Light Proofing a Door Jamb

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by sidearm613, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. sidearm613

    sidearm613 Member

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    So, I'm most of the way through setting up a darkroom in my bathroom. It is well ventilated, I'm going to put some blackout cloth on my window, so that leaves the door jamb. Because of the dual purpose of my dark/bathroom, I need something that can be changed relatively quickly, so relatives may relieve themselves after I'm done printing (read: kicked out) I am pretty open to ideas, but considering that my house is very old, and I am not the owner, I want a light proof solution that is relatively non-intrusive, so having velcro strips running up my door(s) really is a no-go. The darkroom in my school has these fuzzy, black strips on the inside of the jamb so that when the door closes it forms a light tight seal, and if anybody knows what I'm talking about and where to find them, it would be greatly appreciated. Aside from that, any good ideas? :smile:

    P.S. - How about the window as well... any better ideas than blackout cloth and thumb tacks?

    thanks a lot
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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  3. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    An old black or navy blue towel might do the trick; easy to put in, easy to remove and low cost. Or black cloth from the fabric store?
     
  4. sidearm613

    sidearm613 Member

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    But my family uses bright, happy colored towels! :smile:
     
  5. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    It could be white for that matter. It just needs to be portable and able to block light from without, right?
     
  6. sidearm613

    sidearm613 Member

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    exactly, and in fact, it doesnt even need to be portable, just non-intrusive. My house is almost 90 year old, so it would be a shame to cover the original woodwork with tack holes, no? If possible, I would like it to be capable of being so light tight that I can print color. I'm only doing B/W so far, but my enlarger has a dichro head, so I want to keep the options open.
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I used regular rubber weather stripping purchased at Home Depot. It's adhesive so there are no tack holes.
     
  8. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I bought blackout cloth and put velcro on it and the top of the doorjamb on the outside of the door. I put up the blackout cloth only when I need it. The sides are held with gaffers' tape. If someone is outside the room, they can clearly see that the room is in use as a darkroom.

    When I am done I take the cloth down.

    Steve
     
  9. Ian Tindale

    Ian Tindale Member

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    What I've done in the past is to use a black bin liner, cut into strips, and these strips were pinned to one side (the door, or the bit that the door fits into) folded over in loops, where the loop flops over the crack. This was effective, and easy to take down at a later date (much later). I think it's better to cover the crack externally than to try and run something down into the crack itself.
     
  10. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    Light really does not need much of a 'maze' to be blocked from coming thru the door! I used a second bedroom as a color darkroom for my 4x5 enlarger, and to load the exposed print paper into a Jobo tank. I simply tacked an opaque cloth over the doorway outside in the hall, draping onto the carpet, then I would close the door. It worked fine, even in the day.
     
  11. Terence

    Terence Member

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    Use the top of the door frame. No one will ever see it. One layer of an opaque cloth outside and one inside will be way more than enough.
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi david

    you might go to a fabric place and get a bunch of felt a foot or so larger than your doorframe
    close the felt in the top of the door, let it hang down and then bunch it up at the bottom of the door.
    my darkroom is in the basement, i don't have a door, but i nailed 2 sheets of thick black cloth at the top
    and it falls to the base of the "open door" and is a pile of cloth at the bottom ..
    it has worked fine for years ... and even a smidgen of stray light that may leak into the room doesn't really make much of a
    difference ... i have light leaks from my 1st floor leaking through the ceiling to the darkroom ... it isn't enough to make
    that much of a difference ...

    good luck!

    john
     
  13. wogster

    wogster Member

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    That might work for a window as well, roll it up and put a small piece of Velcro so that it stays in place. At the bottom where it touches the window sill, add a row of drapery weights, allow the material to hang over the sill though. When in use as a darkroom you unroll the blackout curtain. When you are finished roll it back up and Velcro it in place.
     
  14. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    For the bottom of the door, there is available a seal that drops down when the door is closed and raises when it is opened. It was not designed as a light seal, so ask for a weather stripping that fits that description. Mosr hardware stores should have it.

    Usually, black paint or tape on the door edge and frame will form a sufficient light trap.
     
  15. Paul Cocklin

    Paul Cocklin Member

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    Ditto, but I do it on both sides of the doorway, inside as well as outside the bathroom door.
     
  16. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    Make a drape out of black cloth.
    Slide it across the door after it is closed.
    You can hand it with a curtain rod or just some string on little hooks either side of the door frame.

    Walmart and the fabric stores sell heavy black duck canvas and heavy black felt that will work.
     
  17. sidearm613

    sidearm613 Member

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    Great idea until you mentioned Walmart. I don't like those folks!
     
  18. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    Just hang light tight material over the door, and stuff an old towel if there is a gap between floor and door. I did it this way for years in Japan successfully.
     
  19. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    As per my recent thread, I put some weather strip around the door. The stuff that I bought was from a hardware store (bunnings in Australia, like Home Depot in the US). Its a foam product that looks like a 3 strip wiper blade. The biggest drama that I had was that its a little thick and the door wouldn't latch. If the gap is around 3/32nd to 5/32nd(2 to 6mm), you should be OK. It was the quickest and cheapest option I found.
     
  20. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    The black foam weather stripping works well in my bathroom darkroom. It is available in various widths and thicknesses and is adhesive backed so installation is easy. For the gap at the the bottom I just stuff a towel in it. No light leaks even when loading or processing film. Most home improvement stores carry it and it's cheap.
     
  21. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    Jo-Ann Fabrics sells the same stuff.
    Hopefully folks don't dislike them too.
    If so then just about any fabric store sells felt and duck canvas.
     
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Felt and duck canvas are not as light impermeable as black out material. Blackout material is what is needed. Felt lets light through.

    Steve