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  1. #11

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    Neal: This may help make life easier: http://www.fineartphotosupply.com/printwashers.htm

    Earl
    Honey, I promise no more searching eBay for cameras.

  2. #12

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    http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS...=10-10238847-2

    The first link is screwed up. That's the one I meant.

  3. #13

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    Neal:

    If you are at all handy and have access to a power saw, working with plexiglass is extremely simple and rewarding. If you can cut a staight line and mate the pieces, the methylene chloride spreads itself by capillary action and forms a bond within a matter of seconds. Get some small pieces of scrap plexi and experiment. You will be amazed and you can put together exactly what you want.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric
    I went to the office supply store and looked at plastic file boxes. There was types with already plastic dividers in them. I was going to drill holes for inlet/outlet hoses.
    Could you give us a link to an image? I'm not sure that what you are talking about exists here in Europe.
    Wilbert
    http://www.photovergne.com
    Cours photo en Auvergne

  5. #15
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    Am I missing something here - I ask seriously - is there some intricate secret to the way the water must pass through the tank? Or is it just a box that keeps prints separate while the water fills it and comes out in a control and constant fashion?
    It seems like I could put one together out of things I could probably score for free if I looked hard enough... it may not look pretty, but garage sales have plenty of fish tanks (some of them plexi), and plastic sheet can be taken from the already metioned "glass" for flourescent light enclosures, etc. Actually - I think I will build one and tell you how that goes!

    Am I overlooking some important factor here?

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnashings
    Am I missing something here - I ask seriously - is there some intricate secret to the way the water must pass through the tank? Or is it just a box that keeps prints separate while the water fills it and comes out in a control and constant fashion?
    It seems like I could put one together out of things I could probably score for free if I looked hard enough... it may not look pretty, but garage sales have plenty of fish tanks (some of them plexi), and plastic sheet can be taken from the already metioned "glass" for flourescent light enclosures, etc. Actually - I think I will build one and tell you how that goes!

    Am I overlooking some important factor here?
    No. They are rather simple devices. They do, however, hold significant amounts of water and if you have a catastrophic failure - you are usually talking about a significant amount of water flowing in places you would prefer dry...

    Ideally, when you design one of these, you would like to set up a flow to the water that will cause it to circulate across the surface of the prints and then be drained. Fred Picker reasoned that Hypo was heavier than water so the best design would be to introduce water at the top/sides and remove it from the bottom with a baffle system. Later tests disproved this "heavier than water" theory and equally effective designs popped up.

    Simply introducing water at the top and letting it spill over the top will work but will require longer run times than a system that creates a circulation. You will want a grid at the bottom that will keep the edges of your paper off the bottom so water can flow past that edge. These are all small considerations that improve the washing efficiency and reduce wash times and water usage.

  7. #17
    gnashings's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice - I can certainly see the importance of making it stand up to the water volume... that would be a lot of mopping

    I was just thinking if there is any means of agitation or circulation that would improve the cleaning action of watever water does pass through - I was inspired by the sprinkler heads that are powered by the pressure of the water that flows through them - perhaps window screen dividers rigged to move an inch or so back and forth, letting the water through the mesh... I wonder if it would be worth the effort?
    I was thinking of a flat plastic "grid" of perforations that would sit on the bottom with a hose attached - to ensure that clean water is introduced evenly across all the prints.

    Just brain storming to see if there is not some simple but effective improvement that could be inplemented to save water (it is a lot of water) and ensure a nice clean print...

  8. #18
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    I have moved my washing operation completely into the shower. It saves me a little mopping and a lot of anxiety. Now the outlet can get blocked with the corner of a print causing it to overflow completely without consequence Peace of mind.

    That unit that Earl Dunbar posted a link to above is pretty hard to pass up. It is hard to imagine that I could get the materials and build the thing for much less than that. Also, I have become interested in that soak and dump method of washing. It seems to be the most effective, water efficient way to achieve a full wash.
    The only change that I would make is that I would try to find a plastic tank rather than a fish tank so that I can drill it and install a stopcock drain at the bottom rather than using the siphon to empty it.
    This would also make it somewhat easier to move. After all, My rule is that I take a shower _each and every_ Saturday night whether I need it or not
    Last edited by Flotsam; 07-11-2005 at 12:18 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  9. #19
    gnashings's Avatar
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    Good point about the shower - I have been washing prints in a large tray in a bathtub using a shower head - I jut rested the hand-held shower head in the corner of a full tray, set it on pulsating massage and let the water run! The water actually create a vortex which spun the prints around and kept them from sticking to each other. So far, so good - but I think I will lose less hair over washing when I have a tatally "set it and forget" system.... I have had the shower head twist itself out of the tray and give the whole "dark room" a shower - not good!

  10. #20

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    The archival washer I have is a no name brand that I bought from someone in the distant past, but it not quite as simple as just a box with dividers. It is built on a box with holes for the tank to fill from the bottom so each print is washed separately. I have always assumed that by filling each slot from the bottom the hypo is forced up and out the top, and the slots are made in such a way that the water does not flow into another slot. When I use it I check for residual hypo and my test come out clean. If you are building a washer how do you make sure the hypo is not collecting in the corners?

    I use my archival washer the on patio (one advantage of living in the desert). Mine is made of plexiglass and is very heavy, moving it from the outside storage room to the patio is a chore. But I keep a rotary washer in the shower of bathroom that is now my darkroom, I wash RC, fiber based working prints and film in it. I have several film washer but if I am developing both prints and film the rotary washer works just as well for film. The door is just wide enofe for a 4X5 hanger. I use the archival washer if I plan on print all day long and I move the prints from the rotary washer to the archival to the drying rack or print dryer.

    Another option is a set up that Eugene Smith used. 3 trays on a ladder, each tray has a siphon feeding from the top tray to the bottom, so clean water filled the top tray then exited feeding the middle tray which then feeds the bottom tray. Prints start in the bottom tray and work their way to the top. 20 mints in each tray should be an archival wash.

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