you see it's the light your light
    sensitive materials see.

    Use graded paper. With brighter safelights your leaks won't
    bother you so. Dan
     
  7. ggriffi

    ggriffi Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the comments. I agree with Nick's comments, I am not really looking to create a "cave" as I was just curios how everyone took care of this. As I look at how my hallway is configured to the bathroom, maybe I should just get one of those "darkroom doors" . I mean if I'm gonna put nails holes in the wall... :O)

    G
     
  8. Stephen J. Collier

    Stephen J. Collier Member

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    I am using a 4 mil thick sheet of black plastic that I bought at Ace Hardware for about $1.00 a yard. I cut it to be about ten feet long and four feet wide and then folded and taped the top over a wooden ½ inch dowel. I screwed two open C-hooks in at each edge of the door and I hang the dowel on them. Using the dowel as an upper support allows me to roll the plastic around it when it comes time to tear everything down. I looked into using fabric, but the get the light tight fit that I needed the cloth was too expensive.
     
  9. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Almost the exact same way I covered a window many years ago.
    A length of lath rolled up the attached fabric when not needed. I
    might say the same technique can be used to hang a leak blocker.
    A draw curtain is also a good idea. Hing it at one end and when not
    needed, quickly turn it aside. Dan
     
  10. herb

    herb Subscriber

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    temp darkroom

    Gaffer tape-it will seal out the world. Get the 2 inch wide black stuff- costs 18 bucks a roll but you can seal anything and then take it of CAREFULLY and you won't peel any paint along with it. I suppose you could re use it if it was in short strips.

    It also seals out air, which is sometimes a problem.
     
  11. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Light blocking fabric is available from fabric stores and is reasonably cheap. Make sure you test it as there are some that don't totally block light out. I used small peices of velcro at intervals around the "edges" of the door frame and on the fabric to hang the fabric which overlapped a little. Works great. You can do the same for a outside window, but will generally need a peice of felt or black plastic as a second curtain cause some velcro will pass light; Get the black stuff.
     
  12. ggriffi

    ggriffi Member

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    Thought that I would let everybody know my solution after all of your help. I bought an expandable shower curtain rod and some light blocking material from the local fabric store and velcro. It is very easy to put up/take down.

    Thanks again,
    G