I had two darkrooms in our former home - one was a tiny closet affair on the second floor, and the other was more spacious in the basement. When we sold the house, the presence of those rooms didn't appear to affect the resale value.
Installing plumbing, electricity and shelves in your basement can only help the value of your house. Painting all the walls black maybe not. But hey, don't let a potential future owner mess up your joy of living today.
"He took to writing poetry and visiting the elves: and though many shook their heads and touched their foreheads and said 'Poor old Baggins!' and though few believed any of his tales, he remained very happy till the end of his days, and those were extraordinarily long "- JRR Tolkien, ' The Hobbit '.
Nice image on the back wall there my friend
art in the darkroom
Nothing inspires in the darkroom better than to have great photographs hanging nearby as you print...Adams, Weston, Sherman...
Last edited by climbabout; 03-15-2007 at 08:19 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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A lot of stuff in my small darkroom
I finally cleaned up enough to take the digi thing home from work this weekend and snap some pics of my darkroom facility. The darkroom proper is 5.5' wide by 8.5' deep. There is the typical dry and wet side.
The wet side at on end of the sink has a vent that gets sucked into the intake of the heat recovery ventilator for the house.
Under the sink there is a reverse osmosis filter that I scavanged from the trash in lieu of lugging distilled water home. There is also a nitrogen tank for gassing developer solutions to keep them from dying as quickly (stored dried food too). There is a roller base, used with RA-4 in drums. There is a magnetic mixer that I have built the guts of a coffe hot plate into as well.
Above the sink there is a Vivitar process timer that lets the mind safely wander when doing big lots of stuff. The copy holder on spring arm lets me get caught up on magazine reading backlog when doing c-41, or ra-4 colour work, when using this timer. Chems for colour work get tempered in the old cooler that is fitted withan immersion pump, fish tank heater, and thermocouple. The old plastics injection molding machine controller above the vivitar process timer runs the heater most effectively.
As you can see from the myriad of of little bottles, I mix my chemistry from scratch. Little kids means that buying a batch of chems, or even mixing up a gallon of D-76 does not make sense for me. I mix what I need a few days or in the morning ahead of time. I also make my own soaps, and pop flavours from the little essential oil bottles that I also store in this room, since the scale I use to weigh them is here too. The scale is an old run of the mill triple beam balance that I *bayed. Its upper range weight was missing, so there are little cups of screws that I hand fabriacted to allow me to weigh greater than 610g at one go. There is also a short length of wire that tares out on a dixie cup's worth of weight. For greater precision I also have a small 50g pan balance.
The sink holds 3 11x14 trays, with a larger fixer tray on a shelf at the top, just beside the exhaust inlet. I go dev, stop, up to the fix, under to the holdiong bath, and then do a big fix two/HCA/wash effort at the end of the session on all the prints that have accumulated when I print big FB in a session.
If I print larger than 11x14 in B&W I take over the adjacent laundry room. The clothes dryer and washer are leveled, and have boards that fit into their tops to place the trays on. The old microwave oven gets used to quick dry fibre test prints to evaluate dry down, as well as for soap making. The freezer actually has about half a load of food in it; the rest is of course film and paper. In the corner of one shot adjacent to the furnace you can see the filtered drying cabinet I built when I want to dry film, and also still keep working in the darkroom. The washer for 16x20 is an oversized tray and auto syphon print washer that sits on top of the freezer, and drains to the laundry tub. The archival slot washer usually sits in the darkroom sink if I am printing smaller than 11x14, and gets moved to the laundry tub for bigger jobs.
The dry side has a couple of Omega enlargers. The B600 condenser unit is mostly used to flash paper, and make contact prints under. The Dichroic diifusion unit does most of the exposing. It column has been moved to a shelf and roof mount to allow for larger print capabilities, and also to allow the use of a four bladed easel without having the column getting in the way. The timer for it is built into the Lici Colorstar analyser, which is a wonderful piece of kit. Somewhere on the wall there is a ferroresonant transformer that is used to feed the enlarger constant voltage. On the left hand side wall there are factory 35mm and 120 neg holders, and an assortment of matt board made holders for the more obscure film sizes. Even the spot above the door has been used to hang reels to dry. The cabinets under the bench are surplus from old drafting tables at my company. They are 36" deep, and hold a ton of stuff. The foot space has smaller cabinets that hold a camera macro bellows, and RA-4 drums, as well as sundry oil supplies for the soap efforts. The camera bags themselves get relegated to the hall beside the darkroom when I am printing.
Print finishing happens at my office - I usually mount at lunch the day after I print. I have my dry mount press and matt cutter there, as well as lots of room, a self healing cutting table,and big straight edge at my disposal.
Good Evening, Mike,
Congratulations on making the most of your available space. You've given me a couple of good ideas.
Just finished it.
It's small and a little shady, but I made it on a very tight budget and it'll be quite operational.
I'll get some pictures up soon...
7'x7' with a Beseler 23CII and a 45M.
But for now...I've got work to do.
The idea of using an old Cold-room has panned out pretty well, oddly enough we've spent more time building a retaining wall around it and paving than converting it too much. When I leave for university next year my parents will take it over as a cellar, so getting it to look pretty on the outside helps my case a little. But I'm cleaning things out, marking out where everything will go, and I've put in the first shelf. Ventilation, electricity and plumbing still need to be taken care of, but it's nice to see all that paper I got in one place.
The second photo is me on top of it blowing bubbles on Easter...yeah. I didn't think anyone had a camera at the time, you see. But it gives you an idea of the size and location.
Want a creative problem?. There is a premise 2,4x0,9 m.
Wish to make small darkroom for BW Prints. What ideas on a layout?
Furniture I can make any.
Advise please. Thanks