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  1. #21

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    I use a heavy chunk of MDF. It is mounted on four screw-threaded variable height legs from IKEA. The table can be lowered knee heigh for big prints or raised up. Bonus is that the screw thread legs make it possible to level it with great ease. The enlarger is wall-mounted.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by eli griggs
    I don't think a sitting desk would be a good choice unless you elevate it or happen to be short in physical stature.
    This assumes you work in the darkroom standing up. If you prefer to work sitting, then desk height is likely to be very good. Personally, I prefer to sit; standing through an entire darkroom session (2-4 hours for me, typically) gets to be uncomfortable. I've got a cheap rolling chair so I can move easily from dry to wet side without standing up.

  3. #23
    eli griggs's Avatar
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    Yes, you are right; I did assume that all darkroom work would be done standing. I should have paid closer attention to the thread; it's just that I have never known anyone to do this sort of work from a chair before. Any stools I have used or seen in darkrooms worked well with standing height tables/sinks. I believe I must be prejudice against sitting because I would personally find it an interference with a good work flow. It's been awhile, but when last I did this sort of work a 14 hour day in the darkroom was something I did fairly often. Oh well, live and learn; you’d think at forty-seven I’d know better than to make assumptions like that .

    One more thing if a standing darkroom setup is used. A rail (or beam) like those found on old fashioned bars really does help with long sessions.

    Cheers,
    Eli

  4. #24

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    A small matter but particle board (that cheap yucky stuff) has excellent acoustic/vibration absorbing characteristics. This is why it is used to make speakers. Just make sure it is covered properly or it will fall apart. Kitchen countertops are usually particle board on the inide and a used one is a good choice.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by avandesande
    A small matter but particle board (that cheap yucky stuff) has excellent acoustic/vibration absorbing characteristics. This is why it is used to make speakers. Just make sure it is covered properly or it will fall apart. Kitchen countertops are usually particle board on the inide and a used one is a good choice.
    Particle board is also poor for load bearing spans. MDF (medium density fiberboard) is stiffer, denser, and acoustically as good or better than particle board (found in higher end speakers), and then 3/4" or thicker plywood is again stiffer and better for load bearing spans.

    All should have some sort of stiffening battens if they span a significant gap in the support from below. MDF can be found at Home Depot in the US. Another option is strawboard (also found at Home Depot), made with more quickly renewable straw rather than trees, and without formaldehyde, a bit stiffer than particle board, but less so than MDF. MDF and strawboard also take paint and laminates nicely.

    Lee

  6. #26

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    hi there

    i built a table a few years ago ... it had to be kind of solid ( i have 2 big enlargers and a little one ) ... i used 4x4s for legs - doubled them up. used 2x4s ( 2 ) as "strapping/skirting" to go between the legs and keep them spaced apart right, then i put plywood sheets on top of that ( 1/2" i think ) on the plywood sheets and to dress-it up and make it non-dusty i used countertop. the table is about 3'+/- (like a kitchen table ) with room under it for those plastic drawers that stack-up.

  7. #27

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    You doubled up 4x4s?? Yikes I thought I over built-) Mine with 4x4s for legs holds a very heavy 4x5 enlarger and at the same time I've stood on it. I bet with doubled up 4x4s you could park a car -))

  8. #28
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    Everybody is giving great ideas. I'll just make a small suggestion. I just built a home and I was fortunate enough to have a counter top installed in my darkroom for the workspace. If I had it to do over again, I would have made it lower. For me a standard kitchen counter is too high. Since you are in the planning stages, I would consider going no more then slightly above waist high. That way, you can look down on the image and get a great view. Plus, you can reach up easier to raise and lower your enlarger. In fact, I would do some measurements using your own body and make sure it is custom made for you. I have a stool in my darkroom. However, I don't use it and I am going to take it out to reduce the clutter. Standing at a properly built table to me is better then sitting.
    Often wrong, but never in doubt!

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Zentena
    You doubled up 4x4s?? Yikes I thought I over built-) Mine with 4x4s for legs holds a very heavy 4x5 enlarger and at the same time I've stood on it. I bet with doubled up 4x4s you could park a car -))

    yeah, i kind of over did it i think ... but it ain't goin' nowhere!

  10. #30
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    I have sort of skimmed over this post so if I am repeating advice my apologies. Have you considered two drawer filing cabinets with a large piece of marine ply on top?

    I have restricted head room in my darkroom (7ft from floor to ceiling) and had to put my Durst L1200 on an 18 inch high coffee table (solid mahogany, weighs a ton). I use it with a Japanese kneeling stool which is surprisingly comfortable.

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