PDA

View Full Version : Gravity Works film washer



Scott Kathe
4-Apr-2007, 08:25
I am thinking about making an automatic siphoning film washer similar the the one made by Gravity Works. It seems to me that the bottom of the film will be in contact with the wash water a lot longer than the top of the film. The lower part of the film is exposed to water as soon at the tank fills and the water drains away last from the bottom. The top of the film is exposed to the fill water last and then drains away first. Since I've never seen the real one in action I think I may be missing something. Does the tank fill way above the top of the film before it drains?

Scott

Mark Sampson
4-Apr-2007, 10:39
It's not recommended to put film, or paper, in any washer until it's full of water. This keeps your wet media from sticking to the walls of the washer. In answer to your question, yes.

Scott Kathe
4-Apr-2007, 11:06
Just to clarify:
The film is held in a box-like device a little narrower than the width of the film. There are vertical slots on opposing sides so the film slides in these slots. The film sheets don't contact the sides of the box or each other. Oh heck! it looks like this: www.calumetphoto.com/item/GW1700/
A picture is worth a thousand words...
I built a nice plexi tank to hold the thing and just let water in the bottom with a hose and flow out the top (in a sink of course) for 30 minutes. I'm thinking about putting the film basket in a bucket that will drain with a siphon so the water will completely turn over every so often to cut down on the wash time and water loss.

Scott

Rob_5419
4-Apr-2007, 11:14
Using a Nova archival fibre-print washmaster II, I'm wondering about the issue you've raised.

Here's some details on the Novas:

http://www.novadarkroom.com/acatalog/Washers_Fibre_Based_Paper.html


There is indeed a gradient set up between the top of the print and the bottom of the print in a water filled washer slot - however once the washer slot is filled, the water pressure causes an even 'draw' of water across the surfaces of the vertical print, until the paper has cleared and therefore the gradient is not of great concern in flowing water.

As Mark has stated, fibre prints tend to be immersed into a full washer. The tank should be over and above the size of the print. With a washmaster II, I can rotate the prints if required.

For what it's worth Scott, I've never seen a hand-built one which has proven to be more reliable in design than the Nova one I have used for years. It is expensive for a piece of plastic and the initial outlay cost is frightful. It's still a great investment if you're serious about doing fibre based prints.

Good luck.

Jerry Flynn
4-Apr-2007, 12:00
Kathe
I use a Gravity Works washer and it works as you describe. The entire washer dumps and refills, so you are right. The bottom of the film gets more water contact than the top. As long as you wash long enogh for the topt ge well washed, I don't think it matters that the bottom gets slightly more wash time. If you were really concerned, you could rotate the film in the rack halfway through.

I have been very happy with the performance of my unit. I use it both for rolls and sheets (with the slotted insert).

photographs42
4-Apr-2007, 20:23
I use a Gravity Works washer. I added a wire holder for 5x7 film. The tank doesnít fill that far above the film, but there is a delay between the time the film is covered and when it drains. This is because the tube has to fill to the top and then there has to be enough water (weight) in the exit side of the tube to ďsuckĒ the water hard enough to start the siphon. It works very well.

Jerome

jmcd
4-Apr-2007, 20:47
photographs42,

Did you make that wire holder to wash the 5x7s? Details appreciated.

Thanks.

Henry Ambrose
5-Apr-2007, 06:20
Scott,

I have one of the Gravity Works washers I don't use anymore.
Write me if you want it.

photographs42
5-Apr-2007, 07:36
photographs42,

Did you make that wire holder to wash the 5x7s? Details appreciated.

Thanks.

Yes. My intent was to make a sophisticated insert but I needed something fast so I constructed one using plastic coated bell wire. It isnít elegant but it works pretty well and Iím still using it. Itís kind of hard to describe but was easy to build. Here is a quick snap. I made a form by driving finish nails into a board and bending the wire around the nails.

Jerome

jmcd
7-Apr-2007, 16:34
Nice, photographs42. Thanks for the idea and the photo.

Robert A. Zeichner
7-Apr-2007, 17:24
Scott,

I've been using the Gravity Works washer for several years now and it does work great. After a 1 minute soak in hypo clearing agent, I wash the film for about five minutes with one emptying cycle per minute. No problems for years doing this.

FYI, anyone wanting to wash 5x7 sheet film in this same washer can use standard Kodak 5x7 film holders. I can fit 6 of them in the tank without a problem and the water level does rise enough to cover the holder.

photographs42, that was an elegant solution. It's giving me some ideas. I may have to bend some wire, maybe some stainless, if I can find some.

photographs42
8-Apr-2007, 06:50
Nice, photographs42. Thanks for the idea and the photo.

Thanks jmcd, copy or adapt at will.

Thanks Robert. The stainless steel sounds good. The red bell wire was just something I had available. It's temporary but some of my "temporary" stuff has been in use for 20 or 25 years.

Jerome :)

Scott Kathe
8-Apr-2007, 08:18
Thanks to Henry I should have a Gravity Works film washer sometime in the near future:) If hypo clearing agent is not used how long should I wash the film? Secondly, if I do use HCA can I use it in the Gravity Works washer and then start washing with water or would it be best to do the HCA soak for a minute in a separate tank and simply transfer the basket to the Gravity Works washer?

Scott

Robert A. Zeichner
8-Apr-2007, 12:29
Scott,

The 4x5 basket for the Gravity Works washer fits perfectly in an old Kodak 5x7 hard rubber tank. Before I acquired a Jobo and some Expert Drums, I usually mixed up some Heico wash aid in just such a tank and immersed the whole basket of film in there for about a minute. When a minute was up, I just transfered the basket of film back to the washer. Now that I have the Jobo, I do the wash aid and a couple of minutes of rinsing in the rotary processor and then wash for five cycles in the Gravity Works. On the last cycle, I dispense about a dozen drops of Photo Flo into the washer and kill the water just before the syphoning action takes place. I hope that gives you some ideas.

Scott Kathe
9-Apr-2007, 04:58
Bob,

Thanks for providing me with your Gravity Works washing procedure. With any luck I'll be able to try it out this weekend. And thanks to everyone else for their input:)

Scott