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  1. #1
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Bathroom and other Temporary/Makeshift Darkrooms

    Hi guys,

    OK, I'm making a DVD, "Intro to the Black and White Darkroom" and will be releasing it next week, god willing and the creek don't rise.

    I intend to do a dedicated section on Bathroom Darkrooms, but I've always had a dedicated darkroom with a sink, etc. I'm curious to see any pictures of bathroom darkroom set ups, and I'm also curious about how those without print washers handle washing. I've tried to peruse the "show your darkroom" thread, but it is massive, and pretty much features dedicated darkrooms.

    I'm trying to include as many tips as possible for the newbie, and I figure many of them will be starting out in a bathroom or laundry room. Help with this subject would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Denis P.'s Avatar
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    Jason, unfortunately I don't have any piccies for you (it was a couple of years ago, in pre-digi era), but I can offer some insight into how I did it.

    I had a rented apartment, with a small bathroom. I developed negs, and even made prints.

    The options for neg developing are obvious: developing tank and a couple of bottles to hold chems at the proper temperature (in a holding/tempering bath, probably a pail/bucket or whatever was at hand)....

    As for printmaking, I had a kind of wooden board (something like 2.5 ft x 3 ft, or something like that), which I would put over the bathtub, making a kind of platform, where I would place the trays.
    The enlarger was placed on top of the washing machine, thus separating dry and wet side

    Prints were washed in the bathtub or in the washbasin (bathroom sink) - shuffling them under stream of water every now anf then - no big deal...

    HTH,

    Denis

  3. #3

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    I started in a bathroom darkroom about 18 months ago, worked well-ish. I had board over the bath, enlarger on the left hand side then 3 trays on the right, nice workflow from enlarger to trays (i'm right handed), final tray was in the bath for washing. the main prob was (apart from insistant knocking from my just pregnant g/f) was being scrunched up over the bath. now I have a setup in the garage (not that I have been in there since my little man was born) with proper sides at waist height, extractor fan and separate wet/dry counters.

  4. #4
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    Planning thoughts

    I built a darkroom in a half bathroom in an apartment I lived in, after I finished school. The main bath was off the ensuite, so the impeding of use of this bathroom's primary functionality during darkroom operations was not an issue.

    It was about 3' wide by 6' long. The enlarger went onto a strong narrow shelf that I anchored to the rear wall, above the toilet, and braced the top column with wires and turnbuckles to line it up. (Enlarger was a Beselar 23C)

    The removable baseboard shelf sat on rails attached to the walls, about 3' apart that were on either side of the toilet. This shelf sat level with the fixed enlarger shelf.

    Below the top shelf were two removable shelves that also sat on rails anchored to the wall. The top shelf held the developer and stop bath tray, and the lower shelf the fixer and wash tray. The print tray syphon overflowed into a 5 gallon pail that would periodically be dumped into the sink.

    Print processing was done while seated on a low stool.

    The setup was less then ideal, but all that I could fit into this space.

    The best bathroom darkroom gig I saw where there was more room was a pal from school, who put his enlarger on a second hand microwave shelf (back in the 80's, before a microwave spot was standard equipment in a kitchen). The cabinet under the enlarger stored the chemistry and suppies so they could remain as dust free as possible. He could wheel it from his room to the old victorian bathroom (actually once a bedroom with plumbing added a few decades later). An upside down funnel over the tub drain, and a hand shower thing attached over the tub spout made a great print washer.

    We had built a fold up plywood affair trimmed to snug to the tub top contours that sat over the bathtub to present a counter height support, and then had a surplus from old kitchen reno counter top we hauled home on trash day as a work surface. When not in use they stood folded up on end behind the bathroom door.

    For safelight (he only only printed at night) the window was covered with multiple layers of red tissue paper. Film was loaded onto reels in a changing bag. Prints dried on a retractable clothes line.

  5. #5
    DBP
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    When I was first learning, I set the enlarger on a typewriter table, and then put the trays in the tub, with the last tray being hooked to the faucet. If I were doing something similar today I would probably just take a tray and drill some small holes at one end, then put it under the faucet. I've also used the bathroom sink as a washer, either letting the overflow drain serve as a siphon or partially blocking the main drain.

  6. #6

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    I use to live in a studio apartment. I had my enlarger permanently on top of a low dresser (I used to pile t-shirts on top of the board and move them when I wanted to use it). I had a square tub (around 3 feet on a side) in the bathroom and Iwould put a piece of pine (around 12" wide) across the top with my trays set up on it. I would put the wash tray in the bottom of the tub and let the faucet run into it.

    Having recently moved into a house, I was trying to figure out how to put a proper darkroom into my laundry room. Reading this made me remember the extra bathroom down in the basement (that I have yet to use). I'm figuring on a table for the enlarger and then an extension to the already sizeable countertop by the sink for wet process.

  7. #7
    Gary Holliday's Avatar
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    Sorry no pictures either, but until my proper darkroom is built, I'm using the bathroom.

    3-4 planks of wood sit over the bath.
    Developing trays on top.
    Paterson print washer and holding tray sit in the bath...so a two tier set up.
    Enlarger sits on butcher's trolley which is wheeled in...not ideal though.
    Blackout material which is velcroed around windows and doors...easily removed (but I keep it up!)
    Extension cable underneath bathroom door for the enlarger and safelight.

    My bathroom is perfect as I have a huge skylight window for ventilation and plenty of daylight when toning.

  8. #8

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    There are some photos here and here. Obviously not mine though...

  9. #9

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    Jason I Use my bathroom, witch is very small.... and my son (loman here on apug) use a very, very little closet (did I spell it OK ??)....I will take some pictures and send them to You...

    Niels-Erik

  10. #10
    scootermm's Avatar
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    Ill post some digisnaps tonite. I live in a 500sqft apt and use the kitchen/bathroom/bedroom closet as my "darkroom". Would that be useful?

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