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Thread: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

  1. #21

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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leszek Vogt View Post
    Good thing you don't live on the Panhandle. I do recall driving through there (on the way to Orlando) and there was enough snow/ice on the road for a trucker to lie down his rig on the side, blocking everything - 25mile traffic....good thing I was going in the opposite direction. So, yes cold can happen in Texas :>).

    Can't say anything about foam insulation. But, if you do exterior diligently any conventional (fiberglass) insulation will cover any light that may try to squeeze through. Also, what sorts of walls are you intending to install on the interior, OSB ? I can smell the formaldehyde all the way here :>).

    Any water coming directly from the hose will likely be too warm to use in the darkroom, no ? Urrr, unless it's 2AM.

    Yes, the Panasonic "whisper" type are really good. I have one in the bathroom (less than 3' from my ear) and v. often I forget it's there at all. I also used Ultra Silent Broan throughout the house, and they are v. quiet as well - not sure of the availability of this.

    Attachment 192899

    Les
    Yes it can (re: cold) but in the summer, it's hot and humid. Too hot for chemicals let alone me to work in a shed without AC for sure Even at night. But the fall through spring would be pretty nice once the sun goes down for a while.

    Yeah I read the foam, particularly if not cured properly, can be nasty. I'd have someone professionally install that. Fiberglass/batt I feel like I'd have to cover up with something. I've always found that stuff to be dusty and am wary of breathing in anything coming from that stuff as well. I don't really need OSB except for that. I don't want sheetrock because that stuff just makes putting anything on the wall more difficult. I had thought about the radiant barrier styrofoam stuff too. It has a pretty low R-value but it's cheap and easy to install.

    Yes, the water from the tap is warmer than ideal in the summer but that's a problem I already have. I haven't had any adverse affects with prints, but also tend to mix up print developer in distilled water at room temp. I was worried about reticulation with film washing but so far that hasn't been an issue. I can't see any different in prints there. One thing about a shed darkroom is I can better control temperature than I can now, so that may aide in the print developing process.

    Good to hear about the Panasonic. Gosh our house fans our loud. I see Panasonic has a conversion kit so wondering if I can replace some of my bathroom ones (including my current bathroom/darkroom - it could stand to have more ventilation than it does, certainly for the amount of noise it currently puts out).


    BTW thanks for all the great ideas and help everyone! Gave me a ton to think about!

  2. #22

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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    10x10 is pretty darn small. The smallest AC unit you can find will be adequate. Foam insulation would be expensive for such a small job. The beauty of foam is that it seals every crack and crevice. Air infiltration might be a good thing in such a small room, if you sealed it up with foam you might need oxygen.

    A safe 1500 watt portable electric heater would be plenty to keep the place warm in the winter with a decent door.

    I would go with a hose and a heavy duty extension cord. If you are pulling over 1200 watts you need to account for voltage drop. 12 gauge romex type wiring used indoors is bright yellow, not legal to run across the yard. You would need to run a heavy RV type cord,,or trench in underground cable, not that difficult to do.

    Your biggest issue will be humidity. AC won't be enough you will need a dehumidifier.

    Maybe convert your kitchen to a darkroom and get a lot of microwave dinners.

  3. #23
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    When improvising a 8x12' darkroom in a former chicken house, I used fiberglass batting insulation throughout. It was covered with cheap paneling on the outside walls, and the batts were left uncovered on some interior walls. A window type air conditioner was framed into an exterior wall. A dedicated circuit with 10 gauge wire powered it and allowed for whatever I might need in the future. A 5x7 Elwood enlarger had to sit on the floor because of a low ceiling. I carried water in in milk jugs and waste water out in a pail. Storing plenty of jugs of water took care of temperature control. The darkroom was as crude as this sounds, but was cozy and actually fairly efficient.

  4. #24

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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    When improvising a 8x12' darkroom in a former chicken house, I used fiberglass batting insulation throughout. It was covered with cheap paneling on the outside walls, and the batts were left uncovered on some interior walls. A window type air conditioner was framed into an exterior wall. A dedicated circuit with 10 gauge wire powered it and allowed for whatever I might need in the future. A 5x7 Elwood enlarger had to sit on the floor because of a low ceiling. I carried water in in milk jugs and waste water out in a pail. Storing plenty of jugs of water took care of temperature control. The darkroom was as crude as this sounds, but was cozy and actually fairly efficient.
    My first darkroom was in an old coal bin in my folk's basement. Walls were made out of cardboard boxes from the grocery. It was great!

  5. #25

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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    Since I am in the San Francisco East Bay, I rarely have to deal with temperatures below freezing, or much above 85F, and only for short periods. I insulated the shed I use (about the same size - the darkroom part is 8x7 with interior pocket door) with fibre glass, and used 3/8 plywood for the interior walls. Although I marked the studs for bench mounting, the plywood is good enough for shelf mounting. And easy enough to unscrew to get behind it.

    Ceiling extraction is good to get the heat out in the summer, but not good for heating the space in the winter. I do not have active cooling, and use a simple oil-filled electric heater to warm things up. Since I do not have waste plumbing, the best control on humidity is to not leave the waste bucket un-emptied. I do have a cold water supply for washing. I treat the first rinse after fix as though it was fix for disposal.

    Electrical power was already present as the previous owner used it as a wood shop. One thing I might do is run some direct burial Cat5e/Cat6 network cable from the house. Wifi is a bit weak, and I don't want to put a repeater on the property boundary. Not that I need fast network access out there desperately.

  6. #26

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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    2" solid foam with reflective backing against the ceiling makes an excellent barrier to both heat and cold. HD sells it in the correct width to fit between rafters making it quick and easy to install. I have forgotten the rating, but t is high.i

  7. #27
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    Quote Originally Posted by m00dawg View Post
    You lost me a bit on the fan.
    Air is compressible. You can pull it, but you can't push it effectively. If you try to push air down a duct with a turn in it, what usually happens at the turn is a drop in airflow. Because what the fan is doing now is raising the static pressure between the fan and the turn in the duct. How much static pressure a fan can produce is a typical fan specification -- it's usually right there on the name plate around the model number. After that level is reached, air flow down the duct is essentially zero. You can't push a rope. You can't push air.

    I don't expect many people to actually understand this because most people haven't been through mechanical engineering school. For those that have, this is simple fluid flow. For those that haven't, it's like magic. I get that it's not intuitively obvious, but that doesn't mean that I'm not telling you the truth.

    So, put the fan on the outside of the building so it can exhaust into the entire outside atmosphere. It's not possible for an individual fan, no matter how big, to effectively increase atmospheric pressure. So the fan won't generate any increase in static pressure, and therefore will maximize it's airflow.

    Bruce Watson

  8. #28
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    Quote Originally Posted by m00dawg View Post
    Geo location is Texas. So summers are hot.
    Tell me! I did Basic Training in Texas in August! It's one reason I live in Minnesota now.

    Back on-topic I look forward to learning if there is insulation not recommended for hot weather. I have a large garden shed to rebuild - someday.

    And thanks to Bruce Watson for his information!

  9. #29
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    I get it and will be putting the fan I am using just inside the outside wall, there will be a dryer type bird screen and rain preventer flap This one worked great in Chicago, I took out a glass brick and installed it. Had to get permission from the Condo ass bureaucracy.



    Broan 641 Wall Cap for 6" Round Duct for Range Hoods and Bath Ventilation Fans


    As that install had 3 inlets, I put in control flaps. But this time I will not as I have a better handle on what I want.

    I still have the big hole saw i will need.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
    Air is compressible. You can pull it, but you can't push it effectively. If you try to push air down a duct with a turn in it, what usually happens at the turn is a drop in airflow. Because what the fan is doing now is raising the static pressure between the fan and the turn in the duct. How much static pressure a fan can produce is a typical fan specification -- it's usually right there on the name plate around the model number. After that level is reached, air flow down the duct is essentially zero. You can't push a rope. You can't push air.

    I don't expect many people to actually understand this because most people haven't been through mechanical engineering school. For those that have, this is simple fluid flow. For those that haven't, it's like magic. I get that it's not intuitively obvious, but that doesn't mean that I'm not telling you the truth.

    So, put the fan on the outside of the building so it can exhaust into the entire outside atmosphere. It's not possible for an individual fan, no matter how big, to effectively increase atmospheric pressure. So the fan won't generate any increase in static pressure, and therefore will maximize it's airflow.

  10. #30
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    I trust almost nothing, but I have used that fan and vent for 5 years. I left it in the last wall.

    The Dyno Cells I worked in had such great negative air pressure opening the door was very difficult with the 2 fans running. One inlet makeup and a stronger exhaust.

    We had Magnehelics in each cell.

    But never read them as the door told us if a fan had failed.And the room got hot.

    About 2500 Cubic feet with 3 changes a minute. Floor pulls for gasoline vapor, but mostly for heat as we ran V-8's 24/7. Huge fans on roof.

    All kinds of safeties and fire suppression.

    Room explosion did happen at other labs, we never did that, but came too close...



    Quote Originally Posted by Jac@stafford.net View Post
    I do not trust CFM specs.

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