Anyone use a Film drying Cabinet?
I'm about to purchase one at a price of $165 for a 6' tall filtered cabinet.
Does this make a huge difference when drying as far as keeping down the dust etc?
Thank you for any responses.
i use a plastic closet with doors
made by rigid ( home depot ) ...
i didn't install all the shelves, drilled holes in the
sides and strung framers wire ( braided wire ) and
string across with clothes pins.
it costs a ton less than a filtered cabinet, keeps dust down,
and is very easy to transport ( flat box )
and make ... ( i think it snaps together ).
I live in a reasonably moist place, even so in summer we can sometimes get down to 2% or so humidity.
If you can engineer a humid area, think bathroom with a hot spray of water just before you hang the film up, you should have virtually dust free negatives.
I have used quite a few film dryers, even built one using plywood, silastic to seal the joints, a modified coat hanger for the hanging bit, velcroed clear plastic sheet for the door and an old German Braun hair dryer for the heat. Set the dryer onto the low heat and fan speed settings and in fifteen minutes dry film with a slight curl. I used a very small mouth/nose paper filter for filtering the air blast from the dryer.
The home built dryer worked very well, but I now rarely develop more than 8 rolls or sheets in a session, so I don't need one and didn't build it into my current darkroom, which is 22 or so years old.
I hang my own film straight in the darkroom, it is touch dry after about 30 minutes, but really dry after about 45-50 minutes at 20ºC.
I don't think a film dryer is that great an idea for most people, however if you are running through copious amounts of film, maybe.
In the commercial dip and dunk lab I worked in film dryers are a fact of life, however the air was filtered quite vigorously through an interesting 5 stage filter.
The main reason I see for using a drying cabinet is to help keep your film from getting junk on it while drying. That reason is good enough for me to have one. Bill Barber
All good points thus far, thank you.
Presently I've been using my bathroom after running the shower's hot water and I still get junk on it. It's my biggest "bummer" since coming back to film some months ago and it really takes the fun out of it. But I love film and will do most anything to improve it. I'm using a Epson V500 scanner now which I'm not happy about either because of the curl in the neg. I may get the glass add on from betterscanning.com to help with that.
That reminds me. Where would I find ANR glass if I wanted to explore doing this myself.
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I used one at a local community college and works good.
Four years ago I bought a standing canvas covered closet on casters from Bed Bath & Beyond at a local store. They no longer offer that exact version. The first one listed here seems to be similar. Give the cedar pieces to you wife for her closet and make points for the next time you buy a lens. The advantage of canvas over plastic is that the moisture can evaporate out but the dust can’t go in. Since the canvas is a little hard to take apart I cover the whole thing with an old sheet and wash that quarterly just to keep dust out of the canvas weave. Following are some variations that can be ordered on line.
I just hung two freshly developed 7x17 inch film sheets in it a minute ago. Dry time depends on the humidly near it. I usually wait over night. Ruining a large negative after going through all the previous steps to create it is also a bummer. If the negative is clean going in and fully rinsed, it is clean and dust free coming out. I use the closet for the range I shoot: 6x7cm, 4x5, 8x10 and 7x17. The advantage of having on casters is that I can load it in the darkroom when I finish developing then push the closet out into the basement near the furnace to dry leaving that space clear in the darkroom for other work.
Canvas Storage Wardrobe With Cedar Panels
Need an extra closet? Get organized with this canvas wardrobe. It features cedar panels to protect and freshen whatever you store. (Cedar side panels are removable.) Rugged cotton canvas shell has easy access zippers. Rolling casters make it easy to move. Measures 30" W x 20" D x 66" H.
36" Clear Storage Closet
Keep out of season clothes dust-free and organized in this clear closet. The super transparent vinyl allows you to see what's inside without having to open it. The horseshoe zipper opening offers easy access while the breathable lower panel allows for air circulation. Features easy rolling casters for mobility. Slight assembly required. 36" W x 63" H x 20" D. 2-year limited warranty.
Canvas 14" W x 42" L Suit/Coat Storage Bag
Store your favorite suits and coats in this heavy-weight, breathable canvas storage bag that keeps your clothes fresh, clean, and easily accessible. Features a self correcting nylon zipper and EZ view clear vinyl panels. Storage bag measures 14" W x 42" L and holds one suit or coat. Two-year limited warranty.
I made mine from a towel closet and two hair dryers. Works real nice!
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit"
In the early '80s I bought a film drying cabinet, metal, tall enough for 20 exposure (35mm) rolls (so it fit on the counter top) with a timer, two heat settings, air only and a filter. I've used it ever since. I was working in a commercial environment so the dryer was required for minimizing turn-around times. I'm no longer working commercially but I'm still glad the investment was made. Two years ago I obtained the taller version (36 exp. hang vertically) of the same dryer, for free, from a hospital photo dept. going digital. It now resides in the darkroom at a local school and is used daily by a number of folks. (all of whom are happy to have it...)
It was a lot of money ($800), but it's amortizing well (28 yrs and counting...)
The trick is to keep it clean inside and to swap the filter periodically (available at the HD and other home-centres as the cut-it-to-size, high efficiency, hot-air register filter material)