the plywood half cover for the tub is very easy to make-up and you can still put the trays in the tub.
You could make-up a plywood half table that extends the sink area to mount the enlarger or notch it on the bottom to cover the sink and extend the entire sink area.
Remember electricity and salted water LOVE each other, make sure everything has the 3-prong plugs and a ground-fault circut at the plug.
Good luck with it.
Thank you for the many helpful suggestions. The largest film I've used (excepting a good many lith film contact prints) is 220, and I've only used it only 3 times. I've never had occasion to print anything larger than 11x14. The only sort of camera I own is a 35mm, and that is all I see myself using anytime soon.
Craigslist is definitely a good idea. I see that there are some very cheap Beseler 23Cs there...I believe I've used those and liked them, but I seem to remember that they're quite large. There's a small-looking Durst M601...I don't know a thing about those, however. Is there someplace I can find reviews of various enlarger models? The variety a bit overwhelming!
FWIW, I've owned two enlargers. My first was a Durst C35, which was Durst's bottom-of-the-line enlarger in the 1970s. It worked well enough for me to learn with, and I mention it because it was small and light enough to be moved around easily, with or without a cart on wheels. Most C35s you find used will be 35mm-only models, but Durst did make a kit to enable them to print 6x6 negatives.
My second (and current) enlarger is a Philips PCS130 with PCS150 control unit. This can do up to 6x7 (with appropriate condensers, lens, etc.), but it's bigger and substantially heavier than the Durst C35. To use it in a typical apartment bathroom, you'd definitely need a cart on wheels, unless you want your darkroom sessions to double as gym sessions. (OK, I exaggerate a little.) If you were just looking at pictures of the two enlargers on an auction site, it'd be hard to tell the difference in size; the proportions are actually pretty similar, but the Philips is about 50% bigger in all dimensions. Thus, I'd advise you to get measurements from a seller if you buy something via eBay or some other Internet site, so you can be sure it'll fit your space.
One other comment: I've seen eBay auctions for "suitcase" enlargers that fold up into a carrying case that's similar in size and shape to a suitcase. Such an enlarger would be particularly handy if you can't find storage space for a movable cart; fold up the enlarger and stuff it in a closet when you're done. There's a line of Russian enlargers built like this that crops up on eBay every now and then, although they're fairly rare in the US. Still, it might be worth looking for such a thing if storage space is tight.
The Durst M301 is 35mm only and is smaller than the M601. Perhaps you could place it a nearby closet, bedroom, and take the prints into the bathroom to process.
However, this may be small enough to fit into the bathroom anyway. Check out eBay. These are inexpensive. I never used one but had one in a trade and sold it. It looked very sturdy.
Take a look at the Bogan B22. Good for up to 6x6
Originally Posted by rkathleen
and 11x14 prints.
I generated a lot of space in my compact darkroom by
adopting the single tray method of processing. I use
the chemistry one-shot but more dilute than usual.
Others using the single tray method save the
chemistry for a next print.
A second tray is needed for holding and two tray
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Can you get some sort of roll cart? Microwave cart etc?
Something like an Omega B22 or B66 on a cart might work for you. Roll the cart in when you need it. Roll it out when you don't.
Also take a look at the Omega C760 and similarly numbered enlargers. They take up to 6x7 negatives and are relatively small and light.
I also have to use the bathroom as my darkroom. I also have a very small laundry room, and I have put the enlarger on top of the washer. I make my exposures there and carry the paper to the bathroom in an old paper box. I find this works very well as I am able to leave one door open while in the other room allowing air to exchange. Thus, I don't need ventilation beyond the regular central heat/air conditioning system.
Check out the "Darkroom Portraits" thread for many descriptions and images of darkrooms in all sorts of spaces, including my dark/bathroom.
My Omega D-II lives on a rolling typewriter table that slides over the commode. If you're creative about it, you can do a lot in a small space, and if you do it often enough, you can keep set-up/cleanup time to a minimum. I process film up to 11x14", can print up to 20x24" (though I don't do it often), enlarge 4x5", contact print larger sizes, coat and process albumen paper, all in a 5x6.5 foot bathroom that also needs to function as a bathroom, because it's the only one we have in our one-bedroom apartment.
The Beseler 23 is a great enlarger, but way too big and heavy for your purposes. I was testing one I helped a young lady find and it took two of us (me and her 6'4" varsity soccer player boyfriend) to maneuver it up and down the stairs. There is a Meopta with case on eBay in Allentown, which should be pretty cheap, especially if you can go pick it up. And I believe that that Durst is pretty compact. The smaller Omegas can be carried pretty easily as well.
Do you have a cameraclub near you ?
When I was "building a makeshift darkroom" some years ago I got most of the stuff including a bunch of enlargers for free. I bought one cheap in a thriveshop. A carpenter suplied some kitchentable leftovers. One that fitted on the tub and a smaller one that when fitted with tall legs could be placed over the wc. I secured the latter to the wall using a hooksystem made for windows and some rubbersealing on the backedge. If space is really small you can "stack" the trays.
My problem now is that the darkroom have been claimed to serve its (in her opinion) originally tasks
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