Laundry room/dark room

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by matti, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. matti

    matti Member

    Messages:
    652
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    Location:
    Stockholm, S
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    After more then a year without a dark room, finally we have some progress renovating the basement. Soon I will have a new dark room and life will have a meaning again :smile:.

    It will be much better than the old one, with my new Durst L1200, a zink, running water, etc.

    Only problem is it will also be the laundry room, with a washing machine and even cloths drying there. I know this is not ideal, due to dust from the clothes. But it is my only option. Will this be a major problem? What can I do to minimize the dust issues? I apreciate any hints on how to make it work.

    I really hope I can make this work, since I can not find a reason to use my cameras without a dark room to print the pictures in.

    /matti
     
  2. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,055
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As for the dust issue. A plastic cover for the will go a long way in prevent dust from going into the enlarger when you're not using it. Good luck with your darkroom.
     
  3. matti

    matti Member

    Messages:
    652
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    Location:
    Stockholm, S
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I put the enlarger in an alcove (with a light table beside) and am planning to close it with curtains or a door. But I am still concerned about dust floating around in the air.
    /matti
     
  4. winger

    winger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,925
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    southwest PA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My darkroom is also my laundry room. The enlargers are about as far from the dryer as they can be (about 8-10 feet). I try to keep the room clean and use wet wipes around the laundry area and mop the floor overall (it's cement). It's not perfect, but I don't have too huge a problem with dust on my prints and negs.
    Also, it helps to clean the day before instead of the day you use it. This way, the dust can settle.
    I insist (not always successfully) that clothes not be left in the room. The main problem with this is that I have a wooden rack for drying the hang to dry items and no other place in the house for it. So those things stay in the room until dry. I also use the rack to hold my drying screens.
     
  5. mwdake

    mwdake Member

    Messages:
    616
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    FL, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For a while I used my laundry room as my darkroom.
    I used to remove the enlarger between sessions which was fine until I got an Omega D5.

    I would do my sessions the day before laundry. I would partially fill the laundry sink with water beforehand and go around the room with a wet cloth to remove dust.

    I can't say I had a huge problem with dust, cat and dog hairs are another story though.
     
  6. markos

    markos Member

    Messages:
    118
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    Buffalo
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    My darkroom was the laundry room for many years, and I had no more problems with dust there than I do now with the darkroom in my new house, which is separate from the laundry room. The laundry room tended to be more humid than the rest of the basement, maybe that helped to keep the dust down, especially in the winter. I always made sure the laundry was finished and clothes removed the day before I was planning to use the darkroom. That sometimes kept me up late on a Friday night.

    Mark
     
  7. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Be sure the enlarger is grounded.
     
  8. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Same here, the dark/laundry room also houses the two freezers and the hot water tank. I just vacuum the day before, central vac, so no dust exhaust and wipe down with a damp rag. Old shirts make good dust covers for the two enlargers and they are washable along with the darkroom towels. Biggest problem is cat hair from the two fur balls, makes a clean shirt and jeans mandatory. :sad:

    Those bright colourful 2'x2' kids interlocking playmats are way nicer than concrete or a tiled floor :smile:

    3M high efficiency air filters are the way to go if you have forced air heating/cooling.
     
  9. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

    Messages:
    1,275
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Downers Grov
    When in college, my first home darkroom was in mom`s laundry room.

    I made lots of nice prints on an Omega B3 with no filter drawer, Kodak Polycontrast or DuPont Varilour paper, Plus X Pan, Microdol 1:3, or Rodinal.

    so it can be done, but I know nothing of water and air filters and learned to spot prints well.

    I also had a darkroom at college in the photoclub. Omega D2V and a big 3 foot diameter drum dryer. All the Purdue dorms had a set up like this. I wonder if they are still there 50 years later.


    Maybe in the next home you can improve. I have a clean efficient modern darkroom now and computers, scanners, and printers and digital cameras.
     
  10. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,467
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    northern Pa.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You can always run an air purifier, the inexpensive ones that just pull air through a HEPA filter. I run one, and my dusting is at a bare minimum. As Anscojohn says, make sure your enlarger is grounded, and maybe even run a humidifier, especially in winter.

    Rick
     
  11. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,129
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    Two inches to the left
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    And one for the dryer and washer when you ARE down there might be of use as well.
     
  12. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

    Messages:
    579
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Ottawa, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dryer Lint and cat fur are always a battle here. I've built an air cleaner from a surplus boxer-fan and hepa filter, which helps greatly. When I'm cooking/pouring emulsions and cannot tolerate any dust/lint/fluff, it's done inside a table-top 'tent' made from plastic drop-cloth, with the filtered air entering from the top. Enlarger is kept covered, damp wipes handy and lots of canned-air.
     
  13. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

    Messages:
    2,933
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    Misissauaga
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have an 'overflow' darkroom. The darkroom is 5x9, so when I print larger than 11x14 I put a couple of boards on the washer and dryer and lay out the 16x20 trays there. The dryer is not matched to the washer, so it sits on pieces of plywood ,and is leveled to make it's top the same elevation as the washer.

    I also have a second enlarger on a bench in the laundry, and a bench beside the wash tub that is used to place a large wash tray where the tray syphon hangs into the sink, and is also the camera bench for a polaroid copy camera and its lights.

    Beside the furnace (also in the laundry room) is another low bench which has a UV box on it, and a densitometer on top of that.

    There is still room to move, but just. The floor is concrete and painted with a floor grade grey paint. I vacuum the top of the ducts that are open in the laundry (basement, no finished ceiling) about once a year, and the floor and top of benches about every other month. There is an in room air filter that I try to run the day before if I can plan ahead that I am going to be using the space for darkroom use.

    The vacuum is a central unit that has its power unit mounted in the garage, so nothing that gets sucked up gets directly recirculated by blowing though the filter.

    The furnace fan runs about 8 months of the year where I live, either in heating or A/c season. I put a conventional fibre filter in the cold air return upstream of an electronic air cleaner, and change that filter twice a year, or after any home reno job that involves more than re-painting. The electronic air cleaner cells get pulled once a year, and put in the bath tub to soak in a weak solution of dish wash detergent. Even if the cells look clean the water is very grey after a bit of agitation, so there obviously small particles clinging to the cells plates. I but them back into service and run the furnace with the cleaner power turned off for half a day so the plates can dry before the HV power gets applied to them again.

    To keep dust at bay we don't use fabric softener in the washer, and put half a bounce sheet in the dryer so the dust does not get too fly away. The dryer filter gets pulled gently, and emptied inside the garbage can, not over the dryer.

    So the long answer, is , yes the laundry can work, and with a bit of regular maintenance dust, even that generated from the dryer and furnace, can be conquered.
     
  14. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,196
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you can separate the enlarger from the dryer (in particular) it will make the most difference.

    Having the washer and dryer share space with the wet side of your darkroom probably won't matter.
     
  15. matti

    matti Member

    Messages:
    652
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    Location:
    Stockholm, S
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thank you all. It sounds interesting to try some sort of air filter. We don't use a dryer, but just hang dry the laundry. So I suppose the manual handling of the clothes will be the main dust source. I plan on wet wiping everything and maybe hose down the floor before starting, to get both humidity and to not kick up dust while I walk around. Problem is, with two kids, we seem to be washing laundry all the time.
    /matti
     
  16. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you have a cement floor, you might want to seal it or paint it first, or lay linoleum/vinyl flooring down to reduce the dust of a cement floor.
     
  17. matti

    matti Member

    Messages:
    652
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    Location:
    Stockholm, S
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thank you, that is a good remark. I already planned to paint it but I can see that a smoother surface also is easier to keep clean.
    /matti
     
  18. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

    Messages:
    1,275
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Downers Grov
    If the ceiling is uncovered rafters, cover it. Garbage bags and staples will do.
     
  19. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

    Messages:
    2,512
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Location:
    Omaha, Nebra
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I also have used a laundry room. One thing I did to eliminate dust was to have a spray bottle near the dryer and as I removed the lint filter after each load I would spray it with the water. The wet lint peels off in a nice clump and does not release a cloud of lint and dust into the air every time you clean it.
     
  20. Shaggysk8

    Shaggysk8 Member

    Messages:
    465
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Location:
    Northamptons
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I just vacuum before I use the darkroom, it gets rid of most of the dust, but it is an issue you just have to take extra care :D
     
  21. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    9,068
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Plasterboard would be even better (I think you call it dry-wall).


    Steve.
     
  22. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,416
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    Stratford-up
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I don't do any Laundry for a couple of days before I intent to dev Negs

    Also I wet/damp dust the place the night before and again early the next morning.

    An oil filled radiator keeps the darkroom warm

    Enlarging Lenses are kept outside the darkroom and spare sealed mounting plates are used as keepers on the Enlargers

    Dust is a PIA but can be minimised

    Good luck

    Martin
     
  23. zesbaugh

    zesbaugh Member

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I also have a laundry/dark-room setup. 8x8ft without the appliances so on the small side. Also have two cats to compound the problem.
    Thought dust would be an issue the first time I used it, but was too excited to get started to waste time cleaning. Figured all would probably turn out badly anyway after a 14 year hiatus, decided to throw caution to the wind. As it turns out have had zero dust issues after multiple sessions. No vacuuming, no washing down of walls. Just a can of air to blow off the lens, carrier and neg before I print.
    Maybe dumb luck, but if it ain't broke...