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  1. #1

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    Small Darkroom Space: Advice?

    Ok guys I have a challenge, I have a small hallway space outside of my bathroom which I want to use for printing (Bathroom itself is too small) but one side is an open archway.
    Any ideas on a cheap easy way to block off the arch so thats its light tight but still able to walk through without dismantling whatever end up blocking the light coming through arch?

    Attached is a rough outline of my plans, sealing off the doors/window is easy enough (Doors are pretty tight already and the windows has a blackout Velux Blind on it) but the archway is giving me problems.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails darkroom_web.jpg  

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    Jay:

    You might want to move this to your own separate thread - it would be much easier to find that way.

    Can you change the size of your enlarger table in order to fit it into the "nook" behind where you currently have it positioned?

    That would allow two smaller tables - one at each end of the arch.
    Nope unfortunately this is in the upper floor of the house and the walls are angled quite sharply due to the roof. This cuts into the space I have available but is my only option unfortunately.

    Also of note is that this is a rented house so I cant do anything overly structural or permanent, although our landlord is quite accommodating as long as it doesn't damage or devalue the house in any way =)

  3. #3
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    Blackout cloth hung on a wire/string/rope fastened with hooks on each side of the arch, maybe?
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  4. #4

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    Hmm hooks on the side, I hadn't thought of that, I had considered the cloth but was wondering how to secure it to the sides. Just need to work out how to mount the hooks i suppose without ruining the plaster. Might try that though for sure, nice and cheap too.
    Could just roll it up when not in use over the arch.

    If anyone has any other tidbits or advice on layout feel free to advise.

  5. #5
    michael markey's Avatar
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    Hi Jay

    I`m the last person to offer practical advice of this nature but couldn`t you make a wooden frame for the cloth that would be self supporting thus obviating the need to secure it along its length.

  6. #6
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    In college lived ( bed, desk, reading chair and cable spool coffee table) in a living room that originally had no closure to the door to the common hallway.

    I made up a frame that was like an extruded H that had a middle part just wider than the width of the arch above the doorway.

    The top part of the H I slipped over the plaster above the arch. Into the lower part I pushed lengths of lumber slightly wider than the arch, to spread it wider.

    This made the top part of the H close up and grab the wall. I lined that part with felt so as to not scratch the plaster, and drilled two tiny holes on the inside and inserted small finishing nails to keep the hole affair from slippling down.

    In the beginning I hung a heavy drape; later a door fit into the affair, with a similar H arrangement placed to support the jamb on each vertical.
    my real name, imagine that.

  7. #7
    23mjm's Avatar
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    Here is a few pics of my darkroom--small, uncomfortable, but very functional. It's a semipermanent darkroom, I keep it set up, but tear it down when visitors come to town and stay. I can tear it down it 30-45 minutes and set it up in the same.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Darkroom1Sm.jpg   Darkroom3Sm.jpg   Darkroom2Sm.jpg  

  8. #8
    mjs
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    Alternatives to darkroom cloth include window "blackout cloth" which ought to be available from many local fabric stores, or the heavy (thicker) black or dark gray plastic sheeting from your local home improvement store. I had a roll of 6-mil stuff years ago which was superb at keeping light out of my improvised darkroom. A self-supporting wooden frame made simply and cheaply of 1x2 would eliminate any danger of damage to the wall covering. Good luck!

    Mike
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming– “Wow! What a Ride!”

    — Hunter S. Thompson

  9. #9

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    Ok I have a fabric shop sending me a sample of their various blackout materials and then I'll order some of that if they are suitable.
    I also just got an LPL 4x5 enlarger so need so see how I am going to fit that into the space =)

  10. #10

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    A thick black cloth with velcro will keep it light tight. I've done it. You can get a thinner black sheet and line it with black plastic. that will work too.

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