What would you want from a darkroom sink?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Ghostman, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Ghostman

    Ghostman Subscriber

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    I have the opportunity to build a darkroom. I will design a table top for the dry side and then specify and design a sink and have that built. I have only been in front of one proper darkroom sink, so I'd like to ask you all:
    If you had the opportunity to have a new darkroom sink made, what would you want from it?
    If you have one, what do you like about it? What don't you like about it?
     
  2. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I made mine out of marine plywood and epoxy with fiberglass.
    Notes to myself:
    make it free standing on a sturdy stand with shelves under the sink and a shelf along the back.
    bring the faucet out of the wall above the sink so a couple of feet of sink isn't lost to faucet and hose.
    make it high enough that I don't have to bend over it.
    run a flat rail along the front of the sink to rest my elbows
    put towel hangers along the front.
    keep the sink separate from the stand and build it sturdy enough that it never ever develops cracks.
    make sure it runs down hill to the drain.
    dennis
     
  3. ataim

    ataim Member

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    Size. What is the largest that you want to enlarge to? For me my sink is too small. I have the 8' delta ABS sink. The largest that it can handle with flat trays is 20" it is really tight. I'm starting to print larger and it has become real pain. Next one will be as big as possible, around 12' long and 36" inside.
     
  4. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Ok very good question

    If you have space build a sink in a t shape out of wood, place it so you can walk around the entire sink.

    If you have good water, bring in two separate lines and place them at preferred locations.

    Use very long hoses from each water line , the water line should be coming from the top or the bottom which still allows you to walk around.

    You may have to build a step platform to protect the drain and water supply going from the wall to the sink

    I use washroom shower faucets with a themostat included to quickly change the temperature of the water.
     
  5. Ghostman

    Ghostman Subscriber

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    Wonderful, thanks Dennis.

    If my sink is facing north, the taps (faucet) and drain are to my left, East. I work left to right. Does one actually want an active stream of water running down the sink? For example, I have seen some where the archive washer is mounted at one and and the overflow runs down the sink.

    I don't print larger than 16" x 20"

    Thanks Bob. I will have to build it against a wall, I guess I have about 3 X 3 meters (or thereabouts). I am restricted to where the water source is, but as you say I can run long hoses.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2014
  6. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I personally don't run much water down the length of the sink unless I am washing it. I keep my archival washer on the faucet end and a sheet of plate glass there to squeege prints. When dumping chemicals out of trays I generally walk them down to the drain and dump them rather than tip the trays and let the chemicals run the length of the sink.
    I have a splitter on my faucet so that one side is always hooked to the washer and on the other side there is a garden hose that is long enough to go to the far end of the sink.
    My sink is 14 feet long and 30 inches front to back. Actually I have two sinks. One is 6 feet long and is dedicated to film processing. Both sinks are free standing with the faucet on the wall so I can merely disconnect the drain and move the sink if I have to.
    Dennis
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Stainless steel
    Large enough but not too large
    Self cleaning would really be great
     
  8. ROL

    ROL Member

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  9. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Before building a sink I would keep my eye out for a used one. This assumes you do not need some unusual shape/configuration. There are a number of benefits to buying one already made. I have two sinks, one is about 48 X 38 inches and the other is 3 ft by 9 ft. Both have dual faucets installed and the smaller one has a back splash. The point being both were purpose built originally from stainless steel and already have plumbing installed. THe smaller one had a base so all that was required was hooking up the plumbing. If ones time has value, I doubt much money, if any, will be save by building your own. I have over the past several years turned down offers for free perfectly good commercially produced darkroom sinks. Start looking and get the word out to folks who might hear about sinks available such as teacher, photo hobbiest, commercial labs, etc. Ask! Bill Barber
     
  10. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Long hoses are a blessing
     
  11. Ghostman

    Ghostman Subscriber

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    Wonderful link, thank you.
     
  12. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    The height of the front edge to match up to my forearm, so I don't have to lean over soo much, as on a low sink.
    Large enough for the biggest trays I can think of using.
    Temperature controlled faucet, for mixing chemicals and setting up water baths.
    The longer the sink is the more faucets I want, to avoid having to use a long hose and run back and forth to the faucet (an accident waiting to happen).
    Stainless steel would be ideal, but fiberglass or varnished plywood is more realistic for most of us.
    Setup with the print washer so the print washer can drain into the sink. Or if the washer is tall, set the washer at a convenient height and have a separate drain for it.
    Separate part of the sink for developing film vs paper. The layout of stuff is different. This gets more important if you do sheet film (4x5 and larger).
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Depending on your circumstances, you might find an L shaped sink placed into the corner of a room to be advantageous.

    A combination of a deep, smaller sink (think laundry room) plus a wide, flat area with a fairly low edge/rim and a drain at one end can be an excellent one.