Speaking of electrical circuit insallation, I think this is good:
3 circuits, one for things that have to remain under current all the time (like the fridge), one for lighting and pumps and stuff that have to be turned off when the DR is not in use and one for the enlargers (so they are free of any interference). This is the way I installed it myself and it runs smoothly. I also installed separate switches on a board for every category of equipment (pumps, white light, safelights, enlargers, HiFi etc). This permits me to control everything from the board and adds to the safety of the system. I really found out how useful it was when one of my pumps got berzerk and I didn't have to turn the main switch off to repair it (in the dark !!!).
You might have to spend some time to re-adjust and re-organize what's in your new darkroom space. Once you turn the lights off and start doing the actual work for the first time, you will start to feel it and be able to find out what works and what doesn't for you.
It's a simple process, but some people do not recognize it in the first place.
Living in New Mexico like you do, I would think long and hard about putting a valve in your sink drain line. So that you can put film and print wash water out in your yard. This thread has been takled about before. It should be simple to do.
Hey David, believe it or not I am a Plumber! It was my "fall-back" trade and put me through school many years ago. I've plumbed darkrooms for friends and associates all over the country including 3 of my own. Do you already have drainage in the garage.. or is he going to have to tap you into your sewer system underground? I'm guessing this is where the biggest part of the cost will go. The rest should be gravy. Put in at least 2 faucets on your sink if you can. A separate valve for your washers will be helpful too.
Originally Posted by david b
Yes.. put in a small air compressor and "wire" the place with hose nozzles at each work station. Best thing I ever did. Be sure to place a filter at the compressor to filter out any moisture. Mine works like a charm. Have a nozzle at each enlarger station as well as one by my scanner and in the dry work area.
Originally Posted by david b
Have fun! Nothing like the feeling of a new workspace made to your needs.
Like the others say--plenty of outlets and added circuits for the power. Don't forget the high current draw of dry mount presses (if you use one). The Seal 150 alone is rated at 11 AMPS.
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Are you a father? When I finally put a darkroom in our garage, I'm going to put in a revolving darkroom door from the house into the darkroom...that way my daughter can visit anytime, and she won't feel like we have a locked door (actual, emotional, etc) between us. (She's 4 1/2)
Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.
If you think 8 feet is enough, build 12
Originally Posted by Suzanne Revy
I put 2 drain outlets in my sink--one for chems, and one for clear water
Originally Posted by Jan Pietrzak
And put a pressure regulator in the line somewhere convenient you can adjust.
Originally Posted by billschwab
Instead of piping music in, consider a radio and a music source in the darkroom where you have immediate control. A number of individually switch controlled outlets throughout the darkroom are handy. A quartz or mechanical clock that ticks loudly every second is great for complex dodging and burning. So is a foot control for the enlarger or timer. A few quartz clocks throughout the darkroom are a cheap way to time processes. An electric clock with neon illumination works, too, and is safe around paper. I store enough water at room temperature for washing film, and don't need a tempered water supply. If you can't keep the darkroom temperature somewhere around 70F, at least keep the chemicals, film wash water, and developing tanks at that temperature. I like to sit at an enlarger. Others prefer to stand. Either way, have a comfortable chair or stool in the darkroom.
I don't know what you may forget...but I agree with the other comments suggesting you should make your wet space as large as possible. I'm just finishing up my darkroom, and I put in a wet side large enough to develop 20x24. I can't even do that on my enlarger baseboard, but I intend to print some that size enlarging horizontally...not sure how many...but by golly I'll be able to do it!
A couple of surprises I have avoided by noticing it ahead of time...the GFCI outlets have little GREEN lights when they are working. I'll probably just tape a small fragment of black-out cloth over them. CD players usually put out light. Cordless phones light up when they ring.
Advice given to me by others on this forum: Install a floor drain. Imagine what you will do when you spill your 20x24" tray of stop bath...oops...that's a lot of liquid, and it's acidic (usually), and the easiest way to mitigate that problem is to put a bunch of additional water down, but where does all this fluid go? Floor drain. Better before than after. Might be tough if your garage doesn't already include one though (assuming a concrete slab).
Finally, install your ventilation system to pull air directly across your developing surface, so fumes are not rising past your eyes. In my case, I brought the air intake down the wall in a big 4" ABS pipe, and ran it along 12" above my wet bench, drilling holes in it so it would suck air along its length. In my case, I went further and installed two fans, one to pull air out and one to push air in, so I can get positive or negative pressure.
Finally...enjoy the construction project. I've had days where I forgot that part, but now it is so close, I am enjoying the final few steps a lot.
Convenient lighting controls, so you can switch from dark to safe to inspection with a minimum of hassle.