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  1. #1
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Equipment not meant for, but used in the darkroom.

    A while back, while googling around, I found this thermostat controlled waterproof baby pig heating pad that seems good for placing under trays to keep solutions from cooling off; http://www.apug.org/forums/forum43/35600-sue-weeee.html

    Today I found this Water Timer; http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page...280,33160&ap=1

    They (Nelson) also make a model that runs for 5 minutes, then stops for 10 minutes for up to 3 hours; http://www.lrnelson.com/products/model.cfm?MODEL=226

    The first water timer would be great for those times you can't get back to the darkroom to shut the water off, and the second one would be like an automated dump and soak wash. Don't know which one I'll be getting just yet, but both would save in hot water bills.

    Have you discovered any equipment not meant for darkroom use that's now indispensable in your darkroom?

    Murray
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin View Post
    Have you discovered any equipment not meant for darkroom use that's now indispensable in your darkroom?

    Murray
    Definitely. I use kitty litter trays for print processing.

    Also, when I need gloves (as when I'm using a toner), I use regular kitchen gloves.

    I use large garbage/yard trash bags to protect my countertops near the sink, and I place old, but clean, newspaper beneath the processing trays to soak up any moisture (usually very little). When the darkroom session is over for the day, I wrap up the newspaper in the trashbags and toss it into the garbage can.

    When I'm hungry, I bring food into the darkroom. Hmmmmm. That's another sugject, though--the dangers of eating and drinking in the darkroom.

    Pat

  3. #3

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    My desktop computer system sits in the same room with my darkroom equipment, so the light stays consistent and I can view my images better on the computer screen during the day.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by PatTrent View Post
    When I'm hungry, I bring food into the darkroom. Hmmmmm. That's another sugject, though--the dangers of eating and drinking in the darkroom.
    Be careful not to use a Coke bottle to store developer in case you get really thirsty...

  5. #5
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    I found a seed tray heater that works great for keeping solutions warm. It is coated with hard rubber and so is impervious to darkroom chemicals, and the pad is enclosed with a metal cage that keeps the trays raised about 1". It is not thermostatically controlled so I have to watch the tray temps to keep them from getting too warm, but other than that it is a great asset in the winter.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  6. #6
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Retractible clotheslines like they have in hotels are very handy. You can find them in a houseware and hardware stores.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #7

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    Rubbermaid and Pyrex measuring cups up to 32 ounces are adequately precise for measuring darkroom chemicals.

    I took the advise of an APUGGER and bought a liquid medication measuring syringe from the local pharmacy to measure Rodinal.

    I use a West Bend digital kitchen timer for timing my film development.

    You can find packs of funnels at the bargain store that work for photography as well as they work for kitchen or garage use.

    I have a digital kitchen scale to weigh dry chemicals.

    Film is hung to dry on standard nylon cord from standard laundry clothes pins.

    I use an automotive squeege to clear excess water off washed prints, and...

    I put my finished prints on a standard cotton sheet on a spare bed to dry under a ceiling fan and then flatten them under a stack of photo and art books.

    There's probably a dozen or more other things I use in the darkroom that is not photography-specific.

  8. #8
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    DIY film dry cabinet from household items

    Dust raised from the kids playing in the family room adjacent the darkroom forced my hand to create as pristine a spot as I could to dry film. Scraps of 1/4" plywood, & bits of lumber cut to make door frame made the cabinet. An old screen door my neighbour was tossing provided the door latch and hinge. 2 scavenged fans from old PC power supples provide the air flow. Cut down furnace fliters make up the intake filter. An old outdoor lawn christmas tree floodlight socket holds the outdoor rated 300 flood lamp that provides the heat. An old furnace gave up the thermostat and power control relay for the lights. A discarded model train set gave the power pack to run the relay through the thermostats and the fans. A scavenged humidistat from an old drum humdifier controls the fans. Power cord was clipped from a discarded power washer - nice water resistant type. Films are clipped to a baking cooling rack that is screwed to the roof of the cabinet.

    Ut took about half a year to gather the stuff, and a few nights assembling it, and painting it with left over garage door paint. Cost was about $5 for the gasket foam that seals the door.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by FirePhoto View Post
    I found a seed tray heater that works great .

    I also use a seed propagator. It's not thermostatically controlled but seems to get the solution to 68 degs and then level off, so no problems with boiling the developer!

    I also use a vacuum cleaner to provide the suck for my home-made vacuum easel, although strictly speaking that's not in the darkroom but does its bit in the loft via a long tube to keep the noise and dust down!

    Steve

  10. #10
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Roberts View Post
    I also use a vacuum cleaner to provide the suck for my home-made vacuum easel, although strictly speaking that's not in the darkroom but does its bit in the loft via a long tube to keep the noise and dust down!
    This is something I am planning to make as well. I am planning to use a 12 volt tyre inflator pump as the vacuum pump though. I need to put it in a sealed box with it's current output hose as an exhaust and a single hose to the box as the inlet in order to convert it from blow to suck. I may experiment with a fish tank pump in the same type of enclosure too.

    Steve.

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