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Thread: DIY Large darkroom paper development ideas

  1. #11
    Gary Beasley's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Large darkroom paper development ideas

    Let me know if you need help.

  2. #12
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Large darkroom paper development ideas

    Thanks Gary. Will be putting more effort into this in the coming months, so we'll see what I can come up with.

    There's an irrigation and landscape supply store down near where my dad lives, so I think I'm going to go look at some of the pipe they have sometime next month. Nothing large enough at Home Depot, and I think there are some smaller gauge pipe that will work better for this weight-wise. I don't need Schedule 40.
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  3. #13

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    Re: DIY Large darkroom paper development ideas

    You could use your counter space divided with temporary 2x4 grid covered with plastic for an initial test (search for Clyde Butcher large printing). Also at home depot they sell washing machine overflow pans that are 32" square-ish so a 24x48" print would have to be seesawed in and out of solution. Hydroponic trays are available in 48". Inflatable swimming pool for washing. If still considering the tube method - there are 12" cardboard tubes in the cement section at HomeDepot, they could be coated with epoxy fiber glass resin.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

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  5. #15
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Large darkroom paper development ideas

    Considering your central bench with open rafters it would be easy to try a few methods with RC.

    Tape/fasten the paper to 2" PVC tubes.

    Make a smooth double pulley system system hung from the ceiling or lower for stability, attached to PVC ends. Dip the paper in narrow but long trays that can be moved into position easily. The paper stays in one position. You pull the paper down on both sides.

    I do this by hand, processing 14X36" X-Ray using film clips, my hands barely get wet. I do it in 2" of PQ, double sided film, no scratches if the film never touches the tray bottom.
    sin eater

  6. #16
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Large darkroom paper development ideas

    Interesting idea Randy! I will think about that.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  7. #17

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    Re: DIY Large darkroom paper development ideas

    I've thought a lot about this over the years but I haven't done anything yet. I think the idea of an enlarged color canoe is probably the best way to go about it. You can use far less chemistry that way and can actually see the print developing. You can also use it for different size prints without worrying about the issues that a small print in a large drum would cause. You would also have far less mess from chemical spillage. It would be easier too than loading a print into a wet drum.

    If you decide to go with a drum, you might want to use a screen material to give the fiber paper structure. I suppose there is an outside chance that the screen may cause uneven development so you would have to test for that.

  8. #18
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Large darkroom paper development ideas

    You can also do one large tray. Pour in developer. Use a mop or....? to go over the surface of the print. Pour out. pour next solution into tray.....
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  9. #19

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    Re: DIY Large darkroom paper development ideas

    But if you are thinking of making something that requires back rolling the paper onto something, note this...

    The secret to not getting little crimps, creases, clamshell marks, and dents on the paper (very easy to do), is to always allow the paper to unroll in it's most natural flow during handling and processing steps... Think of the paper like it's a big roll of seamless, that if you don't handle it just so, it will crinkle or crease, so your mission will be to imagine every step of the process and design a workflow for it...

    It's possible, but you need to design your system carefully, or its looking for a large ink jet printer... In fact, if you only need to print now and then, an ink jet might be fine at that very large size... Because there is a big learning curve to produce perfect, consistent wet prints...

    Steve K

  10. #20
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Large darkroom paper development ideas

    Personally I am not interested in inkjet printing one iota. I don't have a problem with occasional lab prints on traditional light-sensitive papers using modern methods, but ink to me is a non-starter. I am also looking to make larger prints consistently and specifically to showcase my work at art festivals and other events - not just a one-off decorative or throw-away print for around the house.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

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