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LFLarry
26-Jul-2018, 19:26
Anyone ever built large darkroom trays or a sink before?

I would like to learn from your experience and knowledge because I am considering building a sink and some custom trays, but I wanted to maybe hear some ideas that have been tested and are known to work.

I was thinking of building the tray/sink out of plywood and then lining them with some type of laminate and sealing the seams with some type of waterproof silicone or something. Just a rough idea.

I have heard of people building stuff like this, but never knew the details before.

Anyone?

Thanks

Larry

Dhuiting
26-Jul-2018, 20:58
Iím doing that exact thing right now. Building a 12í sink out of plywood. Using this as a guide: https://hubpages.com/art/Photography_DarkroomPrintingTipsTechniques

Thereís also plenty of discussions about this on this very forum if you search the topic.

Best of luck!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Liquid Artist
26-Jul-2018, 22:08
I buildings trays out of plywood 2x2 nd lined them with plastic sheeting.
I plan on remaking them with 1x2, and painting them with marine paint.

I also plan on making a sink. Like Dan said there are several threads on the topics in this forum.
The search filter isn't that good so just use google.

LFLarry
27-Jul-2018, 01:38
Hi Dan, I just read the article via your link and this looks really good!

I didn't see the Steelcote brand epoxy paint he was talking about specifically. I found this at home depot:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Seal-Krete-Epoxy-Seal-Armor-Gray-921-5-gal-Concrete-and-Garage-Floor-Paint-921005/203002753

What paint are you using?

Thanks!


I’m doing that exact thing right now. Building a 12’ sink out of plywood. Using this as a guide: https://hubpages.com/art/Photography_DarkroomPrintingTipsTechniques

There’s also plenty of discussions about this on this very forum if you search the topic.

Best of luck!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

LFLarry
27-Jul-2018, 01:43
Hi, thanks for commenting. I think the easy part is building the sink and trays and the more difficult part that I was hoping to solve is the waterproofing part. I did some trays many years ago and I used some type of plastic/rubber liner material from the hardware store and I found the corners to be problematic and then I had to come up with some type of solution around the top edges of the trays, etc.... A pretty big hassle. The waterproof paint or epoxy has my attention and I am going to go down that route this time, I just need to find the right paint for the application because we don't want the prints being impacted by the paint. I was hoping to find someone here that has already done that so I could learn from them. I will keep searching on the forum.

Thank you.



I buildings trays out of plywood 2x2 nd lined them with plastic sheeting.
I plan on remaking them with 1x2, and painting them with marine paint.

I also plan on making a sink. Like Dan said there are several threads on the topics in this forum.
The search filter isn't that good so just use google.

LabRat
27-Jul-2018, 01:46
Search online for "Hydroponic Flood Tables" first...

Very inexpensive, and strong, and good sizes for photo lab use... ;-)

Steve K

LFLarry
27-Jul-2018, 03:43
Hi Steve, I have been looking at those. The biggest challenge I am running into is I can't find them local to me (I live in a rural area) and shipping is outrageous... But, the idea is really good and I will continue to try and find some locally to see in person and review them. The other issue is fining them in the sizes I need without them either being too small or too big. That is why I came to the conclusion of custom building something.

Thanks



Search online for "Hydroponic Flood Tables" first...

Very inexpensive, and strong, and good sizes for photo lab use... ;-)

Steve K

lab black
27-Jul-2018, 06:14
To seal my darkroom sink, I used fiberglass and marine grade resin over plywood with great success.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jHUI0CiYbs

malexand
27-Jul-2018, 06:19
I built my darkroom sink out of plywood - it's pretty simple if you have basic power tools and basic DIY skills. I went this route to maximize the sink space for the rather small room space I had - commercial sinks were either too big or small (or too $$$).
The design is just a large tray - 1 big flat piece with 3" sides, glued and screwed with a drain hole cut at one end. Then I covered it all with marine fiberglass and resin. That was really the worst part - fiberglassing is a messy and stinky business, but not all that difficult. Several coats of marine epoxy paint would probably do just as well.
This whole assembly got set on top of some inexpensive cabinets and shimmed at one end to allow proper drainage. Reasonably so anyway - I didn't bother with sloping all sides toward the drain so there is some modest pooling in one corner, but I deal with it...

photog_ed
27-Jul-2018, 06:36
To seal my darkroom sink, I used fiberglass and marine grade resin over plywood with great success.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jHUI0CiYbs

I did the same with a plywood sink I made 20 years ago. I then painted with epoxy marine paint as others have mentioned. Alas, I was divorced soon after and had to leave it behind.

About 50 years ago (in my teens) I made large trays by making frames out of 2x4s, laid them on the floor - I had a very large darkroom in my parents' basement - and simply laid plastic sheet inside the frame. The floor became the bottom of the "tray." I don't remember how big the tray frames were - probably about 30x50 inches. I think a gallon of solution was enough to cover the one print I made this way. As for how I got the solution out of the trays when finished, it seems I have blocked that part from my memory. It probably involved lots of bailing.

- Ed

Andrew Tymon
27-Jul-2018, 08:28
Here you go http://colinflanarygraham.com/darkshop/?p=3131

Tracy Storer
27-Jul-2018, 10:07
Anyone wanting to make a sink using resin and fiberglass should watch the linked video for very helpful hints on technique.


To seal my darkroom sink, I used fiberglass and marine grade resin over plywood with great success.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jHUI0CiYbs

Eric Woodbury
27-Jul-2018, 12:54
Plywood with an epoxy paint I bought at the marine store. Doesn't leak. I did seal all the cracks and corners during assembly.

Right after college a friend and I built a sink from cardboard that we fiberglassed. It went around a corner in the garage. Very odd shape. Used it 7 years.

In high school, way back, I made a tray in the 'Color Canoe" style from cardboard and fiberglass. It didn't require much developer to process a large print.

EdWorkman
27-Jul-2018, 13:26
First sink I built was on a hollowcore door, with plywood sides, waterproofed with epoxy paint
Epoxy paint runs and sags on vertical surfaces, so I had to add a thickener- might have been diatomaceous earth.
In any case it was a recommended thickener.
Next time I built a sink from ABS
I made a frame of ripped 2x4 stud material- to 5//8 by 3 1/2 and nominal 2x2 legs- a 2x4 hasn't been 2"x4" for 70 years
Most of the sink is 1/8 sheet cut to appropriate size and shape. For instance, the back splash is deeper at the center than at the ends- top is straight.That warps the floor of the sink toward the center backside to drain.
I stiffened the top of the front with ABS strip, although I probly didn't need to.
Later I made trays from 1/8 ABS roughly 12x44, in order to print panoramics on paper up to 10 in wide
I made a deeper wash tray from the white hard-foam kind of plastic, cuz I had some
Thin ABS saws as easily as plywood, if not easier.
And the gluegoopsolvent is easy to use.
Find a leak? daub some goop
regards
Ed

Jim Noel
27-Jul-2018, 13:52
Anyone ever built large darkroom trays or a sink before?

I would like to learn from your experience and knowledge because I am considering building a sink and some custom trays, but I wanted to maybe hear some ideas that have been tested and are known to work.

I was thinking of building the tray/sink out of plywood and then lining them with some type of laminate and sealing the seams with some type of waterproof silicone or something. Just a rough idea.

I have heard of people building stuff like this, but never knew the details before.

Anyone?

Thanks

Larry

Build itof plywood and then finish it with "West System" Epoxy. Be sure to read their booklet on proper use. I built min in July 1989 and it has never leaked. I have added layers as old ones became scraped and ugly. I used their ground carbon to make it black. All corners are filled with their materials for the purpose. It is sold by suppliers to yacht owners and boaters. It is guaranteed not to leak for 10 years when applied to a boat following their directions.

LFLarry
27-Jul-2018, 15:14
That looks really nice! Thanks for the YouTube link.



To seal my darkroom sink, I used fiberglass and marine grade resin over plywood with great success.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jHUI0CiYbs

DeBone75
29-Jul-2018, 12:56
Making stuff your self is fun and rewarding. How big of a tray are you looking for. If no bigger than print size 20x24 then Lowe's or home Depot has the trays for under a washing machine. Plenty big for 20x24 and are only $23.00 each

Liquid Artist
30-Jul-2018, 20:08
As for how I got the solution out of the trays when finished, it seems I have blocked that part from my memory. It probably involved lots of bailing.

- Ed
I could see that being a problem years ago, however with all the cheap electric pumps today it's easy.
I elevate my large trays and just syphon them out. However I am thinking of developing a gutter system in my new darkroom.

Corran
1-Aug-2018, 19:50
Regarding trays: I was at Home Depot today and saw some trays in the plumbing area I think for putting under a hot water heater or something. Maybe it was something else. They even had ridges like my print trays. They were kinda big (16x20 print size) but there may be some other smaller ones elsewhere.

I don't use a traditional sink and I don't see why a huge sink is necessary. But that's just me. Keep your eyes open on local marketplaces like craigslist and Facebook groups and you may find trays or even a sink for cheap/free. I bought another enlarger a few months ago and the young lady sold me some 16x20 trays for a few bucks a piece. They were going to be trashed otherwise.

LabRat
2-Aug-2018, 03:02
One good reason to build a deep sink is you can dump trays into it without the risk of trying to lift and carry the trays to a different place to drain or dump them, so this will help prevent a spill... Some old trays can be brittle and crack/break when lifting them while full, so best to fill/dump right where it sits...

If you use an archival washer, it should be in a high walled basin, because if it should break, most of the overflow will be caught by the basin if disaster strikes... (I was working in another photo lab one night, when I heard a loud crack, and turned to see for a split second the acrylic walls fall away and saw a rectangle of water standing up that very quickly fell into a wave that caused a flood... He said it happened to him a couple of times before, and I saw the washer sat on a very uneven spot in the molded sink that strained the seams causing failure, so make sure the washer has a flat, solid footing...)

Steve K

Thalmees
3-Aug-2018, 02:03
Anyone ever built large darkroom trays or a sink before?
...
Larry
Thank you Larry for the topic. Important one.
Any one, what about using galvanized iron or sheet metal for the sink? It's not stainless steel BTW, as far as I know.
But, it can be sealed I think and a drainage hole can be tailored maybe like the usual kitchen sinks. I d not know exactly!
Plus it can be sized to accommodate the length of 20X24" trays, inside. Larger trays, can be supported on the top of the sink.
Advantage and drawbacks?
As for large trays, what about Plexiglass?
It can be drilled for a faucet/tap for a clean drainage of chemical before moving the tray for washing. It also can be used as a drainable main rinse tray before appropriate print wash. Plus, caps can be tailored exactly to save chemicals from fast oxidation.
Then, what about print washers made from Plexiglass?
Apart from being expensive, what about other drawback of metal sheets and Plexiglass?
I do not have any experience in this actually, appreciate any input and do not wish to open another thread for the subject.
I'm using an 80" stainless steel kitchen sink since more than 6 years, but moving within months to another larger and dustless(hope) darkroom.
Regards.