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  1. #1
    djklmnop's Avatar
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    Waterworks Print Washer

    Anyone have experience with these?

    I currently own a 16x20 East Street Gallery slot print washer and the sucker is heavy and cumbersome to set up. Especially since my darkroom is my bathroom.

    I was wondering if it is worthwhile to get this to replace my slot washer that spills over.
    Money is not the problem. The problem is, I don't have any.

  2. #2
    djklmnop's Avatar
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    Money is not the problem. The problem is, I don't have any.

  3. #3

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    From what I see in the picture this unit is not a slot type, as each print is not kept in it's own slot, so when you are washing prints, like the old rotary type washers, you will need to time your wash from the time of your last print. It will also use a lot of water just to fill the sink. I have a very small dark room and I use both a 11X14 achival washer and a 11X14 rotary washer, for 16 X 20 I use a small wading pool. I live in the southwest and so I just set it up on my patio, also small, with a Kodak tray spihon. I can usually wash 2 16X20s at a time and I check for residual hypo. I also dry my fiber prints on the patio. I have a set of screens that I hot glued 1 inch spacers to and just stake the screen one on top of the other on a table. This was the method Bernence Abbot used to dry prints.
    Best
    Paul

  4. #4

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    Dear djklmnop,

    This is going to be a lot more cumbersome than your present washer. Check out http://www.versalab.com/server/photo/photo1.htm for smaller versions of the same concept.

    Neal Wydra

  5. #5

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    Gad, that thing is huge! There was a great article about the versalab washer in a past issue of phototechniques by David Vestal. He really liked it except for the weight when filled

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neal
    Dear djklmnop,

    This is going to be a lot more cumbersome than your present washer. Check out http://www.versalab.com/server/photo/photo1.htm for smaller versions of the same concept.

    Neal Wydra
    Thanks for the referral. We've been building these for over 15 years.

  7. #7
    eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lauradearborn
    Thanks for the referral. We've been building these for over 15 years.

    Ahhh, versalb on apug. Sweet. Can we get a discount? I see on you site that washers are on sale. My Paterson Major has sooo much marine epoxy on it its not even funny.

    Lets see, disposable income -- new versalab...or print dryer...versalab...print dryer.....

  8. #8
    stormbytes's Avatar
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    Versalab - An overpriced, overated, disappointment

    I bought a Versalab 16x20 washer a few years back. I remember when I received it, I opened the box to find a huge white 'tub', and a buch of panels, screws, tubes, and vinyl tubing. A simple 1-page instruction sheet was included. At the peril of sounding "spoiled", I expected a bit more in terms of quality & user friendlyness for my (almost) $400.00 (shipping included).

    However, my judgement of Versalab products wasn't rendered just yet. I proceeded to follow the somewhat confusing 'instruction' sheet and managed to get the basket together. Then attached the hoses, fittings and gromets, and finaly, gave it a test run. Wouldn't you know it? The thing leaked! I called Versalab and complained about the situation. The lady I spoke with was certainly very nice and offered to send me somekind of "expesive" silicone to spread around the leaky gromet. The thought was really sweet, but I didn't send you $400 bucks that you had to scotch tape together now did I?

    The design of this washer is so poor/cheap its amazing their still selling them! For those of you who might be considering a Versalab print washer I would advise you to keep you hopes/expectations to a minimum. This is basically a big plastic tub with plastic panels held together on super-long 'screws' and kept apart using plastic bead-like spacers. You have to use tiny nuts on either end of these long screws to keep the panels from falling off.

    As long as we're on the subject, I might as well mention that prints will stick to the sides of the panels LIKE CRAZY! You have to keep playing with them (elbow-high in water if you've got the big sucker) if you hope to get anykind of a wash at all! Also, I'd advise you to keep a socket wrench handy, you'll need it to periodically re-tighten those nuts or your basket may come apart mid-wash.

    I've since switched to the Calumet Deluxe 11x14 Print Washer - What a breath of fresh air! Granted, it cost an arm & a leg. But hey!? I guess you really do get what you pay for! The Calumet washer is (imho) incomparable to the Versalab model. For starters, the compartments are truly independent unlike Versalab's divider "basket". So.. reduced cross-contamination, and no need to time your first-one-out-to-last-one-in.

    I don't mean to shamble Versalab, but in my experience, I'd say your money's probably better off put towards a used professional model on ebay or something.

    Hey!? Anyone want to buy a barely-used 16x20 Versalab washer? Give me HALF of what I paid for it & its yours!

    Cheers

  9. #9

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    Good Morning,

    I can't speak for the 16 x 20 model, but I've been completely satisfied with my 11 x 14 Versalab washer.

    Konical

  10. #10

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    [QUOTE=urbanjew]
    Good morning. I wish you had complained further at the time -- we would have taken care of you, even replacing the washer. We don't know there's a problem unless you tell us. We ALWAYS take care of our customers.

    A few corrections -- the price was $290 + $20 shipping, not nearly $400. The instructions are 5 pages long, with detailed illustrations. I don't know why your prints are sticking -- they don't when we use the washers and we would definitely have heard from other customers if there was a problem, because many do call us to order other products or with questions, and spend a little time talking with us. The nuts holding print baskets together do tend to work loose. We have had to tighten them a few times in the more than a decade of use.

    Regards,
    Laura



 

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