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Thread: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

  1. #1

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    Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    My present sink is plastic and was purchased at a tag sale for around $20. After using it for a year, think I may have paid too much for it!

    Planned on replacing it with a 6 foot Stainless Steel sink. Was directed to Rosy Products:
    http://www.rosyproducts.com
    and called them (him). Owner and fabricator was just plain pleasant and helpful to talk with. Unfortunately he is healing from an injury/operation and isn't able to fabricate his sinks till later this year.

    Any recommendations on where to purchase a 24" x 72" Stainless Steel sink (hopefully with a base/stand)?

    thanks

    Greg

  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    I think I saw that size on B&H recently.

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    There are used lab & darkroom supply companies. But search under Graphics Arts rather than just Photographic supplies. You'll find things at a mere fraction of the
    price they were new. You also need to know the difference between true lab grade stainless (316 or 303) and something cheap (like 8-18). The thickness gauge also applies. Many plastics are much better at chemical resistance than basic marine-grade stainless steel. Cheap "stainless" kitchen sinks might rust in half an
    hour with lemon juice or ketchup. This can be polished out. But reputable photolab companies like Kreonite used only good stuff. California Stainless is probably
    still in business too.

  4. #4

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    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    I think California Stainless is still in biz... But if you need something custom, their wait was something like 15+ months... But stock items should be, well, in stock...

    But as Drew said, first look around... A friend saw a big, long sink at an auction house, that had been sold to a dog groomer, that was a California Stainless water jacket sink with temp controller & re-circulator , and it went for less than $150... Also check city, state, county, school district, university, hospital, food service supply, etc surplus sales, as many of these might have ended up in them... And try print shops/printing suppliers/graphic firms to see if they have some old ones they don't use anymore...

    I had gotten some old SS sinks from a high school cafeteria (that was being remodeled) for low cost... If you keep them clean, and avoid splashing them with chems (rinse after using, and wipe dry), they can hold up OK (even though not type 303 or 316)... But you might not need stainless... A really good plastic sink is fine, as long as you don't put a heavy washer in it (should have it's own heavy duty stand anyway)...

    Also, take a peek at Flood Tables from a hydroponics supplier... They are a very heavy duty plastic sink with stands, and VERY affordable!!! (And made to hold a heavy load...) Google it... 4X8 is a standard size, and well under $200...

    Remember, a sink only needs to hold some trays, and catch spills/splashes, so don't go crazy about them, whatever you have (or get) will be fine... (Like a toilet, they only need to be clean and work...)

    Steve K

  5. #5

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    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    I had a beautiful stainless sink, California Stainless, custom-sized, and I know I didn't wait 15 months. They were wonderful to work with, by the way.

    I learned to hate it, and had to do things to make it usable. Mainly, the metal sucks heat from trays at an unbelievable rate. I put 2x4 plastic flourescent light diffusion panels on sticks on the bottom to get the trays off the metal. The sticks allowed water to drain underneath.

    In my new darkroom I went back to my roots and made a plywood-and-2x sink, 6" at the front, 12" at the rear. Epoxy paint in large quantities. Total cost under $100, and having had one like it looooong ago, I know I'll like it for the rest of this life. I built it to fit the space - exactly. It sits on a chrome wire shelving unit from The Shelving Store, also custom-heigthted for my 6'6" frame. I still have the plastic panels, and may chop one down to use underneath the film developer tray, since I find film to be much more sensitive to temp variation than print developer. I use the Zone VI Compensating Developing Timer, but nevertheless...

    I'm happy, and have money left over for film.
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  6. #6

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    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Barlow View Post
    In my new darkroom I went back to my roots and made a plywood-and-2x sink, 6" at the front, 12" at the rear. Epoxy paint in large quantities. Total cost under $100, and having had one like it looooong ago, I know I'll like it for the rest of this life. I built it to fit the space - exactly. It sits on a chrome wire shelving unit from The Shelving Store, also custom-heigthted for my 6'6" frame.
    That's pretty much exactly what I did in my latest (all 3 over the years actually) darkroom, except that I used 2x4s for legs with plywood shelves. The wire shelving to support the sink is a great idea! I am very happy with the sink and can't imagine a better one. I have used plastic and stainless ones and far prefer wood. In addition to insulating better, it is quieter plus you can make it any color you want. Interior decoration counts for a lot in a room that is used with the lights off...

    Greg, I know this doesn't really answer your question, but stainless steel sinks are not the only way to go for a darkroom.
    ____________________________________________

    Richard Wasserman

    https://www.rwasserman.com/

    http://richardwassermanphotographer.tumblr.com

  7. #7

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    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    Bruce, did you use any fiberglass reinforcement with the epoxy, or just straight epoxy paint?

  8. #8

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    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    At least in my neck of the woods, stainless sinks in this size show up fairly regularly on craigslist. Just search "darkroom" both as one word and two. Often the sink isn't mentioned in the title.

  9. #9

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    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Clark View Post
    Bruce, did you use any fiberglass reinforcement with the epoxy, or just straight epoxy paint?
    Just straight epoxy paint. I don't see the need for fiberglass reinforcement, given the use it gets. I sealed all the seams with a good caulk, and used a sealing glue to glue the plywood onto the 2x's, and then screwed it together every foot or so, so glued and screwed feels good enough for me.
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    Stainless certainly transfers heat quickly. That's why I like it for developing trays, but not for the water jacket itself. Stainless sinks are infamous for condensation
    beneath them for the same reason. No big deal. Just sandwich a sheet of rigid blue styro insulation below the sink. I made my sink out of thick polypropylene sheet, but it had to be professionally heat-welded by a guy who actually welds lead liners for nuclear reactors. I buckles a tiny bit with hot water, but is a good
    insulator and chemically inert. ABS sheet is a lot easier to work with and can be easily glued, but for the same reason can't tolerate certain solvents. Fiberglass and epoxy are messy and unhealthy, but many people know how to do this. I acquired a small fortune of stainless gear from a derelict dye transfer lab for a minor horse trade, next to nothing, really. But if you are serious, you do need genuine 300-ish grade. Plenty of chem we use in the darkroom are strong enough to mess with cheapo "stainless" alloys.

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