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Thread: Stearman Press leaking like crazy

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    145

    Stearman Press leaking like crazy

    Any other people developing 4X5 in a Stearman Press.

    through time it starts to feel more and more unreliable.

    Do others also have experience? The rubber closing off looks intact. But even when I close the cover in the dark I always feel a space between the cover and the tank. (I use duc tape to close it off)

    And also while developing, especially using BLX, you see it pouring out

    I think it is still a great tank to use overall, but would feel better if they improved it. Maybe with sealing on the outside to make shure it closes fully

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    51

    Re: Stearman Press leaking like crazy

    At first mine leaked a lot, then I started filling it less which caused a better vacuum and it's been fine since, user error on my part.

  3. #3
    Foamer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    2,166

    Re: Stearman Press leaking like crazy

    Wet the gsket with water just before closing. You are squeezing it while putting the final cap on, right?


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

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    4,994

    Re: Stearman Press leaking like crazy

    I load mine in a changing bag so wetting the O-ring never has been a great option even though it’s probably the best option. After one leaky session my agitation protocol changed from inversion agitation to a more gentle two axis side-to-side agitation. That and “squeezing to create suction” minimizes leakage.

    I’ve not noticed any negative impacts of reducing agitation violence. In fact, I use same agitation protocol for Paterson tank too.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
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    4,994

    Re: Stearman Press leaking like crazy

    Also... I stopped trying to put 475 ml in it. Only 450 and that helped reduce leakage.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    145

    Re: Stearman Press leaking like crazy

    Thanks guys,

    I have considered the wetting the rubber thing. But did not try.
    I do close the tank with the caps on it.
    And fill it always to the top.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    4,994

    Re: Stearman Press leaking like crazy

    Don’t forget to squeeze when tightening the last cap.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    1,040

    Re: Stearman Press leaking like crazy

    I don't wet the o-ring, I use 475ml of solution, do the "squeeze play" with the caps on loosely, then tighten down the caps while squeezing the tank. It still leaks a little, but nothing problematic. Also, my tank reveals a very slight space between the lid and the tank with the lid fully pressed down. I've never noticed any particular issues because of this.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Purcellville, VA
    Posts
    743

    Re: Stearman Press leaking like crazy

    I had an issue a while back which turned out to be the O-ring. It had aged sufficiently over a couple of years that a replacement solved the problem. Mine involved a light leak. As others have noted, the squeeze is the key and not over-filled.
    I get both caps on simultaneously, tighten one, then squeeze while tightening the other.
    Philip U.

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

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    145

    Re: Stearman Press leaking like crazy

    I have been considering moving over to a patterson tank with the mod54.
    Don't know, but I have no trust in the Stearman at this point no more and my images are to valuable to loose to such a problem.

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