Request advice on small bathroom darkroom
Let me run some ideas by you and see what you think. Space and the ability to take the darkroom down quickly is important.
The challenge is to print 35mm and 6x6 (love to do 4x5 ) with a temporary set up and break down darkroom in a small bathroom by the spare bedroom in a condo. We occasionally have guests and such so I need to be able to take everything down and store it.
I will add photos and dimensions of the bathroom in my next post. Basically there is a commode, small vanity with a sink and a shower with some hearty glass sliding doors.
My first problem is I do not presently own an enlarger, but just about all other materials I have or can come up with. That may be a blessing because hunting for something to fit the need might be better than trying to figure out how the last enlarger I owned could fit in the space.
I am considering building a base for said unpurchased enlarger that would span the lip of the sink of the vanity and cover the sink. Like to have the sink, but there is no counter space available. Leaving the commode for a place for paper safe, a seat and personal needs.
Placing the trays in the bottom of the bathtub and living with sliding the glass doors back and forth to go from the open side on the left for dev and stop, the right side open for fix and wash. A simple hose down from the shower head into the wash tray may not be the best for archival washing or my back, but OK.
One other option is a rack of some kind to place the 4 trays vertically above each other. the Dev on down to the wash. That way one does not need to bend over the tub and slide the glass doors back and forth. I think I like this option better, because moving the glass doors and leaning in from atop of the commode from the left side of the tub is not fun and the wife will not like me taking the glass doors off all the time. (I think)
Print drying might be accomplished on a small homemade rack or by blotter book.
So please add your thought here on what might be the best way to set up and tear down a simple darkroom in a spare bathroom.
Since it's attached to a spare bedroom, I'd setup in the spare bedroom. If it's carpeted, roll out a rubber mat so you don't stir up dust while working. Have the enlarger and paper safes and and dry materials in the bedroom. Put trays in the tub, perhaps with a tray stacker if you don't want to keep sliding shower doors. If you could get a handheld shower head as some showers/baths also have, you could have a raised table in the tub to hold your trays and save your back. Put a wire or string up near a wall in the bathroom for drying prints and film.
Dale, if you are up for a road trip, I'll give you a Beseler 23C set up for 35mm, you'll have to locate which ever medium format negative holder and lens for it.
Guess I missed the mark. It is in the hall by the spare bedroom. There is an exhaust fan and power in the bathroom, but the bedroom has windows and true, carpet.
Rick, I apreciate the offer. I'm going to look up the footprint of the 23C, it might be really big for what I got going on.
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It may not suit your purposes, but here is part of my solution to a similar problem: It's a stainless steel kitchen trolley. I got this one from Ikea ,but I would be amazed if you couldn't get something similar elsewhere. My bathroom as you can see is tiny. This not only makes wheeling the enlarger in and out simpler, but provides space for paper & whatnot without tripping over it all the time.
That is cool. My first thought is that without the bottom shelf it would span over the commode, free up the sink and make it easy to roll the enlarger out of the bathroom. Ikea you say... there is one about 4o miles from here. Are the shelves able to be placed anywhere in the frame?
Originally Posted by pdeeh
The space sounds about the same as mine, a 3/4-bath with a drying cabi^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hshower stall and a sink but no tub. I don't have an enlarger, but I do LF tray development, so I have the wet side of a typical darkroom without the dry side.
I found I needed to put in a narrow table along the wall next to the sink; it was physically possible to arrange trays along the back of the toilet and in the sink, but it was a ridiculously ad-hoc setup and someday I was going to dump chemistry all over the floor in the dark. Under the table is a good storage space for chemistry; trays on top, daylight tanks and reels on the back of the sink. I think that's easier than having to work at floor level in the tub.
To me, the hard part is finding storage space for what is technically known as Random Crap. The big obvious things, paper safes and bottles of chemistry and stuff, you can think about in advance, but you know how there are things that make you say "Hey, that'd be useful in the darkroom" and you squirrel them away: clips and pens and whatnot. If you're building surfaces already, build in some drawers or shelves to hold that stuff!
Can you make a "Murphy bed" sort of arrangement for your enlarger table over the sink, so that you can flip it out of the way relatively easily when not using it? It seems like convenience is important here---you're never going to get any printing time if it takes you an hour to set up for every session.
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
If you go to a hardware store and buy some exterior plywood, and legs which screw into metal bases which are afixed at appropriate locations, you have an easily set-up and taken-down tables which fits into
- the shower space for holding processing trays while printing, and
- one straddling over the commode for the enlarger
In my single days I used to have a Beseler 45VXL that was kept in the spare bedroom on a low TV cabinet to permit the very tall column to fit in 8' ceiling. Blackout material over the windows allowed me to do the printing in the bedroom, and loading the Jobo tank with the print paper. And I would set up a table in the tub shower to hold my Jobo processor.
no, but if you are handy with drill and saw you may be able to modify it. Although if you are going to do big mods you might be better off making something yourself anyway, of course. This model is called "Udden" but it might be called something something else in the USA or perhaps not available at all.
Originally Posted by daleeman