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  1. #1
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    Help with darkroom Minimums

    Hi all,

    I am putting together plans for turning a small bedroom in our house (roughly 10ft. x 10ft.) into a quasi dedicated darkroom. By that I mean that it will be a permanent darkroom on a daily basis and have no other function, but in the event that i sell this house, it will be relatively easy for me to to convert it back to a functioning bedroom. The plans go like this: both hot and cold water lines will be installed (exposed) coming up through the floor and secured to the wall, the drain will run from the sink through the floor and tied into the drain line in the crawl space (this room is adjacent to the the bathroom). The sink that I feel will do the job is a Delta Sink&Wash Well II model ($249.00); it is of ABS Plastic construction and can be viewed at B&H, I will also be getting the stand and shelf for the sink. I like the idea of the wash well, when I get a dedicated darkroom I intend to graduate to fiber based papers since I will no longer have time restraints due to operating in the kitchen. It seems that that the whole unit can be easily removed if needed. The plumbing can be easily removed and any holes plugged. Plans are to install an exhaust fan in the ceiling with ductwork to carry the exhaust fumes through the attic and on through to a roof vent.

    Now, things I am uncertain about and require some advice; I go bonkers trying to input all the differences between the various types and models of such things:

    -what is an adequate water temperature control device that may be a minimum, but will get the job done effectively?

    -the same type of question for a filtration setup that will get the job done and not cost an arm and a leg

    -I have been reading about vacuum breakers, is this necessary and at what position in the plumbing sequence is attached? I have looked at Delta Eco vacuum breaker with fittings also on B&H ($33.00)

    The dark room will layout easily with a "wet side" and a "dry side" and I have included a rouch sketch of the floor plan. The dryside counter top will be modular to facilitate easy removal. I would appreciate any comments if you think I have forgotten something in any of the plans that I have mentioned above.

    Many thanks,
    Chuck
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails darkroom.jpg  

  2. #2

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    Darkroom

    Chuck-some of this stuff has been discussed in other threads, Regardless of what other experts say I use a dual faucet Leedal and its worked 100% for about 20 years now. It might cost alot but after 20 years you think I got my money back yet? I have never had any neccessity for an inline water valve. Let your plumber tell you. Lastly-anyone can make great sink out of marine plywood and marine paint. Caulk the sides and buy the $30/gallon stuff from interlux or one of the other top marine paint mfg'rs. Take that money and buy paper because now you'l be using alot of it. Most of all have a great time regardless how you put it together-that's what counts most!

  3. #3
    mikewhi's Avatar
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    I second the motion on the sink. I made one out of simple plywood as stated and I got a huge sink for relatively little money. Dirt simple to make, too. I addeed a touch where I had a large sheet of plywood ripped and I put a piano hinge on the sink backboard and this piece of wood and it served as a large lid. I could raise it to use as a sink and lower it to use the sink as a large table top for JOBO, etc.


    Also, I like to have my enlarger close to the developer tray to minimize the amount of walking to the developer. I might change the arrangement so the enlarger is close to the developer and the print washer or holding tray is near the door.

    I don't see a spot for ventilation. Are you putting in a fan?

    Do you have to cover a window over? If so, consider insulating any airspace created when you close it off. In the summer, this can really become a hot spot.

    -Mike

  4. #4
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    Hi Chuck

    agree with above on sink , you can make it out of wood
    Simple shower device with thermometor will suffice
    Home depot filter device with filters the get out the crap
    Vent the drain or you will not be happy,

    Make sure you use a good plumber and electrician to set yourself up and find a local lab to service your used fix... DO NOT DUMP IT DOWN YOUR DRAINS.
    not only will you be polluting the environment but if you have any copper in the drainage system you will rot it our within 1 year and pay$$$ dearly for this
    good luck and happy printing

  5. #5
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Hi Jay

    I would not like to be down wind , of any photo chemical darkroom dumping their fix. Different rules for different countries. But I would not suggest dumping fix no matter what the EPA may say. IMHO this is an extremely bad practice to get into.

  6. #6
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    You can use an auto-vent on your drain, instead of a real vent. It will keep the gurgles to a minimum and your trap will stay wet. I don't use a temp control valve and life goes on. I have a cold water filter from HomeDepot. Cost $20 or $30 and it takes out the chunks and sand and grit. Distilled water for drying negs. No vacuum breaker. I made my own sink, but if you have more money than time, then buying a sink is okay if it suits your needs. I had a similar space for my darkroom for the last 15 years and it worked fine. The only thing I worried about was springing a leak in the supply lines and flooding the house. Never happened there, but they do make moisture sensing shutoff valves for the laundry room that might be cheap insurance against water damage in such a situation.

    Have fun.
    Watch for Loose Gravel

  7. #7
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    I agree, jdef.

    I've just consulted with an expert in the field, my son, who is studying to be a Plumber. No kidding ... it takes a hell of a lot of study to become licensed in this day and age. After I waded through the internet and all kinds of informative web sites, I found he had the same answers - and a LOT more - "off the top of his head".

    In the future - those with all kinds of higher degrees from prestigious institutions will be completely at the mercy of the only ones who will know how to repair a toilet ... the Plumbers.

    One minor correction to your post ... common table vinegar is approximately 5% acetic acid ... I routinely cut that 1:4 with water ... to a concentration of ~ 1%. Even less "damaging". Of course, if we were on a crusade to keep acetic acid completely out of the environment ... we would have to eliminate ALL fruit trees.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  8. #8
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    One simple way to make the dry side is to use kitchen units. Screw them together to make the run. Pull them 9" or so away from the wall. Put a 2x2" batten along the wall at the same height. Screw a 2'6"" to 3' wide counter top to the batten and to the units which ties it all together solidly.

    Put stop-valves in the pipes just as they come above the floorboards to allow you to shut the water off if something springs a leak.

    I use a 3kw instant hot water hand washer (this is in southern England: if you get seriously sub-zero temps in winter, a more powerful one may be needed, like the shower unit suggested previously) - mine supplies 40deg C water (just) when incoming cold water is 8deg C. Not as fancy as the set-and-forget industrial mixers, but a fraction of the cost - always a good point I think...

    You need a fan. You will also want to be able to open a window during toning or similar smelly activities...

    I've not got a filter - I use distilled for developer and mains water for everything else.

    Safelight(s) & inspection light over fixer tray. Do not use florescents (after-glow). A deep section in the sink is a good idea - makes washing up much easier - mine does not have one and I miss it...


    Bob.

    P.S. Ed - you are right: plumbing courses in London are reported to be 10 times over subscribed...

    P.P.S I though fruit contained citric acid...

  9. #9

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    Chuck,
    Whether you make it or buy it, your sink will not be big enough. From your sketch, it looks like you've budgeted about 7 ft. Go bigger. Plywood comes 8 ft. long. Use the whole sheet. Home Depot sells a polyurethane paint that works great. The instructions are long, but the product is fine, and when used along with silicone caulk, will make your sink absolutely waterproof without having to pay Marine Hardware prices.

    I used a simple Home Depot cold water filters with both the hot and cold--call me a rebel! Check the filters regularly. You'll be amazed. I taught myself to sweat copper pipe, and the whole installation is compact and keeps chunks out of my wash water.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob F.
    One simple way to make the dry side is to use kitchen units. Screw them together to make the run. Pull them 9" or so away from the wall. Put a 2x2" batten along the wall at the same height. Screw a 2'6"" to 3' wide counter top to the batten and to the units which ties it all together solidly.

    Put stop-valves in the pipes just as they come above the floorboards to allow you to shut the water off if something springs a leak.
    Bob,
    I really like the idea of the kitchen units, I had not thought of that, but it's the "batten" thing that I'm unclear about. I think you mean just a 2x2 to mount the couter top to for stability. And the "stop valves", another good idea that I had not thought about. Regarding the fan, I plan on installing a louvered light tight vent in the door so that air can be drawn into the room when the exhaust fan is running.

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