“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I made my own enlarger footswitches ( one for the timer, and one for a "Bulb" duration) out of some blocks of wood, 3mm plywood, and duct tape, and a magnetic stirrer from a computer fan and super magnets.
I use a 10 gallon acrylic fish tank as a print washer for up to 11x14. To separate the prints I epoxied several plastic letter organizers from the stationary store to the bottom. Drilled a hole for a hose fitting near the bottom and drilled holes along the top edge for the water to exit.
Plastic stirring spoons from the kitchen also serve as chemical mixers.
I made my print drying screens from a Home Depot window screen kit. My film drying hangers hang from an old-fashioned wire towel rack fastened to the ceiling. My darkroom sink is a single basin stainless kitchen sink.
I did some 16x10 prints using a picture frame as an easel, it worked but was a PITA.
My wife discovered that 5x7 stainless sheet film tanks hold CD jewel cases perfectly, and our kitchen towels are stored in an 8x10 tank oriented on it's side.
Oh and one of our vases looks quite a lot like an old Kodak glass darkroom graduate.
I use the string/clothespin approach for hanging up film in a tall kitchen cabinet.
I've also used an aquarium pump/filter to keep my print bath (a deep 16x20 tray) from collecting any dust on the surface during long printing sessions.
I made a "shelf" out of PVC pipe that fits over my bathtub and gives me a second level for trays. I was in either Home Depot or Lowes one day and found on sale several prefabricated screen doors that had been damaged in transit. Small holes torn in the screen - some of the rubber insulation pulled loose. I bought two for $3 each and took them home for print drying screens.
I used my improvised 16x20 easel for the first time last weekend.
I had a brand new 16x20 Saunders borderless easel, but I don't like prints without a border and not being able to afford the wicked prices for an adjustable 16x20 easel I made a frame for the borderless one. Now I can print 16x20 with a nice neat 1 1/2 inch border all around. I am thinking of making a narrower frame to give 1 inch borders too.
North America just north of that sharp right turn North America makes on the Atlantic coast.
Yup, proof positive that necessity is the mother of invention, or something. I'm looking forward to reading more of these.
"Would you like it if someone that painted in oils told you that you were not making portraits because you were using a camera?"
"Shouldn't it be more about the joy of producing and viewing the photo than what you paid for the camera?"