Table Saw in the Darkroom ???

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Reinhold, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. Reinhold

    Reinhold Subscriber

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    Well, not really in the darkroom per se, but a table saw is pretty useful when making things for the darkroom.

    Hence a question...
    How many of you folks actually make things for your darkroom, other than the usual shelves & sinks?
    Things that are durable and useable over the long haul, not just the occasional quick-fix lash-up.

    Some things that I've made over the years...

    Negative carriers... for Beseler enlargers, 4x5 & 5x7. (Not just matboard cut-outs).
    A conversion for a 5x7 cold light onto a Beseler 4x5 chassis.
    Paper safes... (I counted 17 of 'em, ranging in size from 8x10 to 20x24, & 40" rolls).
    Film safes... (4 of 'em for 8x20 film)
    Easels.... (I counted 14, ranging from 5.5x7" up to 20x24", plus several in landscape format.
    Plexiglass tanks for 120 & 220 roll film processing.
    Plexiglass tanks for 4x5 & 5x7 film hanger processing.
    Plexiglass print washers (5 of 'em, so far).
    Pull chain switch controlled receptacle boxes for controlling overhead tights.
    Racks for hanging RC prints to drip-dry (instead of the usual clothes line across the sink).
    A "garage" for my collection of enlarging lenses.
    "Swing-away" under the lens holders for variable contrast filters.
    A hot/cold water temperature control mixing system.

    Dedicated equipment sure makes it easier to get things done.
    Plus, it's fun to design and make things to suit your unique working style.

    Ok', let's hear (& see) what you've made...

    Reinhold

    www.classicBWphoto.com
     
  2. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    Hello. I have only made my field camera. No darkroom stuff yet, except a few cabinet.

    BUT, I would be very interested in your plexiglass film developing gear, as I'm designing these in my head right now.
     
  3. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon, Reinhold,

    I don't have a table saw in my darkroom, but a drill press and the usual portable electric tools are nearby in the basement. I have made a few easels in the past and recently built a table for my processing trays with storage spots underneath. I keep thinking that I really should build a custom enlarger table with center drop-out for making extra large prints. Since I don't have much reason to make extra large prints, procrastination is currently carrying the day, but maybe not forever.

    Re the Plexiglas: What kind of circular saw blade would you recommend, and is a portable saw practical for such work? What kind of sealant is most effective?

    Konical
     
  4. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Frames, Sinks, Cabinets, Easels, Enlarging tables, and after seeing how easy it is to cut Lexan, I will be making a larger print washer and perhaps a nitrogen burst dev tank for 12x20 films.
     
  5. Reinhold

    Reinhold Subscriber

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    For making things out of Plexiglass (or Lexan), see this previous post;

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum43/35812-making-your-own-sheet-processing-tank.html

    I use an 8" Freud LU-89 "Non Ferrous" blade for plastics and aluminum. It's a triple-chip grind with a negative hook (that's important... the blade won't "grab" the material). For a portable saw, look at Freud's 7" thin kerf 56 tooth non-ferrous blade #TK-703. A good saw guide is critical for precision edges.

    These blades make clean cuts which are ready to bond without further ado.

    Use the solvent type bonding method, it's much neater than using a goopy sealant to hold things together. TAP Plastics has info on how to do it (easy).

    Have fun.

    Reinhold

    www.classicBWphoto.com
     
  6. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, Reinhold,

    Thanks much!

    Konical
     
  7. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Hello Reinhold, I have a non ferrous blade on a 10' table saw dedicated to cutting brass, copper and aluminum. I've made some nice aluminum lens boards. It's possible to dado with the blade, I have a 10" table saw for precision woodworking also and a full size cabinet shop shaper along with the usual furniture making machinery.

    I recently made some Lexan paddles with holes for stirring chemicals without air entrainment and some Lexan Rod stirrers. I went to the local glass shop and asked if they had some Plexiglas and they loaded me up with a bunch of Lexan brand free.

    My shop is in the same building but not in the darkroom.

    Curt
     
  8. SchwinnParamount

    SchwinnParamount Subscriber

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    I made my enlarger table in my wood shop. It is heavy and sturdy. As it sits on a cement floor, I don't worry so much about vibration due to childish leaping and prancing about in the house.
     
  9. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I built my darkroom from scratch, including framing two of the walls. All the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. Built the cabinets, drying racks, and the stands for the sink and print washer. More to the original post, though, is probably the wall mount for the Omega B22.

    Alas, we sold that house this past Summer and all that gear got pulled out and is waiting for me to get started on the next bigger and better darkroom in the new house. More space, more sinks, more enlargers! Woo Hoo! :D
     
  10. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    I have built a number of items for my darkroom and the table saw is my most used power tool. My saw is located on one of my farms and I often use it when no one else is around. The saw also gets used by others, who often use it without others around. Cell reception is sketchy at the farm.

    I was worried about someone getting hurt on the job, or cutting my own hand off when I used it (A friend of mine cut off the tip of one finger and cut into two other fingers using a saw in his garage. Luckily his wife heard him scream and called 911, saving most of his fingers.)

    Anyway, I decided to invest in a Sawstop Table Saw. (Yes they are expensive). The saw automatically retracts when it hits flesh (or a hot dog), thus preventing severe injury. Luckily, we have not had occasion to use the mechanism, yet. But it is reassuring to know that my farm workers are a little safer on the job. We liked the saw so much that we bought on for the local high school.

    Check out the Hot Dog video at the Sawstop website: http://www.sawstop.com/howitworks/videos.php
     
  11. Reinhold

    Reinhold Subscriber

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    Any photo's of the things you've created?
    A picture is worth weeks of head scratching trying to figure out how to make something.
    (I suppose I should take my own advise...later)

    Reinhold

    www.classicBWphoto.com
     
  12. largely

    largely Subscriber

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    I have a fairly complete machining (lathe, mill, saw, grinders etc.) and welding (tig, mig and gas) facility so I can pretty much make whatever I want.
    I don't have any woodworking equipment but I can do some wooden stuff with what I have.

    Larry
     
  13. Denis K

    Denis K Member

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    When I saw your thread titled: "Table Saw in the Darkroom", I pictured some form of new sport similar to "Extreme Ironing" (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_ironing ), with photographers using table saws in their darkroom with the lights out. Shucks, that sounded exciting.

    However, to answer your question, what I have always wanted to build is a phone-booth sized darkroom out in my garage, big enough only for use in loading and unloading film. Like a lot of people, I have to double-duty one of my bathrooms when I want to do any printing and the setup and teardown time is too extensive when all I want to do is load film into a jobo reel. During one occasion when I was taking photo classes we had a tiny darkroom for just that purpose. It was about the size of a phone booth and had a regular closet door with light seals to keep out the light. It didn't need ventilation, since you only needed to be sealed up for a few minutes and it worked great. Since then, I've always wanted to build one out in my garage. I currently use a changing tent, but that isn't nearly as handy as just being able to step in and close the door.

    Denis K
     
  14. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Reinhold, I'm impressed. I have a radial arm saw right outside the darkroom (opposite side from the door) that I've used to make a plexi tank or 2, and a rack and such, and to build the darkroom itself, but your list and range of stuff is in another class.
     
  15. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    While I have a table saw, I have only used it for cutting 4" lensboards. I have a metal lathe (4' bed, 11" swing) with a milling attachment that I use a lot more for making camera parts. The last thing I made on it was a small brass pin to replace a broken hinge pin on an Agfa Isolette.
     
  16. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Walls for the darkroom
    counters and cabinets
    8x10 enlarger from wood
    processing tubes
    print drying cabinet/racks
    UV bank
    plumbing and electric for everything
    reducing backs
    easels
    Lens boards
    a covered back deck to have a glass of scotch on after working all day