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Thread: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

  1. #11
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    SF Bay area, CA
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    14,585

    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    Bruce. I know your idea is popular. But believe me, if it doesn't fail over the long haul, I'd be quite surprised. And name one caulk on this planet that will hold up
    for serious darkroom use. I do know a thing or two about caulk. We sell nearly a million bucks worth of it per year here for all kinds of applications.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Port Townsend, WA
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    418

    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    Restaurants also use stainless steel for their sinks and kitchen hardware. Restaurant supply stores could have something in both new and used.

  3. #13

    Join Date
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    Port Townsend, WA
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    418

    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Bruce. I know your idea is popular. But believe me, if it doesn't fail over the long haul, I'd be quite surprised. And name one caulk on this planet that will hold up
    for serious darkroom use. I do know a thing or two about caulk. We sell nearly a million bucks worth of it per year here for all kinds of applications.
    3M 5200? The good stuff takes forever to cure but is very difficult to remove once cured. I have seen boat cleats which have been bedded in 5200 that, when removed, pulled the gelcoat off of fiberglass.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    near Seattle, WA
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    937

    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Barlow View Post
    I had a beautiful stainless sink...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...
    I have two 24"-wide ss sinks, 84" and 48" long, end to end. To get the trays off the metal I went to Lowe's and bought a 2x12ft long corrugated plastic roofing panel ($12) and cut it into two lengths to fit both sinks. These allow water to flow to the sink drain. For a water jacket, I place trays in larger trays and run temp-controlled water through tubing into the larger trays, replacing the tempered water periodically. 20x24 trays are jacketed by inserting a pvc standpipe (with O-ring seal) in the drain, thus filling the sink to the height of the standpipe; the water is periodically replaced. At the end of each printing session I rinse the corrugated panels and stand them on end in the sinks (supported by the overhead film drying wires) to drip dry, then rinse the sinks and wipe them dry.

  5. #15
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    14,585

    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    Yes, I know about the 3M marine caulks - we sell them here and they are damned good products. But even saltwater isn't the same thing as what potentially goes into a darkroom sink. I also handle mountains of marine epoxies, and in the past we were a major supplier to the Navy, which had permits to use all kinds of the
    really good stuff which would handle even a nitric acid bath, or kill you first just merely applying it! While such solutions have been used for many a home darkroom in the past, there are just so many sensible options where seams aren't involved at all, or where you can positively solvent weld them. But if one wants to go on the cheap, a simple ABS tub liner or a couple of large mortar trays would do the trick.

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
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    California
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    3,358

    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    A few months with a stainless sink and you will be wishing you had something which did not suck the heat out of chemistry or make so much noise.
    My sink is an inside out boat. I built it of plywood and sealed the inside with 2 coats of West Systems epoxy. It was built in 1989, has never leaked and has never been refinished. I added powdered graphite to the mix so it is black.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Westport Island, Maine
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    1,234

    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Bruce. I know your idea is popular. But believe me, if it doesn't fail over the long haul, I'd be quite surprised. And name one caulk on this planet that will hold up
    for serious darkroom use. I do know a thing or two about caulk. We sell nearly a million bucks worth of it per year here for all kinds of applications.
    If we define "the long haul" as the rest of my days this side of the grass, then the haul isn't so long. My other one showed no signs of failing in ten years. And if it does? Recaulk. Repaint. At worst, resink. I'm still way ahead.

    And I don't understand how "serious darkroom work" places caulk in jeopardy. The only time it gets wet is when I dump trays. Otherwise the toys I have drain through hoses directly into the sink drain. Does it fail if I look at it funny?

    How many plywood sinks do you know of that have actually failed? Is your opinion based on actual experience? Whose? I'd like to talk to them and learn.
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    North of Chicago
    Posts
    1,429

    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    My previous wood sink—plywood/epoxy—was 25 years old when we moved about 2 years ago. My current sink is plywood/epoxy paint, iand relatively new, but I have every confidence that it will hold up well. It has tight fitting seams, a small amount of caulk, and 3 liberal coats of paint inside and out. I think we all define what is best for us differently. Sometimes good enough and affordable or being done in a timely fashion, is better than the hypothetical "Best".
    ____________________________________________

    Richard Wasserman

    https://www.rwasserman.com/

    http://richardwassermanphotographer.tumblr.com

  9. #19

    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    All wooden boats leak. A plywood sink is just a wooden boat in reverse. I bought a custom make stainless sink from California Stainless more than ten years ago. I couldn't be happier.

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    280

    Re: Source for 6' Stainless Steel darkroom sink?

    Back in 2006, Gordon Hutchings wrote an article in View Camera titled "Building the Dream Darkroom". In it he describes how he built his darkroom sinks out of plywood and then had them sprayed with Rhino Liner at a local shop. Rhino liner is a brand of spray on pickup truck bed liner. I used Rustolem spray on pickup bed liner to make a tray for processing film a few years ago and I can't see any sign of it degrading. I also had a stick with a sample of Rhino Liner on it years ago that I stuck in a bottle of fixer and forgot for 2 years ! No sign of peeling or degrading after spending 2 years of 24/7 submersion in the fixer.

    Mr. Hutching said in his article that the only thing that attacked the Rhino Liner was Pyro and all that did was stain the Rhino Liner.

    Greg, if you want a PDF of the article, PM me with an email address and I'll scan it and email it to you.

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