Waterworks Print Washer

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by djklmnop, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. djklmnop

    djklmnop Member

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    Anyone have experience with these?

    I currently own a 16x20 East Street Gallery slot print washer and the sucker is heavy and cumbersome to set up. Especially since my darkroom is my bathroom.

    I was wondering if it is worthwhile to get this to replace my slot washer that spills over.
     
  2. djklmnop

    djklmnop Member

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  3. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    From what I see in the picture this unit is not a slot type, as each print is not kept in it's own slot, so when you are washing prints, like the old rotary type washers, you will need to time your wash from the time of your last print. It will also use a lot of water just to fill the sink. I have a very small dark room and I use both a 11X14 achival washer and a 11X14 rotary washer, for 16 X 20 I use a small wading pool. I live in the southwest and so I just set it up on my patio, also small, with a Kodak tray spihon. I can usually wash 2 16X20s at a time and I check for residual hypo. I also dry my fiber prints on the patio. I have a set of screens that I hot glued 1 inch spacers to and just stake the screen one on top of the other on a table. This was the method Bernence Abbot used to dry prints.
    Best
    Paul
     
  4. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Gad, that thing is huge! There was a great article about the versalab washer in a past issue of phototechniques by David Vestal. He really liked it except for the weight when filled
     
  6. lauradearborn

    lauradearborn Member

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    Thanks for the referral. We've been building these for over 15 years.
     
  7. eric

    eric Member

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    Ahhh, versalb on apug. Sweet. Can we get a discount? I see on you site that washers are on sale. My Paterson Major has sooo much marine epoxy on it its not even funny.

    Lets see, disposable income -- new versalab...or print dryer...versalab...print dryer.....
     
  8. stormbytes

    stormbytes Member

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    Versalab - An overpriced, overated, disappointment

    I bought a Versalab 16x20 washer a few years back. I remember when I received it, I opened the box to find a huge white 'tub', and a buch of panels, screws, tubes, and vinyl tubing. A simple 1-page instruction sheet was included. At the peril of sounding "spoiled", I expected a bit more in terms of quality & user friendlyness for my (almost) $400.00 (shipping included).

    However, my judgement of Versalab products wasn't rendered just yet. I proceeded to follow the somewhat confusing 'instruction' sheet and managed to get the basket together. Then attached the hoses, fittings and gromets, and finaly, gave it a test run. Wouldn't you know it? The thing leaked! I called Versalab and complained about the situation. The lady I spoke with was certainly very nice and offered to send me somekind of "expesive" silicone to spread around the leaky gromet. The thought was really sweet, but I didn't send you $400 bucks that you had to scotch tape together now did I?

    The design of this washer is so poor/cheap its amazing their still selling them! For those of you who might be considering a Versalab print washer I would advise you to keep you hopes/expectations to a minimum. This is basically a big plastic tub with plastic panels held together on super-long 'screws' and kept apart using plastic bead-like spacers. You have to use tiny nuts on either end of these long screws to keep the panels from falling off.

    As long as we're on the subject, I might as well mention that prints will stick to the sides of the panels LIKE CRAZY! You have to keep playing with them (elbow-high in water if you've got the big sucker) if you hope to get anykind of a wash at all! Also, I'd advise you to keep a socket wrench handy, you'll need it to periodically re-tighten those nuts or your basket may come apart mid-wash.

    I've since switched to the Calumet Deluxe 11x14 Print Washer - What a breath of fresh air! Granted, it cost an arm & a leg. But hey!? I guess you really do get what you pay for! The Calumet washer is (imho) incomparable to the Versalab model. For starters, the compartments are truly independent unlike Versalab's divider "basket". So.. reduced cross-contamination, and no need to time your first-one-out-to-last-one-in.

    I don't mean to shamble Versalab, but in my experience, I'd say your money's probably better off put towards a used professional model on ebay or something.

    Hey!? Anyone want to buy a barely-used 16x20 Versalab washer? Give me HALF of what I paid for it & its yours!

    Cheers
     
  9. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning,

    I can't speak for the 16 x 20 model, but I've been completely satisfied with my 11 x 14 Versalab washer.

    Konical
     
  10. lauradearborn

    lauradearborn Member

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