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  1. #1
    Gary Holliday's Avatar
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    DIY print washer

    I saw a post on the darkroom portrait thread page 60 describing a home made print washer and though I might try something similar.

    I don't want anything too complicated or expensive so was going to start with a deep plastic storage tub and a hose from a garden centre etc. My main question is how do you stop the tub from leaking when you drill a hole on the side for the pipe?

  2. #2
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    Silicon adhesive available at an aquarium supply?
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  3. #3
    Monophoto's Avatar
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    I used a large plastic bussing tray - the kind of bin that is used to schlep used crockery back to the kitchen in a restaurant for washing. I bought it at a restaurant supply house - it was a lot less expensive than a similarly-sized plastic bin from an ordinary department store.

    I made the inlet using CPVC plastic water pipe - the rigid plastic material that is certified for supply-side use in some jurisdictions in the US. I had some pipe left over from a bathroom construction project, and simply bought some fittings (and ''glue' used to solvent-weld the material. I constructed a pipe rectangle that fit against the wall of the plastic bin with an inlet fitting at the top. Drilled small holes in the pipe at intervals along the rectangle at irregular angles so that the water flow would be more random.

    The inlet array was attached to the side of the bin using pipe clamps attached with self-tapping screws. As noted below, I planned to use my washer in a sink, so I wasn't concerned about incidental spillage.

    The other issue is how the water exits the washer. The key point there is how it will be used - I had the advantage of a large, deep laundry sink outside the darkroom so all I had to do was drill an array of holes in the side of the bin opposite to the side where I attached my rectangular inlet array. Of course, if you plan to use the washer on a counter top, you need to provide some kind of siphon arrangement rather than just spill greywater over the side.
    Louie

  4. #4
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    You may be able to find some kind of bulkhead fitting used by plumbers to connect to cisterns/water tanks in a local DIY store.

    Bob.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anscojohn View Post
    Silicon adhesive available at an aquarium supply?
    Exactly, except you don't need to get the expensive aquarium supply stuff. The bathroom silicone caulk available at the hardware store is as good and half the price. The silicone sold in aquarium stores is minus an additive that retards the growth of mildew because it can harm fish and plants. That's not an issue here, and as long as you don't eat the stuff...
    Frank Schifano

  6. #6
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob F. View Post
    You may be able to find some kind of bulkhead fitting used by plumbers to connect to cisterns/water tanks.
    They are called tank connectors. Available to fit 15mm and 22mm copper pipe for water supply and for 3/4" plastic overflow pipe.

    They shouldn't need any supplementary sealing (silicon) as they are not working at full mains water pressure.

    Steve.

  7. #7
    Gary Holliday's Avatar
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    OK thanks for the help so far, I've got the plumbing worked out. I even considered a garden hose sprinkler system at the bottom to help with water distribution.

    Now I need to get the rack sorted for the prints.

    I can purchase some Perspex/ Acrylic A3 sheets, now I've got to think of a way to make a rack and attach the sheets to the tank. The easy option is dropping in a Paterson drying rack but I want something a bit better than that.

  8. #8

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    Another source for fittings is a marine supply store. They make all kinds of thru-hull fittings for boats. That way you you can have a permanent fitting thru the tank instead of a hose glued into a hole.

  9. #9
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Check this out to buy or for ideas:

    http://fineartphotosupply.com/printwasherpage.htm
    Jerold Harter MD

  10. #10
    bsdunek's Avatar
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    It should be noted that the water needs to exit from the bottom of the tank, as hypo laiden water is heavier. Otherwise the hypo will stay on the bottom. This means a fitting at the bottom of a side, with a pipe/hose coming up to where you want the water level to be.
    Just my .02 worth.
    Bruce

    Moma don't take my Kodachrome away!
    Oops, Kodak just did!


    BruceCSdunekPhotography.zenfolio.com

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