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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Multi Format
    Since you have framed this, is it part of a garage or basement? I opted for a pocket door from a salvage yard because my space was only 8 ft x 9ft. It was very easy to light trap.

    You might want to use plywood instead of drywall on the darkroom side. It doesn't look so neat, but it makes attaching shelves, whiteboards, clocks, etc. much easier.

    Consider the temperature conditions, and see if some insulation in the walls would be wise. I put my extraction fan in the ceiling, which is fine in the warmer months. In the winter it tends to extract the warm air too. I would be better with a duct set a little lower this time of year.

    The design you show implies a right to left processing flow. Since I'm right-handed I would be lifting prints across my body. This may not bother you as much as it does me.

    I assume that you have tray storage under the sink. I think you are optimistic about doing 20x16 prints in standard trays in that space without a tray stacker. I have enough trouble with develop, stop, fix, water for 11x14 in a similar space.

    If you use a timer control like a Gralab 300, or an RH Designs Analyser Pro that controls the safelights and enlarger, allow for that when you do the wiring. I have a set of modular plugs that allows me to swap the control system between two enlargers.

    I put my white light switch in as a pull cord in the middle of the room. Easy to find, even if I am groping about in the dark, and have wet hands. It is the only switch I *might* need to use wet. Everything else is run through a GFCI (RCD for the UK people) and earthed.

    Why not chalk out the layout on the floor put in some furniture and go through the motions?
    I feel, therefore I photograph.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Medium Format
    Thanks, everyone, for prompt responses and great suggestions!

    While it's sometimes convenient to have a fridge in the darkroom, I think you will find that you won't need to get into it more than once or twice per session, and having it out of the way will make sense.
    Agreed, I think there's just too much in there right now. I'm trying to cram too much. The south door leads to the garage, where there is actually some space available for the storage shelves and the refrigerator. I'll move them out there.

    The receptacles behind the sink should have GFCI functionality - and it wouldn't hurt to have that on all of the receptacles.
    I was under the impression that only one GFI outlet is needed (the closest outlet to the breaker) per line. Is this not the case? If they're each on their own line from the breaker I could see why this would be necessary, but multiple on the same line would be redundant, wouldn't they?

    7. Is the sewer access point at floor level?
    The sewer line is 2-1/2" PVC pipe that runs vertically from ceiling to below floor. I was planning on tapping the sink and tub drains into that.

    Where and how will you be drying negatives? Where and how will you be drying prints? Are you planning to have print mounting facilities in the darkroom, or will that be elsewhere?
    Mounting will occur in a different room. I don't even have drying screens yet, but I do have an old FB dryer that I've been using. I will be trying to procure or even build a few drying screens soon, but I hadn't quite figured out where to put them...probably under the corner desk. However, I like Nige's general layout much more than mine, so everything's about to change anyway...

    What format film will you be enlarging? Why limit the sink to 5 feet + utility sink vs an 8 ft sink?
    I mainly shoot 6x7 medium format but also frequently with 35mm and rarely with 4x5. I actually already have the sink--I got a plumbed nuArc 5' sink and base for $100 from a guy locally. Not ideal--except that it was cheap, and it will be in MY darkroom, which makes it ideal!! I don't have a laundry tub but I figure it's a cheap addition to make up a little bit for the sink not being wide; hopefully it will give me some added flexibility for mixing chemicals, etc. I like the idea of a folding lid.

    I'm assuming your going to be printing 16x20's in fibre, then you'll probably want 5 (dev, stop, fix, rinse & hypo clear) before getting into the wash. Speaking of which, how are you intending to wash a 16x20?
    For now, I'm washing with a tray and a siphon. Not as nice as an archival washer that I cannot afford right now, but will eventually upgrade to. Gradually accumulating nicer equipment as I go.

    By building custom enlarger table and shelving you probably can make it more functional, but it would cost.
    Yes, true, and eventually I would like to. The desks are a cheap solution for now...

    I like a bit of room around the enlarger...
    I originally built a mobile enlarger stand because my last location required that I move the enlarger into a nearby closet. Pics of it can be seen at http://lightbox.us/main.php?g2_view=...&g2_itemId=284. But Nige's layout suggestion makes me think I might be better off just putting the enlarger on a table. What do you think?

    I have settled on the single tray method of print processing.
    Man, I read that and I just don't think I have the kind of fastidious patience this would seem to require. I really admire you now now though...

    Nige, I really like your layout. I'm going to play with it a little and see what I can come up with. Thanks for doing that.

  3. #13
    Monophoto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Multi Format
    Following up on a couple of points -

    You are correct that you only need one GCFI to get GFCI functionality on all of the recepticles further downstream on the circuit. I would put the receptacle on the first receptacle that the circuit encounters as it enters the darkroom so that you have protection throughout the space.

    Your sewer connection is interesting and fortuitous - the fact that the pipe is vertical and passes through the floor means that you can tap into it just above the floor, and that gives you great flexibility in locating your sink and then running the drain to the tap.

  4. #14
    jeroldharter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    4x5 Format
    Quote Originally Posted by proslambanomenos

    Man, I read that and I just don't think I have the kind of fastidious patience this would seem to require. I really admire you now now though...
    I used to think the same thing but it works well once you get it down.

    No stained trays, one tray to clean, no tongs, no marred emulsion on the prints from fingers or tongs. Also, much less smell because only one open tray at a time. In a small darkroom basement that is a big plus. Also, much less space - it is very hard to get 5+ 16 x 20 trays into a 5 foot sink and have any room to maneuver. Also, it is easy to use different developers or different sequences or processing. No cross contamination of chemicals or slopping chemicals around the sink. Less cleanup. You get the idea.

    I thought it was way too obsessive to begin with but once I got frustrated with all of the problems I listed above I gave it a try and I am pleased that I did.
    Jerold Harter MD

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