Light tight vent

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Egnojed, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. Egnojed

    Egnojed Member

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    Hi everyone! I'm working on building a temporary darkroom in our bathroom upstairs, and since I still live with my parents it needs to be just that, temporary. That is, able to be set up and taken down in a moments notice. I am having trouble blocking out ALL the light form the window, its about 3x4 about. I build a cardboard insert, works well execpt for the corners. Does anyone have a cheaper way, something not as bulky as a huge insert (ie, sometihng that fits together or something?) that works. I also need to put in a light tight vent, made of cardboard perhaps, for incoming air. The bath has a fan to take air out. Any ideas on how to build one, I don't want to buy on because they are kind of pricy. THANKS!
     
  2. crimsonvizion

    crimsonvizion Member

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    You might try (if looking for a cheap fix) over the cardboard tacking a layer or two of black felt or similiar fabric, it comes real inexpensive and stores easy for quick removal. :smile: There is also the alternative (fabric tends to leak light) of a rubber matting or such. best bet: take a tour of the hardware store or wal-mart craft area. you'll be surprised what you find...
     
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    You might do two things for the window, #1 Hinge the cardboard so it stores more easily. #2 use darkroom/blackout cloth to cover the cardboard. I use foamcore covered w/cloth & the flexibility of the cloth will compress to fill small nooks & crannies..
    Vent? how 'bout using a section of flexible aluminum venting similar to dryer vent. Could paint interior black to cut down light from traveling through & give it a 180 degree turn or two somewhere in its travels.
     
  4. Shesh

    Shesh Member

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    Before I built my darkroom, I used to tape up window with the black plastic sheet you get at hardware stores (I got mine at Ace, but should be quite common). tape it up with masking tape (the blue paint masking tape is not strong enough, I used a cream colored one, I don't seem to remember what it is called). You will need to make 2-3 layers of the plastic sheet and tape up on all sides.
    See "Build Your Own Home Darkroom" by Lista Duren, Will McDonald for ideas about making a vent using fans(they talk about exhaust fans - just reverse the fan and you should be all set).
     
  5. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    You might get some very cheap plywood, cut it to as close to the size of your window as possible, and build an "S" trap in a box to mount in the middle. I've got a storebought light-tight louvre with fan in the middle of my window-blocking plywood, but after being dark for about thirty minutes, I see a faint bit of light comes through even that, so I may have to build my own S-trap box to augment it.

    If it's okay with "the management", you could get some double-sided adhesive foam weather stripping, put it around the window, put the plywood on that, and secure it in place with as few brads as possible. It would be better to mount this on the outside of the window, so you can still open and close the window for security/ventilation.

    -KwM-
     
  6. Egnojed

    Egnojed Member

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    I tried the dryer venting as you suggsted and it works great! I added a small fan at the start of the vent to help draw air in, I couldn't ask for anything better. The venting was $9.95 at Home Depot, and the fan I found on ebay for $10. THANKS A LOT!
     
  7. matthew

    matthew Member

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    What I did to temp. black out my window is build a frame of 1"x1" wood and stapled on material from one of those pull shades. Painted one side black. Stapled oversized fabric and then foam on the edges. The over size fabric hangin over the sides blocks any stray light from the sides and helps hold it in the window. I just push the thing into the window frame...and instant dark. If this doesn't make sense, I could take a picture. Let me know.