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Thread: The beginnings of the COVID darkroom.

  1. #1
    Ironage's Avatar
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    The beginnings of the COVID darkroom.

    Living the dream and building my own darkroom in my basement. Iím sure it might be tiny to some, but the plan includes sink a Beslar and a 5x7 Elwood.

    Here is the start.


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  2. #2

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    Re: The beginnings of the COVID darkroom.

    Best of luck on your build. It took me a long time start to finish to get mine done years ago, but it's a joy when you get there. There's tons of good info on this forum and similar sites, so certainly mine them for your design considerations. Measure three times, cut once. Enjoy!

  3. #3

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    Re: The beginnings of the COVID darkroom.

    Not a few great photographers have printed in tiny spaces and/or with other challenges. My darkroom is comfortable, but if you gave me a larger sink, and newer enlarger, etc., would my prints get any better? All that matters in the end is the result.

    My only, very personal alteration of 36cm2's alteration of the measure/cut rule, is measure three times, have someone else do the cutting after measuring again. I've never been accused of knowing how to measure. Or cut...
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  4. #4

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    Re: The beginnings of the COVID darkroom.

    Big darkrooms are tiring - really! A small tidy darkroom that fits your needs is best. I have been in darkrooms where the dry side was probably 15ft away from the sink - I got the sense that I spent too much time walking back and forth and tired faster than usual.

    Good luck on the build - Ulophot’s advice about measuring and cutting rings true to my experience.

  5. #5
    Ironage's Avatar
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    Re: The beginnings of the COVID darkroom.

    Day two. Framing is in except for the door framing. What next? Plumbing or wiring?


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  6. #6

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    Re: The beginnings of the COVID darkroom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironage View Post
    Day two. Framing is in except for the door framing. What next? Plumbing or wiring?


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    Fast work. That's great. Congrats. Consider your ventilation options. Filtered air in to create positive pressure in the room (keep dust out) and ventilation out of the room to get rid of any nasties. Sometimes this latter aspect is challenging, but if you intend on doing certain processes that involve challenging volatile chemicals later, you'll be happy you thought about it in advance. Best of luck. Great progress.

  7. #7

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    Re: The beginnings of the COVID darkroom.

    HVAC first, then plumbing, wiring last.

    IMHO.

  8. #8
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: The beginnings of the COVID darkroom.

    I don't want to be a killjoy, but what about codes and filing? What are the codes in your area? Are you allowed to do your own electric and plumbing work. Are there chemical issues that have to be handled before you dump them down the drain? Ventilation code issues. Are you going to run into a problem now or later when you go to sell your house and the buyer's home inspector flags this area as not approved? Then you have to hold up the sales as you get licensed contractors to inspect and correct and file for inspection. Maybe you can file your own work and get it inspected and approved? Or just plan on removing the whole thing when you sell your house.

  9. #9

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    Re: The beginnings of the COVID darkroom.

    During my sixty-five years as a photographer, I have built six darkrooms. I have also worked in a number of other darkrooms; civilian, military, and scholastic. Along the way I learned that smaller is better, at least for my way of working. My present darkroom, now three decades in use, is the smallest and most functional. It measures approximately 75 square feet, 7'x11'.

    I work only with black & white film in sizes 120 roll, as well as 4x5 and 8x10 sheet. Prints are predominately 8x10 and 11x14, with the ability to make the occasional 16x20. Ventilation is an important aspect. It is not unusual for me to spend 8 hours a day in my "cave", as my wife refers to it.

    The attached photos pretty well describe the darkroom area. I have the luxury of an adjacent room used as a finishing area and storage.

    Congratulations on building your own darkroom; it should be a fun and rewarding project.

    I am in total agreement with Renato (post #4)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1-IMG_0683.jpg   1-IMG_0677.jpg  

  10. #10

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    Re: The beginnings of the COVID darkroom.

    So jealous. That looks great. Can't wait to see the finished product. I agree smaller is better if it's just going to be you in there.

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