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  1. #1

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    8 x 20 developing trays

    Now that the 8 x 20 camera is finished and my first film holder is done and now light tight, I need to get into actual shooting and developing. I have the Park Seed Company trays for the negatives and silver prints, but I need some larger trays for platinum/palladium developing. I've already spent enough money getting to this point and am looking for a cheaper alternative for 24" long trays than standard darkroom trays. I've been searching Ebay for used trays, but the shipping costs alone seem very high. Example - a lot of different sized trays (including three 20 x 24 trays) sold for something like $13 but the seller wanted over $70 for shipping.

    Does anyone out there have suggestions for larger trays that are a little more reasonable in cost (like Park Seed Company)?

  2. #2

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    Dan,

    I use Jobo drum for film developing and 16x20 trays for printing. Can't help here. But I am really excited that you can use your camera now. Let's find some time and shoot together. Or shall we wait for Jim?

  3. #3

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    I've been meaning to post a few examples of my trays on my web site but haven't gotten to it yet.
    I make trays out of 1/4" plexi. I figure the dimensions. for example If I want a tray to fit 10" x 24" paper I would get a 11" by 25" piece of plexi for the base, 2 pieces of 25" by 2" x 1/4" for the long sides, and 2 pieces of 10.5" by 2" x 1/4" for the short sides. Most plastics places cut to order, so get them to cut for you. It's then kind of like a kit.The glue used is a solvent glue that melts the plexi when applied, and comes in two types- water thin and thick. Ask you plastics place about application. I use both. first make sure everything looks tiight, and adjust with a plastics scraper or sandpaper where necessary. If the plastics place did a good job you might not need anything. Also the thick glue can fix bigger gaps, though it's stronger if you don't need to do it that way.

    I start with one long side, glueing it flush to the edge with the water thin glue and pressing hard to get a good bond. remember that the glue is dissolving the layer it touches then hardening again. pressure helps.
    then fit and glue two short sides tight to the first piece and flush to the edge. let dry again. then fit and glue last long piece against the two side pieces. when dry you can run a small bead of thick glue around all the seams to make sure you get a water tight bond. Making your own trays takes time, but isn't expensive, and save lot's of room. I've made trays up to 10 feet by 17" and it works great.
    try it
    Jamie

  4. #4

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    I picked up some stacking trays made by the Molded Fiberglass Tray Company. I can't really remember the part no. I think it was 808208 it 23x12x3.

    http://www.mfgtray.com/molded_fiber_...tray_co12.html

    They take up a lot less space while printing being only 12 inches wide. I've been using them for about a year now without any problems.
    George Losse
    www.georgelosse.com

  5. #5
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Zhang View Post
    Dan,

    I use Jobo drum for film developing and 16x20 trays for printing. Can't help here. But I am really excited that you can use your camera now. Let's find some time and shoot together. Or shall we wait for Jim?
    Ok, I know I work slow. The 8x20 will be done as soon as I can get the bellows. Then you bet we will shoot together.

    Jim

  6. #6

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    Jim,

    We will wait for you, take your time. BTW, what's the best time to shoot that dune? Late fall and winter?

  7. #7
    scootermm's Avatar
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    Dan
    Go to home depot or Lowes and get the Grout/cement mixing trays. They cost about $4 a piece, are fairly sturdy, and I can process 12x20 pt/pd prints in them (the sheets are 15"x24") pretty much a perfect match and are cheap enough to buy a bunch for every step. (I bought 8 for all the different steps)

  8. #8
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Zhang View Post
    Jim,

    We will wait for you, take your time. BTW, what's the best time to shoot that dune? Late fall and winter?
    Hugo, the Guadalupe Dunes out of Santa Maria are closed due to the Snowy Prowler migration and nesting. This lasts until about mid to late October. The dunes are open until sometime in February. I have been out about 5 times at this spot and finally found a great spot, or should I say several spots. Be prepaired for a workout though, it is about 2-3 mile out on the soft sand from the parking lot. The last time out with the 8x10 in my shoulder case was a bitch. Definately a good backpack is in order. I have been to this location and run into some wind and have had to make other plans. Still a great location and I have never seen another soul on the dunes every time I've been out.

    Jim

  9. #9

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    Jim,

    Thanks for the information. I think you should get your 8x20 ready by late October. I keep daydreaming about using my 8x20 there ever since you mentioned it to me. I will pack light: one camera and one lens, two holders, dark cloth, meter and a tripod, plus some food and water, all under 50 Ibs. My backpack has two small wheels. I wonder if they work in the dunes.

    Hugo

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the suggestions - I'll do some checking. I like the thought of cheap trays from home depot. I tried their website and didn't see anything - I'll have to stop by the store to see what they have.

    Jim and Hugo - Either of you up for another trip to Joshua Tree??? Could be a warm up (literally) for the dunes.

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