I have two electrical circuits in the darkroom - one for the enlarger and timer with a voltage stabilizer, and one for everything else. It is very important to have a ground-fault circuit interrupter in your darkroom to prevent serious electrical shocks especially when working close to water. The switch for my general circuit is located outside the darkroom and powers everything on or off. I included a red light on the outside of the darkroom to let you know if the circuit is on or off and if the door is closed and the light is on family knows not to enter.
Plumbing is copper and is mounted on the wall surface so it can be modified as required without having to open walls to get at it.
Darkroom is 10'x14'
Underestimating the strength of the needed workbench to support the weight of professional enlargers...
Originally Posted by semi-ambivalent
I have both a light weight Durst M670 BW, and a Durst L1200 which is a beast. Total weight of both might be in the order of 50 kg. My initial set-up with a simple household tabletop just wasn't strong enough to hold the weight of both, it started bending. I had to reinforce it with another tabletop to properly support all the weight, which required moving the L1200 from the workbench, which was an absolute pain. You just don't want to have to move these things once they are placed.
"The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true.
" - William M. Ivins Jr.
"I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White.
" - David Burnett in 1978
"Analog is chemistry + physics, digital is physics + math, which ones did you like most?
If you can afford them, Encapsulite fluorescent lights are shadow free and consequently easier and more relaxing to use. (I've never had problems using fluorescents in a darkroom). And use chord pull switches to operate both white and safelights - easy to fit and you can shorten the chord for the white light, so you don't make any silly mistakes.
Avoid dusty and moist areas. Dust gets everywhere, and moisture makes fungus grow! Unfortunately my darkroom is plagued by both dust and fungus. There is probably something I could do but it would involves alot of work in remaking the floor and rendering the walls. The floor is concrete and when it rains moisture seeps into the room and after a month of not using it I had fungus growing on my paper boxes and also inside the box
I have a question for others, how do you stop light reflecting off the paper hitting the walls and coming back to expose the paper again. Is a black cloth around the enlarger the usual thing to use?
pentax 6x7,canon eos 300, crown graphic 4x5
Black cloth, black paint, black mat board...any of those will work.
Originally Posted by NDP_2010
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You can never have too much sink space-and make sure you have adequate safelighting!
"He took to writing poetry and visiting the elves: and though many shook their heads and touched their foreheads and said 'Poor old Baggins!' and though few believed any of his tales, he remained very happy till the end of his days, and those were extraordinarily long "- JRR Tolkien, ' The Hobbit '.
remember to take not just plumbing into account, but also where that 'plumbed' water will end up after it leaves. Really only something you have to deal with if you have a darkroom/shed that's seperate from the house
Thanks for all the great info. One thing I noticed is there are only 2 posts mentioning airflow. I've read elsewhere that ventilation is one of those darkroom items that is almost universally overlooked in the design. Surely more of you have some sort of ventilation scheme you didn't mention.
You're correct that ventilation is important. However, this thread is about design mistakes, and folks tend to have fewer "mistakes" on something this important.
Originally Posted by sgiesel
And my contribution: (not so much a mistake, as something often overlooked or not considered). Think about the height of the bottom of your sink for print trays. I built my own stand so that that the bottom of the sink, and then the trays, were at "counter height", or about 36". Most sinks on factory stands have the top of the sink at counter height (like your kitchen sink) which makes the bottom and the trays much lower. This means bending over a bit to reach and agitate trays for someone at my height, which is only 5' 10". I don't know how some of you guys over 6 feet do it without killing your back.
Last edited by David Brown; 06-04-2011 at 12:45 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I did this exact same thing ... thought how smart I was having the sink designed for easy reach - and not thinking about the depth of said sink.
I also have a bug problem - not a design mistake, but since my darkroom is in an outbuilding, every bug in the neighborhood stops by for a drink from my sink it seems. Having a 2 inch tree roach crawling up your leg in the pitch black as you use both hands spooling 35mm film onto a reel is sorta creepy. Luckily I'm not a "EEEEK, there's a bug" kinda girl. Just waited til I was done, turned the light on, and then used a stir stick to cut him in half. His head twitched for 10 minutes. Damn dinosaur bugs. They will NEVER die.
Originally Posted by David Brown