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Thread: Second Best Darkroom Door

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Re: Second Best Darkroom Door

    A door seal that drops down just as the door closes and butts against the threshold.

    Home Supply place, I'm pretty sure. They make a door seal that has a drop down center rubber. It rides in a track which forces it down against the threshold on angled inner surfaces. When you open the door this spring loaded strip moves back toward the jam and up into the track. When the door is open the very end stick out about a half inch toward the jamb on which the door is hinged. When you close the door, at the very last minute, the protruding end engages the jamb, pushing the strip with the rubber seal, in and down against the threshold. Pretty simple device really and not rocket science, ie. costly at all.

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Re: Second Best Darkroom Door

    I just use a regular door with some modifications. I ripped off the standard thin stops that surround the jamb and replaced them with thicker 3/4" wood stock. I also bolted a piece of angle iron to the floor under the door (positioned so one side of the angle acts as a stop at the bottom of the door). I placed 3/4" foam weather stripping along the surfaces of the stops and angle iron that face the door. It is totally light proof.

  3. #23

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Luther, OK

    Re: Second Best Darkroom Door

    I actually installed one of those revolving darkroom doors at a DEA lab in Dallas! For an exorbitant amount of money and an endless supply of adult beverage I'd be willing to come up and install yours!
    Me - I just use a double blackout curtain from wally world (with a small chain run in the bottom hem to ensure a good weighted floor seal) on my bathroom door frame.

  4. #24

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Seattle area

    Re: Second Best Darkroom Door

    A revolving door best for a darkroom that may be used by more than one person at time, unless you have room for a black painted passageway with at least two right turns, in which case you may not need a door at all.

    For a one-person darkroom where space is an issue, like mine, pocket doors work great. When I built my darkroom 25 years ago, I made one from a sheet of 3/4" (18mm) and hung it from a track made for closet doors. I put 2 inch deep U-shaped channels around the 3 non-pocket sides of the door opening and painted everything flat black. The door has worked perfectly for a long time.

  5. #25
    Picture Snappin' Fool Black Lightning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Second Best Darkroom Door

    I was introduced to the revolving doors when I took two semesters of photography in college. I thought they were pretty nifty. If I was as wealthy as I am good looking I would have put one on my darkroom.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Port Townsend, Washington

    Re: Second Best Darkroom Door

    I went with a solid exterior door for security reasons since I also store my cameras in my basement darkroom. The downside of storing the cameras there was that it led me to installing a radiant heater to ensure the room remains dry all year round. However, since I live on the north Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, the climate is cool enough that keeping the room (plus chemicals and jugs of water) at 68 degrees all the time is a good--and handy--thing. Thankfully, there are only a handful of days per year hot enough to override the thermostat.


  7. #27
    Scott Brewer
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Re: Second Best Darkroom Door

    The revolving door I had just pushed up to the exterior door jam. It was made so you could push it out of the way in an emergency. i see them on craigslist for pretty cheap ($100). We just put new foam on it and pushed it into the door jam.

    The biggest problem it gets crowded in there with a big tray (make sure you let the print drain). you have to tilt it up to get in and out.

  8. #28

    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Re: Second Best Darkroom Door

    When the local newspaper went all digi, I obtained a much more modern light proof door system. It resembles the doors on Star Trek, kinda like black windowshades that retract into the sides of the doorway, with a lighttrap between them, with floor mounted switches opening & closing the inner & outer panels in synch as you walk through. They can be set to stay open also.
    Last edited by dsphotog; 31-Dec-2011 at 00:20.
    Real cameras are measured in inches...
    Not pixels.

  9. #29

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Pacifica, CA

    Re: Second Best Darkroom Door

    Quote Originally Posted by dsphotog View Post
    ...doors on Star Trek, kinda like black windowshades that retract into the sides of the doorway, with a lighttrap between them, with floor mounted switches opening & closing the panels as you walk through...
    That sounds like the best thing for you Frank! Swoosh clik

    Unless you like what sounds like banging on an oil drum as you pound and yank your way through a rotating door.

  10. #30
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: Second Best Darkroom Door

    Normal interior door, black felt curtain to use when loading or tray developing film. I don't bother with the curtain for normal printing.

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