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Thread: Darkroom Temperature

  1. #11
    Andy Eads
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Pasco, Washington - the dry side of the state
    Posts
    218

    Re: Darkroom Temperature

    I made a makeshift water bath that worked well. It consisted of a somewhat larger tray filled with water, a submersible aquarium heater and a submersible aquarium pump. The pump circulated the water and the heater got everything up to temp and held it remarkably well. I think I was out about $40 for the parts. I think the maximum power draw was 30 watts.

  2. #12
    Les
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    834

    Re: Darkroom Temperature

    I found "seedling heat mat" to be quite useful (appropriate size for the trays) and if you get the right one, you can dial-in (digital gauge) the temp that you need in the trays, which may need some prior testing/tweaking. Anyway, get an extension chord up there and you'd be set. Don't crank this thing too much....or you might melt the trays :>)

    Les

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    319

    Re: Darkroom Temperature

    How big is your garden shed? It might be a better place than an attic. Especially if you have a major spill. Same challenges of water, electricity, dust, and temperature.
    The mountain waters of North Georgia call out to me, I visit and leave only tripod holes behind. The Appalachian Trail is my treadmill and gym.
    http://www.esearing.com

  4. #14
    Old School Wayne
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Posts
    1,158

    Re: Darkroom Temperature

    Aquarium heaters in a tempering bath for winter (no circulating pump is needed...just experiment until you find the right temp) and ice probe tempering bath for summer. Either one might run off a portable power source, like a jump starter.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sheridan, Colorado
    Posts
    1,130

    Re: Darkroom Temperature

    I use cheap, simple, heating pads that I got at the local thrift store for a buck each (you can pick up some used extension cords while you are there as well). I put one or more under my processing troughs when I'm using color chemicals for murals (90 degrees). I don't use them for trays -- because I use tubes in heated water baths for small prints -- but heating pads should work fine for your purposes. Just stick a thermometer in the tray(s) and adjust the heat level. Add a towel underneath to cool things down, if you need to.

    I've worked in a lot of dusty darkroom, but working in an attic gives me chills!

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    643

    Re: Darkroom Temperature

    depending upon the relative humidity, agitation/air movements, trays and sink composition (heat transfer characteristics) - your actual solutions temps

    John Layton listed most of the commonly ignored factors. If you heat the space from 50F to, say, 70F, you will drop the relative humidity from whatever it started at, so you solutions will cool well below room temperature even though the room temperature has been increased. Agitation increases the rate of cooling, but tray contact with a bench or sink will decrease it. A larger tray of tempered water and a plastic cover to reduce evaporation will both help with both of these variables and probably make printing, if not film development, much more practical.

  7. #17
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    4,780

    Re: Darkroom Temperature

    I've noticed some fixers to not work as well in the 50-60f range. Definitely clear a scrap of film with it at your working temperature compared to normal room temperature so you make sure it works OK and to make any fix time adjustments.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    140

    Re: Darkroom Temperature

    Here in the upper Midwest, where home basement darkrooms can get pretty chilly during the winter, some of us use piglet warmers such as those made by Kane Mfg in Iowa. These are moderately priced, and really rugged and designed to be used in hostile environments in terms of urine, feces and high pressure power-washing (etc.) in farrowing barns. There are also Corrosive Environment Controllers available that can be safely used in any darkroom sink area to accurately control the warmers to maintain the liquids in enlarging trays at whatever temperature you need (through use of a probe placed inside one of the trays and along the edge, so out of the way of the paper and agitation). No need for water baths.
    ... JMOwens (Mt. Pleasant, Wisc. USA)

    "If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all." ...Michelangelo

  9. #19
    lab black
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    104

    Re: Darkroom Temperature

    Re: Kane Warmers

    Than you for the great resource.
    "We work in the dark, we do what we can, we give what we have."
    Henry James

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