Hello, APUGers. I'm a recent subscriber, but a long time photographer. Fifteen years as a full time professional, please check out my sites to see my work.
Can you help me design my darkroom?
I've been back to regularly shooting film for two years now, mostly medium format. I've been using a Diafine processing, scan and inkjet print workflow for all of this, but I am really getting the itch to work in silver again. Still have most of my darkroom stuff and I am looking to build my first proper space in my basement.
A bit of darkroom history for me: I've never had a real darkroom, just spare bedrooms and whatnot with windows blacked out. No sink. The lack of a real working space has kept me frustrated over the years, which is why I went to scanning.
I recently got this sink off CraigsList and built a base for it. Drains into a bucket. Decent for making contact sheets in its current setup, but the sink will hold four 16x20 trays and I'd like to make real finished prints. Under the sink will be one more shelf for trays and chemistry, high enough to fit large plastic storage boxes on the floor.
The table with the LPL enlarger is built by me, too. Drying racks go underneath (currently being reconfigured).
So as you can see from the photos, I have a great space in my basement that measures a whopping 16 feet square. There is a very natural space where a wall can go (bit tricky to build around existing ductwork, but shouldn't be too much trouble). Window on the left houses an A/C unit and is very easily blacked out, as is the door. A/C can provide lots of fresh air, and the wall behind the sink goes directly outside, so ventilation should be fairly easy to install.
The three overhead lights will be converted to pull chain fixtures for lights and safelights. I will add power wherever needed via the electrical panel in picture 3. Water lines can be tapped right above the sink, which is our master bathroom. Drain lines are also accessible for a sump pump. I'm very handy with plumbing, electrical and finish work.
I'd love to "crowd source" this and tap into all of the expertise at APUG. Is 16x16 too big? The space can be smaller, though building the wall would be more difficult. I also have a 20x24 dry mount press and would like to have a finishing area. My only concern was that perhaps that should be outside of the darkroom area, but if I can fit it in and the room is well ventilated, I hope that might not be too big of an issue.
Let me know your thoughts. All feedback will be greatly appreciated.