Darkroom's on a roll.....
Well, this is finally it!!!
Tonight I pick up a secondhand (but in very good condition) Agfa Varioscope 60 enlarger, I'm sure many of you can understand my excitement. To others I am surely a little 'off the planet'
There is also a print washer and print dryer for me to consider, and other stuff. but I'm not sure how important it may be yet.
Our back yard has 4 aussie sheds and my husband has actually offered to knock down 3 sheds and build me a big one. 1/2 is to house my new darkroom (size 4mx3m) and the other 1/2 to be used for mat cutting, framing, etc... and he is interested in doing my framing. What a man!
Of course this is a big project so Christmas is the desired deadline.
In the meantime, from tonight I'll have my enlarger and instead of keeping it on a pedestal in my loungeroom for the next 4 months I'm taking over a room in the house and will use it as a makeshift darkroom. The bathroom is right next door so that's where the water will be coming from.
Any tips you may have to setting up a temporary darkroom would be greatly appreciated, which will in the meantime will teach me what I need/want in my proper darkroom. If designing a darkroom is anything like rearranging furniture in my home, which I do consistently - then I'm in for a real treat!!! lol
Thanks very much everyone, I appreciate your constructive input!
With kind regards, Nicole
using a temporary darkroom will be a good test for arranging things in your final (?) darkroom.
Think about a convenient workflow and if all goes well, you'll have plenty of do's and don'ts for the new darkroom.
I am now in my second DR setup since I started 8 months ago and it is still not final. Got to move out some furniture first and then I can install a real sink! :-)
Congratulations on making the steps towards a darkroom. You're lucky to have four sheds to use. My current darkroom in our rented house is half a shed. Buy black plastic sheeting from a hardware shop and gaffa tape from Dick Smith's and you will be able to cut out any pesky light leaks.
Greetings from your part of the world (until tomorrow anyway, in Perth for business).
I have just this week set up my own temporary DR using my kitchen. I have a small 'galley' style kitchen where counters, hob and sink are all along one wall. This led to me setting up the enlarger at the far left and the trays over the top of the hob (on a board) to the sink, the safelight goes on top of the cupboards. I chose the kitchen because it is the easies room to blackout and has power points and running water.
The most difficult thing I've found is setting up temporary blackouts without ruining my window or door frames. I decided the best way to go was to work at night and fix up the blackout material with a little duct tape.
Hope you have as much fun as I'm having!
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
ever since I killed my dust issues I've enjoyed my darkroom more than ever. All negs crystal clean and prints clean, I have not had to spot a single print yet (and spotting is something I hate with a passion). My cure was running a mechanical hepa filter 24x7, and during darkroom work I now have hepa filtered air forced into the room, the air flow is designed so it pushes out any fumes which are infront of me out through a light tight vent. When the fan is turned on if there is any dust in the room (flashlight beam in the dark test) it's pushed out in about 5 minutes.
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What is an "aussie shed"?
Good luck with it Nicole, I'm sure you will not look back. I'd share with you my darkroom design but I'd hear the laughing from here. I just have a big bench 700mm x 2 m and everything sits on that. The bench shares the room with my computer desk and bookcases, and it's all in the granny flat. Luckily I have a laundry just in the next room of the granny flat so running water is easy to access.
I'll let you describe the aussie shed to Pete as there are a number of different types and I'd likely get it wrong.
I'm very excited for you, Nicole! Building a home darkroom was the best decision I ever made. Now, if I could only get my hubby to do the matting and framing! That sounds like a great deal! Good luck!
Aussie shed... isn't that when you put the shed in your bathtub ?
I'm not sure, Peter: it's a long way from michigan.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
I was a renter for most of my life and my darkrooms were whatever space I could find that could be made light tight without any alterations/damage to the structure.
One of the easiest and cheapest blackout materials is a sandwich of aluminum foil and builder's black plastic on both sides. Fold a French seam in the Al foil to make wider pieces. I have often made a frame (1x1" or 1/2x1/2") to fit inside the trim of a window and cover the frame with this blackout material. To seal out the last bit of light, tape the joint with electrical tape ("88", which happens to be almost totally lightproof).
I always made provisions for water and drain in the darkroom. Often I can run temporary lines up from the basement by disconnecting a cold air return duct and running my lines thru the existing hole. An electrical feed can also be run up thru the same opening.
I made my temporary darkroom table so it can be moved easily and it is fitted with a salvaged sink.
I haven't figured out how to post thumbnails, but here's my present semi-permanent darkroom http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1.../Darkroom2.jpg
I am presently in the process of moving my 10x12 semi-permanent darkroom to the basement. In my case, it is easier to blackout the entire basement than a part of it so I will have a space about 16x32 feet. I am making my new darkroom furniture modular so that I can shift things around as my photographic needs change. Of course, in an unfinished basement it is very easy for the home handi-woman to add or move electrical boxes, water taps, etc.
After 35 years of temporary darkrooms I am VERY MUCH looking forward to having such a huge open space to equip, to be able to shift and move whatever I want wherever I want it!
Good luck with the temporary. Just think what a thrill it will be when you can move into your very own dedicated darkroom!