New Print Washer

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by shicks5319, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. shicks5319

    shicks5319 Member

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    I have been washing my prints in a fish tank which has limited my washing capacity to 11X14.

    While in the local photog store here in Alb. NM, I was introduced to a used 16X20 print washer out in the back room. After a little haggle this washer found itself in the back of my truck on the home.

    I have no idea what kind this is or how to operate it. There was no plumbing with it and no directions.

    I am wondering if any of you folks can recognize what brand this might be and if anybody has experience with this style.

    I have attached some photos (hopefully).

    There appears to be two small threaded (3/8") input holes one on each end. Additionally, there is a third threaded hole on one side which I am assuming is the drain.

    Thanks for any comments you folks might have on this washer.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. hortense

    hortense Member

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    Perhaps, stating the obvious, the washer shown in your photo is a vertical washer. However, to function properly, this type of washer requires putting water in at the bottom and extracting it at the top. In theory, this take the fixer that is heavier than water up and out the top. If, in fact, there is such a design arrangement, I can't see in your photo. However, you could modify this easily enough yourself.
     
  3. lee

    lee Member

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    looks a lot like my Oriental washer that I am sure is re-badged from some other unknown maker. Sorry I cannot be of futher assistance.


    lee\c
     
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  4. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Shouldn't this be instead: water coming from the top and leaving at the bottom? The heavier residues will fall naturally at the bottom of the washer, so that they will drain away with the water by gravity.
     
  5. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Nope, don't work that way. Fred Picker thought so too and sold a lot of washers that didn't wash.

    Water enters from the bottom and lifts the chemistry by friction, naturally carrying it to the top (like water & oil - oil is lighter, so is photochemistry) and out over the top. Once your washer is filled, a simple syphon will keep the movement going or it may be designed to simply over flow in a sink. It takes the same amount of water to do one print as it does 10 prints, depending on how many the washer can accommodate. It is wasting water to do just a few prints. May be less wasteful to do the maximum number but will still be expensive if you pay for water. But it sure will clean fiber prints in a short amount of time.

    My $.02
     
  6. djklmnop

    djklmnop Member

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    My washer is similar to the one you have, with thicker walls and flaps for carrying the tank. The water goes in from the bottom. The dual tubes on the sides sucks in air to create bubbles which will help agitate the print as they are being cleaned. The washer doesnt have an exit tube and is basically a spill-over washer. I have problems with this since I don't have a darkroom sink and end up having the print washer sit in the bathtub when washing my prints.

    Oh, and the brand I have is East Street Gallery Print Washer.

    Andy
     
  7. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    Agreed, pure fixer is heavier than water. But in the washer they mix and diffuse. So the only function of the washer is to introduce clean water, mix with the fixer, and let the contaminated water exit. It should make no difference if the clean water is introduced at the top or bottom, as long as the clean water mixes and diffuses throughout the tank before it exits.

    What does make a difference, is to expose as much of the paper to the water as possible. That is, there should be some method of separating the sheets, to keep them from touching one another.
     
  8. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    I am unfamiliar with the pictured washer but have designed an built several of these and am well familiar with the general principle. Forget the heavier than water discussions. That would only be applicable in a totally stagnant environment.

    You are exposing the paper to a leaching process in which water soluble chemicals are being drawn out of the gelatin emulsion and are going into solution in the wash water. The important factors in washer design is to introduce a flow that will create a slight current to all parts of the washer. Most designs will create an inlet pressure box that introduces 2 or more jets into each paper slot. The beauty of this design is that you can achieve a good wash with relatively low levels of flow.

    You are correct in identifying the three holes. One will be a supply inlet for fresh wash water, one will be a discharge for "used" wash water (usually at the top of the unit) and the last will be a drain for emptying the unit at the conclusion of the wash session.

    As an aside, I plumbed my washer so that the discharge water flows into my print holding tray, providing a slow "double-duty" supply of water for prints awaiting their turn in the final wash.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2005
  9. shicks5319

    shicks5319 Member

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    Print Washer - More info

    I am really glad I asked you folks this question. The guy at the camera store was convinced this should be operated with an inflow at both ends.

    I have attached a drawing of this washer (which I should have done with the pictures).

    I can see now after reading your comments that the water should be coming into the washer from the Left side small opening. It then enters the divided chamber holding the prints, fills to the level of the spillway on the right side and the exits through the large opening on the right. The lower smaller opening on the right is probably a drain to be used at the conclusion of the wash cycle (as blaughn has suggested, thanks).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2005
  10. shicks5319

    shicks5319 Member

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    drawing for printwasher

    For some reason, I could not attach the jpg drawing in my previous reply.
     
  11. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Some picture some paint. From a few posts made I can
    just see the fixer flowing from the paper then settling
    at the bottom as would a pool of mercury.

    In a few words, after a short rinse the surface fix is
    removed. The little left, molecule by molecule, diffuses
    to the paper surface and mixes with molecules of water.

    I avoid the whole matter of proper flow and bubble
    trouble by using the still water diffusion method. Two trays
    are used. I've incorporated hydrophobic separator sheets
    to keep prints "from touching one another". Dan
     
  12. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    washer

    I've also found that a fairly good wash for 30 minutes with some HCA added then a rest for several hours accomplishes about the same results as washing continuously.I do this for my proofing. For a good workflow on final washing check out the AZO web site.
    Best, Peter