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Thread: DIY darkroom tent - bad idea?

  1. #11

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    Re: DIY darkroom tent - bad idea?

    Why don't you just close yourself in a wardrobe and after having night vision see eventual light leaks and stop them. I did so for many years when I was loading 100ft film to film canisters. Always glad to leave for fresh air.
    It's not for nothing that normal tents used in nature have huge air flaps for air flow. And even so, in a cold morning you will find its walls wet from your breath.
    Heck, close yourself to a wardrobe and see for yourself how you like it. No need to ask anybody else.
    Last edited by Pfsor; 20-Oct-2017 at 16:00.

  2. #12

    Re: DIY darkroom tent - bad idea?

    And you can comfortably cut X-ray film under a red safelight so it won't matter what color or reflectance the walls of your "tent" are.

  3. #13

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    Re: DIY darkroom tent - bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pawlowski6132 View Post
    Don't worry about killing yourself by inhaling your own carbon monoxide. That's stupid. You're just cutting film right?
    That is really stupid because there is no known case of a human being exhaling carbon monoxide...
    Had problems with chemistry in your school?

  4. #14
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: DIY darkroom tent - bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by alexmuir View Post
    You used to be able to buy tents made for use as a Darkroom.
    They are still available. Google darkroom tent. Some are intended for gardening, sprout growths, and some are really quite comfortable - like 5'x5'x6'6" tall.

  5. #15

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    Re: DIY darkroom tent - bad idea?

    Stain used darkroom made from black plastic like for years.

  6. #16

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    Re: DIY darkroom tent - bad idea?

    I considered lining the garage in the last house I lived, building a "room-in-a room", but it was too naturally dirty, also too drafty, no water/drain, and a rental so I passed on the idea for a printing room there...

    I printed in a lab that had plastic lining once, but noticed that the walls would attract dust/dirt/lint due to static charge,and could "sweat" in high humidity...

    I also considered a light framework, that could be clad with fairly lightweight tileboard, and like a stage set wall, that could be hauled outside now and then and hosed off, but didn't figure how to install the important canopy top to keep airborne dust from settling to the workspace below...

    A film processing room was easy, as I had a spare bathroom with a tub, so easy to put 2 2X4 "rails" over it, and a junk tabletop as a processing bench, but not enough room for an enlarger, large trays + print wash/drying...

    I couldn't afford it, but even considered buying a small (Scottie) travel trailer I could convert into a darkroom, and park it in the garage, but still water/drain issues...

    Considered the enclosing the back patio awning, but too dirty, and too hot/cold (even in LA), so nixed that idea...

    Finally had to move, so I hope for new possibilities when I get re-settled...

    I don't think it needs to be inflated, but what space are you looking at??? I think one of those outdoor event canopies with the wall sides would do if bright light (work at night) was not a problem, if just for a clean enclosure (in a larger space)... But the black construction plastic is mostly light resistant (but not 100%)... But just re-lining a room with tileboard sheets is a cheap, semi-permanent solution in an basement/garage etc...

    If you have property, maybe one of those large wood prefab sheds you can attach utilities and heat/cooling??? Trailer shipping container etc ??? Cave on premises??? Get rid of the kids???

    There's always a way...

    Steve K

  7. #17

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    Re: DIY darkroom tent - bad idea?

    I'm not sure if this helps much or not, but I know someone that modified a pop up hydroponic greenhouse. They're black with a reflective inside. It was small enough to be put into and used in a small SUV.

  8. #18
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: DIY darkroom tent - bad idea?

    One of the seven darkrooms I improvised over many years was in a former chicken house with electricity but no running water or drain. I stored water inside in gallon milk jugs and carried waste water out in a large bucket. Thermostatically controlled heaters and an air conditioner maintained useable temperature for water, chemicals, tanks, and me. Two lightly framed walls supported heavy black plastic with plywood wainscoting in the bottom 4 feet. Four inch insulation batting on the outside plus the plastic completely blocked light. The two original walls and ceiling were insulated and lined with cheap paneling. Dust was not a major problem, although I did get good at spotting prints. The 8x12' size was plenty for a desk and 8' long surface for trays. An Omega B22 enlarger perched on an old TV cabinet and the 5x7 Elwood sat on the floor due to the low ceiling. This was the most comfortable of all of those darkrooms. I might have used it a few more decades had it not burned down.

  9. #19

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    Re: DIY darkroom tent - bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    I might have used it a few more decades had it not burned down.
    Bummer, but at least you got some fried chicken out of it!!

  10. #20
    Foamer
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    Re: DIY darkroom tent - bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Frostmill View Post
    Thanks for your ideas, everyone! I see some really good points in this discussion. Perhaps I should consider something like John Kasian's idea, and use a large box as a basis for a rigid changing tent.
    Something like a box a refrigerator came in would probably work. I have a long narrow space in my basement I've been thinking of adding a sink to (water lines already run along the wall), and sealing off the entrance with a frame made of PVC pipe and thick black plastic. If you made panels from PVC and black plastic, you could quickly set them up/take down.


    Kent in SD
    Die Gedanken sind Frei

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