Need advice on darkroom.

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by kjsphoto, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    I am building a darkroom and I was wanting to know abotu intake and outtake air flow. Where an you buy the vents? I am builidng outside and this will be a free standing building.

    Also I am on spetic and was wondering where you dump chemicals? Can you dump in the septic or not? I will be doing quite a bit of development and printing.

    I just am trying to figure out these question as I have already broke dirt and will be framing the darkroom part in a week or so.

    Thanks.
     
  2. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Kevin, I use a Delta 1 air vent for darkrooms and it really moves the air out - available from Calumet (see link at top of page).

    As to the septic system, I am on one also and have had no problems (mine is actually an aerobic system, like a mini-process plant). Developer, stop and wash water all go down the drain. Fixer into a bucket with steel wool, the the yuck is tossed out. Getting ready to switch from stop bath to water for stop to remove that (it really is just like strong vinegar though).

    How big will the space be? Hope you have enough room for post print prep (mounting,etc), that's the one thing I don't have at all.

    Good Luck.
     
  3. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    In Tim Rudman's darkroom book he gives plans for building a lightproof baffle for a normal extractor fan.

    I don't know what your budget is but, as stated on another thread, the moment anything is intended for photographic use the price at least doubles...!
     
  4. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    My darkroom is a freestanding shed 20ft by 8ft and although I don't now have a septic tank I once lived in a farmhouse that did and the darkroom drained into it. I was there for more than 10 years and we experienced no problems with the septic tank. The only chemical that I didn't pour away to the tank was used selenium toner, I prepared a small gravel pit in a corner of the garden and poured the selenium into that. If you would like me to post some photographs of the outside and inside of the darkroom please let me know.
     
  5. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Hello Photo Mac,

    I am going for a 12 x 24 with the darkroom 8x12 and the dry side the rest of it.

    I havent shot any pictures in days :sad: been working of the new place :smile:
     
  6. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Hello Les,

    If you could post some pictures that woudl be awesome! I now need to find a good ventalation system.

    THanks again,

    Kev
     
  7. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Spent selenium is good for the roses!
    Yes please to the photos Les, I'm about to start on mine, although smaller at 10x8 any tips will be welcome.
     
  8. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    As for ventilation you could just baffle any fan inlet/outlet using flat black spray paint and some plywood. Making something like ||| so that the air follows a U and light can't go by

    As for chemicals probably spent fixer and selenium are not good for septic tanks.
    Fixer: put some steel wool in your spent fixer can, shake it a couple of times, let it stand for a day or 2 and then you can dump the rest
    Spent Selenium, diluted with water can be a good fertilizer, don;t over do it though.
     
  9. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    I think any good vent fan would work well. You should think about filtering the air coming in, though to remove as many of those icky particles :tongue: that make developing such a wonderful thing. My hubby built a light safe passive air intake for my darkroom & I se an air ionizer, but mine's in the basement (no worries about hornets or other wonders of nature visiting through the slot! haha :smile:

    We are on a septic system too, and I mix my used developer, stop bath & water together & dump it. I am amassing my used fixer while I try to find some way to get rid of it that will allow me to sleep at night! :wink: I cannot believe how many pro photogs locally I have had tell me they just dump it....I am aghast! :surprised:
    Jeanette
     
  10. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    While attending the Bruce Barnbaum workshop he told us a bit about dumping chemicals. He had a seperate holding tank built underground for his darkroom chemicals. They were expoeriencing a drought one year and by mistake he watered his lawn with the spent chemicals. His lawn grew very well and was lusher than it had ever been. He thought it was a fluke so he tried it again. Well long story short, he found that the spendt chemicals made a wonderful fertilizer. His was also well mixed with the wash water from the prints and toher things. I now dump the spent chemicals I have out the back onto a section of our lawn. I have to take a weed whacker to it to keep ti semi proportional to the rest of the lawn.

    As for the silver, I would get one of the recovery kits. Rio Grande in Albuerquere and Houser and Miller in Missouri both will take the filters and send you money based on the silver market.Be warned though, silver hovers well under $10 an oz. on the spot market. But it may buy you another roll of film for your troubles
     
  11. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    I vent my darkroom to the outdoors with an overhead fan (above developer/stop) that I got from Grainger. I have a dark vent (Premier darkroom louvers) in my door that takes air from another room. This I got from Freestyle. In general the air is pretty good and just the goings in and out gives me plenty of fresh air. I searched for a paper/developer combo that looks good without toning as I'm not sure toning is a cure-all for longevity. It certainly doesn't do my longevity any good. My prints will outlive me and that is good enough for now, but I'm not in the print sales biz.

    Developers, stop (water), and everything else except the fix, goes in the gray water which just goes out on the ground. The exhausted fix I bring to work and send down the toilet. This is okay for my few gallons per year. If it were more, then I would add steel wool, remove the steel (steel/silver) wool, and then toss the fix that is left. It is pretty much just salt water at that point.

    If you don't have a lot of liquid waste, you can evaporate the water from it and just toss the powder that is left.

    Silver in low quantities is not on the EPA bad list, as I understand. Selenium may be a different story. Seems like it is a good thing in trace quantity and a bad thing in the San Juaquin Valley.
     
  12. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Who makes a good intake fan? I am planning on putting a weall air in the dry room and want to suck the cool air in as it will get hot in the darkroom.

    Thanks,

    Kev
     
  13. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    In response to requests by Kevin and Dave here are a few pics of my darkroom.
    I've included shots of my home made film dryer that cost all of £10 sterling and a useful way of drying and storing graduates.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. gma

    gma Member

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    What a spacious dark room, Les. Thanks for sharing the pictures.
     
  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    snip:
    there is a company on the west coast ( usa - nevada ) that converts photochemicals into the equiv. of chemlawn.

    http://www.itronics.com/
     
  16. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Thanks Les, more details of your film dryer will be of interest. I would show you a snap of my darkroom but it's only a patch of overgrown grass at the moment, however next week the workman are due!
     
  17. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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  18. paul owen

    paul owen Member

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    Les I WANT YOUR DARKROOM!!!!!!!!