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  1. #1

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    Cheap Print Washer

    I've been wrestling with buying or making a print washer for some time, now that I'm printing more fiber based prints. I decided to make a 11x14 print washer out of what I could find in the local hardware stores. It ended up costing about $70 and works quite nicely. I used a 10gal fish tank, nylon threaded rod and hardware, and plastic corrugated sheets, (like plastic cardboard). The set up is quite sturdy. I set something on top, like a Pyrex plate, to hold the prints down. I stick my flexible shower head down on one side and let it spill out the top. See attached pic.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Print WasherPS.jpg  

  2. #2
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Mine is even cheaper, as I drilled a series of holes in the bottom of a 10” X 8” tray and a larger hole in the side, through which I put a hose. Thus there are rapid changes of water in a confined space.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  3. #3
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    I must say, wow. Just wow. It looks great!

    I'm using a Kodak Tank and Tray Siphon and added a check-valve at the water wall to ease my conscience. It works for my small volume. But it uses more water than I would like.

  4. #4

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    I was using the tray method for a while but I found that if I had a few or more prints I'd have to hover and keep them separated. I just wanted to start it and walk away an hour or so.

  5. #5

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    '...shower head...' - That is your bathroom with the leather couch?!!! 8-)

    Very similar to the Versalab in approach for keeping prints separate.
    I feel, therefore I photograph.

  6. #6
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    I use a five gallon bucket.

    Drill some holes near the bottom. Stick the hose from your faucet into the bucket. Curve the prints into a letter "C" shape and stand them vertically. If the prints float to the top, put the lid on the bucket. Drill a hole in the lid for the hose to fit in.

    You can put three or four 11x14 prints in the bucket or about a half dozen 8x10.
    If you want separators to keep the prints apart, you can make them out of plastic but I haven't found that to be necessary.

    If you have a clean bucket in your garage, it won't cost you anything. If you don't have a bucket or one that's clean enough, buy them from Home Depot for just a few dollars.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahamp View Post
    '...shower head...' - That is your bathroom with the leather couch?!!! 8-)

    Very similar to the Versalab in approach for keeping prints separate.
    Ya and my living room has a tub in it!

  8. #8
    David Allen's Avatar
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    Whichever route you take to washing your fibre prints, it is necessary to understand that a fast exchange of water is not necessarily the answer. I used to use (for a few prints) a tray with a hole for incoming water and some holes in the bottom. When I tested for residual hypo, I discovered that after two hours the prints were still not washed to archival standards.

    Thankfully, Martin at Silverprint in London did the most in-depth study of the washing process that anyone has made. It is really a revelation and the washer that he subsequently designed works fantastically well. I bought the 16" x 12" version and my prints test clean after 1.5 hours (even when the water is cold).

    You can read his two part article here:

    http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.or...read.php?t=296

    http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.or...read.php?t=344

    Whilst designing you own washing system on a small budget is attractive, I think the article demonstrates that this can be a false economy - especially if you live somewhere that has water meters.

    Best,

    David
    www.dsallen.de

  9. #9

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    Sweet.

    I'd probably add a siphon hose to drain water from the bottom from time to time just to make sure you're really getting a complete exchange of water and that there is no pooling in corners, at the bottom, etc.

    I have "archival" washers, but find myself draining them, at least partially, in the middle of every wash cycle.

    Best,

    Doremus


    www.DoremusScudder.com

  10. #10

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    Nicely done.

    Neal Wyhdra

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