Using paper drums for film processing

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by mgb74, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    I do 4x5 infrequently and in small quantities. An 8x10 Ilford Cibachrome paper drum on the closeout bin at a local store got me thinking (a dangerous, if infrequent, event).

    I could cut the drum down to about 6 inches in lenth, add spacers/guides lengthwise in the drum, and have room for 3 4x5 sheets with daylight tank ability to add and drain chemicals. This assumes the film (emulsion side out) would stay in place. The spacers would need to be high enough to keep the film in place but low enough to allow chemicals to pass over when the drum is rotated.

    I don't have a really functional darkroom yet, so the daylight chemical change is key.

    One would think this has been tried before. Any thoughts, guidance, advice? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Why would you go cutting the drum? You'll only cause yourself problems sooner or later. It's not like a paper drum uses a lot of chemicals.
     
  3. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, MGB74,

    What you're contemplating will probably work, although Nick's point is very appropriate. My thought is that you're planning to do a lot more work than the result is worth. The Cibachrome drum is not a good choice for 4 x 5 film processing since it has a completely smooth interior without any provision for multiple pieces of paper or film. For almost nothing you can buy a used 8 x 10 Chromega (my preference) or Unicolor drum with the necessary rods and spacer. A motor base will make things easier and should be available for less than $20.00. That set-up will allow you to process four 4 x 5's with minimal amounts of chemicals and almost no chance of damaging the film. Do an APUG search on this topic; it has been discussed extensively in various threads.

    Konical