Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: "darkbox" plans?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Cortland, NY USA
    Posts
    42

    "darkbox" plans?

    I haven't posted recently--been rather busy buying a new home--and the single disadvantage of the new place is that while I have room (potentially) for a dedicated darkroom, I no longer have the small, light-tight closet I had in my apartment that I used for loading my film holders and daylight tank.
    I have used film tents/bag in the past for such tasks and really didn't enjoy that experience.

    SO. I'm thinking about making a "dark box". It would sit on a table and have a couple of sleeves for my arms. needn't be huge and it would be made of plywood or mdf.

    Anyone know of any plans and/or parts lists on line for such a thing?

    I have made pinhole cameras that were light tight until I uncovered the pinhole so I am confident that I could make something but I also figure a set of plans will make this a bit easier.

    Eventually I will get this space sorted for a darkroom, it's a basement room that's dry, small, has electric service already, and is close to the plumbing so not a major renovation for that.
    The shiny-ness on the wall at the right side of the photo is paint and not moisture.

    Rob

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	darkroom space 2.jpg 
Views:	49 
Size:	33.9 KB 
ID:	172584

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Newbury, Vermont
    Posts
    675

    Re: "darkbox" plans?

    My apologies for not answering your question directly...but, thinking that your "dark box" might become redundant once your darkroom is functional, it would seem more efficient to either go ahead and do at least what you need to make a room (your eventual darkroom or perhaps a bathroom?) light tight for the purpose of film and tank loading, then when you have more time your full darkroom can come together.

    I once created a temporary darkroom in a small (about 4X6 feet if I remember correctly) 1/2 bathroom...taped some 6 mil black plastic over the single window, replaced the vent-fan light bulb with a "safelight" bulb, and glued some black felt into the doorframe. I hinged a piece of plywood over the toilet...which could fold down so its other end rested on the sink for drainage, with the plywood "sink" supporting developing trays. The enlarger (small Omega B-22) sat on top of a small cabinet.

    Not sure if the above is helpful/useful...but I do think that you'd be better off thinking about a dark room instead of a dark box.

  3. #3
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Winona, Minnesota
    Posts
    4,867

    Re: "darkbox" plans?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbiemer View Post
    [...]Click image for larger version. 

Name:	darkroom space 2.jpg 
Views:	49 
Size:	33.9 KB 
ID:	172584
    That's just how mine started. I hope you have the good luck I've had. The only remaining battle for me, living in MinneSnowta is heat. Small darkrooms are great for making us prudent and thrifty. The enlarger doesn't care where it is. All is good!
    .

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    37

    Re: "darkbox" plans?

    There was a thread on this topic a few years back, for a temporary dark box, constructed from a cardboard box and heavy-duty garden bags. Might be a good interim solution for your needs. (I may someday get my darkroom put back together. It's been doubling as a closet since 1985 . . .)

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...Box-(bag-tent)

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Cortland, NY USA
    Posts
    42

    Re: "darkbox" plans?

    John,
    No apologies necessary! And, you are correct that a darkbox will become redundant once I get the darkroom built. I'm hoping I can build something more functional and cheaper than a film tent--less fiddly to use as well.

    But the actual darkroom is a way off from happening. And, I have the last ten sheets I shot before the move--I thought I'd have time to process those before we moved. Not so much in reality. My free time for this winter is pretty much already booked, as it were, for doing the minor upgrades to the house--none of those are especially tough but there are a bunch of them! And that list seems to be growing.

    The bathroom in this house is very nice--lots of light--but relatively small. I could make it light tight but that would need to be on a strictly temporary basis: I'd need to set up and take down every time I wanted to use it. Nothing permanent allowed, so gaffer's tape and blackout material. With a "darkbox", I could build it once, keep it in an out of the way spot until I need to load film, then return it to storage. A big time and effort saver, I think.

    Frankly, the hold up for the dark room is as much money as it is time--I will need to save up some money for the dark room while I have almost everything I'd need to make a "darkbox" the one thing I'll need to buy would be a changing bag to cannibalize for the sleeves, I think.

    Rob

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Cortland, NY USA
    Posts
    42

    Re: "darkbox" plans?

    There was a thread on this topic a few years back, for a temporary dark box, constructed from a cardboard box and heavy-duty garden bags. Might be a good interim solution for your needs. (I may someday get my darkroom put back together. It's been doubling as a closet since 1985 . . .)

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...Box-(bag-tent)

    This looks promising, thank you!

    Rob

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Cortland, NY USA
    Posts
    42

    Re: "darkbox" plans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jac@stafford.net View Post
    That's just how mine started. I hope you have the good luck I've had. The only remaining battle for me, living in MinneSnowta is heat. Small darkrooms are great for making us prudent and thrifty. The enlarger doesn't care where it is. All is good!
    .
    The space is reasonably big at about 7' x 10' or so. My concern for this room is that the ceiling height is just a bit more than 7' and I will need to be thinking about how tall a LF enlarger is when I start to look for one. I will have the ability to set counter height pretty much where ever I need to. Or, I suppose, to mount the column to the wall and then set the base board to the appropriate height.
    I first looked at this house in August and the basement was comfortably cool. Not quite so comfortable now--if I were to be spending much time down there in the winter, I'd want to figure out some heat!

    Rob

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •