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Thread: Converting room to a darkroom.

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    near Seattle, WA
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    839

    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    Whether you choose to build or buy a sink (or anything else that's bulky), make sure it'll fit through the door, so you won't have to rebuild it should you later decide to move. Another random thought - make sure the drain system has a vent stack to a supply of adequate air volume to insure continuous flow down the drain. This can be illustrated by sipping fluid up a straw, then quickly capping the top of the straw and noting how the fluid is trapped inside the straw until it's uncapped.

  2. #22
    Les
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    860

    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    Thanks. Appreciated all the input. Looks like I may have the largest issue with the drain, but maybe not. Will see what the plumber suggests ? The room is on the same level with other rooms....and not in the basement. In the late 60's I had a makeshift darkroom in the basement, but that was pretty much previous lifetime. Time to move on, eh ?

    Les

  3. #23
    Gary Beasley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Marietta Ga. East Cobb.
    Posts
    428

    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    The best tip I can give is indirect lighting for the main safelight. On my last darkroom I hung the safelight facing the white ceiling and bounced it all over the darkroom. Its amazing how well you can see in the diffuse light even under the counter. I still had a work safelight over the sink for the trays.

  4. #24

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sheridan, Colorado
    Posts
    1,130

    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Beasley View Post
    The best tip I can give is indirect lighting for the main safelight. On my last darkroom I hung the safelight facing the white ceiling and bounced it all over the darkroom. Its amazing how well you can see in the diffuse light even under the counter. I still had a work safelight over the sink for the trays.
    Yikes. Sounds like my OLD darkroom. Actually, it's the SAME darkroom -- until I tested my safelights. My NEW darkroom is a lot dimmer now, but I can still my make my way around, and my prints are safe -- because I ran some simple tests.

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    60

    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    Paint the walls semi-gloss white. The semi-gloss will not hold dust like flat paint will. A DARKROOM, is just that,dark. A good safe light 5 feet above your working surface will illuminate the whole darkroom very well.
    Most interior walls in a house are not filled with insulation. You mount two louvered vents between the studs of the wall.One at working height the other on the opposite side of the wall higher or lower than the working height. Paint the back side of the opening flat black. This will stop all reflected light. I use a nice ,large 120 VAC muffin fan to move the air. The fan will move the air out of the darkroom,into the wall, bounce off the studs and top/bottom of the wall and vent out of the other louver. It works very well and is quite.
    My darkroom is in my basement. I built a long wet sink that drains into a wash tub sink (home depot) and it in turn feeds an enclosed sump pump and up and out to the house styptic system. I installed a check valve in the discharge pipe to prevent back-flow into the pump.
    Have many outlets.
    Keep extension cords away from the floor or liquids if you have no/enough power outlets.
    Peg board is a great way to store goodies off of the floor or drawers. Shelves should be at eye level and not cause a shadow on your work area.
    I use an air ionizer and ozone machine to keep the dust down. It stops dust about 90%. There is no static either.

  6. #26
    bob carnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario,
    Posts
    4,343

    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    I use very larger red rubber hoses, sometimes 50 ft in length with knozzels on the end to turn the flow on and off, this allows me to use a source of tempered water that can service two rooms with different sinks in each room.
    I would never plumb copper and valves and such to a darkroom sink again, and in fact I plan to build my final darkroom with this long hose in mind. I have a 3/4 inch line coming into a large hot water tank that splits to a shower faucet with temp gage on it. It is such a wonderful addition to my darkrooms.

  7. #27

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    83

    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    Lots of practical ideas above. I would only add that a light-coloured floor can add to 'foot-security', especially if you have visitors using the darkroom. Table-legs, sink supports etc. have tripped many people while distracted carrying full trays . . . oops.

    Good white-light is also useful for cleaning up and general maintenance purposes. If one can make a corner for daylight light-temperature print / test viewing then so much the better, especially for RA4 printing.

  8. #28

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sheridan, Colorado
    Posts
    1,130

    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    A big plus for me is to have a dimmer switch for a standard incandescent light overhead. That way, I can create full light -- or just a tiny bit so I can find what I dropped without losing my "night vision".

  9. #29

    Re: Converting room to a darkroom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rapidrob View Post
    ... I use an air ionizer and ozone machine to keep the dust down. It stops dust about 90%. There is no static either.
    I am curious to know what you mean be these two devices. Are they different from regular air cleaners and where do you find them? Thanks.
    --- Steve from Missouri ---

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