Looks like a copy of the Formulary's slosher. Or is the Forumulary's a copy of theirs? In any event, it's $10 cheaper than the Formulary's, but not cheap enough. Look, it's a $19 part, at best.
Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson
Glad to help Lee. I have a collection of these photo "DIY" Links. Maybe someday I will actually have the time to do some of them....
Originally Posted by Lee L
Here's a photo of my home-built 4x5 slosher. It was modeled after one that Chip Forelli let us use in a workshop last summer that in turn was modeled after one that he had used in a workshop with John Sexton.
The dimensions are not critical - the inside dimensions of each of the six "boxes" has to be slightly larger than a sheet of 4x5 film - I made mine about 4.25 by 5.25. The overall outside dimension has to fit into your 11x14 tray. The holes are 1" diameter. Each box has two 1" holes - the idea is that lowering the slosher into the tray forces chemicals through the holes - this lifts the negative sheets a bit, both for agitation and to assure that chemical flow all around the sheets. I cut an opening from the "outside" hole in each "box" to the edge of the bottom to provide a way to grasp each sheet of film.
Total construction time was about an hour - I bought one sheet of 1/4" plexiglass at Home Depot from which I was able to construct both the six sheet slosher and a smaller unit that does two sheets in an 8x10 tray.
Monophoto: That's a product I would pay $59.95 for rather than the others. Methinks you are overestimating our average skills; an hour? I couldn't make that in a day! And the scraps.... whew, I'm really shop-incompetent.
Originally Posted by jjstafford
If you would like, PM me and I will give you my phone number. I will help you build one.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
So the "slosher" sits in a developing tray and is agitated by rocking the tray as you would if developing a print? Do you then pick up the slosher and put it into the stop-bath and fixer again, like you would with photo paper? At first glance I thought it was a part of a hand crafted sheet-film washer. Can you wash the film while it's in the device? It looks like a pretty good alternative to some of the more traditional methods. Can you move it from tray to tray with some kind of tong?
After loading the slosher (sheets are face up), I first put it in a presoak bath for a couple of minutes, then move it to the developer. Agitate by alternately lifting opposite corners -I agitate 5 sec out of every 30, s0, for example, I do lower right/upper left corner for five sec, then 30 sec later I do upper right/lower left, etc.
Then, move to stop bath for 30 sec. Then to fixer. Agitate continuously for 30 sec, and then rinse off and dry hands, and then turn on lights. Complete the 3 minute fixing cycle with the lights on.
Rinse in plain water in the slosher, then hypo clear - agitate continuously for 1 minute. Then to wash. I wash by putting the slosher in a tray of water, and let it stand for 5 minutes. Move to another tray of water for another five minutes, etc, for a total of 6 cycles. Then to a tray of photoflow. Finally, take sheets out of slosher while resting in photoflo, attach clips, and hang to dry.
I do all of this by hand - the vertical edges of the slosher make good handles. Normally I wear rubber gloves mainly to minimize contaminating the chemicals with residual chemicals on my bare hands.
Sometimes I will have one or two sheets that want N-1 processing. I simply remember which compartments they are in, and after the appropriate time, I carefully remove those sheets and put them in small trays of plain water while the rest of the sheets finish developing. Then, after I move the slosher to the stop, I put the N- sheets back in their assignment compartments.
I notice that your design has no means of preventing the film from "floating" as it's lowered into a liquid. If I were to drop a sheet of film flat onto a fluid it would tend to float, taking a few seconds to settle below the surface. Dry film might sit on top of the surface much longer. Do you push the film down below the surface when first placing the unit in a tray?
I'm aware that a pre-soak will avoid the "dry film" scenario mentioned above, but I subscribe to Ilford's advice not to pre-soak. A 30 second stop for film which is reluctant to settle quickly seems a bit "iffy" unless it's positively pushed below the surface.
Your workmanship looks nice, I think a lot of darkroom people are missing the boat when it comes to making their own equipment. Maybe APUG ought to have a "How To" forum, complete with photo's and plans, kind of like the old Popular Mechanics article I found on how to make a 4x5 enlarger....
Your observation is correct.
I know that Ilford does not recommend a presoak, but they also don't say that a presoak is a bad thing. I think it's mainly a matter of calibration - the process steps that Ilford recommend are based on no presoak, and they noted that if you use a prosoak, you need to develop your own process times. For me, it's a habit that I picked up 25+ years ago that I'm comfortable with, and since it's calibrated into my process, I stick with it.
When you lift the slosher out of the tray of chemicals, the chemicals force the film to the bottom of the slosher. Then, when you drop the slosher back into the tray, the flow of chemicals through the holes in the bottom lifts the sheets. My experience is that in combination with the irregular flow of chemical between the segments of the side of the slosher, the film remains immersed.
That said, however, if you allow the film to simply sit in the slosher, it does have a tendency to float to the top of the bath. I just processed some film and, as the film was soaking the wash, I reloaded my holders. I noticed that in the five minutes that it took to load three holders, one sheet of film (out of five) floated to the surface. Obviously, that is not a good thing if you are into stand development or even semi-stand development.
I've only experimented with stand development once - and in that case I used a tank rather than the slosher so that I had the freedom to turn on the lights and leave the darkroom. In his presentation at the LF conference this spring, Steve Sherman said that his experience is that stand development works best with a tank of some sort and with the sheet in a vertical position - he didn't say why, but I suspect that it is this floatation issue.
What about the idea of making the slosher with a lower hieght so that they could be stacked on top of each other in the developing tray, maybe having at least 3 layers for a total of 18 4x5 sheets in a 16x20 tray? These individual shelves could be made to sit in a piece with a handle so that they could all be lifted at once and moved from tray to tray?