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  1. #1
    delphine's Avatar
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    Darkroom - low ceiling

    Hi all,

    I wondered whether any of you, set up a darkroom with low ceiling, and how you dealt with the ceiling height as I am trying to assess whether I could move my darkroom in my loft.

    I have a LPL 7700 with a standard column heigh at 1.1m and a DeVere 504 with Ilford 500 head. I am not sure about the column height of the DeVere, I'd say about 1.2m plus the height of the Ilford 500 head. I am having a conundrum as to how this would work out as I have low ceiling in the loft and the highest point is about 1.9m at the moment, slightly less when the isolation of the ceiling will be done. Small detail

    Any ideas? is it a no hope plan?

    Delphine

  2. #2
    paul_c5x4's Avatar
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    I have a similar problem with one of my Durst enlargers - The room has a ceiling height of (approximately) 2000mm and I need a little bit more. A custom made bench with a lower worktop height or a nut'n'bolt to limit the travel on the head are the only practical solutions.

    Punching holes in the ceiling is not an option.

  3. #3

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    I have a LPL 7700 in an under the stairs cupboard with sloping ceiling. My solution is to place the enlarger lower in order to not hit the roof. Mine is now so low I sit cross legged on the floor when I print.
    Steve.

  4. #4

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    I sit or kneel when I print.

    However, I will build some kind of extra baseboard so I can stand when making small prints and remove it when making larger prints.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5

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    I also had a height issue when i built my darkroom. I decided to frame and drywall an opening into the ceiling joist so the head can get more height and also i put safe lights inside cans in the ceiling, it all worked out fine for me.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 009.JPG   008.JPG  

  6. #6
    Monophoto's Avatar
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    In one of his books, David Vestal had a photograph of his darkroom. The room was designed with a suspended ceiling, and the tiles above the enlarger had been removed so that the column could protrude through the hole into the space above the ceiling.

    I'm very familiar with this problem. I've built three darkrooms, and have had that problem is all three.

    Darkroom 1 was in a tiny upstairs space with a sloped ceiling. My enlarger sat on an old typewriter table (you have to be over 50 to know typewriters were). The bad news was that the typewriter table was so low that I sometimes had to get on my knees to use a grain focuser. The good news was that because the typewriter table was so low, my enlarger would fit under the sloped ceiling - provided I kept it on the right side of the room.

    Darkroom 2 was in a basement with a 7' ceiling. When I designed that darkroom, I opted to have kitchen-counter-height worktables and a wall-mounted enlarger, but I designed the enlarger area with a shelf so that I could lower the baseboard under the enlarger rather than raise the enlarger head to get greater enlargements.

    Darkroom 3 (the present space) is also in a basement, . The floor joists are a full 8' above the floor, but there is a special support beam in the darkroom area. Rather than frame around the support beam, I opted for a suspended ceiling immediately below the beam. That was fine for the general space, but it created a problem for the enlarger. The enlarger station to be in a corner, and I was able to frame in an area immediately above the enlarger so that area has a full height ceiling. I also make the enlarger station a bit lower than the counters on either side to get more effective column height. The result is that there is enough room to run the head all the way to the top of the column on my Omega DII.
    Louie

  7. #7
    L Gebhardt's Avatar
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    I built a low table for the enlargers. I used to have a platform that I set on the table to use for smaller prints. The got out of square and I haven't engineered anything better yet. So now I kneel to focus and compose. It's not too bad, but after a long day in there I resolve to figure out a good solution so I can stand for most prints.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Rollinger View Post
    I also had a height issue when i built my darkroom. I decided to frame and drywall an opening into the ceiling joist so the head can get more height and also i put safe lights inside cans in the ceiling, it all worked out fine for me.
    J,

    Great B&A pictures! I'm building a darkroom myself. The drywall has been a slog; waiting for the tape to dry, the dust from sanding and I'm just not as young as I was when I was young. At times it is disheartening and I feel like I'm never going to get past it. But it is almost done and, for a basement darkroom, pretty damn good. The painting and all the rest will be cake in comparison. I too cut a space up into a joist bay. That gained me seven inches so I'm still going with a table with a drop surface.

    Thanks again for the images, they were a pep talk.

    s-a

  9. #9

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    I have a low ceiling darkroom, and an Omega D2 enlarger. I have to kneel to use my grain focuser. Seems ironically appropriate. :-)
    Nikon 35mm, Mamiya 645 & RB67, Leica IIIb, other bits and pieces

  10. #10
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    1.2m plus the height of the Ilford 500 head
    You have plenty of room Think of the poor guy with the Devere 8x10 enlarger that can't even put the thing vertical without the column scraping the ceiling, let alone raise the head.

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