Whether or not it happens to be taxed in Denmark, I think most of the best surfaces are oil or energy intensive, and maybe the responsible thing is to build your sink well, and get many happy years out of it by using materials good enough to not need early replacement.
That said, my vote is for these three - either polyester resin on fiberglass over plywood, or epoxy on fiberglass over plywood if you make it yourself, or if you have it made for you, stainless. Polyester isn't very popular since it stinks vey badly during application and cure, and isn't as rugged as epoxy. But it is more than rugged enough regardless and applied carefully does a wonderful job. I've used polyester before and had very happy results. Epoxy always gets the best rating for do it yourself application and final quality.
With either polyester or epoxy, your mechanical strength comes from the plywood, and the resins just create a durable, watertight, and washable surface.
I had a friend 30 +/- years ago who made a sink from plywood and polyurethane varnish. No fiberglass cloth. Just sealed the surface with varnish. He did commercial B/W photofinishing with that set up and expressed satisfaction with it. I can't remember if he told me how he sealed the joints at the edges. It always seemed to be a chancy way to build a sink to me, but he was happy.
I built mine using 3/4" AC plywood, caulked all seams and applied 3 coats of Rustoleum Garage Floor 2-part Epoxy (gray color and did not use the chips). It looks good and has held up well. You can buy the stuff at Home Depot or Lowe's. It is a lot cheaper than going with a commercial S.S. sink and you can build it how you want. If your school has a wood shop class this would be an easy project. Here is the link posted in the Darkroom Portrait Thread showing my sink. Good Luck.
I have never built a darkroom sink. I have an 8-foot ABS plastic sink which is OK but a large custom sink would be great.
In regard to Stainless Steel, you might get a quote from a restaurant supply business. In the US they do the bulk of custom stainless steel countertops and sinks. We have alot of that in our kitchen and it was all custom work by a restaurant supply company in Minnesota.
For plywood, that would be cheaper and more of a do it yourself job. Fiberglass is probably easy if you know what you are doing. But the darkroom sink that will last your lifetime is probably not the best place to learn. Others have suggested various paints that would work as waterproof coatings. I have never heard anyone do this, but you might check out painting the plywood with the liquid rubber material that is used for RV roofs. Look like you can by it in cans in small quantities.
Whichever way you go, consider designing it with duckboards which I think help the functionality.
I used an old wooden door and scrap linoleum to make a pretty nice sink that will probably outlive me. Darkroom portrait thread shows it in case you are interested.
I will build my new darkroom sink of plywood and epoxy. I will use birch plywood, since the surface is smooth. Fir plywood is really hard to get fair. I will use "filets" as described at westsystem.com. That is thickened epoxy with silica. I will also paint all plywood with epoxy at least two times, with a good scotch brite wash between.
Ole, won't your stuff scratch easily? Or react to chemicals? Epoxy won't mind some straight rodinal.
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PVC is the way to go.
I jus built my custom Darkroom sink. 24" X 72" with a 1-1/2" drain. Like you, Stainless was impractical to work (tig welding). I came across i/8" PVC sheet 48"X96" $56 at a sign shop. Plywood 1/2"X48"X96" and 2x4" legs an sides. A heat gun forms the PVC in the corners and nothing is easier to seal than PVC with cement and latex caulking. This such an easy sink to build if you can wrap a present you can make this sink. Best of it is a snap to repair with left over PVC and PVC cement. Post if you would like to see pictures of its construction. Good Luck!!
Before building a sink, I would check around at places which may still have a darkroom installed but unused. It is likely you can pick up a VERY NICE Kreonite or Arkay sink for the cost of hauling it away, and maybe a full darkroom setup to go with it.
If it is necessary to build one, plywood substructure (you can make to size), with fiberglassing is a great way to to.
Look at some darkroom sink pictures in the net for ideas to adapt to your specific situation.
I've spent years working in a number of darkrooms
Originally Posted by rogerchristian
which had no more than wash up sinks. Apparently
BIG sinks were not considered desirable. For myself
counter space and it's versatility counts more. Dan
Big sinks vs big countertops
Interesting. Could you offer any detail on how you dealt with trays, spills and wetness in general, an overview of the workflow.
Originally Posted by dancqu
I'm not picturing your setup or process clearly, and think it a very intriguing concept since it runs at odds with my preconceptions.
I have always thought of the general purpose darkroom sink as a counter top or workspace with an edge to contain liquids. Basically a wet table. I haven't ever used a really deep edge. I have always tried to get as much horizontal sinkspace area as possible. But your commentary makes it sound like there may be a very different approach and I'm interested.
I think if I were to approach a homemade work sink project I would try something similar to one of these . . .
Heck, it's already a sink minus a drain system. A little PVC tubing and RTV will fix that. Similar tubs can be purchased for much less elsewhere, surely. I'd probably line up three in a row on a plastic folding table. I've used these types of tubs for long term storage of liquid in an outside environment, without trouble (years, winter and summer). Just thinking out loud.