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  1. #1
    Max Power's Avatar
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    How to build an inexpensive film washer

    Hi all,
    I just finished building a very inexpensive film washer and thought that I would share my idea with you.

    This all came about after I cracked my Paterson tank and went to SS. The Paterson had an excellent washing system, but I'm not convinced that just sticking a hose into a SS tank does a thorough job. I was looking for an inexpensive solution to a very simple problem (I don't think that it is worth $40 on eBay to buy a film washer ).

    Here's the stuff you will need:
    1. A 12'' length of 4'' PVC drain (or whatever length your heart desires for the number of reels you want to wash at one time).
    2. A rubber or PVC cap for the length of drain.
    3. A length of garden hose
    4. A gardena type hose coupling
    5. A 1/2'' ID to 5/8'' OD plastic plumbing coupling
    6. Some contact cement or ABS plumbing cement
    7. A spare SS reel or other object to lift the reels off of the bottom of the tube.

    1. Take the PVC drain and cut it to your length
    2. Taking the height of your cap into consideration, drill a 5/8'' hole at the point where your plumbing coupling will enter.
    3. Put some ABS cement or contact cement onto the 5/8'' end of the coupling and insert it into the hole. Bolt on the nylon nut on the other side.
    4. Cut your garden hose to the desired length and strip the outer layer and the reinforcing string off of about a 1'' length (you want just the rubber interior sleeve).
    5. Attach the stripped end of the garden hose to the exterior 1/2'' ID end of the coupler.
    6. Attach the Gardena coupler to the other end of the garden hose.
    7. Your project is now complete, just give the ABS a bit of time to set and you're off!

    I hope that someone else will find this useful!

    Kent
    Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!

  2. #2

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    Cool. Thanks for posting the information.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  3. #3
    Max Power's Avatar
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    PS,
    I used a Paterson reel, expanded to 120 size in the bottom so Paterson reels do fit into a 4'' PVC pipe.

    If anyone needs any clarifications, just let me know and I will be happy to post them.

    Cheers,
    Kent
    Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!

  4. #4
    eric's Avatar
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    THIS is really cool. I love "McGyverisms". How does it drain? From the top?

  5. #5
    rjr
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    Kent,

    may I ask - why?

    The Agfa/Ilford Wash sequence is proven to be archival, it´s cheap (no gear needed but the tank you develop your film in) and saves a lot of water (5x0,5l vs 4l/min for 10min!).

    Here is an article dealing with that method, including some tests regarding the proper function:

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...or/ilfwash.pdf
    Tschüss,
    Roman

  6. #6
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    Roman, you beat me to post the same! I use 6 changes of water + photo-flo.

    But I guess this can make sense if you are developing 30 or 40 rolls a day.

    I think a leaf blower used as a dryer aybe a cool McGyverism as well


    Quote Originally Posted by rjr
    Kent,

    may I ask - why?

    The Agfa/Ilford Wash sequence is proven to be archival, it´s cheap (no gear needed but the tank you develop your film in) and saves a lot of water (5x0,5l vs 4l/min for 10min!).

    Here is an article dealing with that method, including some tests regarding the proper function:

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...or/ilfwash.pdf
    Mama took my APX away.....

  7. #7
    rjr
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    Pablo,

    in case of that volume of films, I´d develop them with an ATL automated processor - which takes care of the washing and follows the Ilford guidelines, too.
    Tschüss,
    Roman

  8. #8
    Max Power's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    THIS is really cool. I love "McGyverisms". How does it drain? From the top?
    Eric,
    Yup, it fills from the bottom and drains from the top.

    RJR,
    To the question 'why?'...Because, I just don't trust the Ilford method...I'm not sure why, and it's probably not legitimate...But I just don't see how four flushes can compare to 5 - 10 minutes of constant flow (albeit at low pressure).

    Thanks for the link, though, I will definitely check it out.

    Kent

    PS, Titrisol...I gotta try out the leaf-blower idea...The hair-dryer thing is for wimps
    Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!

  9. #9

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    The ilford method or anything similar is designed to save water. Just flushing with running water ends up with lots of water that is almost perfectly clean. The Ilford method OTOH tries to make the water work harder.

  10. #10
    rjr
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Power
    To the question 'why?'...Because, I just don't trust the Ilford method..
    Well. Birds are heavier than air - so how can they fly? ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Power
    But I just don't see how four flushes can compare to 5 - 10 minutes of constant flow (albeit at low pressure).
    The method is proven to be functional for almost 40 years.

    In short, washing has to do with diffusion and the concentration gradient - the relation between amounts of hypo vs the amount of water in your tank.

    With the Ilford wash, you make sure that there is a steep concentration gradient - you remove all stuff soluted in the water when you pour it out and fill the tank with fresh water.

    And you give the hypo left in the emulsion a chance to move over (diffuse) to the water with that change and that is why you leave the tank untouched for some minutes - and again, it is to be removed with the next change.

    There is a problem with the constant flow in your method - you can´t guarantee that all parts of the film held in the reel are washed equally. In fact you move a LOT of water through that tank without ever passing along the reel and the film, most of it flows along the reel and the grade of diffusion is kept low.

    <reminder: english is not my native tongue. ;-)>
    Tschüss,
    Roman

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