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  1. #1

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    Need to make door lighttight

    Ok,

    What do I do? I installed the door and tried weather stripping but it doesnt work at all. What can I do to make the door light tight?

    Thanks,

    Kev

  2. #2

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    Maybe you just need a thicker weather stripping? How about a dark curtain to just hang over it and stuff underneath the jamb?

  3. #3
    galyons's Avatar
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    Hi Ken,
    Need to understand where you are having light leaks. Corners? All four, just 2 on a side, the diagonals? Sides, one or both?

    Some basics. Did make sure the door is installed square and plumb? Out of square and/or out of plumb will make it difficult for the door to close flush to the jamb stops and weather stripping. Does the door appear to be mating evenly around the jamb stops. Gaps same above and below door bolt?

    It is really tough to get a total block on light without additional weather stripping.

    Cheers,
    Geary

  4. #4

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    It is pretty much in the corners and a bit around the sides. I have this cheap indoor white stripping and I think it is just too transparent...

    What kind of weather stripping to you use?

  5. #5
    kwmullet's Avatar
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    I'm pretty satisfied with what I ended up doing. I got strips of wood (sorry... been printing for 13 hours... vocab is failing me right now) and built up a frame within the door frame on the doorknob and top sides. On the edge of the strips (they're about a half inch thick and about an inch or so wide) facing the door, I put a layer of stick-on weather stripping (the kind that looks like a "D" if you cut a cross-section) and hot-glued black felt around that. Each of these light-trap strips extends the full dimension of the door. for the hinge side, a layer of black felt stapled to the door frame where the door seats sufficed.
    On the bottom of the door, I got a length of 2x2 exactly the width of the base of the doorway, and made one of the above-described weatherstripping/felt light squeegees on the bottom facing the floor, and another one on the side facing the door, then I mashed it down with my knees while I screwed it into either side of the door frame.

    I had to redo this 2-3 times and exercise the darker side of my vocabulary before I found the right materials and also realized that I had to get just the right fit of the felt traps to the door. Too tight against it, and it will either push the door out elsewhere or worse yet, prevent the latch from engaging. Too loose, and it lets light in.

    As it stands now, it could use some cosmetic work, but I can go in and out of the door, and simply closing the door makes it completely light-tight. No need to mess with jamming towels under the door or adjusting curtains.

    What I really want in my next darkroom, though, is a 2-door vestibule so I can go in and out of the darkroom without losing my dark.

    If my description is too totally vague, say the word and I'll shoot some digi-pics and post a URL to them.

    -KwM-

  6. #6
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjsphoto
    Ok,

    What do I do? I installed the door and tried weather stripping but it doesnt work at all. What can I do to make the door light tight?

    Thanks,

    Kev
    I think the strip you are using may be acting as a light-pipe and making matters worse. In my last darkroom I painted the door edge, and frame rebate matt black. That was after I added an extra rebate strip across the bottom of the door, blocked the keyhole, and glued the rebate strips to the frame. Your door does have to be warp free and in itself light-proof. Maybe an increase in the depth of the rebate strips is required. What you need to achieve is a double corner around which the light cannot be reflected. I'm using the same sort of design in the darkroom I'm building now.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  7. #7
    rbarker's Avatar
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    I put black felt weather stripping on both the jam of the door, and on the back side of the door, mitering the corners. Then, I painted the door edges and the jam flat black. Works like a charm. Here's a link to a (non-analog) pic:

    http://www.rbarkerphoto.com/misc/Pho...-door-comp.jpg
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  8. #8
    kwmullet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarker
    I put black felt weather stripping on both the jam of the door, and on the back side of the door, mitering the corners. Then, I painted the door edges and the jam flat black. Works like a charm. Here's a link to a (non-analog) pic:

    http://www.rbarkerphoto.com/misc/Pho...-door-comp.jpg

    Ohmigosh! That's an awesome job -- make my handiwork look laughable. Hopefully, I'll be able to find those pics when I do my next darkroom.

    Your felt looks somewhat thicker than average fabric/craft store felt. Is it something special, or do you just have many layers?

    What did you do at the bottom of the door frame?

    -KwM-

  9. #9
    rbarker's Avatar
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    I used standard weatherstripping that I got at the local hardware store. The felt is about 3/16" thick, and was pre-attached to the aluminum backing strips. They came in 36" lengths. The bottom of the door uses the same type of strip, pressed against the floor a bit when the screws were tightened. I have carpet on the other side of the door, so that helps block the front of the bottom edge.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  10. #10
    Monophoto's Avatar
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    Kev -

    You've gathered a number of good suggestions here. Let me add a couple of thoughts.

    The door to the darkroom in my former home had been recycled from another use in the house, so I had to construct the door jamb and framing from raw lumber. I opted to make the door stop from 3/4" clear pine rather than use door jamb molding - what that meant was that the door jamb could be thicker. As a result, I got essentially no light leakage through the door jamb.

    When I built the darkroom in my new home last year, I used an ordinary prehung interior door - where the door jamb was the ubiquitous jamb molding that's about 1/4" thick. In this instance there was some leakage through the door jamb. I then purchased some dark gray felt weatherstripping that I attached to the door using carpet tacks. This completely eliminated any leakage through the jamb.

    I still can see a little light leaking around the bottom corner of the door. It's not enough to cause a problem with printing, and when I am working with film, I generally stand in a way that my body is between the door and the film. So while that isn't a major problem under normal circumstances, I do want to eventually get around to doing something to reduce that leakage also when my wife doesn't have other projects for me to do.

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