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  1. #1
    blaze-on's Avatar
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    Darkroom building/ventilation advice

    I am currently under construction on my "in house" darkroom. I've partitioned off a back room to include no windows, have 8' x 11' and 99" height so my Durst L1200 sites fine on a 30" high table.

    I plan on putting in a laundry type deep sink along a wall that falls between two small corner closets which will contain print dry (fiberglass screens) racks, shelves for chemical storage, film drying,etc.

    I think I will build a box shelf above sink about 5' high that will contain two bathroom exhaust fans and vent them (ea.) straight up into attic...shelf can also be used as, well, a shelf!

    Q#1) Is that acceptable, or should they vent all the way to the outside?

    I will most likely go vertical with the trays next to sink as I will be limited to 6 feet of width in that space.

    On the opposite wall from sink, where my 6' counter will be, I am thinking a set of 3 or 4 2.5 inch tubes, elbowed twice (in the wall) to have airflow into the room. This incoming will be from the house-not outdoors and they will be set low from one foot to about three from floor.

    Q#2) Is this enough? Too much? Or other suggestions.

    I am trying to rough this in while trying to keep from messing up the house too much. It is also my own first darkroom. No more stepford labs for me.
    There will be six dual electric outlets, which someone will say "not enough", but that be the way it is...

    I also have finished wood floors-vintage 1938 that I refinished, so I may lay down something overall...any thoughts?

    Your experience is appreciated-thanks.
    Matt's Photo Site
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover". Auguste Rodin

  2. #2

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    venting potentially moist darkroom air into the attic doesn't sound like a great idea to me.

  3. #3
    Neil Souch's Avatar
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    Hi,
    Re ventilation etc. Sounds OK. I have one big kitchen extractor going via a duct into my loft and it is wired up through a stat (suitable dimmer switch) to control the speed and noise! The loft needs to be well ventilated though and not connected to a neighbour in anyway. My house dates back to 1881 and I have had no adverse problems with venting into the loft, but it is a large a drafty loft. I ran a load of that flexi vent tubing across the joists to a suitable drafty exit spot! I am sure this is a bit naughty though and if you asked you local building control dept they would want it venting externally. I would do it and take it away if you ever move, unless you can easily do an exteral exit.

    Enjoy finishing off your darkroom,

    Neil.

  4. #4
    Aggie's Avatar
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    Matt, You're in California. They most likely will requitre it to be vented outside. Also do a quad type electical outlet, at some of the points, where you might have more usage. Better to have too much of the outlets than not enough. You most likely will be doing the finishing stuff outside of the darkroom. The floor I would proctect with those linking type rubber mats. Geary has some in his darkroom, and will probably chime in where to get them.
    Non Digital Diva

  5. #5
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Venting through the roof is probably preferable, but adds complexity, cost, and other risks - unless you have it done by a professional roofer. Venting into the attic crawl space may be OK, depending on whether it is well-ventilated to begin with, and whether it's a real "attic" used for storage or just an unfinished crawl space. As Neil suggests, local building codes may be far more restrictive with respect to venting, your electrical, and the plumbing.

    Laundry-room style deep sinks are attractive from a price perspective, but might be tiring to work with. I think I'd suggest a sink depth that doesn't require you to bend over to access smaller items at the bottom of the sink - 8" or so deep, perhaps. Also, you might consider a faucet with the tall, crooked spout like they use for bar sinks. One that incorporates a hand sprayer nozzle is convenient, too.

    Linoleum or asphalt tile flooring would probably be a good idea, as well. Any chemical spillage on the wood floors might cause other problems.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  6. #6

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    Venting

    From a photographer and architect...

    Discretion frequently being the better part of valor (or expediency) I strongly recommend that the darkroom be vented to the outside, even in warmer and dryer Southern California... particularly if the attic space is contiguous over other areas of the house. I would not rely on the natural draft in the attic to reliably remove the moisture and odor.

  7. #7
    blaze-on's Avatar
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    I appreciate the "bend over" problem pointed out Ralph, good point. It's always easier to envision something when one hasn't had hands on usage to learn the "wish I had done this" stuff. Maybe a sink "insert", a base that actually raises bottom up enough, unless i can find a used stainless from a defunct commercial kitchen or something similar that is not so deep. But I am a messy sort when i get crankin' on stuff.

    My house just got a new roof so i don't want to go through it, but I did add two turbine roof mount vents, and there are slat style vents at both ends of house in gable peaks. Perhaps I'll run some flex pipe to the vent areas.

    What about the "in flow" pipe vents from the house air? Ok?
    I was told that it would bring in less dust than from outside. Thoughts?
    My reason for this is to only have holes in the "faux" wall, which I'm building so that it may be taken down easily enough for the future lucky owners of this house..

    Thanks to all so far, and yeah, Aggie, I guess a four banger instead of a double is easy-good idea.

    I'm doing it all myself, and am fairly competant at most of this-especially demo work.
    Matt's Photo Site
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover". Auguste Rodin

  8. #8
    Aggie's Avatar
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    Why not make your own sink? It can be done out of plywood and lots of marine sealer paint, epoxy and other stuff. Many here have made their own. To bad you are not doing this on the side of the room that has a window. You could get a board to fit the window space, and put the vent in it. Then no extra piping, orproblems with knocking a hole in the wall.
    Non Digital Diva

  9. #9
    blaze-on's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie
    Why not make your own sink? It can be done out of plywood and lots of marine sealer paint, epoxy and other stuff. Many here have made their own. To bad you are not doing this on the side of the room that has a window. You could get a board to fit the window space, and put the vent in it. Then no extra piping, orproblems with knocking a hole in the wall.
    Ah, the best laid plans...The window is next to an exit door. Not good.
    I'm still in a deep thought process about overall layout, so the suggestions here will play a valuable role, as my depth of thought is less than my desired DOF, and that isn't a good thing

    Keep 'em coming...
    Matt's Photo Site
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover". Auguste Rodin

  10. #10

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    This thread reminded me of my own ventilation issue that I have been ignoring. I put my darkroom in my basement. There was already a fan down there, but it vents into the crawlspace under the house. I used it once when I painted something and the whole house ended up smelling like paint, so I have not been using it for the darkroom. The dryer is also down there and vents outside and I was wondering if it is somehow possible to make the two vent to the same hole outside.

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