Table Saw in the Darkroom ???
Well, not really in the darkroom per se, but a table saw is pretty useful when making things for the darkroom.
Hence a question...
How many of you folks actually make things for your darkroom, other than the usual shelves & sinks?
Things that are durable and useable over the long haul, not just the occasional quick-fix lash-up.
Some things that I've made over the years...
Negative carriers... for Beseler enlargers, 4x5 & 5x7. (Not just matboard cut-outs).
A conversion for a 5x7 cold light onto a Beseler 4x5 chassis.
Paper safes... (I counted 17 of 'em, ranging in size from 8x10 to 20x24, & 40" rolls).
Film safes... (4 of 'em for 8x20 film)
Easels.... (I counted 14, ranging from 5.5x7" up to 20x24", plus several in landscape format.
Plexiglass tanks for 120 & 220 roll film processing.
Plexiglass tanks for 4x5 & 5x7 film hanger processing.
Plexiglass print washers (5 of 'em, so far).
Pull chain switch controlled receptacle boxes for controlling overhead tights.
Racks for hanging RC prints to drip-dry (instead of the usual clothes line across the sink).
A "garage" for my collection of enlarging lenses.
"Swing-away" under the lens holders for variable contrast filters.
A hot/cold water temperature control mixing system.
Dedicated equipment sure makes it easier to get things done.
Plus, it's fun to design and make things to suit your unique working style.
Ok', let's hear (& see) what you've made...
Hello. I have only made my field camera. No darkroom stuff yet, except a few cabinet.
BUT, I would be very interested in your plexiglass film developing gear, as I'm designing these in my head right now.
Good Afternoon, Reinhold,
I don't have a table saw in my darkroom, but a drill press and the usual portable electric tools are nearby in the basement. I have made a few easels in the past and recently built a table for my processing trays with storage spots underneath. I keep thinking that I really should build a custom enlarger table with center drop-out for making extra large prints. Since I don't have much reason to make extra large prints, procrastination is currently carrying the day, but maybe not forever.
Re the Plexiglas: What kind of circular saw blade would you recommend, and is a portable saw practical for such work? What kind of sealant is most effective?
Frames, Sinks, Cabinets, Easels, Enlarging tables, and after seeing how easy it is to cut Lexan, I will be making a larger print washer and perhaps a nitrogen burst dev tank for 12x20 films.
For making things out of Plexiglass (or Lexan), see this previous post;
I use an 8" Freud LU-89 "Non Ferrous" blade for plastics and aluminum. It's a triple-chip grind with a negative hook (that's important... the blade won't "grab" the material). For a portable saw, look at Freud's 7" thin kerf 56 tooth non-ferrous blade #TK-703. A good saw guide is critical for precision edges.
These blades make clean cuts which are ready to bond without further ado.
Use the solvent type bonding method, it's much neater than using a goopy sealant to hold things together. TAP Plastics has info on how to do it (easy).
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Good Evening, Reinhold,
Hello Reinhold, I have a non ferrous blade on a 10' table saw dedicated to cutting brass, copper and aluminum. I've made some nice aluminum lens boards. It's possible to dado with the blade, I have a 10" table saw for precision woodworking also and a full size cabinet shop shaper along with the usual furniture making machinery.
I recently made some Lexan paddles with holes for stirring chemicals without air entrainment and some Lexan Rod stirrers. I went to the local glass shop and asked if they had some Plexiglas and they loaded me up with a bunch of Lexan brand free.
My shop is in the same building but not in the darkroom.
Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand
I made my enlarger table in my wood shop. It is heavy and sturdy. As it sits on a cement floor, I don't worry so much about vibration due to childish leaping and prancing about in the house.
I built my darkroom from scratch, including framing two of the walls. All the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. Built the cabinets, drying racks, and the stands for the sink and print washer. More to the original post, though, is probably the wall mount for the Omega B22.
Alas, we sold that house this past Summer and all that gear got pulled out and is waiting for me to get started on the next bigger and better darkroom in the new house. More space, more sinks, more enlargers! Woo Hoo!
I have built a number of items for my darkroom and the table saw is my most used power tool. My saw is located on one of my farms and I often use it when no one else is around. The saw also gets used by others, who often use it without others around. Cell reception is sketchy at the farm.
I was worried about someone getting hurt on the job, or cutting my own hand off when I used it (A friend of mine cut off the tip of one finger and cut into two other fingers using a saw in his garage. Luckily his wife heard him scream and called 911, saving most of his fingers.)
Anyway, I decided to invest in a Sawstop Table Saw. (Yes they are expensive). The saw automatically retracts when it hits flesh (or a hot dog), thus preventing severe injury. Luckily, we have not had occasion to use the mechanism, yet. But it is reassuring to know that my farm workers are a little safer on the job. We liked the saw so much that we bought on for the local high school.
Check out the Hot Dog video at the Sawstop website: http://www.sawstop.com/howitworks/videos.php