View Full Version : drying screens.. aluminum or fiberglass

brian steinberger
14-Feb-2006, 17:29
I'm going to make my own drying screens for my darkroom. I bought some aluminum screening in a roll from lowes, but i've read a few things about fiberglass being easier to clean. Will the aluminum screening corrode over time or contaminate the prints?

Eric Woodbury
14-Feb-2006, 17:56
Brian, never heard of using aluminum. I should think it would scratch the prints or potentially leave marks.

I've not cleaned my fiberglass screens in 20 years. Never a problem.

Louie Powell
14-Feb-2006, 18:18
Brian -

You really want fiberglass.

Caroline Matthews
14-Feb-2006, 19:28
If Calumet still sells them, buy the Zone VI screens. They are a real bargin -- even compared to making them yourself.

If you DIY, use fiberglass.

John Kasaian
14-Feb-2006, 19:42
Mine are fiberglass, the frames are shellaced pine. No problems to report.

Nacio Jan Brown
14-Feb-2006, 20:00
Brian - You can find very inexpensive ready-made fiberglass screens at places like Home De(s)pot. I picked up a about 18 screens there that will hold two 11x14' prints. They also sell aluminum channel that the screen frames slip into neatly. One evening I cut the channel into the appropriate lengths, deburred the cut ends on a wire brush on my bench grinder, and then made a simple rack with dadoes about 1" apart to accept the lengths of aluminum channel. The thing looks like a mini-baker's rack-- very light weight and easy to move. Because of the fairly close spacing of the screens I use a fan (w/o heat) beside it to keep air moving across the print surfaces. It works like a charm. njb

brian steinberger
14-Feb-2006, 20:46
Thanks for all the suggestions! I definatley want to build the "baker's rack" thing too.

neil poulsen
14-Feb-2006, 21:27
You can go to a place like Home Depot (here in the Pacific N.W.) and get materials for making fiberglass screens of any size, with frames. They work great. No need to spend a lot of money on pre-made screens that may not fit that well.

Tony Lakin
15-Feb-2006, 01:35
Hi Brian

Have you tried line drying, if you float two same sized prints back to back (prevents excessive curl) and hang them from a line with clothes pegs, two to hold the prints to the line and two at the bottom as weights and to keep them together.

Cost is virtually zilch, takes up no permanent space and no danger of contamination (wash the pegs occasionally, plastic are best).

Good luck.

Nacio Jan Brown
16-Feb-2006, 14:58
FYI- details of homemade drying rack: scrap cedar, 18x26" pre-made screens (Home Depot c.$2.00ea), Home Depot aluminum channel. Legs clamped together to make dadoes, aluminum channel epoxied into dadoes. Approximate dimensions 22"w x 26"d x 33"h. Holds 48 11x14"s or 24 16x20"s. (Overkill)