Probably fair comment about water. I don't have a plumbed space, so my sink drains into a 5 gallon bucket. The trick is to never bring in more than 5 gallons of clean water 8-) I separate fixer / selenium toner for cleaning or hazardous waste disposal, but the rest goes to waste. Fortunately it only has to be carried about 20'. Washing gets done in the main house. It is not too tedious to transport a tray of wet prints for washing or back for drying (my drying racks are over my darkroom sink). I go back and forth about the water issue. I suppose if it was enough of a problem I would fix it. But it is a lot less trouble than packing up so the rest of the family can use the bathroom.
macandal: I sent you a PM about a visit if you wish to follow up on it.
I don’t have running water in my darkroom, so stack prints in a holding tray until I have sufficient to make trip to the bathroom, where I have an archival washer.
Not having running water in the darkroom is less of a problem than you might imagine.
However, a word of advice.
Only carry wet prints around the house.
A standard print tray is an ideal way of moving them.
Never carry trays of water/chemicals – sooner or later, it will get away from you and a complete sense of humour failure will be the inevitable consequence.
When I first moved to VT I worked in a walk-in closet that was above a laundry room. Ran pipes & drains up to it. It was tiny, but functioned quite well for those first few years- until I could build my current space. It was L shaped, went around a chimney. From the door, the sink was on the left, about 6' x 15" just big enough for 11x14 trays. past the chimney on right I had the enlarger in the foot of the L.
I'll agree water makes everything simpler. My first darkroom in '82 was a black plastic wall in a bedroom with an adjoining bathroom (the only bathroom in the apartment I shared with two others). Not always easy.
After about two years since I originally posted, I'm reviving this thread. Maybe in 5 years I'll get it done. So, I know that people have built darkrooms in impossibly small and difficult places, which tells me that the moral of this story is where there's a will there's a way. So, one of the options (read: spaces) I have for my darkroom is a long hallway-type of space, about 40 squared feet of space. The measurements are 3'5"x12'. Let's make this more difficult. Let's say I am going to work in 35mm, maybe MF, and definitely 4x5 and 8x10. But why stop there? Let's also say I want to make prints in color and B&W, and I want to go as large as 20x24. Nice little challenge, no? I know there'll be compromises, but I want to hear what you guys have to say. I was trying to work it out in my head and I got a headache. Is this possible or not? I was thinking of putting the enlarger at the end of this hallway. Thanks.
Pretty much anything is possible, if you're determined.
My darkroom is about 6x8 feet in a partially converted bathroom, so we're similar in sq feet. I have a 4x5 enlarger, and do everything from 35mm up to 8x10. Though it's a pretty small space, overall I like the compactness, and it keeps me rigorous about keeping everything in its place. I don't print anything larger than 11x14 on a routine basis, though I could do 16x20's in theory.
Will the space be plumbed? I think the bigest problem you have is accomodating trays and or a sink in the width. Is the hall dead space now, or does it provide access to other rooms that must stay clear?
Tray processing 20x24 will be pretty difficult in a space that narrow, but it's probably workable in drums. Another possibility to save space would be a Nova slot processor.
I'm building out a small darkroom in San Rafael next week, you're welcome to drop by for inspiration.
Mine's a 6-foot cube. Just cut it in half...
You could run a 6 foot sink and have 6 foot dry shelf after the sink, room for two enlargers.
This is my darkroom. I hope it will help you.
The "hallway" darkroom at my old employer.
That one's perfect!
Originally Posted by David Brown