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Thread: Darkroom Sink help...

  1. #1

    Darkroom Sink help...

    Hi guys,

    First time poster to LFP and just looking for some advice on sinks for darkrooms. I'm looking to build my own so looking for some tips and maybe some design pointers that would be important and handy to have in a colour/B&W developing sink.

    Would love to to hear your suggestions and some criticism and advice on my rough sketch that I've drawn up!

    Regards,

    Jack


    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Darkroom Sink help...

    This book has a step-by-step plan for making one that is inexpsnsive and highly usable. Easily adapted if you don't like the size. I have made two of these. They're great.

    http://www.amazon.com/Build-Your-Own.../dp/0936262044
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  3. #3

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    Re: Darkroom Sink help...

    What material are you using? Plyood, stainless steel? Plastic?
    I've made more than one using birch plywood and west stystems marine epoxy. There are several existing threads on this so I won't go into details.

  4. #4

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    Re: Darkroom Sink help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Barlow View Post
    This book has a step-by-step plan for making one that is inexpsnsive and highly usable. Easily adapted if you don't like the size. I have made two of these. They're great.

    http://www.amazon.com/Build-Your-Own.../dp/0936262044
    I agree with Bruce, I built my sink from plans in this book almost 30 years ago and it still works great.

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Re: Darkroom Sink help...

    Quote Originally Posted by vinny View Post
    What material are you using? Plyood, stainless steel? Plastic?
    I've made more than one using birch plywood and west stystems marine epoxy. There are several existing threads on this so I won't go into details.
    Second this. I built my plywood w/West Systems epoxy in 1989. Never a leak and still going strong.

  6. #6
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Darkroom Sink help...

    Don't forget to look locally for a sink. They definitely exist.

    I found 4.

  7. #7

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    Re: Darkroom Sink help...

    I'm in the middle of building my second (and hopefully last) darkroom sink out of marine plywood, pine and fir. It will be sealed and then painted with marine paint. Some thoughts/considerations that might help you.

    Build as big a sink as you can for the space you have. You'll always end up using it.

    Make sure you have a slope to the drain (mine slopes in to the center from the four corners, with the center rear being the lowest point of the sink. That way, there's not such a drop from one end to the other).

    Try to minimize holes for fasteners, etc. in the sink bed itself; they'll leak no matter how hard you try to seal them (ask any boat builder). Caulking seams and corners before painting is important too.

    I'd question the need for a partition for the water tempering bath, especially if you're not doing color. For black and white printing it's just not necessary. For film, you can use a larger tray for the developer (the only really temperature critical step) or simply do the math for the right developing time for the ambient temperature. For color, there are better solutions. That way, you'll have a more versatile, not divided, sink.

    If you're going to use a print washer, remember that they are pretty heavy when full. Make sure you have adequate support.

    While marine epoxy is a good solution for a really waterproof sink, I have simply used well-caulked, primed plywood painted with good quality topside paint for years. My sink is not "underwater" for long periods of time. I've never had a leak; I've only repainted once and that just because there were so many developer stains.

    The right sink height is more important than you think. My sink is designed with an armrest (really just an extra board on the front rounded for comfort) that lets me comfortably rest my forearms on it with my elbows not bent to 90 (arms extended down a bit) and with my fingers just touching the sink deck. That way, I know I can develop in trays comfortably. Your 300mm (12-inch) depth might be a bit deep for you. It certainly would be for me. You'll have to find the right height and sink depth for your ergonomics.

    Hope this helps,

    Doremus

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Re: Darkroom Sink help...

    I agree with Doremus, 300ml deep is too deep to be reaching into. Mines 100mm deep and if I ever make another sink I'd be making it shallower. Mine is made from some kind of acrylic sheet, glued together with some silastic. Never leaked (13 years old). I have extra acrylic sheeting extending up the walls around 2 sides (other side there is a fridge) which come in handy as surfaces to squeegee fiber prints. My sink has a well on one end with the drain in it which makes it easy to wash up trays/tanks/etc but limits the number of trays you can have.

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  9. #9

    Re: Darkroom Sink help...

    Another vote for the book Bruce recommended. I too have built 2 sinks using that book as a guideline. I greatly modified the plans to meet my needs (made an L shaped sink to maximize limited space), but the plans still worked great. I used both epoxy resin and epoxy paint after caulking plywood...overkill?, maybe... Make the biggest sink you possibly can. You never know when a print is going to demand to be made larger. (I had to modify multiple elements of my darkroom when a picture insisted on being 16X20).
    Also recommend carefully considering the design and use of the space under the sink. Storage tend to be at a premium in most darkrooms

  10. #10
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    Re: Darkroom Sink help...

    Not much I can add to the above.. lots of really good advice.

    Bigger better, West System, Proper Slope.

    But the best advice given was sink height... make sure you demand your builder makes it to suit you...

    I am short - and getting shorter as I age.. every stupid sink I had built was by tall guys... big mistake...

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