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Well, I have this week off. Vacation centered around my fifth wedding anniversary on Friday. So I decided to do some printing today.
I have new found respect for anyone who does this on a regular basis for a living. I use my downstairs half bath as my darkroom so I fit what I can where I can.
I recently signed up for round 17 of the postcard exchange. So I set up at 8 this morning when the kids left for school. I mixed chemistry last night so by 8:30 I was printing.
At 3:35 I hung my last sheet. 30 postcards. Test print. 6 or 7 work prints. Two mess ups due to a newbie mistake that couls have easily been ten or more. I got the print I wanted so I printed off fourteen more at once. Then I started to process the paper. Opened the paper safe right up with the light on. Fortunately I caught myself quickly enough that only the top sheet was ruined and (at two prints per sheet) only half of the sheet below was fogged which called for three reprints.
And all of this with two of my three trays at about knee height. OY MY BACK!!! I gotta come up with a new arrangement if I ever intend to make another day for printing. Any, postcards are done. Bring on the address list! WOO HOO!!!!!
I worked out of a half bath darkroom while in an apartment (I guess that was darkroom #3 of 6 or 7, depending on how you count them.) I had a set of boards anchored to the wall on either side of the toilet, in an area that was about 3' wide, to act as supports for temporary shelves that I made to support a cascade of trays, with an enalarger basebard sized top shelf.
The enlarger sat on the top shelf, and then after the paper was exposed, it was slipped under the top shelf into the developer tray, then sideways into the stop tray that lived on the same shelf as the dev.
Then down a shef to the fix tray, and then sit in the HCA tray for a while until it was time for fix 2, if printing FB.
The fourth shelf held a larger wash tray (I think it was 16x20, and the other trays were all 8x10) It was fitted with an automatic tray syphon that drained though a hole cut in the shelf to a little trough screwed under that shelf to deposit the drain water into the toilet.
On the 'dry' side, I made a shelf on struts that sat over the basin. There was a hole cut in the back of the shelf to allow me to control the water from the faucet, which usually after the chems were mixed, was used to feed a hose that fed into the wash tray syphon.
So yes, I have lived though your pain. The layout I describe above was what I cam up with after working in an impromptu half bath darkroom setup, and swearing that there had to be a better way.
Rubbermaid tubs, turned upside down and put in place under your trays, are a great way of elevating your trays.
You can then use them to store your stuff when you put your darkroom away.
And if you put a light bulb (low wattage) under the washing-bowl (my UK-english translation of Rubbermaid tubs) then they work ok as dish warmers. Obviously you have to paint the bulbs and the bowls black first...