4x5 development tubes
For those who have never tried tube development, this is a short read on how to make them. Cost is about $5.00 per tube, once a 10' length of drain line is bought. Time is about 5 minutes each, once tubes are cut to length.
Materials: 1 - 6" length of 1 1/2" ABS drain line from plumbing supply or Home Delay
1 - 1 1/2" cap (flat bottom is easier to use than round type as tube stands up)
1 - 1 1/2" female threaded adapter
1 - 1 1/2" screw plug
1 - 4" x 6" fiberglass screen
1 - Small can of ABS cement
Cut a length of 1 1/2" ABS tube into 6" lengths (cost is about $5.00). I use a table saw with a carbide blade. You could use a hand saw or chop box, but even cuts make the job quick and easy. De-burr the inside and outside edges with sandpaper or a half round file, no sharp edges.
Glue a cap on one end. Use just enough adhesive to cover the end of the pipe, but not enough to run around and drip. Work on newspaper to avoid a mess.
Glue a female adapter on the other end of each tube and let it all dry so the glue is hard.
Cut fiberglass screen material so the actual size is 4x5 with a tab 1" long sticking out of one side in the center. I just fold the screen in half and use sharp scissors to do the trim.
To use these tubes, load a film rolled in the screen in the dark, then add enough water for some presoaking, this helps with even development. Place tube in a tub of water at correct temperature and spin it a few times.
Mix developer and pre-measure correct amount for tube (I use 100ml of pyrocat per sheet with my system). Turn out lights, dump presoak, add developer, screw on lid and start timer.
Lights back on and spin tube gently for entire time. Lights out, dump developer and add stop. Dump stop and add fixer.
Lights on and fix for correct time, dump and remove sheet by pulling tab on the screen. Into wash and you're done.
Once you start using this method, you won't want to go back to trays. tim
comments from the previous article system:
By BarrieB - 04:43 AM, 02-24-2005 Rating: None
Question, I have heard of PVC tube, What is ABS ? Is it always black ? What is the 'Wall' thickness ? Cheers Barrie B. Australia.
By noseoil - 02:25 PM, 02-24-2005 Rating: None
Barrie, ABS is the generic name in the U.S. for drain lines used in residential & commercial plumbing. It is always black. The I.D. of this tube is about 120mm and wall thickness is about 2.5 or 3mm.
Three things you must know for plumbing:
1 - Payday is on friday
2 - $hit flows downhill
3 - Don't lick your fingers
By BarrieB - 09:13 PM, 03-29-2005 Rating: None
Thanks, Drain pipe in Australia is 'White' and is semi-transparent. I shall have to look out for that ' Black' ABS material and see where it is used. ( Irrigation pipes used in agriculture is black ) Cheers .
By noseoil - 03:46 PM, 03-30-2005 Rating: None
Barrie, if you get a chance, pleas let us know what you find for a similar product in oz, brand name, manufacturer, etc. Thanks, tim
By titrisol - 04:20 PM, 03-30-2005 Rating: None
ABS is the name of the polymer [Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene]
ABS is harder, more resiatnt to breakage, and has a nice shine to it.
By nsmith01tx - 03:16 AM, 04-01-2005 Rating: None
Does it make sense that this same setup would work just as well for 2x3 sheet film?
Seems as tho the only adjustment would be cutting the screen to fit 2x3 ... and I guess the pipe wouldn't need to be as long.
By noseoil - 09:59 PM, 04-01-2005 Rating: None
2x3 or whatever size you need. Just make sure the tubes don't pass light. tim
By blackdogphoto - 05:34 AM, 04-13-2005 Rating: None
Does the screen scratch the negitive at all? and changing chems still is done in the dark right?
By noseoil - 09:20 PM, 04-18-2005 Rating: None
Make sure the screen is slightly larger than the film size. If not, the screen can pull out and leave the film behind with scratches on the backing side.
Chemicals done in the dark.
By mikepry - 02:10 AM, 04-22-2005 Rating: None
ABS is not the easiest to find in some areas of the country. An option is to buy some Krylon "Fusion" spray paint and paint them black. It is made for plastic and works really well. If your doing more than one tube at a time, try getting a tub with a lid and large enough to hold 4-5 tubes and put in enough stop bath to cover all of your tubes. Then when developer is done, simply empty the used dev. and plunge the tube into the tub of stop bath and it can stay till the others go in. This also can be done under a safelight or DIM room light if you get it in the tub in a few seconds. Don't dilly dally here. Then unload and into a tray of fixer (safelight is okay at this point) and voila. The tub is then covered till the next dev. session and no fumes and stop bath is cheap enough to mix in large quantities. My tub was bought at Wal Fart for about 6 bucks. It is around 20" long 8" wide and 8" high or deep.
By grahamp - 07:25 PM, 04-23-2005 Rating: None
I don't bother with the screen. The outside of the curved film is the anti-halation coating, and that clears in the wash if not before. I also put a light trap / inversion top on mine. http://www.btinternet.com/~g.a.patt.../lfdevelop.html .
By Murray@uptowngallery - 04:27 AM, 05-04-2005 Rating: None
I have heard that black ABS is UV-opaque, but white PVC is not.
ABS is not (apparently) easily found in my state (Michigan) because plumbing code doesn't require it...therefore suppliers do not stock it.
I've debated a drive to a neighboring state, but it' s not worth the 3 hour drive.
Maybe someone for whom it's a garden-variety item should sell kits and retire from their day job~!
By markbb - 09:58 AM, 10-26-2005 Rating: None
can you tell me what the fibreglass screen material is like? (we don't have screen doors in the UK). What size is the mesh, approximaltely what size are the filaments? Is there any benefit in using fibreglass?
By johnnywalker - 12:27 AM, 11-22-2005 Rating: None
I bought the stuff today and made a couple, but it cost more than $6.00! Fortunately ABS seems to be ubiquitous in the hardware stores here in B.C. Should be worth it. Very easy to make. The only potential problem I see is the fibreglass screen. It wants to unravel, and I don't see it lasting very long.
Re the fibreglass, go to a boat supply place for it. They use it for fixing and making fibreglass boats, amongst other things. It's not used for screen doors. It's more like cloth than screen.