In need of a 20x24 print washer

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Brett Spencer, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. Brett Spencer

    Brett Spencer Member

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    I'm in Denver Colorado and need to replace my 20x24 tray and siphon hose with a real washer. I've discovered that plexiglass is awfully expensive and I expect that building my own will be too costly. Anyone looking to sell off an old one?
    I could also use two more 20x24 Patterson trays.

    Brett Spencer
     
  2. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Are you churning out those 20x24s 8 to 12 hours a day
    seven days a week? Perhaps you are at it now and then
    and have only a few to wash? What is it? Dan
     
  3. david b

    david b Member

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    I would go for tray washing if at all possible. Those huge print washers are just too damn expensive.
     
  4. Clueless

    Clueless Member

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    Know anybody that is coming up to Seattle, or Victoria BC so you could avoid shipping and I could avoid packing? Vertical washers do take up a lot less space, so how much space do you have available towards a horizontal washer?
     
  5. Brett Spencer

    Brett Spencer Member

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    I'm running a custom printing business that puts out around a dozen prints of whatever size, both fiber and RC, in a day. I'm doing 1-hour wash times for my fiber and I'd like to be able to walk away from the washer with a number of prints in it without worrying about the prints stacking up on each other and staying dirty. Since I offer 20x24 sizes, I figured the best washer for me would be one that would hold them.
    It's true that I only make 20x24 prints every few months. If I can find a 16x20 washer that would allow me to bend a 20x24 over into two slots and keep it underwater, I'd be happy with that. My sink space is such that a stand-up washer would be the most useful.
    Thanks for the interest and for overlooking the fact that I should have posted this request in the Wanted section.

    Brett
     
  6. Brett Spencer

    Brett Spencer Member

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    I have 20"x28" in the sink (it's actually a white pvc shower basin), ~9"x40" on the 2x8 board I put around my sink, or roughly 25"x30" on the counter next to the sink.
     
  7. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    The lowest priced vertical washer is the Versalab. They are in your area - Loveland, CO. But buying new is still expensive - the 16x20 with a 20x24 insert is still near $500. Ouch! (For comparison, the Calumet 20x24 is around $800) The Versalab has had mixed reviews - I think because it has to be quite level for the siphon to work properly, plus it's an all at once deal - no isolated sections like the more expensive washers.

    Bob
     
  8. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Eugene Smith used 3 trays stacked one on top of the other, the top tray's siphon was connected to the tap, it filtered down to the second tray which then fed the bottom tray, prints moved from the bottom to the middle, and then to the top tray for the final wash. With three trays you should be able to keep the prints separated with a single 20X24 foot print.
     
  9. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    [QUOTES=Brett Spencer]
    "I'd like to be able to walk away from the washer with
    a number of prints in it without worrying about the prints
    stacking up on each other and staying dirty."

    That also worried me. So, I found some hydrophobic
    extremely permeable sheet material and cut it to fit the
    bottom of the tray. A sheet goes on bottom, twixt each
    print, and on top of stack. For more than one print two
    trays are used. Three or four transfers are made
    within the next twelve or so hours. Very little
    water is needed.

    "It's true that I only make 20x24 prints every few months."

    That large a washer, unless suited to smaller prints,
    would be just taking up space. And no small amount.
    With water two hundred plus pounds. Dan
     
  10. Brett Spencer

    Brett Spencer Member

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    Okay, I'm finding myself feeling convinced that adding a large, heavy, expensive, water-wasting appliance to my darkroom isn't the great idea I thought it was. Can you elaborate on the aforementioned washing technique--or direct me to a discussion of it elsewhere?
    Thanks to you and the others who have responded with great suggestions!
    Brett
     
  11. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I have a Summitek 20 x 24 washer that is very conservative with water but must be level to work well. I plan to keep it but you should check them out. You can wash any smaller size in it as well. I find that the water pressure/flow to the washer must be fairly consistent or it might overflow but I have only experienced that once.
     
  12. WillyWizard

    WillyWizard Member

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    you have the right idea. If you do that size, it is best to get that size of washer..if you can find one and afford one. I'm not sure of your idea to use a 16x20 in the way you described for 20x24..I don't think you will get a proper wash. However, you could use the 16x20 for everything else and the occasional 20x24 you print, you could just suck it up and do it as you are now...but change your process. Use a hypo clearing agent, like permaWash (VERY cheap) and cut your times to 5-5-5 (prewash-permaWash-final wash).

    Now if you want a 16x20, I have a Zone VI for sale. Email me at webehi2@yahoo.com and put print washer in subject line.
     
  13. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

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    I just said to heck with it and bought a new Calumet 20x24 vertical washer this year. I had read good reviews about it. I really don't like 'jury rigging' anything. I will use it in the bathtub to hold the weight and level it with shims. Hose fittings will fit on the b'room sink. I feel that the plexiglass sides of the Calumet are too thin. I believe they are 3/8ths thick, but for this size that is a little thin. I wish they were 1/4". When I got the washer, it had take a blow to the side by UPS and it cracked the 3/8th size wall - punched a fist-sized hole in it. Calumet sent a new one overnight for free - fantastic customer support. But, I still wish it were thicker on the sides. Other than that it seems like a fine piece of equipment. It is very fucntional and cosmetically beauitful.

    Even on eBay, used ones are expensive. Even used 16x20 archival washers can hardly be had for under $300 these days. Is there a resurgance in darkroom work or something?

    -Mike
     
  14. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    I would put in a vote for the Calumet Deluxe 20x24 Archival Print Washer http://www.calumetphoto.com/item/GW4024.html
    Twelve slots, 31 inch x 23 inch foot print, $780 new, got mine 65% off and slightly used on eBay. You can put prints in as you make them, walk away and just run a trickle through it if you want.

    That is assuming the paper will take long immersion. There was a thread recently about a Kentmere paper that needed to have limited time in the water. I use Kentmere VC Fiber and some sheets spend much of the day there as I work. Each slot drains away from the others so fixer will not migrate.

    John Powers
     
  15. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    In past years a rack was available to stack three trays: Tray-Rak by Richard Mfg. Co. of Fernandina, Florida. They may show up on ebay or elsewhere, or could be improvised.
     
  16. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    I have used these for several years as well. They work great, use very little water.

    The trick to keeping them from overflowing is to have a siphon hose that runs well below the washer so that the effluent leaving the washer uses gravity to pull the water out. I have mine on a stand outside my sink and have the drain tube in the drain below the sink.

    This is an image from my old darkroom, but gives you the idea. Sorry, image is sideways.

    http://roberthall.com/dr/pages/DSCF0153.htm

    They are made locally, here in Salt Lake City. This one here is custom to handle a full sheet of Platine for pt printing.

    Check out the site...

    http://www.summitek.com/

    Holy cow! He changed the site! It's almost not boaring anymore! lol

    Steve's a good guy and his print washers are great.
     
  17. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Member

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  18. Brett Spencer

    Brett Spencer Member

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    I just took a quick look at eBay and found a Versalab washer.
    Click here.
    Simple design, inexpensive and I've used one before. Fixer migration from one slot to another is still a problem. The description also says there's an accessory available to allow a few 20x24 prints.
    Has anyone an opinion on this washer and the 20x24 accessory?
     
  19. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    It is just a wash tub with inserts, all of your prints will need to be washed at the same time. You can make one by buying a fiber glass mop sink and find some thin plastic to cut in the separators, drill holes for water cirulation, glue them to the sides of the sink, and add hoses for water from the tap and outlet to the drain.
     
  20. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    If you buy a used one you should try to pick it up yourself as the shipping is over $100.00 for the 20x24s and rarely do the washers make it to their destination without getting broken. Calumet and Summitek are aware of the problems of shipping these items and will send a replacement quickly but private sellers can be difficult to deal with when the deal goes south due to shipping damages. It once took me 3 1/2 months to get refunded a couple hundred dollars from a private seller!

    The shipping companies are all about speed and treat heavy, fragile items with very little care.

    I once drove from L.A. to the S.F. Bay in one 12 hour round-trip to pick up a very nice Zone VI 20x24! It was time well spent as those 20x24" Zone VI washers are as hard to find as they are to ship!
     
  21. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    I have to agree, I sent an older washer to a freind in Maine from Salt Lake and it fell off the shelf about 5 feet and shattered. Since he was a friend we worked together and I got the money I insured it for right away, but the washer was a mess.
     
  22. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Often they hurry so fast they subject it to more damage. My Calumet (mentioned above) was supposed to go FedEx from Northern Wisconsin through Chicago to Cleveland. The bar code must have been misread because it also went to South Carolina and back. It was packed well. There were a couple of small cracks, but luckily they were not on load (water) bearing pieces. It has worked well two years now.

    John Powers
     
  23. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    What? Total package with S&H $500 plus?
    And that for maybe half dozen 20x24s each
    two, three, four months. Dan