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Thread: Dark Box Build

  1. #1

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    Dark Box Build

    Hey fellow photographers,

    Iím getting started in wet plate photography, and am currently building my dark box. This is a folding design inspired by several I came across on the internet. Iíll post more updates as I get closer to finishing it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails E747364B-6C8C-4121-B27C-2DBF334A4837.jpg   98E62A84-F741-44AA-BAA8-D72C28513570.jpg   5B68F120-68B0-4B63-9CB2-D8B52A145C40.jpg  

  2. #2

    Re: Dark Box Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan View Post
    Hey fellow photographers,

    I’m getting started in wet plate photography, and am currently building my dark box. This is a folding design inspired by several I came across on the internet. I’ll post more updates as I get closer to finishing it.
    That’s going to be fantastic, Ethan! I’m envious of your carpentry skills. (I have nearly none)

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Dark Box Build

    Yes, can't wait!
    2022

  4. #4

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    Re: Dark Box Build

    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post
    That’s going to be fantastic, Ethan! I’m envious of your carpentry skills. (I have nearly none)
    I’m not sure I would say I’m great at carpentry, getting here has been a good deal of measure once, cut twice . I designed this box to be made from just two sheets of plywood, and designed it first in CAD. That helped me plan out all the cuts, but tolerances in CAD are much tighter than work in reality, so that’s where some of my problems stemmed from.

  5. #5
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Dark Box Build

    Ethan, verrrrry nice work. I like the way it folds down, I saw an English gentleman on YouTube using a similar design, and it seemed to be a quick set-up.

    I was going to build one as well, but instead opted for a lighter solution I saw at Collodion Bastards: http://collodionbastards.org/darkboxes/
    It hasn't arrived yet. Kent (Two23) has posted about his modifications to this box.

    I bought some cheap black sweatpants and will cut the bottom off (with the elastic) and attach those to the box to get my hands inside and keep it light-tight.
    On top, I'll fix a large piece of red/amber filter, or rubylith sandwiched between two pieces of clear plastic.

    The box folds down flat and is lightweight.
    Now, if it can only get here soon.

    Enjoy your dark box, it looks great!

  6. #6
    Foamer
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    Re: Dark Box Build

    It looks great. The one thing I'll mention is I'm not sure having a smallish red window on the top or even the opposing side is enough. The single hardest thing to do in a dark lab is pour on the developer. For that I've been finding having a light coming from opposite of me on the side wall helps to make the plate more shiny so I can see where developer is going vs not going. You can easily do that in a box by adding a small red LED to the opposite side, angled slightly down.


    Kent in SD
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails PL2.jpg   PL1.jpg  
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  7. #7

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    Re: Dark Box Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    It looks great. The one thing I'll mention is I'm not sure having a smallish red window on the top or even the opposing side is enough. The single hardest thing to do in a dark lab is pour on the developer. For that I've been finding having a light coming from opposite of me on the side wall helps to make the plate more shiny so I can see where developer is going vs not going. You can easily do that in a box by adding a small red LED to the opposite side, angled slightly down.


    Kent in SD
    I have a 10x12” Kodak safelight filter I planned on putting in the top. It has also been recommended to me to get a red headlamp, but I think I’d prefer a stationary light like yours, if the 10x12” filter isn’t enough. Do you have to worry at all about the spectrum of red it outputs, or would most res LEDs work?

  8. #8
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    Re: Dark Box Build

    I've heard there are a few LEDs that don't work, but I've tried three different ones now and they all worked fine.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  9. #9

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    Re: Dark Box Build

    I painted/stained the darkbox this morning. It isn't exactly pretty, but it meets my requirements of being functional, large, and relatively easy to transport.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	204985

  10. #10
    Foamer
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    Re: Dark Box Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan View Post
    I painted/stained the darkbox this morning. It isn't exactly pretty, but it meets my requirements of being functional, large, and relatively easy to transport.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1413.jpg 
Views:	45 
Size:	119.5 KB 
ID:	204985
    Getting close!


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

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