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  1. #1

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    Apr 2010
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    North America just north of that sharp right turn North America makes on the Atlantic coast.
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    Your favorite "Improvised" darkroom equipment

    As a was removing the clothespins from my dry film today I began to think I can not be the only one that does this. Then I wondered what other things from around the house people have used in their process, or even what things people are using in ways not intended by the manufacturer.

    So here are the questions.

    What are you using in place of a piece of equipment you could buy? As in Clothespins as drying clips, string as a drying rack, pizza box as easel, and so on.

    What piece of gear are you using for something other than it was meant for? As in Film tank as measuring cup, mixing beaker as film washer, even jobo as foot bath.

    Don't be shy we all do things with stuff that we aren't proud of, but if it works maybe someone might learn something.
    "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?"

    Me

  2. #2

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    Oct 2009
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    I use 120 spools and rubber bands around the shower door top rail to provide a place for rubber dipped mini clamps to hold my film to dry. I'm thinking of a way to expand that vertically with string so I can dry up to 12 sheets at once.

  3. #3
    winger's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    Page County, IA
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    I use coat hangers and binder clips to hang dry my film. I have sweater drying screens to dry prints (they're even stackable).

  4. #4

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    Jun 2003
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    local
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    windshield wiper as a squeegee for prints,
    and a plastic shelved closet with the shelves removed
    as my film drying cabinet

  5. #5
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    For as a film washer, I use an old plastic milk jug with top cut off with holes on the bottom.

  6. #6

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    Sep 2010
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    Pennsylvania
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    I've got some litter boxes from the dollar store that make rather nice 8X10 trays. Not only that, they're even in different colors!

  7. #7
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    I used 16x20 photo trays for a kitty litter box in a pinch one time. I'm not kidding

  8. #8

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    May 2010
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    Central OK
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    Needed an 8x10 printing frame and really wasn't up to waiting a week for mail order. So, started with a wooden picture frame and re-enforced the corners. Made a backing board that has black felt affixed to the inside. And then I made the "Great Discovery". Aluminum bar stock when bent into a curve retains the curve indefinitely (or for a very long time). So, I shaped the aluminum bar stock into a curve by hand using a coffee can as a form. Everything else is history.

  9. #9
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    Humboldt Co.
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    I use a turkey baster to clear bubbles out of the lines on a Cibrachrome processor.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  10. #10
    bowzart's Avatar
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    May 2008
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    Anacortes, WA
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    I have an old Kodak beaker, one of the thick glass pint sized ones, that i always use for proofing yeast when I make bread.

    I also have used a Merz processor (tempered cabinet) for making yogurt. Believe me, I cleaned it extremely well prior to doing this. Since nobody seems to want the old Merz S2, I am thinking that I'll remove the agitation parts and use it as a primary fermenter for small batches of red wine, which does best at 85°F. It seems to me that if you have the ability to control temperature to +/- 1/4°, it isn't real smart to let that capability go.

    I've used the black plastic trays, curved at the ends, that Home Despot sells for mixing concrete as large print trays and also have used suitcase shells for a wash tray for a tray siphon.

    This probably doesn't quite fit the spirit of the original question, but then, might be interesting to someone. Once, eating in a restaurant, a partial eclipse of the sun occurred. I asked the kitchen for a box and a piece of foil, and made a topless pinhole camera. Everyone there got to see the eclipse, albeit upside down.

    I suspect that I could come up with a bunch of stuff like this. For many years, there was no separation between photography and "life", so whatever there was got used for whatever was needed at the time. It's a bit different now, but who knows what's next?

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