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Thread: Setting up a darkroom inside a shipping container

  1. #31

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    Re: Setting up a darkroom inside a shipping container

    I don't think one container is going to cut it for what you want to do. I'd use two if I were you.

    I've had a passing interest in container building for a few years now since i am interested in modern architecture, though I doubt I would do one myself. I figure by the time you frame the inside you lose any real cost savings. I ran across a new channel on YouTube the other day and IIRC he is building one in Joshua Tree, so you may want to contact him. The channel is called The Modern Home Project He has some good ideas on construction.

    One thing I would do is make the building large enough that i could walk into the darkroom from the other space. Build a light trap so you can eliminate doors going into the darkroom. You could even get around A/C if you do that depending on where you live. Just increase the airflow and keep a window/door open in your office/workspace area.

  2. #32
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Setting up a darkroom inside a shipping container

    If you decide to move to Kentucky instead, let me know. I’m in central KY. Cheapest cost of living of the places I’ve moved around to. There is income tax (low), but sales tax is a lot lower than TN.

  3. #33
    multi format
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    Re: Setting up a darkroom inside a shipping container

    You might look into a quonset hut sometimes they sell cheap
    enjoy your coffee

  4. #34
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: Setting up a darkroom inside a shipping container

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Davis View Post
    If you decide to move to Kentucky instead, let me know. I’m in central KY. Cheapest cost of living of the places I’ve moved around to. There is income tax (low), but sales tax is a lot lower than TN.
    Kentucky is on the "to go and experience" list for sure. Building Stone Photo Gear into an entity that can operate nearly anywhere is the goal, as I want to work from "home". So having the freedom(eventually) to choose where I go will be nice.
    Will reach out when I come through though!

    -Dan

  5. #35

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    Re: Setting up a darkroom inside a shipping container

    Dan...a thought-

    Have you considered mobile offices or surplus portable classrooms? I've seen several mobile offices on Craigslist about 24' by 32' for like $1200-1500 with working Heat/AC units.

  6. #36

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    Re: Setting up a darkroom inside a shipping container

    Insulation, insulation, and more insulation. Those things become ovens in the summer and refrigerators in the winter. If you are putting a sliding door in the side there will need to be some structural stuff done unless you get one of the side opening containers. A friend has one of these for a small work shop. It works well for this after a LOT of insulation. If it were me I would look for one of the mentioned surplus offices. At least it would already be wired and probably insulated well.

  7. #37
    Les
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    Re: Setting up a darkroom inside a shipping container

    Another thought. How about utilizing the space above a 2-car garage ? Under most codes adding second floor there (for specific purpose) would give plenty of room to insulate and you would have at least 500 sf of space.

    Les

  8. #38
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: Setting up a darkroom inside a shipping container

    Hey guys,

    Good points all round, thank your for the thoughts.
    While watching(for the millionth time it seems) the video(below) of Edward Weston (darkroom starting at 20:00 mark), I look at his darkroom and think "he had very little, but created so much from it". I want to do that. Minimize equipment so I can maximize my time spent in the darkroom. I enjoy the simplicity of contact printing. Simply a lightbulb, a negative, and trays of chemistry. Simple. I like simple, although I am currently de-cluttering my life in multiple ways so I can achieve less stuff holding me back.

    However, I enjoy the handhold-ability of medium format, so I would like to include an enlarger inside the darkroom space(according to my sketchup drawing, this would be feasible space-wise). But only one enlarger, and adequate vertical storage shelving under counters and sinks to hold chemistry and darkroom equipment when not in use.

    With the container, keeping it painted(to prevent rust) isn't a problem for me, heck changing the outside color might be a funky thing to do from time to time! Building up earth around the container was certainly an idea, but again, I'm not a the point of even having moved to a place yet, much less have the funds available for such a project. This is simply to have a lighthearted discussion, get the juices flowing and maybe spark some ideas for other people to glean off of

    -Dan

    Last edited by Daniel Stone; 7-May-2019 at 20:08. Reason: forgot video link for Weston video referenced

  9. #39

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    Re: Setting up a darkroom inside a shipping container

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Stone View Post
    Played around with some stuff in sketchup this evening just to suss things out a bit, mostly for myself. Thought I might as well share though.

    -Dan

    Attachment 190951
    Attachment 190952
    Attachment 190953
    Very cool.

    We have a duplex with a side yard, and it's occurred to me to build a work area/darkroom in a tiny-house structure in the side yard. In my town, zoning is favorable (vs. an out-building). (Not sure about the difference in price between a tiny-house and a container?) With a tiny-house structure, and I assume with a shipping container, it can easily be moved to a different location, should one happen to relocate.

    There's a lot to be accomplished with good design and layout. In my "tiny" 6'x8' darkroom w/a 48" sink, I can print up to 16x20 photographs and enlarge up to 8x10 negatives.

  10. #40

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    Re: Setting up a darkroom inside a shipping container

    Quote Originally Posted by Leszek Vogt View Post
    Another thought. How about utilizing the space above a 2-car garage ? Under most codes adding second floor there (for specific purpose) would give plenty of room to insulate and you would have at least 500 sf of space.

    Les
    This is what I've done in my current circumstances. My darkroom was built in an alcove by adding a wall with a door in the center, and I've sectioned off a space on one side of our two-car garage for a print-preparation area, with a dry-mount press, Logen matte cutter, etc.

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