7x17 Custom Film Washer
I have been using my Versalab 16x20 print washer to wash 7x17 films. The washer is oversize for this size film: It uses a lot more water than necessary, and the films are very deep in the washer and must be fished out. So, using the Versalab siphon concept, I created a custom film washer for 7x17 films. ULF film washers are available (alistairinglis.com), but very expensive. I created this one for less than $50.
The tank is a planter I found at Home Depot. The slotted plastic insert, I made with Plexiglas I bought from the scrap bin at a local (Denver-area) plastics wholesaler. The insert is about 21” long and would handle 8x20 film, but the tank (aka planter) is not deep enough. Since I don’t have an 8x20 camera, it does not matter.
The water input to the washer if via a plastic hose connected to a piece of Pex tubing that has eight holes drilled to spray water into each of the eight film slots. The drain is via a siphon that removes the water from the other end of the tank. The large red “button” is a Drambuie cork securing the quick drain.
The outside of the insert is ¼” and 3/8” gray Plexiglas, and the dividers are 1/8” blue Plexiglas. (Buying from the scrap bin doesn’t give a great deal of color options.)
Quite frankly, I had a few construction quality issues and mistakes, but the washer works great and the price was great as well. Other than creating the design and gathering the materials, I had about four hours work into this. It helps to have a table saw and router table, of course.
Great design. I need one for 4x5 film.
What is keeping the plexy sheets apart? The water is entering from the top tube ans leaving also from the top at the other end? Would it not be better to have the dirty water leave from the bottom? thereby causing the fresh water to washover and down the film adn
out the base tube.
Looks like it is from the bottom using the siphon principle.
Originally Posted by FM2N
It looks similar in concept to the Versalab print washers, but the design of the film basket is slightly different (plastic end pieces instead of stainless steel rods with spacers). I may have to make something similar for washing 14x17 film. There are plenty of 16x20 print washers on the market (including the Versalab, the Cascade, the Inglis, etc.) that could be used for washing 14x17 film, but it might be nice to have something a little smaller that takes up less space.
The plastic dividers sit in a groove that is routed into the ends.
Originally Posted by FM2N
The "exhaust" goes out the top, but it is siphoned from the bottom.
Yes, the design is based on the Versalab siphon. The insert is similar to the sheet film washer that Zone VI sold. Obviously, a shameless ripoff all around!
Originally Posted by kthalmann
I think the challenge you will have in making a custom washer for 14x17 film will be finding a container in a usable size. I got lucky in finding the planter on my first trip to Home Depot. If you cannot find anything else, the Versalab 16x20 washer is great and reasonably priced.
is there enough room in the versalab 16x20 to put two 7x17s vertically side by side?
Of course, there is room, but,as fragile as film is, I would no load them that way.
Originally Posted by danschmidt
I've made a few items like this, including a 10x24 print and film washer, and put some shots together on my web page camera section under "darkroom projects"